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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:41 am 
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This will be our second entry for this compo. The game is called Lala the Magical and it builds on "Lala Prologue", a small game we released back in 2010 for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC home computers.

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The game is a side scrolling platformer. You control Lala, a wizard wannabe, accross four stages. First you must gain access to where your master hides his magic wand, so you can travel to the Sky Palace to find three gems. Once you get the wand, you can perform two spells: the first, activated using A+B or B+down, creates a floating platform beneath Lala while she is airborne, allowing her to traverse otherwise imposible sections of the palace.

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Each room in the palace is guarded by a door which has to be open using a switch. The search of the gems in the palace is timed: once the sun sets, the palace disappears and you have to start over, but the doors you have opened remain open, so you can progress faster. There is no time indicator, but the time of the day will we reflected in the sky background, which will get darker over time until it's pitch black.

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Once you have the three gems, you return and learn that your master, now defenceless (as you have taken away his magic wand) has been kidnapped. The fourth stage has lala fetching several gold coins. After getting each coin, a flying ghost will be released, and it will fly around chasing you making it harder to progress. Thankfully, waving your wand pressing B scares the ghosts away.

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The game has been developed for NROM256, but we created some cutscenes and a nice title screen and ending sequences in a separate 32K+8K set of roms, so right now the game runs on a 2 PRG / 2 CHR iNES mapper 66 GNROM cart (80K). I'm in the progress of converting it to a 64K UNROM so it can be included in the cartridge (it will fit, as the second ROM with the title and cutscenes takes less than 16K and I can stuff the compressed graphics in the remaining space).

The game is almost finished. I know we taked about this but I want to be sure: We plan to release the ROM to be downloaded from our site as soon as the game is completed. Is that OK, or you guys prefer if we hold it until the compo has finished?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:54 am 
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The title screen and cut scene looks great. The game look promising. The level in general look very good. My only concern is compared to the cut scenes, the main character in the game doesn't have the same look and seems more bland. After seeing the title screen if feels off a little bit.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:58 am 
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So A+B or B+Down summons Rush. Do you also get new spells by defeating bosses that use those spells? I'm just curious how Krion Conquest-like this game will end up being.

And I agree with Banshaku: decide whether you want her to dress modestly or fanservice, and keep it consistent unless there's a plot reason.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:45 pm 
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I really love the title screen, it is quite stylish and at first gave a darker tone. From this screen it is hard to say how the character is clothed but It seems intentional and should be kept that way.

If the character could look like the cut screen a little bit more it would be great, unless the character shown there is someone else, which is a possibility. And since the character is small, I guess that it's hard to give a lot of details so maybe it is intentional after all.

Keep up the good work, like your style and can't wait to try it!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:18 pm 
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Quote:
We plan to release the ROM to be downloaded from our site as soon as the game is completed. Is that OK, or you guys prefer if we hold it until the compo has finished?


I think that would be ok. I don't see any specific rules against it, as long as there isn't a commercial release. I am not the rules committee, BTW, so I am speculating.

Looking good!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:13 am 
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Thanks for the comments. As for the choice of the sprite graphics, we followed a simple design which worked with most backgrounds, was easy to follow and to animate, and took few patterns. The screens don't show the final palette, though, that's currently WIP.

As for the matter of releasing it, I know there's no written rule about it, I was just wondering what you guys thought. We have no problems on holding it back until the compo has ended. I don't know how the progress of the other entrants is going, and I don't want to do anything which would harm the compo.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:42 am 
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I have to agree with the others: The main character needs a major overhaul. Every opponent and every simple block looks more detailed than the main protagonist.

Her in-game appearance should match the artwork. Why does she wear a sexy short dress with arms and legs uncovered in the cutscenes, but her in-game sprite looks like she's wearing pajamas?

And as someone who welcomes a game with a female protagonist, I'd suggest to make the sprite more feminine in general. That character in its current state could just as well represent a boy. Let the player see that he's playing a woman.

Also, I would make the main character taller. At least 16 x 24 pixels. A side-scroller with 16 x 16 player characters often looks weird since the upright-standing human is exactly as tall as a fireball or a pot.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:55 pm 
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DRW wrote:
I have to agree with the others: The main character needs a major overhaul. Every opponent and every simple block looks more detailed than the main protagonist.

