It is currently Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:44 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 61 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:14 am
Posts: 264
DragonDePlatino wrote:
It's commendable that you're going after NES restrictions, but since this isn't intended to run on NES hardware I think all of this streamlining is pointless. Most people don't like the sprite flickering and if you're going to be designing your characters around sprite flickering, you'll be watering them down.


Thing is, NES games look the way they do because of these restrictions. If sprite limit was no issue, and neither was sprite flicker, or VRAM, your hypothetical end result would have dozens of sprites the size of the boxers from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! while the background had full parallax. The NES would've been able to handle something like The China Warrior instead of Kung Fu without those restrictions. Hell, throw out most of the limitations, and nothing will stop you from making a game that looks like Crysis. But with those limitations in place, then your game has to look completely different. That's the thing that bothers me with Shovel Knight, I spend so much time saying "is this supposed to look like an NES game or a terrible arcade port to the Genesis?"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:44 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:37 am
Posts: 183
Sik wrote:
But there's like only three palettes in use despite that...


That's not my point, that same locale (tileset), is shown with mountainous backgrounds, and water tiles. Optimizing colour usage could allow for all of these to be displayable in one screen.

But, apparently they're sprites? That's an odd way to do ladders... >.>
Will they animate? (Move with player contact, while climbing)

DragonDePlatino wrote:
It's commendable that you're going after NES restrictions, but since this isn't intended to run on NES hardware I think all of this streamlining is pointless. Most people don't like the sprite flickering and if you're going to be designing your characters around sprite flickering, you'll be watering them down.


I don't think you're quite understanding the term "NES-style", optimization is exactly half of the work!
...personally, I find severe restrictions quite fun!

OneCrudeDude wrote:
Thing is, NES games look the way they do because of these restrictions. If sprite limit was no issue, and neither was sprite flicker, or VRAM, your hypothetical end result would have dozens of sprites the size of the boxers from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! while the background had full parallax. The NES would've been able to handle something like The China Warrior instead of Kung Fu without those restrictions. Hell, throw out most of the limitations, and nothing will stop you from making a game that looks like Crysis. But with those limitations in place, then your game has to look completely different. That's the thing that bothers me with Shovel Knight, I spend so much time saying "is this supposed to look like an NES game or a terrible arcade port to the Genesis?"


Oh geez! Somebody with the same artistic opinions of Shovel Knight!? O_O
I thought I was the ONLY one!!! XD

Man up, or go home! No adding non-existent colours to a limited palette. That's just pointless.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Posts: 19113
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Sik wrote:
May as well just go with no limitations in the first place.

What sort of "no limitations" are you talking about? Full "no limitations" would involve PS4-quality graphics, which are out of most individuals' and small teams' budget range.

OneCrudeDude wrote:
Hell, throw out most of the limitations, and nothing will stop you from making a game that looks like Crysis. [...] That's the thing that bothers me with Shovel Knight, I spend so much time saying "is this supposed to look like an NES game or a terrible arcade port to the Genesis?"

Except budget. "Limitations" are a stylistic choice that allows a video game to be produced on less than a AAA budget. People see third- or fourth-generation graphics and think "desirable retro aesthetic"; they see PlayStation 1- or N64-class graphics and think "undesirable low-budget shovelware". Would you agree with the following statements?

  • If you make a game with Coleco/MSX/CreatiVision limits, it must look more detailed in all respects than all commercial Atari 2600 games.
  • If you make a game with NES or GBC limits, it must look more detailed in all respects than all commercial ColecoVision and MSX games.
  • If you make a game with SMS limits, it must look more detailed in all respects than all commercial NES and GBC games that do not use vertical scroll splits.
  • If you make a game with TG16 or Genesis limits, it must look more detailed in all respects than all commercial SMS games.
  • If you make a game with Super NES limits, it must look more detailed in all respects than all commercial TG16 games.

The problem with Shovel Knight appears to be the use of NES/GBC tiles with Genesis parallax.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 6289
Location: Seattle
Alp wrote:
Man up, or go home! No adding non-existent colours to a limited palette. That's just pointless.
Funny thing is ... the 2C04 (PPU in the Vs. System NES-alike) adds a rich dark red, green, blue, pale-ish-person-skin-tone, brown, and gold. Given the four colors (dark purple, dark red, beige, and melanin-skin-tone) they mention adding, they probably could have just gotten away with using the 2C04 palette instead.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:14 am
Posts: 264
tepples wrote:
The problem with Shovel Knight appears to be the use of NES/GBC tiles with Genesis parallax.


