Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sprites..

Well, I've spent the last few days doing sprites, mostly. I'm trying to decide on the proportions and design of the main character. Until I do, everything is pretty much at a stand still, but obviously it's not something I can rush on, so it's a little bit frustrating.

In the mean time, I took a look at an H game that came out recently on DLsite,
http://www.dlsite.com/maniax/work/=/product_id/RJ112746.html

A bit rough around the edges, but not bad at all.

While playing, I wondered what the size of the sprites might be. At a glance, I though they looked to be fairly small. Out of curiosity I compared the size to Eroico's sprites, and was surprised at how large they actually are.

As a challenge to myself, I did a sprite to see what I could do in the same amount of space, since I usually just do smaller sprites. This is what I ended up with,


I gotta say, doing an entire game in this style is pretty tempting. It would certainly be more satisfying, artistically. By comparison, the alternative would be something like these, (in terms of size)


The problem in deciding is that size doesn't always equal faster work. Sometimes the trouble of trying to work within a small space actually makes things take longer, because I'll struggle to achieve a certain look with what I have (only a few ways to make a small sprite smile, for instance). On the other hand, with larger sprites you have more to work with, so it's easier to define shapes, but there's also more room for error, and animation becomes more time consuming.

In other words might just bite the bullet and do larger sprites, but I haven't decided yet. I'll have to sleep on it, I guess.

-etc

28 comments:

  1. I think I prefer the proportions of the blue-haired girl for a game sprite. But, I see your sprite is a martial artist, and the beefy-type legs she's got make sense. And the head size is realistic. But, knowing that doesn't change the fact that I'd much rather play with the blue-haired girl than the other one, simply because I prefer girly-girls.

    Anyway, maybe it was the palette you used, but I like the way bottom-left turned out. Lower resolution, and maybe I'm filling in the gaps with my mind, but as a whole, the impression is better. That's about it. I wouldn't take my comments negatively. It's all just opinion anyway.

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    1. Well, it wasn't really about using the same style, just the same size, and how much detail you could have at that resolution. You can have characters who are more or less girly in any style, really.

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  2. I definitely like the detail you can get in bigger sprites.

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  3. I do think you should go for bigger sprites, the big question is how big you should go. Find the balance that you want to go with for the next game.

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  4. Caution: I'm not an authority on platformers by any means.

    LAB was a blast. It looked great and handled well, and just felt right. The extra rooms holding enemies and animation gallery at the end were just what I wanted to see in it too. All that said, the platforming and combat was pretty easy...and I liked that a lot. Most of the enemies were pretty simple in that they ran straight at you, or else you faced stationary hazards take take note of and move around. You rarely faced more than a few enemies at a time, at least not without some intended method of dispatching them, and once you had the double jump, there wasn't really any challenge in the platforming anymore.

    For me, that makes the game a major contrast to your own works. I don't find the combat to be too rough to handle (that medal goes to latter portions of Iris Action), but the platforming was a special borderline of frustration. That's not to say I don't enjoy your games; I think they are honestly wonderful, and this is not a request to change your formula. But you definitely make players earn their progression sometimes. I'm always impressed by your grasp on mechanics, but I feel like that also leads to a bit of a hardcore approach for your players.

    As for sprites, there's a lot of things you can get away with going either direction as far as size, but I feel like you have too much artistic talent to pass up doing larger sprites with more details. The way you adapted the size from Neconomeme into your own style is amazing stuff. Really nice style you have, as always.

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    1. To me, the game fell on the fun side of fun VS design. For me at least, there was no challange whatsoever in the game, so I never really got that satisfaction. The game is more about the satisfaction of constant progress, seeing new things and enemies, as opposed to overcoming challenges. Which is fine, it's just a different kind of game.

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    2. That's pretty much what I was getting at. That and how nice it is to have variety.

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    3. Variety in the market I mean. Not trying to convince you to make easy games, the challenge is rewarding, as you said. Wish we could edit these comments.

