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Super Hiking League levels on the NES

Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:33 pm
by nesrocks
I'm still making my PC game, it's a lot of work O_o
So I decided to see how well do the graphics adapt to the NES. It is a gamemaker game, so I am working with loose NES restrictions for it. Think shovel knight. So I was curious how much would be lost when reusing the graphics on a NES ROM. Turns out not much! These are just tests so far and I'm not proficient enough in programming for the system to make a game out of it (my object handler for example sucks). These screens are all running on a ROM. I press select and the screen changes.


Re: Super Hiking League levels on the NES

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:53 am
by pubby
Hey that looks amazing. Good job!

Re: Super Hiking League levels on the NES

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:16 am
by Banshaku
I didn't have time to answer this afternoon when I first saw the message but it's exactly the same comment as above: they look great! And do you do that ^^;;; I would love make graphics like that.

I guess I will need some help when I work on my original game someday once my engine is working.

Re: Super Hiking League levels on the NES

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:29 pm
by nesrocks
Thanks :)

How do I do it? I feel like you're talking about aesthetics, but the work proccess goes a long way too. Here it is:

- I used Pyxel Edit to create all graphics.
- GameMaker has an autotile feature, where I give it a tilemap correctly setup so that when I set tiles to be the ground/walls it will automatically choose the appropriate ones that fit.
- Pyxel Edit is great for working with tiles, so I have setup a file with the tiles positioned next to one another so I can see in real time how they interact as I draw them (as shown in the following image).
- Then I used GameMaker's room editor to design the levels, etc. I created a room (screen) just for this in the editor, and it is 256x240 pixels.
- When that was done, I took a 1:1 screenshot of the composited background image.
- Pasted the image into a new 256x250 Photoshop file.
- Replaced the colors from different palettes manually to make it into a 4 colors indexed bmp. NESST can import a correctly done image that has all 4 palettes (total 13 colors), but this is easier to avoid errors.
- Then I imported it into NES Screen Tool (import BMP as nametable).
- Adjust the paletes and attributes to "restore" the graphics' colors variety.
- I then exported it all to use in the assembly code.

Here's how Pyxel Edit is setup to work with the autotile creation:


As for the visual style, I guess there are better people out there to talk about it. I'm a new pixel artist. But I feel like I've been improving, and these have been my main guidelines so far:
- make the most out of your resources: make the pixels count, the palettes count, and the colors count. If you're adding a color it should be well used and it should somewhat have a good contrast. Also, always try to have the colors vary in brightness. If you keep your palettes organized, for example, always black as background color, then a dark color, then a saturated color, then a bright color, you can know that every palette will work with every tile. For curiosity, all of those images I posted have black as the background color.
- visual clarity: everything should be clear.
- research: know what you want to represent.

Re-reading it I wonder if I can make a 13 colors BMP correctly

Re: Super Hiking League levels on the NES

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:29 pm
by Rahsennor
Those graphics are gorgeous. I'm practically salivating. :shock:

I am totally downloading these to dissect and steal ideas learn from. Tinting the rocks a mossy green so you can put grass in the same palette... genius.

Re: Super Hiking League levels on the NES

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:57 pm
by nesrocks
That rock specifically could have been better. Remove the light green color that's being used to highlight the rock, and use it to give the rock section of the tiles a predominantly different color than the grass, further distancing them visually while still using the same palette.

Re: Super Hiking League levels on the NES

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:12 pm
by Banshaku
Yes, you where right when you said that it was regarding the visual style ;) Thank you for explaining your process too, this is interesting about which stool is used to produce it in game maker.

I did write pixel arts in more than, hmmm, 20 years (^^;;) and it was under dos at the time (I checked for fun the name of the files and they are all pcx files). The look was not good but at the least I at the drive to make them. Like you mentioned, maybe if I want to improve I need to practice and learn about colors and things like that.