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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Thin =)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:38 pm 
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Okay, it's unanimous: thin it is. Thanks for the responses.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:09 am 
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Personally, I prefer the thick highlights, but of course it's hard to judge my own artwork objectively.

Well, it's YOUR project or it isn't ?
When doing graphics, it's often really hard to make choises like that. But you can't ask someone else for each piece of graphics if it's better making this pixel lighter or darker, and so on.
I've had in my game a sky that looks green, and I thought it looked weird. So I changed it to blue, but then attribute clash would make the cliff before the sky look parially blue as well, and this was looking horrible. It's hard to chose, have a cliff looking blue and that doesn't look very good, or having the sky looking green. I still haven't decided definiteely, but oh well. I won't ask to everyone what the best is because it's my game so I can't ask to someone else each time I should take a decision.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:28 am 
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It is my project, but I hope that many people will get a chance to play it one day. With that in mind, I ultimately want what's best for the game, not my ego.

In the case of the metallic highlights, I was biased towards the thicker ones because I was proud of myself for coming up with the idea of sprite overlays to solve the problem of insufficient background colors. (I now realize the overlay technique is commonplace, but I didn't know that at the time of the original post.) Because of that pride, I wanted to "show off" the effect. It's kind of like a chef who discovers an exciting new spice, but inadvertently winds up ruining his entrées by overusing it.

Since the responses overwhelmingly favored the thin highlights, I took another look at them. I must say, you guys are absolutely right. The effect isn't supposed to be "in your face". It's not supposed to glorify me as an artist. Its only purpose is to make the metal look a little shinier without distracting the eye.

I don't believe in design by committee, so by no means will I ask for input on every decision. And ultimately, I'm the one making the game, so of course I'll get the final say. Having said that, the posters on this forum are incredibly insightful, so I'm willing to consider suggestions and constructive criticism.

The game will be better as a result.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Yes you are right, it's good to be sure to not abuse a good idea you had. Asking to other people may not be that bad for sure, but when you write a game you often have to make choses that are hard to make, and you can't rely on other people to have an answer to all cases. It's really hard to make choises !

Personally I didn't think thick or thin highlight made very much difference. But highlights are definitely much better than no highlights at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:13 pm 
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Have you compared thick or thin highlights on a real tv-set? Since the picture always get a little blurry on those chances are the thin highlights will "disappear".


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:56 pm 
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Anders_A wrote:
Have you compared thick or thin highlights on a real tv-set? Since the picture always get a little blurry on those chances are the thin highlights will "disappear".

That's a very good point. No, I haven't crossed that bridge yet. I'm doing all my testing on FCEUXD SP 1.07, and my friends are verifying that the game works on other emulators as well.

Fortunately, the choice of thin or thick highlights doesn't affect the code one way or the other. If the thin highlights don't look good on a real TV, I can adjust the tiles fairly easily.

It's a good thing to keep in mind, though. Thanks for the heads up.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:06 am 
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SecretServiceDude wrote:
That's a very good point. No, I haven't crossed that bridge yet. I'm doing all my testing on FCEUXD SP 1.07, and my friends are verifying that the game works on other emulators as well.


Just out of curiosity, have you already started the game play and do you have already some footage? Since it seems to imply that it would be something related to bionic commando in some way, that would be nice to see what you have in mind. Always liked that game.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:10 am 
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Banshaku wrote:
Just out of curiosity, have you already started the game play and do you have already some footage? Since it seems to imply that it would be something related to bionic commando in some way, that would be nice to see what you have in mind. Always liked that game.

I do have some gameplay, but not enough to show off just yet.

Currently, I have some basic controls (running, jumping, crouching, shooting) and collision with the environment; however, the only "level" I have so far is a single screen with no scrolling. There are no enemies and there is no way to die. I do have a "shooting" sound effect, which coincidentally sounds just like the shots in Legendary Wings.

There are two songs in the game so far: one for the title screen and one for the main game. I still don't support any real instrumentation yet, but the songs already sound pretty cool even in rudimentary form.