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  5. Here's my two cents because I feel it's relevant to the problems you'll be facing with higher res sprites and maybe help you although you may know this already:

    The room for error is probably largely why the big fighting game developers (in this case SNK and Arc System Works) opted for a 3D model rotoscoping route...for good reason. High res sprite work started to become time consuming because they were straight becoming like full-on detailed drawings with higher expression smiles n eyes n all. SNKs method when they went for high res with KOFXII were time consuming because it was detail/value based as opposed to the more efficient cel-shaded approach that Arc System Works did with Blazblue.

    I feel like what attributed to this is because for the most part I don't think the ones making sprite animation in the lower res days were animators in the traditional sense (or at the very least even if there were those who actually knew how to animate were very likely low in numbers) and they could get away with a lot of stuff because it was lower res. You've got special cases like Darkstalkers which was literally a triumph in sprite animation. Modern wise you've got the Skullgirls guys pull it off. But only because their staff are filled with animators in the traditional sense.

    I feel like sprite animation is a pretty bizarre and difficult discipline for many reasons but I may be getting to TL;DR territory...

    Anyway it's something I'm thinking about myself. I feel the best compromise in the end is finding a approach that best expresses what you want to do.

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    1. Capcom never really animated sprites in the same way as I do, even on the Snes. They relied on lineart and traditional animation as a base and then created the pixel art over top of it. In my case, I just draw everything with pixels, but the result is essentially the same because I use a tablet, so I can rely a bit more on my drawing skills.

      With a smaller sprite, it's more about using pixels to give the illusion of a shape, since you don't have room to create it with "lines". With high res sprites, it's more about how perfect you can make the actual shapes, because you have room to create them. If that makes any sense.

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    2. Speaking of tablet, mind if I ask what kind you use?

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    3. Exactly. (About Capcom animating sprites) And it makes sense what you said.

      It's a difference in trades. Animators vs Illustrators. Sprite animation is bizarre (and awesome) for me because its a lesser combination of those two into one.

      Although I can only imagine that if any one were able to have anything remotely close to the trained knowledge of animator (skullgirls) and the discipline of a detail-based spriter then the results would be (more or less) glorious.

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  6. Well I do admit the bigger sprites are more tempting, offers a lot more room for features and details but then as stated more room for error and time consuming. Granted if your able to do this it would be a good test of everything you can do and handle which in turn, I would assume make it all the more easier should you do it again later or perhaps even appreciate the simple work of the smaller one.

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  7. Yeah the bigger sprite is rather beautiful.

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  8. I love the larger sprite, the proportions are perfect.

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    1. I have to agree, this is the one of the best sprites so far.

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  9. Your 70ish pixel mock does look way better, and you have the talent to pull it off. Have you considered using an animation assist program like Spriter (http://www.brashmonkey.com/index.htm)? It has a PNG export option so you can keep it frame by frame awesome. A puppet like tool would be helpful for the guides, even for just making a stick figure wire frame that you would build that data upon by hand. Either way keep up the good work, and I am rooting for you!

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    1. Too be honest, something like that would actually take a bit longer. As it is, I just do a rough outline of what the next frame will be with pixels, so it doesn't actually take all that long.

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  10. I like the larger sprites, if that means anything to you.

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  11. the larger sprites look really nice. i would love to see one of your games using them.

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  12. Just looking at the sprites makes me want to play whatever it is you come up with, now!

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  13. Both sprites look good. :)
    Its good to hear your spreading out to more skills.
    And dang; to get the full version of that game you need to use your credit card, not paypal. D:

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  14. That game fucking rocked!!

    If you do a game with sprites that size I think you'll have many much happy bloggers.

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    1. I can't read Japanese. Where can I even get that game? QQ What do I even click?! XD

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    2. It's called LAB Still alive, this is the english DLSite page: http://www.dlsite.com/ecchi-eng/work/=/product_id/RE112746.html

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  15. I actually like the smaller one better. If only from a development standpoint, you could add a lot more depth in a reasonable amount of time without having to spend so much time on art assets.

    I would do the large-sprites once you have a team, and while solo not go TOO much bigger than Eroico.

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  16. My vote is for smaller sprites. Cute and faster to animate... General quality is greater.

    Besides, you are good with small sprites, we all have seen that.

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