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Messages - M-Tee

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Personal Projects / Re: Final Fantasy VII NES Project
« on: April 14, 2013, 10:34:17 pm »
The point wasn't about his character in story, it was about his (original, PSX) design. He is pencil-thin with nearly no muscle, doe-eyed, a weak-pointed chin, and a disproportionately large head for such a lanky body:

I understand these are common features in anime, but the aesthetic never clicked with me. (I was the type of kid that preferred the muscle-bound barbarian look of the original Castlevania coverart and in turn didn't enjoy games like SOtN, which I felt had effeminate looking characters.)

Regardless of preference or not, Cloud is inarguably a lanky character by design, in contrast to say Barrett, so I was saying that his representation in game should reflect that... and using a sprite-edit of the much more muscle-bound Warrior's battle stance from FF1 seems unrepresentative of the character. (talking about the battle stances here, not the walking sprites)

EDIT: Image added for clarity

Personal Projects / Re: Final Fantasy VII NES Project
« on: April 14, 2013, 09:27:55 pm »
Well, in the original Final Fantasy VII the water is purple.

Do you play a lot of NES games? The NES is restricted to a certain amount of graphics so many do that... A LOT and results in many games having choppy walking animations


I don't like this edit. Cloud looks like some 10 year old kid. (And why does Cloud have BLUSH!?!).

Welp, I've never played ff7 (except a fair amount of time in the golden saucer on a friend's save), so I wouldn't know that it has purple water. If that's the case, stick with it.

As for the catwalk, you did completely miss my point. Vanya caught it. The feet both taper inward towards the bottom. Why would both feet taper inward? If you were walking with one foot awkwardly in front of the other.

As for my sprite looking "too cute," I tend to lean toward cute in personal preference for NES/GBC/NGPC graphics anyway.

However, I wasn't  pitching it for use in the game. I was only putting it together to illustrate the possible use of shading within the hair and face. On top of that, I always saw the mass popularity of ff7 as being the beginning of the popularity of the effeminate anime hero art style as opposed to the masculine, buff hero that was dominant in mainstream games in the west prior, so seeing things like the strong, forceful FF1 battle stance being used for such a frail-looking hero seems odd to me.

Anyways, just thought I'd point out some places where I thought the graphics were looking, for lack of a better word, non-commercial. In terms of the artstyle, sprites and backgrounds, I feel that an attempt to put in too much detail at the pixel level is overall a drawback for visual clarity. But it's Lugia's project, so if the preference is to do so, no worries.

Personal Projects / Re: M-Tee's NES Graphics Projects
« on: April 14, 2013, 12:05:16 pm »
I see. Then, yeah. I'll probably make a full Kanji set. I checked a few different famicom roms, and I guess ugly cramped kanji are unavoidable.

Personal Projects / Re: M-Tee\'s NES Graphics Projects
« on: April 14, 2013, 11:38:35 am »
I was hoping the following would suffice for those that knew how to play. Or are the Kanji abbreviations not commonly used enough for that?

王, 飛, 角, 金, 銀, 桂, 香, 歩,
     竜, 馬,      全, 圭, 杏, と

Personal Projects / Re: Final Fantasy VII NES Project
« on: April 14, 2013, 08:58:15 am »
Now it looks like snow, but you've thrown away all of the detail in the buildings and the pebble river just looks like an orange pebble river, so sorry. not really. I haven't been following this thread, so I don't know what graphics you have done and which ones Lugia's done. I only recently realized that half of the images are from the Chinese version (to show old and new) and that's when I realized I liked the old ones more.

Here's my edits, what do you think?:



The floor looks less like television static, so that's a start. When you have black outlines on your character, it's wise to minimize the amount of black on the walking surface. But now I've no idea what the floor should be. The chinese one used dots and lines of grey sporadically, it makes it look like weathered, old stone. Also, I see now that the water and floor share the same palette at the expense of the shadows on the water (replaced with black dithers). I would definitely not go with that purple and cyan water though. Looks like ectoplasm or something. I would change the white in the palette to "32" and leave the grey as is. The NES palette doesn't have a subtle enough range of colors to push things like that.

Also, dunno who made the sprites or how much is welcome in terms of advice, but there's some awkward things going on. His hair and eye line up to make a "cross" shaped eye in the frame shown here. The belt buckle looks like a belly shirt, his suspenders look more like a bolero jacket, and it looks like he's walking with one foot in front of the other, like a model on a catwalk.

The main thing though, if you're going to use a separate palette for the head, why not get some use out of it, give him a skin tone that  could work as highlights in the hair and use the hair tone as shadows on the face?

Here's a quick throw-together I did using a narrower version of my bomberman sprite as the basis. This is mainly just to illustrate the idea with his head.