I definitely do want to get this game out to people at some point, but it's still too early.

Alas, so many things to do, and so few of me to do them. :(


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:16 pm 
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SecretServiceDude wrote:
Alas, so many things to do, and so few of me to do them. :(


That basically sums up my project at the moment. I have a bunch of things I have to do that take up most of my time. I wish there were a bunch of clones of me that would do all that while I work on my game, haha.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:09 pm 
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SecretServiceDude wrote:
I do have some gameplay, but not enough to show off just yet.


No problem them. Once you're ready it will be interesting to see the results.

Time is always an issue I guess, same thing here. For now I focussed on only something small so I could feel "productive". Now I want to try to make a demo level and start to write the engine but the problem is the artwork.. For now I will rely on extracted sprites from other games until I came make something acceptable, if it even happens -_-;;

You said that the character can jump. So this mean the bionic arm would be gone? :) I tried to think of a way on how you could jump and have the arm at the same time and that would be hard with only 2 buttons.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:27 pm 
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Banshaku wrote:
You said that the character can jump. So this mean the bionic arm would be gone? :) I tried to think of a way on how you could jump and have the arm at the same time and that would be hard with only 2 buttons.

The arm will definitely be there, and the player will have to rely on it extensively. But as much as I like Bionic Commando, not being able to jump is lame.

The control scheme I'm considering is as follows:

D-PAD: Movement
SELECT: Pause/unpause the game
START: Toggle between gun/arm
B: Shoot gun/launch arm
A: Jump

Using the SELECT button to pause the game is somewhat unorthodox, but because the START button is located closer to the B and A buttons, it makes more sense to use that as a third gameplay button. That's what Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! does, and it works beautifully.

For people who prefer to use START as the pause button, I might offer a second control type that swaps the SELECT and START buttons. I'd never use that mode personally, but I don't see much harm in having that option.




EDIT: Come to think of it, I may go with the following control scheme instead:

D-PAD: Movement
SELECT: Pause/unpause the game
START: Launch arm
B: Shoot gun
A: Jump

The control scheme above gets rid of the toggle altogether. The player is likely to fire the gun much more often than he launches the arm, so I think it's acceptable to launch the arm using a slightly less convenient button. In that case, it would behave exactly like the star punch in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!


Last edited by SecretServiceDude on Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:29 pm 
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You can also map the jump and the bionic arm to the same button, which means that the player will have to jump first before using the bionic arm. That's what Earthworm Jim 2 did with Jim's Snott Swing, which is like the bionic arm. Personally, I'd think that'd be faster than toggling between the gun and bionic arm with the Select button or using the Start button (especially on an NES controller), but that may not be much of a problem depending on the level design.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:39 pm 
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strangenesfreak wrote:
You can also map the jump and the bionic arm to the same button, which means that the player will have to jump first before using the bionic arm. That's what Earthworm Jim 2 did with Jim's Snott Swing, which is like the bionic arm. Personally, I'd think that'd be faster than toggling between the gun and bionic arm with the Select button, but that may not be much of a problem depending on the level design or if the bionic arm is also an effective weapon as well.

I do intend for the bionic arm to be an effective weapon in its own right.

By the way, I edited my post above to propose a different control scheme that eliminates the toggle. What do you think of that one?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:42 pm 
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IMO, I don't think the Start button is very convenient to use the bionic arm, especially on an NES controller, where it's usually harder to press that the B or A buttons. Most emulator control setups also isolate the start button from the A and B buttons; for example, I use the Enter key for the Start button and Z and X for B and A, respectively. I do think the switching between the gun and bionic arm is better if the arm's a weapon. But if it's used mainly for navigation, as is the purpose of jumping in platformers, it seems to me to be more appropriate to map it with the jump button. That's probably why it worked well in Earthworm Jim 2 (SNES and Genesis), since the Snott Swing is used only for navigation.


Last edited by strangenesfreak on Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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