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Re: Banghammer

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:13 am
by FrankenGraphics
Oh, haha, sorry for being overly cryptic. I guess i tried to oversummarize the spirit of a textbook on cartoon animation i once found very useful (and without any illustrative examples to boot)...

I guess what i'm basically saying is that the cels are perfect as far as i'm concerned, and their individual durations can be experimented with to express very different things even if their contents are still the same.
A general rule of thumb is trying to complement the contents/attributes/intentions of a cel by experimenting back and forth with the timing of each cel until it feels "natural".

I ought to add a quick example. Hope you don't mind me modifying your original.

First, i set the timing of your gif from 15 ppu frames for each cel to this:

12, 7, 25, 50.

12 for anticipation,
7 for a quick swing
25 for completion of swing and reversal of direction
50 for rest (quite trivial, could be anything decided by enemy AI, but probably always at least existing before resuming running or attacking again?)

But then the "speed lines" of the swing started to misinform the new timing. They inform me as a viewer that something is happening quickly, but i made them linger in the air unnaturally long.
Which i hadn't anticipated at first. I then split the troublesome cel into two so i could gain more control.

12, 7, 7, 18, 50

12 for anticipation
7 for a quick swing
7 for completion of swing
18 for reversal of direction - here, i simply took the same cel as before, but removed the "speed lines", assuming it was an individual sprite i could remove from the metasprite or at least void-fill with an empty sprite.
50 for rest.

The result of this split (which could be further refined of course):
enemy_runner_knife_slash_anim_fg.gif (3.64 KiB) Viewed 12002 times
(Just to compare it with something real, the animation engine of Project Blue can only hold 4 cels per animation. That means a total animation of 5 cels requires *two* animation objects to be daisychained rear to front. In this case i'd probably justify the 5th cel requiring its own object by simply using it as the "idle" object, with or without any further animation. Oh, and each cel holds up to a maximum of 4 sprites, so it would actually require a lot more, haha).
For sprite timings theres a general update timer for everyone, and then metasprites can "override" it with their own. I use the general one for things like walking, as it saves cycles and space not having to hardcode everything. I did write a whole new animation engine on Monday, which has bugs and I am not using, and the poor prioritisation of which is likely why I missed the deadline!
I know exactly what you're talking about. I've been quite wasteful with a lot of my animations hardcoding every cel and its duration. That sure eats a lot of space! As i'm sure calima can attest to. (Sorry, calima!)
Having a lean backup engine for more generic movement patterns which one deems can "get away with it" sounds very reasonable, especially in an action platformer.

You might've missed the deadline, but i'm really looking forward to see your project in all its splendor one day. :)

EDIT: point of clarification.
The "reversal of direction" is only existing in the ideal world, because this transition from movement to a full stop to a movement again in the other direction is summarized by one and the same cel in this example. Which can be totally fine as the timing itself implies this change of direction.

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:32 am
by tepples
Haunted: Halloween '85 and its sequel set a duration for each of Donny's frames. They also set a damage amount, hitbox coordinate, and physics flags for each frame, so it's not (proportionally) that much of a difference.

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:30 pm
by team_disposable
Once more I have been drawing pictures that my programming can't cash.
Comments/critique appreciated.

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:58 pm
by FrankenGraphics
If still aiming for CNROM you can store the strip of nametable needed (compressed if you wish) inside the currently used chr bank depending on how filled it is. Chances are the sprite page isn't much used at all in this state?
That might be viable, just because while you only have 32kB of prg, with infiniteneslives' cnrom you have a whopping 128kB of chr without any added cost compared to one with lower amounts of chr.

For the art, i have a few points that might be worth exploring:

If the flexing arm is meant to be viewed directly from its front, i think it is more common/more natural angle for the hand to be facing knuckles/fingers towards the head rather than the onlooker - except if you're also bending the whole arm backwards like some professional body builders seem to do when showing off their torso, in which case they would be knuckles-front.

I feel you can be a bit more bold with the usage of shadows, but this is mostly a matter of taste. My suggestion would be trying to distribute some more of them as if a spotlight came from a direction of your choosing.

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:27 pm
by team_disposable
The pose is physically possible, although the reference material I've seem does mostly have the hand facing backwards - I think this would make for a more boring image, however.

I'm actually such a rookie I don't think about lighting - that's a really good point and something I need to practice on.

I'm compressing the chr and writing to ram in an unrom. I've dedicated a bank to graphics. I haven't had a look at cnroms at all yet, I'll have a look.


Re: Banghammer

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:48 pm
by FrankenGraphics
Aahh sorry i just assumed you were using cnrom because so many entries seemed to use it at some point that i forgot about unrom. My bad.

I mean with unrom-128 (mapper 2) you almost have the same total space. Just a little bit less, but more conveniently organized. Then there's unrom-512 (mapper 30) which you could expand into without the conversion problems you'd have if changing from unrom to cnrom.

cnrom is 50 cents cheaper than unrom-128 per unit and before bulk reductions apply, but it's a really minor point.

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:55 pm
by team_disposable
Ah I was just posting about this too. I thought there was some secret benefit I'd overlooked. Cheaper is better!

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:19 pm
by FrankenGraphics
If cheaper is better, you also ought to check out the aptly named cheapocabra aka gtrom by memblers if you haven't already. Prices vary some per batch, but it is very attractively priced. Get in touch with Joe and ask when you get the chance! It's also a pretty straightforward move from unrom.

Specifications + some informative talk can be found here.

Also be on the outlook - after NESmaker is properly released, supply and demand might change for the better when it comes to unrom-like pcb:s. Speculatively speaking without special insights...

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:12 am
by Ryoga
team_disposable wrote:Ryoga, I'm glad you think so! This is my attempt at something like a Blue Shadow, another Natsume game (Shadow of the Ninja in the US), and one I absolutely adore! I should be releasing a ROM next week.
Blue Shadow is also one of my favorite Natsume games. I hope that soon you can release your game to play it. In the captures you've shown look great.

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:40 am
by team_disposable
Thanks! I'll be picking this up again this week, so hopefully something soon. Ive been trying to write some more generic new libraries in the meantime.

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:09 pm
by Banshaku
Is there any status update on this game? Can’t wait to see it in action.

Re: Banghammer

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:17 am
by team_disposable
I put it aside for a couple of weeks to get a wider focus on what it should actually be, but I should be getting back to it soon. I've resolved I'm not going to make the cart (again)!