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Author Topic: How where snes graphics made.  (Read 3983 times)

UltimateUrinater

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How where snes graphics made.
« on: July 21, 2016, 12:12:59 am »
What software is/was commonly used to make snes tiles and maps. :cookie:

Bregalad

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Re: How where snes graphics made.
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2016, 04:06:40 am »
Do you mean, by commercial SNES game developers ?

I guess nobody really knows for sure, but perhaps this information exists somewhere.

Grimlock

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Re: How where snes graphics made.
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 08:59:16 am »
Probably in-house proprietary PC software.  I'm curious as well, not only for the SNES but NES and GEN as well.

nesrocks

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Re: How where snes graphics made.
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 11:05:46 am »
I am always baffled this isn't widely spread information. Where are all the hundreds (thousands?) of artists and programmers that were game devs back then? Are they still bound by contract to not disclose any information at all, or is it them not caring/not knowing that we care?

FAST6191

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Re: How where snes graphics made.
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 11:14:03 am »
I have no idea what went in Japan (to this day they have a very odd market for graphics software and formats) and the market was pretty fractured outside it. However several title screens have effects that I recognise from old versions of Corel Draw (89 for the first versions, 91 for the 3.0 line that really kicked things off for them) and possibly Corel Photo-Paint, whether said effects were copied from/remade from another I do not know.
Equally I have played with a few Amiga drawing programs and I can see things used there, however the Amiga was also a fairly potent gaming system in its own right and a lot of that was probably circular if you go looking.
Photoshop existed back then but I am not sure to what extent (Corel was fairly well established) and the earliest versions of paint shop pro also existed.

Other than asking devs I do not know how easy it would be to find this out. Obviously I do system tray watching for videos of devs now but you tended not to see much of that back then, equally with many games of that vintage you probably don't even have the source code so who knows what chance there will be for dev tool package listings or art you can try to find metadata from.

I am always baffled this isn't widely spread information. Where are all the hundreds (thousands?) of artists and programmers that were game devs back then? Are they still bound by contract to not disclose any information at all, or is it them not caring/not knowing that we care?
I doubt they are under any flavour of NDA for this, not to mention you could probably do a bit of CV/resume scanning. It is probably more that nobody really cares and it is not like you are going to go back and use this old software for graphics at least, audio might be a different matter but most would probably care more for a soundfont.

UltimateUrinater

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Re: How where snes graphics made.
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2016, 06:20:10 pm »
Well..I definitely doubt it was done manually, considering how time consuming that would be. :angel:

dougeff

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Re: How where snes graphics made.
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2016, 07:47:53 pm »
I've read that SNES games were programmed on Apple IIgs, which has a nearly identical processor. And, the graphics were done on another computer, frequently on a Macintosh, using MacPaint.

Edit... It looks like MacPaint was pre-SNES era. IDK

Maybe it was Deluxe Paint that I was thinking of. I seem to remember that Macintosh computers were preferred by artists because of their superior graphics capability.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 08:15:35 pm by dougeff »
nesdoug.com -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES

Bregalad

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Re: How where snes graphics made.
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2016, 02:17:47 am »
Well..I definitely doubt it was done manually, considering how time consuming that would be. :angel:
By "manually", you mean by punching .DB statements in assembly files ?

This method was certainly not used for making SNES graphics considering how complex they are, but it was certainly used at some point for games of simpler graphics such as C64 and early NES. This should have been a major hassle to work with.

Music was commonly transferred to the game by punching some .DB statements in the assembler, perhaps even in SNES area. It's not as much as a pain as graphics, since you can easily make it look close enough like real music statements.

henke37

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Re: How where snes graphics made.
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2016, 07:00:47 pm »
Well, I hear that Rare used some fancy 3d work stations for their 3d renders in the DKC series.

oziphantom

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Re: How where snes graphics made.
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2016, 02:30:00 am »
Basically all graphics post 1985 up to about 92~94 was done on Deluxe Paint in the west. To this day the file format IFF is still used in games. Maya even outputs IFF files.
C64, Spectrum, Amiga, Atari 8bit, Atari ST, PC, Nes, Master system, SNES, MegaDrive, Dragon, Oric et al.
I would say 80% of it would be Deluxe Paint Amiga editions, they were the flagship over the ST versions, as the Amiga had better graphics capabilities. Some artists in the DPaint AGA era preferred Brilliance over DPV. Some like Doom for example was done on Deluxe Paint II pc as they needed 256 colour support before AGA Amigas.
Japan has a special custom program that uses a Parallel port dongle and cost and arm and a leg. Magic System Tec, Image Magic Tec?? something like that, I have/had a broacher for them somewhere. The early versions ran on PC 88/86 so didn't really get over here till it ran on normal windows.
The graphics on the NES at Nintendo seem to have been done mostly on Grid paper, but there are photos of them having one special machine, notable in that it has the screen arranged in landscape like the Xerox Palo Alto. There was some scans a japanese magazine that were translated and shared showing the dev machines and the process it made a huge splash on the net a few years ago.

Rare didn't do pixel art but converted 3d rendered animations and hence yes they ran SGI work stations.
One of the artists I know had a Indigo II under his desk to use a special tile animation program that was just better than anything else. Don't remember the name of it either.

FCandChill

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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2016, 03:50:01 am »
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« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 12:54:05 am by FCandChill »