The NES can do GBC tiles (which I'm assuming you mean a unique background palette assigned to an 8*8 area as opposed to 16*16) with the MMC5, can't it? So that's the least of the issues there, the bigger issues would be the fact that it uses, simply put, too many colors. Not to mention the sprites are relatively large and there's several of them at once. As for the parallax, you could probably get away with it if you had a LOT of VRAM dedicated to constantly updating graphics.

That said, Retro City Rampage has a better style because it adheres to the NES' limitations as closely as possible, aside from some rudimentary things like shadows.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Posts: 19113
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
OneCrudeDude wrote:
The NES can do GBC tiles (which I'm assuming you mean a unique background palette assigned to an 8*8 area as opposed to 16*16) with the MMC5

I wasn't referring to the attribute size but to the use of 2-bit tiles.

Quote:
the bigger issues would be the fact that it uses, simply put, too many colors. Not to mention the sprites are relatively large and there's several of them at once.

In other words, it looks like a TurboGrafx game.

Quote:
As for the parallax, you could probably get away with it if you had a LOT of VRAM dedicated to constantly updating graphics.

In other words, it looks like a TurboGrafx game. Lots of TG16 games used the MetalStorm trick of scrolling a tile pattern in the background.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:09 pm
Posts: 1020
I smell a topic split!

Quote:
That said, Retro City Rampage has a better style because it adheres to the NES' limitations as closely as possible, aside from some rudimentary things like shadows.

Retro City Rampage doesn't adhere to NES limitations as closely as possible. Maybe you're just not looking as closely at it because you're aware ROM City Rampage does work on NES.

Count the sprite palettes in this screenshot.
Image
I'll give you a hint. It's not 4. It's not 5. It's not 6. It's not 7! And maybe you could argue it's less than 8 due to sprite overlays, but it's still impossible to have as many colors as it does on screen. It may even be possible to get a screenshot with more palettes, I didn't play for more than a minute to get this. I never really checked background palettes in game, but judging by the palettized city map Brian uploaded a while ago, I'm sure it's pretty easy to find too many palettes on screen for the background too. You see that bus in the screenshot? How many sprites is that? Why, it's 15 assuming 8x8 sprites. Just because things in this game are small, doesn't mean it doesn't DESTROY the sprite limit on the regular. It's even over in that screenshot with almost nothing going on, assuming 8x8 sprites. And before you say it could be 8x16, know that ROM City Rampage is 8x8. 8x16 sprites would mean fewer different kinds of objects are possible. And in ROM City Rampage, which uses 8x8 sprites, there are already only two types of cars (cop car and regular car) and very few NPCs. Retro City Rampage especially blows through the limitation no one ever thinks about, which is the sprite tile limit.

edit: I should note it's possible my sprite counts are off due to scaling. For instance, the bus is 17 pixels wide. Maybe it's actually supposed to be like that, maybe it gained some width when scaled. Still there are way more sprites on that totally passive screen than you'd think.

tl;dr: Retro City Rampage breaks all kinds of things EVERYWHERE. You may think it has a better style, but it's not due to being close to the limitations. I'm not saying your beef with Shovel Knight is unfounded, but man. Don't give RCR a pass, then. REALLY look at it. You'll clearly be very surprised. And that screen shot has the rudimentary things like shadows turned off.

(For the record I think Retro City Rampage became a better game by discarding the limitations. I don't take issue with it taking liberties, I just think it's interesting no one notices just how many liberties it's actually taking. For what it's worth, I also think you could make a watered down Shovel Knight on NES much like ROM City Rampage. But ROM City Rampage existing is not a testament to how close Retro City Rampage is to NES. It's incredibly watered down.)

_________________
https://kasumi.itch.io/indivisible


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:17 am
Posts: 591
tepples wrote:
Sik wrote:

The problem with Shovel Knight appears to be the use of NES/GBC tiles with Genesis parallax.

For the most part, it does. But there are even parts with PSX style parallax (way beyond Genesis). It's a weird mixture of 8bit and 16bit aesthetics: gameplay that's somewhere in between the two (but closer to 16bit), art that looks 8bit-ish, graphic effects that look 16bit-ish, 8bit music, etc.

