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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:02 am 
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Wow! You guys have done some cool stuff! I really appreciate it. I wanted to post what I did so far in case anyone was going to do any more edits. The animation has a couple issues but I won't have the time to get to them until tonight.

The most obvious thing is that I made the tank much smaller. This is primarily so that the tank could become a sprite object to fall into the pit if necessary. I'm curious what you guys think of the size. Is it still intimidating at this size?

Attachment:
TankTurretTurn.gif
TankTurretTurn.gif [ 7.42 KiB | Viewed 1276 times ]


There are a lot of technical considerations to doing this scene, so I'm going to try to balance the best of all of the options. If the tank never had to fall into the pit, then it would be a lot easier and it would never have to be small. If the tank just say, blew up, that would be easier, but I feel less dramatic. Not to mention that the proposition of attacking a tank with a sword does not seem like a particularly fruitful one. One of the things that I want to do for the scene is to have it so that when you battle the flying machine, the terrain has changed depending on how much of the bridge you had to let get taken out in the fight with the tank. So it could be easier with more of the bridge or tougher if you have to jump over big gaps while fighting. I think I'll make at least a rough storyboard of this tonight to show what I have in mind.

tokumaru wrote:
As long as you have 64 or less horizontal pixels worth of floor remaining, you can fake it using sprites and have the background tank fall.

If I'm not mistaken, moving the tank downward while in background would also require moving downward basically all background tiles since I can't do a vertical split scroll, right? I think I need to storyboard it like I was saying so I can rectify my understanding of what's possible.

Espozo, I want to say that I really like the treads you drew. I don't know honestly if they're exactly right for this game but they're really cool. If I don't end up using them you should find somewhere to use them. I have a feeling you'll be good with mechanical sprite drawing. A benefit with the treads you drew is that they'll animate smoothly without many frames of animation. With the way mine is, and the treads spaced out so far, it takes a lot of frames to cycle. Having a shorter cycle for the animation would be beneficial.

Espozo wrote:
I guess you want more of a "WWI style" tank?

Exactly. but any number of liberties to make it fit better in a game or otherwise are fine, as long as they fit with the aesthetic. I guess what I'm saying is that historical accuracy is in no way a concern as it is a work of fantasy.

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I honestly thought is was a joke at first. :lol: It's like a heavily armored forklift.

It's pretty ridiculous. A little more like a Bobcat than a forklift. I like the Ripsaw "Luxury Super Tank" http://www.ripsawtank.com/

Fjamesfernandez wrote:
I think I could had detail the crap out of it with the right reference but yeah

To be honest what I had in mind was the tank from Nausicaa and I wanted to make it at least a little different from that, but didn't have any super clear ideas for what would be different. The best image of the Nausicaa tank I could find is a 3D rendering: Image

The things I put at the bottom are supposed to be extra guns so that the tank will have other ways to shoot, but they look kind of silly. When I get back to working on this I'm going to adapt the changes you made. It improves the shape of it quite a bit.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:05 pm 
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darryl.revok wrote:
Is it still intimidating at this size?

Not really. :lol: I personally didn't find it too intimidating to begin with.

Now, it's about as intimidating as this:

Image

I think this would work better. It's pretty intimidating, but also very small.

Image

...Now I know where the inspiration for this boss came from:

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:59 pm 
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Quote:
didn't find it too intimidating


I'd have to agree. Kind of looks like a toy.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:04 pm 
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Throwing my two cents in, I think you could still make an intimidating-looking tank while still having it be very small sprite-wise.

In Blaster Master, didn't they have separate perspectives for the tank segments and on-foot segments? While you were in the tank, your character's sprite was only a few pixels tall compared to the tank. But on-foot, the character's size was much larger. This preserved the sense of scale while easing up on the number of tiles the tank needed. So my suggestion would be to have a very realistically-proportioned tank and shrink the size of the character sprite for those segments. And that flying machine? Make it a huge background object like Mecha Dragon from Mega Man 2.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:48 pm 
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Have you considered using the same ambiguous color for the background and the tank so you could represent the tank mostly with outlines on the left and right sides? You could throw some details in the middle, always minding the sprite limit, and have the top part fully detailed, since it's narrower.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:35 am 
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Okay, so I made some simplistic storyboards. This is the first part:
Attachment:
TankBattle.png
TankBattle.png [ 8.54 KiB | Viewed 1191 times ]

One concern I have is how I'll handle the animation if the tank ends up on one of the columns after destroying a bridge. Sure, the tank could still fall because it's not wide enough, but I'm not sure how to handle that without having an animation of the tank falling in at an angle. That doesn't seem particularly feasible.
To eliminate animating the tank falling into the pit would make a lot of things easier. I'd never have to consider making the tank a sprite object. I could make it as big as I want, and have a lot less concerns with the technical issues. However, I just can't picture this in a way that looks right. I can cut corners for something this large but I don't want the player to ultimately be confused as to what just happened.
Attachment:
PlaneBattle.png
PlaneBattle.png [ 15.57 KiB | Viewed 1191 times ]

Doing this scene is probably a little easier than the last. The next hurdle is to have the top part of the playfield scroll in two directions to move the plane, kind of like the helicopter boss in Super C. This one wouldn't ever pass over the bridge, so it wouldn't have the same concerns about the scrolling. I'd like to have some animated fire at the bottom during this scene. Since there won't be too many tiles used on the bridges, I think I'd still have CHR space for this.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:10 am 
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> PlaneBattle.png

At top right, is that supposed to be Va-Jay-Jay the Va-Jet Plane? :P


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:18 am 
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The problem with having a sprite tank is that even if you make it only 64 pixels wide, there's still the girl, the sword, the hit effects... the tank will still flicker a lot.