Personal Projects / Re: Final Fantasy VII NES Project
« on: April 14, 2013, 02:23:09 am »

This one for example: The buildings look better, but that's it. In the original, the ground of the top tier and the bottom tier are different, showing that they're at two altitudes. The sparse and sporadic pattern of the snow floor adds interest without being overwhelming. The cliff face is a vertical pattern of stones, with a variety of texture and has a shadow cast at its base, making it clearly read as a cliff wall and furthering the illusion of a depth distance between the two. The snow covered trees are more interesting. The ground pattern of the topside of the cliff is natural looking and varied.

In the new one, the trees are dull. The pattern on the ground is dense, arbitrary, and creates a distracting pattern upon its repeat. The dense, round pattern used for the cliff wall makes it look like a flat river of pebbles, which in turn makes the ladder look like a bridge. I would have also never had guessed there was snow had I not seen the original.

Personal Projects / Re: Final Fantasy VII NES Project
« on: April 13, 2013, 11:16:15 pm »
I hate to be that guy, but honestly I like all of the original screens better. Your patterns are dense and distracting and your palette changes highly questionable. Saying more with less is a better rule to stick by... and the original blue-on-blue palette of the water was very well done, and completely lost in yours.

Title for the Shogi hack.


That's one of the major limitations with Pyron as well. Since all of the ground tiles need to be in x3, there's not enough space for variation in say, walking surfaces, etc.

I doubt the character tables could hold Bebop and Rocksteady at the same time. However, in speaking in the hypothetical, you'd be better off with B being melee attack, double-tap being dash attack, A being jump and A+B being "special," the gun. The gun would need some type of limit, could stick with old standards of it costing a drop in your health, or simply an ammo meter with ammo powerups being scarce.

Personal Projects / Re: M-Tee\'s NES Graphics Projects
« on: April 11, 2013, 12:23:42 pm »
Yeah, the original ones had charm. Aside from the fact that this is the earliest (and therefore probably simplest) Shogi game for the FC, the little dudes were my main decision in choosing this one.

Also, with some help from some cats over in the script forum, I've finished the menu.


April 12, 2013, 10:49:55 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Forgive the cross-posting in Language & Scripts forum, but I figure not everyone peruses both.

Above are my attempts at Kanji playing pieces using the abbreviations listed on Wikipedia:
王, 飛, 角, 金, 銀, 桂, 香, 歩,
     竜, 馬,      全, 圭, 杏, と

For those that can read it, play shogi, and/or have had to deal with tons of tiny pixelized Kanji, do these read well enough? Do any read incorrectly or would you suggest any changes?

April 13, 2013, 03:41:05 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Title screen complete.

Script Help and Language Discussion / Re: Shogi terminology
« on: April 11, 2013, 04:54:48 am »
Awesome. My arbitrary guess had failed me.


I also feel like a tool because trying each option repeatedly to determine the difference, I never noticed the presence of a big clock half of the time.

Menu inserted. Thanks again.

April 12, 2013, 10:35:41 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

Above are my attempts at Kanji playing pieces using the abbreviations listed on Wikipedia:
王, 飛, 角, 金, 銀, 桂, 香, 歩,
     竜, 馬,      全, 圭, 杏, と

For those that can read it, play shogi, and/or have had to deal with tons of tiny pixelized Kanji, do these read well enough? Do any read incorrectly or would you suggest any changes?

Script Help and Language Discussion / Re: Shogi terminology
« on: April 10, 2013, 11:52:39 pm »
Thanks. Now I'm a bit confused with the second one. Let me give the full menu context.

You use the select button to cycle through combinations of the following prior to starting a match. The left side is the human player, the right, the computer. Either player can have option A-D, and the computer can have G or F with each from A-D:

What I believe of the following
A. First Move
B. Second Move
C. Rook Omitted (Handicap)
D. Two Pieces Omitted (Handicap)
E. Versus (?)
G. Some/Yes/On
F. None

The game, by the way is 本将棋 内藤九段将棋秘伝 (Honshogi: Naitou Kudan Shogi Hiden). There's a gamefaq up for it, but I think the guy just dropped G and F into Google translate and returned the phonetic result. F is the default, and I can't play Shogi well enough to tell the difference in A.I. if that's it. Is it noticeable from context if On or Off is for a higher difficulty on or off or a lower difficulty on or off?

Personal Projects / Re: Pyron
« on: April 10, 2013, 10:48:34 pm »
No problem, man. I've been really nerding-out on that type of thing and I hope to be able to make a really killer manual and box. My favorite games were always playable on their own, but as I kid I'd love reading and re-reading the manuals and the box to get a deeper understanding. Due to a limited amount of game time (back in the days of shared family-TVs, not because of some anti-TV parenting tactics), I'd spend more time as a kid pretending I was in the game like Captain N than I actually did playing them. I hope to give a manual that adds just enough to the game world to make the player feel more vested and immersed, but leave enough open that encourages the 'what ifs," "whys," and "hows."

So I appreciate the attention to that type of detail and the discussion that comes from such.