_________________
__________________________
http://pcedev.wordpress.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:09 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:14 am
Posts: 264
Kasumi wrote:
Count the sprite palettes in this screenshot.
Image


Okay, I see green (van, truck), police (bus, car), brown, purple, and yellow. Five palette sets, assuming you could use overlaying. You could homogenize purple and brown to be one palette instead of two distinct ones. Some of the color differences would be subtle at best, like the arrow next to Paramour not matching any of the previously mentioned colors. On the background colors front, I see precisely four; gray/white/beige (building, trailer), dark green/green/yellow (signs), brown/orange/yellow (brick wall, dirt), and green/blue/light blue (sidewalk, pavement), with a master BG color of black. The menu bar looks a little different, but just like the sprites, those colors could be merged without a serious loss in quality. The color palette seems to use optical illusions to give the impression there's more color, such as the "shadow" near the buildings making the sidewalk darker.

Sure, there's more than the NES allowed, but they're still LEAGUES closer than what Shovel Knight tried to do. And RCR, as you said, exists in NES format, albeit severely compromised. Shovel Knight probably wouldn't without extreme reworking. Plus, didn't RCR start as a homebrew port of GTA3? Brian chose the overhead style because, if such a game could ever be made, it would work the best on the NES. Plus, RCR already has dozens of sprites onscreen anyway, well above the NES' limitations allow. It also looks exceptionally cluttered with all those sprites, your screenshot is what I would assume the "max" would be on the hypothetical NES version.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:18 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:50 pm
Posts: 92
Sigh...Everyone here is missing the point. If your average gamer is playing your game, they're not going to think to themselves "Oh, this screen exceeded the limit of four sprite palettes, and it looks a lot worse because if it." As a matter of fact, the average person's conception of what is "8-bit" is something like this.

But I'm not saying all of the arbitrary restrictions should be thrown out of the window. Just stay close to the NES aesthetic and break restrictions whenever it would improve your art. Amazing artists like SmithyGCN and Arne are inspired by the NES but don't let it's arbitrary restrictions dominate their art.

_________________


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:34 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:09 pm
Posts: 1020
OneCrudeDude wrote:
Okay, I see green (van, truck), police (bus, car), brown, purple, and yellow. Five palette sets, assuming you could use overlaying.

See, and that's the thing. When I count it up and say there's 8, you don't even believe me. When I say there's more colors than you could even do with overlaying you don't believe me. But that doesn't mean it's not true. That's why this is such an interesting situation to me.
Image
Here it is with the sprite colors crudely scribbled in. See it now? Maybe some of that's supposed to be done with overlays so it's less than 8, but it's more than 12 unique colors. And overlays would just add to a different problem, no?
Quote:
Some of the color differences would be subtle at best, like the arrow next to Paramour not matching any of the previously mentioned colors.

Paramour arrow matches an NPC in the bottom right, and the player's face.

Quote:
And RCR, as you said, exists in NES format, albeit severely compromised.

And as I've also said, someone could totally make Shovel Knight in NES format, albeit severely compromised. So what are we talking about?

Quote:
Shovel Knight probably wouldn't without extreme reworking.

I'd say only graphically (which is a much smaller problem than you'd think), but that's another thing. There's more to the NES than graphical limitations. There's like... a slow CPU. ROM City Rampage exists. If you've ever played it outside the built in emulator of Retro City Rampage, you'd know it runs at half-half frame rate mostly. (It seems like it's designed to run at 30 FPS, not 60 FPS. But mostly runs even slower.) It's probably possible to do better than that, but the essence of Shovel Knight's gameplay wouldn't be hard to do at all. And your problem with its large sprites is an easily solved one. Both of these games run at resolutions larger than 256x240 scaled up. So the bosses in Shovel Knight could be scaled down to fit on that (with everything else scaled proportionally) and you're in business.

The problem with Retro City Rampage that no one seems to notice is that it uses STUPID AMOUNTS of tiles, which is actually much harder to work around than making enemies smaller. Is it still as interesting a game with only 6 different NPCs? 2 different cars? Retro City Rampage doesn't even have the luxury of it being possible to make smaller, everything is already super tiny.

