But, Stallone and Schwarzenegger sound funny, and they have distinct voices which would sound particularly funny with (impersonated) death groans. Plus I have assets related to these characters as Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and not just the head sprites.
The cover images for the first Contra were both taken from pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but my impression is that the fanbase generally imagines these characters as Arnold and Sylvester.
As in, "Okay, I'm copying Contra, but how will mine be different? Why should people want to play mine instead of Contra?" could be valid thoughts to have during development.
Now that's an area into which I've put a bit of thought, largely focused on the area of gameplay at this point.
I'm a big fan of SHMUPs, particularly Compile SHMUPs, and I want to bring more of the bullet dodging into the Run and Gun genre. Generally these games tend to be more heavy on enemies than bullets. It's going to be a balance to make the game as hard as I'd like it to be and still allow for the player to evade all attacks.
I'd like to make my game more fast-paced and crazier, as over-the-top as I can for NES, given mapper limitations as well.
Currently my engine handles 2 simultaneous players, up to 6 active enemies, 32 active enemy bullets, and 16 active player bullets. Sprites are rotated for flicker, enemy bullets are placed into buffer every frame, as well as the four most important sprites from any non-bullet object, and 1/2 of the player bullets. The other sprites are rotated in when possible to allow for there to be more than 64 sprites worth of objects active.
I've given a bit of thoughts to weapons, and the scanline sprite limitations preclude some cool weapon types for a horizontally oriented game, such as a flamethrower. I believe though, that homing missiles would be doable, as well as a grenade launcher. I also plan to implement a SHMUP style weapons upgrade system with most likely three levels of firepower per weapon.
Also, is having the skin tone visible in the pants necessary for tile overlapping? If not, I'd highly suggest replacing it with a light green/blue so that you could have the same level of shading in the legs as in the torso.
Yeah, unfortunately that's necessary. The same waist sprite is used for every animation with the exceptions of jumping, and sliding, and the skin color does show through.
I'm least satisfied with the legs and the light patterns on them. Currently I consider them nondescript pixels which highlight movement, but I plan to make some sort of cohesive pattern on them.
Animations are tight, too.
How do you mean tight in this instance? I would usually perceive someone saying my work is tight as a positive thing.
The hardest part was animating the legs within 3 sprites.