Personal Projects / Re: Pyron
« on: April 10, 2013, 10:08:58 pm »
We've been discussing the story and backstory a bit since I'll also be doing the manual. I'm pretty heavily interested in the narrative, and Optomon's seemed approving of my interpretation of his initial story on the older Pyron site. The gist of what we've been throwing around is as follows:

The planet itself is a living planet which has long been past its prime. To give the full scope, there's a jungle under the frozen desert. More moisture, more heat, more life. Past the jungle you fight through its circulatory/immune system (think Innerspace), then its central nervous system (which to give the impression of intelligent construction in the past I intend to try to reach a hybrid powerhouse-neurological look), then to a dark core which is the heart of a malignant infestation, the reason you're burning through the planet to begin with.

As with most games of the time, it's a story to explain the visual, For a sentient planet to have been intentionally growing outward instead of inward doesn't strike me as too illogical for a late 80s-era scifi action game. Perhaps there once was a stronger sun. Perhaps it was too strong for actual surface plants and the outer layer of trees absorbed the radiation filtered through the cave walls (which is why the smaller, younger, vine plants are growing in the open area now, but the trees are petrified in the cave).

Also, like most games, the story will begin with the manual and end with the game. The rest would be up for player interpretation.

Personal Projects / Re: Pyron
« on: April 10, 2013, 09:41:44 pm »
The palettes in the video weren't final (The purple trees intend to be changed to increase contrast with the enemies and the yellow dinosaurs will all have brown outline as in the gifs I posted), but the next level is what would best be described as a frozen desert.

I try hard to keep everything in the game as part of telling the overall narrative, and what I'm trying to portray with the palette transitions going through the first level is:

  • Dead grey trees, dead grey grass: almost no atmosphere or moisture, full petrification.
  • Dead brown trees, weak living grass: more atmosphere, not petrified yet.
  • Light blue trees and grass: enough moisture to freeze, frost covered.

...and thus the transition into the frost desert. The sequencing doesn't exactly line up in places in the map, but I think it's enough to give the impression of the transition.

Personal Projects / Re: Pyron
« on: April 10, 2013, 08:19:04 pm »
The game takes place in a series of underground biomes, each deeper into a planet. This is the outer-most. The planet gets more lively the closer to the core that you travel. My interpretation is that the planet thrived off of an internal heat and not necessarily from a sun. The layer shown would have been a cavernous  forest in the past, but has long been petrified.

Script Help and Language Discussion / Shogi, Warpman, etc.
« on: April 10, 2013, 12:52:57 pm »
I'm currently working on a romhack of a Shogi title. There's very little in terms of text in this game, and context makes most of them clear, but some leave me stumped and the others, I'd like to get some clarification if possible.

This word balloon pops up if you press the B button repeatedly. If you make it come up a half dozen times or so, the opponent will retract one move.

I suspect that these are Easy/Hard levels for the A.I, as you cycle through the two prior to selecting a match.  They are shown before the selection for the CPU to go first or second. If I'm wrong, please correct. If right, I don't know which is which.

Honestly, I think all the options are unnecessary. I would put everything below "chipset" on your vending machine in one group called "improvements." It shows confidence in your choices, allows an unaltered option for purists, and still has the regional and chipset options for compatability.

Personal Projects / Re: Pyron
« on: April 09, 2013, 11:23:51 pm »
I think the problem is that when walking, there are particular sprites that work with particular floor tiles for example:

See how in Megaman 7, Megaman's sprite is designed to walk on top of the floor tiles and in Megaman 8, his sprite blends in with the floor tiles while he walks?

Thanks for your interest, Johnny. To assist in your explanation, the term you are look for is "overlapping," and not "blending in." The situation is explained very simply:

If the ground plane is shown, the character should overlap with the ground tile. If not, it should not. In Contra, it is shown. In Simon's Quest it is not. That is the difference between your examples. (Actually, in Megaman 7, the plane is shown, just much less than in 8. Therefore, there is still overlap, albeit much less than in 8. You can zoom in on a screenshot to see.)

When M_tee changed the Pyron sprite, he didn't make any floor tiles to go along with his sprite. So to me it just looks unnatural with the two different styles going together.

I actually produced all of the graphics in the new video with the exception of the stars in the sky at the beginning.


Note the stronger, grid-like feel of the original. The 2-pixel overlap was less noticeable because the majority of the top row of pixels was black, resulting in the black lines dividing the ground and walls. Also, the characters feet were white, and a third of the ground was white, so there was less contrast there.

I agree that the situation is an issue, and we've both been aware of it.

The problem is that there is only one 32-pixel square used for all of the ground and walls. Moreover, Optomon assured me that re-coding the TSA to allow a separate ground plane would be a major setback at this point. One of my primary goals in the background designs is to reduce the building-block look of the original. Therefore, my design choices were made in an attempt to balance the natural pattern on the edges while minimizing the visible seams.

Perhaps I'll take another stab at it down the road, but at the moment, I'd call it a low-priority.

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