Quote:
Plus, RCR already has dozens of sprites onscreen anyway, well above the NES' limitations allow. It also looks exceptionally cluttered with all those sprites, your screenshot is what I would assume the "max" would be on the hypothetical NES version.

Right I said that. The sprite limit would kill a lot of tense moments that were had in RCR.

Shovel Knight has big stuff. That could be shrunk.
Shovel Knight has multilayer parallaxes. They could be made single layer parallaxes or left out.
Shovel Knight may have gimmicks I'm not thinking about right now.

Retro City Rampage uses boatloads of sprites. That's uh... a big one for this game, sure could still use less but less action then.
Retro City Rampage uses boatloads of sprite TILES on screen at one time. That's the biggest one. I keep mentioning the literally two cars in ROM City Rampage. Potentially could make them have 8 directions instead of 16, though.

DragonDePlatino wrote:
Sigh...Everyone here is missing the point. If your average gamer is playing your game, they're not going to think to themselves "Oh, this screen exceeded the limit of four sprite palettes, and it looks a lot worse because if it."

That's why I defend Shovel Knight. I said earlier Retro City Rampage is a better game for playing fast and loose with the restrictions. Shovel Knight probably is too, specifically because of the parallaxes everyone harps on it for. I'm making an NES platformer myself, and man it's hard to have background decorations that are clearly separate from the foreground. I can even think of one place in Shovel Knight they didn't have a parallax background this and I immediately jumped off and killed myself thinking it was a platform. Heh.

tl;dr: There's more to NES than graphical stuff. I'd have a much easier time making Shovel Knight interesting on NES than Retro City Rampage. I'd probably even have an easier time just getting Shovel Knight's graphics in.

_________________
https://kasumi.itch.io/indivisible


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:14 am
Posts: 264
Kasumi wrote:
Image


Unless my eyes are shot, and unless I'm not looking close enough at my monitor, I don't see any sprite object that has black/light blue/white, just dark blue/light blue/white. The player's sprite could easily be the aforementioned palette with the pedestrian palette for his head and hands on top. And I don't see a single sprite where they have brown/orange/yellow, but I see dark brown/light orange/yellow. Just like the first palette, those two could be homogenized and no one would be none the wiser, since the differences are rather subtle. The two sets of brown and the purple palettes would be the issue here.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:37 am
Posts: 183
DragonDePlatino wrote:
Arne


Arne is NOT a good example for your argument. He loves technical restrictions so much, that he combined the architectures of two completely different 8-bit consoles to create his own! I've been following the development of that project on his Twitter for months, now.

I even gave him a shout-out, with a 16-bit mock-up for Cat Quest. Using his palette.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Posts: 19113
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Alp wrote:
Arne is NOT a good example for your argument. He loves technical restrictions so much, that he combined the architectures of two completely different 8-bit consoles to create his own!

I wonder if we should combine him with kevtris to bring this platform to fruition.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NES Styled Pixel Art
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:57 pm
Posts: 1248
My complaint with "retro" graphics is when people take that as an excuse to draw blocky 4x-sized stick figures with unlimited colors against really crazy 4x-sized background art at 1080p with no respect to the pixel grid created by the 4x sizing, bonus points for shaders and 32-bit color effects overtop of the retro graphics. It's in the same league as having really crazy chiptune-plus-real-drums-and-synths music with sfxr overtop of it. Maybe it's a decent game, but it's always going to be "that indie shit style" in my book.

I'm not offended by Shovel Knight's selective adherence to NES-style limitations. The game looks good, I could care less that they cheated and added colors to the NES palette. VRC6 is definitely wanked a lot and by a lot of people, but it really does sound good, and adds a lot to the NES's APU. I'm just glad they didn't ruin it by adding reverb and pads and other nonsense like having 4 triangle channels or something.

DragonDePlatino wrote:
As a matter of fact, the average person's conception of what is "8-bit" is something like this.

That page wrote:
a super-pixelated style, showing us what the pocket monsters would have looked like if they’d been released on the NES. Or… Commodore 64.

Stick figures and unrestricted colors = NES and C64. Yes, please shit on all of us, Kotaku. :P Not that this person's art is bad or anything, I'm just tired of people saying this is what 8-bit graphics look like, when they really mean "that indie shit style". :P


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 61 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group