Graphic design of NES games

A place for your artistic side. Discuss techniques and tools for pixel art on the NES, GBC, or similar platforms.

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tokumaru
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Post by tokumaru » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:58 am

Bregalad wrote:In fact I think animated BGs are WAY too much overrated - I'd rather go for a statuc BG which is good looking.
It depends. When they start animating things that wouldn't normally move, just for the heck of it, then it's too much. But a certain degree of background animation gives the games more life.

There are certain games that if there are no enemies on the screen you can't even tell if they're paused or not, because everything is so static. I believe that a little background animation makes a good difference, and makes the worlds more alive.

UncleSporky
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Post by UncleSporky » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:22 am

tokumaru wrote:
Bregalad wrote:In fact I think animated BGs are WAY too much overrated - I'd rather go for a statuc BG which is good looking.
It depends. When they start animating things that wouldn't normally move, just for the heck of it, then it's too much. But a certain degree of background animation gives the games more life.

There are certain games that if there are no enemies on the screen you can't even tell if they're paused or not, because everything is so static. I believe that a little background animation makes a good difference, and makes the worlds more alive.
In areas where I can be sure there won't be too many enemies on the screen at once, I want to devote a number of sprites to scenery effects. Leaves falling, light filtering through the trees etc.

Anyway, that CV2 forest is so simple and yet works so well. It's just a few vertical sections of tiles that can be chopped up and rearranged, and they look good in almost any configuration. End a section early and the vertical edge just becomes another tree.

Image

AWJ
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Post by AWJ » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:25 am

Those Ninja Gaiden 3 screenshots are using a truly awful emulator palette (Nesticle?) The foreground foliage (i.e. the platforms you can walk on) should be yellow-green, not brown, and the background bushes should be brown, not bright red.

UncleSporky
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Post by UncleSporky » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:49 am

AWJ wrote:Those Ninja Gaiden 3 screenshots are using a truly awful emulator palette (Nesticle?) The foreground foliage (i.e. the platforms you can walk on) should be yellow-green, not brown, and the background bushes should be brown, not bright red.
I wouldn't know which emulator they used, but you're right. Brown and red on the NES are pretty similar though.

Image

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Bregalad
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Post by Bregalad » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:52 am

It's just a few vertical sections of tiles that can be chopped up and rearranged, and they look good in almost any configuration. End a section early and the vertical edge just becomes another tree.
My god I admit this is very clever and works surprisingly well !
Useless, lumbering half-wits don't scare us.

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miau
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Post by miau » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:01 am

UncleSporky wrote:
AWJ wrote:Those Ninja Gaiden 3 screenshots are using a truly awful emulator palette (Nesticle?) The foreground foliage (i.e. the platforms you can walk on) should be yellow-green, not brown, and the background bushes should be brown, not bright red.
I wouldn't know which emulator they used, but you're right. Brown and red on the NES are pretty similar though.

(image)
Ah, that looks much better :)
I still don't like the purple highlights on the front trees much, they look like pieces of cloth to me, but the rest is pretty good.

I especially like the the bottom half of the screen. The hero isn't walking on the foremost background pane like in most games, you're actually watching him from the other side of a river - or at least that's what it looks like to me. Very cool.

Celius
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Post by Celius » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:25 pm

That CV2 hack is really inspiring, actually. That forest is simply incredible. More than that, I think the rocks with the moss look AWESOME. I can see how they might do that, dedicating two background palettes to be like this:

Color 0 = Black

Palette 1:
Color 1 = Dark Grey
Color 2 = Dark Green
Color 3 = Light Grey

Palette 2:
Color 1 = Dark Grey
Color 2 = Dark Green
Color 3 = Light Green

With these two palettes, they can put the rock patterns with moss next to each other, and switch between showing highlighted rocks and highlighted moss. It's really pretty, but I would be scared to dedicate two palettes to make this. I guess less variety of higher quality can be better than greater variety of lower quality.

The forest is also great. These are actually the kind of visuals I was dreaming my game ChateauLeVania would have, but I didn't know that it was possible. This is definitely proof that you can have great graphics with limited capabilities.

UncleSporky
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Post by UncleSporky » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:23 pm

I didn't intend for this to be a pixel art thread, but building on forest graphic examples and what I put together above:

Image
Last edited by UncleSporky on Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bananmos
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Post by Bananmos » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:42 pm

Thanks for your great analysis UncleSporky! (and other contributors to this thread) I've recently been thinking about how to design a NES forest area, and both Darkwing Duck and Gimmick have been impressive models to study, but your thread shows there are many great NES forest that I have yet to explore. :)

And speaking of parallax scrolling tricks, the shadowy background trees in the MM6 forest area just seems to scream for using that. Though I guess it would need CHR-ROM (and lots of it) for that to be practical. I've always wondered why the Megaman sequels kept switching back and forth between CHR-RAM to CHR-ROM, while the game engine itself didn't seem to change much.

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Disch
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Post by Disch » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:26 pm

Thaddeus has amazing talent for sure (artist for that CV2 hack). I knew him on IRC way back when -- before we had a falling out due to personality conflicts.

The man is without a doubt the best pixel artist I've ever seen. He really should get into doing his work professionally.

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Post by Celius » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:36 pm

Disch wrote:Thaddeus has amazing talent for sure (artist for that CV2 hack).
Well it's good to know that there's some proof that this is legitimate. If you know him, and you know he was working on this, I have faith that the video isn't fake.
Disch wrote: The man is without a doubt the best pixel artist I've ever seen. He really should get into doing his work professionally.
Yeah, pretty much. I mean, really, I didn't believe at first that these were really NES graphics. It's funny too, because it's not like there's any parallax or special effects of any kind. It's simply the amount of detail that made me doubt this was real.

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Bregalad
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Post by Bregalad » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:46 pm

Yeah same here, in fact, like Uncle Sporky explained I think the tiles themselves are normally detailed, but they are arranged in a way that adds detail to the level itself, which makes how incredible this video looks. I had to watch it a few times to figure out that I wasn't daydreaming, and I'm really relived to hear it's not a fake, I really can't wait to see it released !!

I also remember a hack of one of the Mega Man games (it was MM2 I think) which had beyond awesome graphics too.
Useless, lumbering half-wits don't scare us.

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Disch
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Post by Disch » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:59 pm

Celius wrote: Well it's good to know that there's some proof that this is legitimate. If you know him, and you know he was working on this, I have faith that the video isn't fake.
Well I haven't spoken to him in about a year, so I can't in good faith say I know for a fact it's him. But:

1) The video said "from the makers of DXOII" (Primarily: Sliver-X and Thaddeus)

2) Thaddeus is a diehard retro Castlevania fan

3) The art is totally his style

4) I've seen some of his other works, and he really is that good

5) Sliver and Thadd have been talking about a CV2 remake since forever ago (years and years now)


So yeah. There's no doubt in MY mind that it's legit. But I don't have "proof" per se.


It's not just the forest backgrounds in that video that get me. Did you guys look at some of the ground tiles? The patches of rock on the forest floor, and the 16x16 blocks on the screen with the mountain background. Absolute beauty.

CartCollector
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Post by CartCollector » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:24 pm

UncleSporky, you forgot this one:
Image
It's an OK forest in my opinion. Better than the DuckTales one at least.

HJRodrigo
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Post by HJRodrigo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:47 pm

I posted the link of sliver x's "announcement" on romhacking.net of the project. I don't know why everybody is so concerned about it being fake. The concern should be of it not being released. I see way more projects being canceled/not released (usually due to "real life") than being fake.

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