Her in-game appearance should match the artwork. Why does she wear a sexy short dress with arms and legs uncovered in the cutscenes, but her in-game sprite looks like she's wearing pajamas?

And as someone who welcomes a game with a female protagonist, I'd suggest to make the sprite more feminine in general. That character in its current state could just as well represent a boy. Let the player see that he's playing a woman.

Also, I would make the main character taller. At least 16 x 24 pixels. A side-scroller with 16 x 16 player characters often looks weird since the upright-standing human is exactly as tall as a fireball or a pot.

I respectfully disagree, 16x16 pixels is more than enough for a sprite, if you know how to push pixels. Here's a quick 5-minute sketch, based on the sprite shown above:
Attachment:
Witch.png
Witch.png [ 1001 Bytes | Viewed 2789 times ]


In my own game, I was able to animate sex scenes at 16x16, just because I can. :P


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:00 am 
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That sprite looks great :D And I agree, 16x16 can be more than enough.

We have added more detail to the sprite. It looks good and animates quite nicely :) The sprite is 16x18-16x22 depending on the cell.


Attachments:
lalawip.PNG
lalawip.PNG [ 15.3 KiB | Viewed 2742 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:19 am 
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The sprite still has very little to do with the artwork in the cutscene.

Cutscene: Fanservice-y sexy witch. Huge hair. Firm ass. Mini dress. Boots.

Sprite: Looking like a five year old girl in one-piece pajamas.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:41 am 
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DRW wrote:
The sprite still has very little to do with the artwork in the cutscene.

Cutscene: Fanservice-y sexy witch. Huge hair. Firm ass. Mini dress. Boots.

Sprite: Looking like a five year old girl in one-piece pajamas.

And?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:20 am 
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What "and"? Don't you think that the sprite and the display in the cutscene should match?

I mean, I understand if the style is different. After all, you cannot really show a small sprite in the same style as a full-blown artwork.

I do the same. Have a look at the sprite in my avatar: It is drawn in the style of first generation Nintendo games while the artwork in the title screen will be an anime drawing.

But the actual elements will be the same: In the artwork, she will still have a white midriff-baring t-shirt, a ponytail and jeans. It's not like the artwork suddenly shows her in a black leather overall and with a mohawk.

But in "Lala the Magical", this is not just a stylistic choice, nor an issue of NES limitations, but an actual content-wise discrepancy: The suff she wears in the cutscenes is different from the stuff she wears during gameplay, even though the sprite could have been drawn to match her artwork.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:26 am 
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In Super Mario Bros. 3, the mushroom houses and spade minigame show largely the same elements at different scales. The small versions have slightly less color detail (Mario's black overalls and skin-tone sclera and Toad's skin-tone cap) due to palette limits, but the only difference in elements is that the proportions on the Toad in the spade minigame look a lot younger. (Game sprite Mario's ears are F'd up as well though.)
Attachment:
File comment: From left to right:
Raccoon Mario in spade minigame
Raccoon Mario in game and mushroom house
Toad in spade minigame
Toad in mushroom house

coonmario_toad_normal_spade.png
coonmario_toad_normal_spade.png [ 1.21 KiB | Viewed 2690 times ]


It's OK to have her wear a different costume in a cut scene, so long as there's a reason for her to have changed clothes.

And now Lolo is jealous that Lala is no longer a ball creature.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:35 am 
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tepples wrote:
so long as there's a reason for her to have changed clothes.

I highly doubt this will be the case.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:00 am 
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I can't dress the sprite black as it would clash with most of the backgrounds and make the game harder to follow. I left out the gawn to make the feet more evident. I can't add that much hair in the sprite, as well. I can't do much more to her body shape, as it has been deliberately drawn in Chibi, SD style. I think it works best for small sprites with limited palettes.

In the cutscenes, I haven't much restrictions so I can draw the character as she was imagined.

I understand what you say, of course, and appreciate your efforts on making your point clear.

Is this such an issue? I never read anybody complain that Link has pink hair in a Link to the Past or that the sprite is drawn in SD style instead of being tall and stylized. He also looks 5 years old ingame.

Maybe this is not an issue for me because I'm quite used to full-fledged, intrincately designed characters in game covers and then a 16x16, monocrome schematic sprite ingame, which was quite common for 8 bit games for European computers I grew up to :D

By the way, the game is almost finished and in heavy beta testing.

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