There's one way you can have both the tank and the bridges as backgrounds: While the tank is moving left and right, you can normally rewrite the horizontal scroll mid-screen, but right before it's about to fall, you have to redraw it at the correct position relative to the bridge. Then you can scroll the whole screen vertically to make it fall, but switch the bridge/pillar tiles to vertically rotated versions that cancel the scroll, so they appear to be stationary. You'll have to redraw the top and bottom of the bridge every time a rotation cycle finishes. That's a whole lot of trouble for such a quick effect, though.

As for tilting the tank in case it's over one of the columns, that can be done if the tank is drawn with sprites, as long as the angle isn't too steep. You can achieve believable enough rotation on the NES if you arrange the sprites like this:

Attachment:
sprite-rotation.png
sprite-rotation.png [ 1.4 KiB | Viewed 1176 times ]


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:10 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
As for tilting the tank in case it's over one of the columns, that can be done if the tank is drawn with sprites, as long as the angle isn't too steep. You can achieve believable enough rotation on the NES if you arrange the sprites like this:

Attachment:
sprite-rotation.png

Which is related to the shearing technique I mentioned a couple years ago. But if you're using it for actual rotation, not just shearing, you have to overlap the rotated rows slightly. And that's a pain.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:16 am 
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You could also decide that the pillar would shatter and break out from underneath the tank if the tank were on it without the associated bridge.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:33 am 
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Well if you think about it. I would think that the weight is still in the center, so you shouldn't have to tilt it at all. the tank is more top heavy than anything else.

the bridge should shatter rather than doing the rag doll tilting. if you just shatter it all at once in a straight line the tank would just fall straight down as it is. saving you the headache of tilting it. now the question is WTH blew up the bridge :D

Or having the tank being blown up which causes the bridge to shatter, but then you have the other bridge (either left or right) in place which it looks like you want both of them be be gone.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:08 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
Now, it's about as intimidating as this

That Metal Slug tank is so cute. Especially the way it's animated. Almost as cute as this:
Image
Quote:
I think this would work better.

That's not bad. It needs to have a heavier main cannon though. Enough to take out a bridge.
DragonDePlatino wrote:
...to have a very realistically-proportioned tank and shrink the size of the character sprite for those segments.

Since this is the only scene in the game where it would happen, I think the effect would just be disorienting. If I could actually do a smooth zoom in and out, that could be cool, but it can't feasibly be done with NES hardware.
tokumaru wrote:
...so you could represent the tank mostly with outlines on the left and right sides?

I thought about doing this but it seems like it would be difficult to make it look good. I'm a little stumped on how I'm going to make the tank look graphically anyway. The only thing I've changed are the treads and I animated them:
Attachment:
TankNewTreads.gif
TankNewTreads.gif [ 9.55 KiB | Viewed 1131 times ]

tepples wrote:
is that supposed to be Va-Jay-Jay the Va-Jet Plane?

Lol I had no idea what to think of this. Jay Jay is news to me. I just pulled this image off Google as a joke since everybody said my tank was non-threatening, but I don't think it's Mr. Va-Jay Jay since he has a terrifying flesh face.
tokumaru wrote:
The problem with having a sprite tank is that even if you make it only 64 pixels wide, there's still the girl, the sword, the hit effects... the tank will still flicker a lot.

Yeah, during the combat, having the tank as a sprite object is pretty much a non-option, but when it's falling, it doesn't matter if it flickers quite a bit.
Quote:
There's one way you can have both the tank and the bridges as backgrounds

I thought about doing something along these lines, but after consideration, it seemed impractical.
Quote:
You can achieve believable enough rotation on the NES if you arrange the sprites like this:

That looks about as good as rotating the sprite anyway, for small increments. Now if I could just avoid the necessity of using sprites, I could make the tank large, but it doesn't seem like that is highly possible without MMC5 vertical split scrolling. Even then it would be a pain because you'd have to slice out a vertical section where the tank is at the time that it falls.
lidnariq wrote:
You could also decide that the pillar would shatter and break out from underneath the tank if the tank were on it without the associated bridge.
This is probably the best way to go to handle the pillar situation. If I do have to turn the tank into a sprite object I could still add the shearing effect just to make it more pronounced.
Fjamesfernandez wrote:
if you just shatter it all at once in a straight line the tank would just fall straight down as it is. saving you the headache of tilting it.
That's what I was thinking about doing for the bridge, but the issue with the tilting was for how to kill the tank if it is sitting on one of the remaining columns after the bridges fall.
Quote:
now the question is WTH blew up the bridge

The idea would be to dodge the tank shells until it tanks out the bridge underneath itself.
Quote:
Or having the tank being blown up which causes the bridge to shatter

Perhaps, to avoid needing to limit the size of my tank, but this would completely change the way this fight would play out. The majority of my game will be sword combat with evenly matched opponents, so I had intended to make the challenge for this one part a bit different.


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