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Prinz Eugn

Member Since 22 Jul 2005
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 06:39 PM

#5024122 Critique my 2D assets

Posted by on 21 January 2013 - 07:16 PM

Overall, looks pretty good.

The one thing I would work on is that you're kind of abusing gradients for lighting/shading. You should try using more hard shadows, and staying more consistent with your lighting direction (some of your gradients and shadows don't make sense, like the body of the cart being lighter on the bottom).


I'll try to include some examples later (I'm at work right now) to show you what I mean.


Also, I can't quite tell what's supposed to be interactive- maybe use slightly thicker lines around interactive objects?

#5022338 "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past" art style ?

Posted by on 16 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

"16-bit era pixel art" should be the google terms that will get you started. I don't think there's a more specific style than "Pixel Art" that will help you out much.


EDIT: Attached image from wiki for reference:


#5021246 What Immerses you into an FPS game?

Posted by on 13 January 2013 - 07:31 PM

Honestly? Walking.


I've noticed games that have pretty long segments of no shooting tend to be the most immersive. Half Life 2 and Halo:CE I have good memories of just wandering around for a little bit experiencing the world without being distracted by things trying to kill me like clockwork every 30 seconds.

#5018434 Some ideas on what to do with our game

Posted by on 06 January 2013 - 10:22 PM

You've fallen into the classic trap of making the engine and thinking a game will pop out somehow, and you really need to step back and think about how to add actual gameplay (not just polish like most of the points you've separated in your post). If you don't do that, you'll end up with a shiny but boring tech demo and not a game.


You really need goals of some kind, even something unspoken, like building stuff or survival (Minecraft), and then require the player to take actions in order to do those things (e.g. limiting resources). Even pure open world sandboxes rely on players to create their own goals in order to be fun (think Second Life). You need to think of what those goals could be: exploring, building a better X, being the best hunter, collecting all the X,  and so on, and then implement features that allow players to track those self-made goals. It might be hard to cut back on your massive ambition, but you should probably concentrate on only one or two of those.


For example, if you limited ammo but spawned more in the world, that would induce the player to move around in order to avoid being eaten by monsters. Building from there, certain monsters drop material to build better guns, and are therefore more valuable. Maybe there are monsters you can't challenge in the beginning, but you can kill later if you get the right weapons, and they give you even better loot. But they only congregate around certain geographic features, so you have to find those... And so on...

#5017945 Some ideas on what to do with our game

Posted by on 05 January 2013 - 05:57 PM

Is there hope? What can be done to make this game more interesting?


A lot. It looks like you have some of the structure gameplay in place but you are missing any clear goal for playing and 90% of the user interface. I haven't played Minecraft, which it looks like you are emulating, so you might be trying for something different than what I'm thinking.



There needs to be some more indication of the player as to what is actually happening... I watched your video without reading the description, and I had zero idea what was going on. I thought the "monsters" were part of a physics demo or something, since they appeared to be simply floating shapes without any indication that they had any significance to the player. There's very little sound- even basic sounds make a huge difference in making something seem more complete.


It really boils down to the fact that there is no goal for the player. You have to give them one. Are they defending their territory from monsters, gathering stuff, what? Basically, give the players something to do and a way to tell them they've done it (medals, points, kill count, anything). There needs to be some kind of reward system to recognize accomplishment.


General confusing things:

  • Trees drop red cubes... no indication of what the cubes do. Stylistically, something should associate the cubes with fruit or health, and they shouldn't just pop into existence. There needs to be additional effects associating the cubes with the trees, like they grow under branches or something.
  • No navigation. The very small area of rendered space makes it way too easy to get lost. I built a thing, walked for 30 seconds... where'd it go?
  • Difficult to tell that the monsters do anything unless you are looking at the health bar
  • So... I can place cubes without limit? Seems like there should be some resource gathering component to that.


There's a lack of coherent UI, you should be labeling everything.

  • Health Bar - with a medical cross and perhaps a numerical value.
  • Jump Bar - I still don't understand what it does... sometimes you can jump high if you press it more, other times nope. Holding it down does nothing really.
  • Inventory should be numbered and labeled (even just "Inventory"). I expected mousewheel to work, but nope.
  • Need some more information on what's equipped... what is it, what it does, how it work


You need a lot more effects:

  • Better muzzle flash
  • Sounds for guns
  • Sound for jumping
  • Sound for "monsters imminent" or a growl or something. Monsters need to have some more sound effects
  • The terrain deforming balls that a couple of the weapons shoot need to flash or something to indicate when they are going to explode
  • Sound for picking up the red boxes
  • Sound for placing cubes
  • Need some indication that monsters are damaged or being hurt. Even a floating health bar above their heads would be a huge improvement.
  • A better skybox would be nice
  • Different reticules for different inventory items would be nice



Overall it's a pretty impressive engine, and an accomplishment for a small group, but you need to focus on the gameplay.


Good luck!

#5017291 Sci-fi and Cartoony look

Posted by on 03 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

I think it's a matter of target audience, and cartoony tends to be more accessible-seeming, and might work better for making units distinguishable on an iPhone sized screen. I don't think genre (fantasy, sci-fi, etc) has that much to do with it.

#5017011 Feedback on 16 Bit RPG models please

Posted by on 03 January 2013 - 02:13 AM

Well for my version I used the dodge/burn tool but I wouldn't recommend that since it affects the pixels of a layer directly. I would instead make three new layers:

  1. Mask- this should be a layer to hold a layer mask the same shape as the sprite so you can draw outside the lines and it won't  disrupt the background (good for keeping a solid background)
  2. Highlight (Mode should be "Screen" or similar) to hold white pixels that lighten the underlying layer (like your current characters)
  3. Shadow (Mode should be "Multiply" or similar) to hold black pixels that darken the underlying layer.

Note that the colors don't necessarily have to be straight black or white, just lighter or darker, and you want to be putting down semi-transparent pixels, probably with like a 7-15% pencil tool.


One other method for adding shading fast in Photoshop is to use Bevel and Emboss under layer effects- but that's really cludgy since it can only follow the outline of a layer, so to use it you'd have to separate everything that overlaps within the sprite into different layers. And even then, it would still look funky.


As for the plank/log problem, BCullis is right, it's all about getting a handle of how to shade basic shapes. Here's a thread of someone having pretty much the same problem: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/633482-why-does-this-look-so-flat/. You should also look up some shading exercises, or even invest in a drawing book since the basics carry over regardless of medium. I have this on my desk right now and I refer to it pretty regularly.



For the Head in particular, I don't really remember anything super specific... I made sure that I shaded under his jaw and the left side of his head to his shoulder (the shadow cast by his head on his shoulder). I also highlighted the right side, since that's in my imaginary light source.







I never messed with index color like Dave Troyer was talking about, but here's what it can do:



Looks like it makes you collapse your layers, but it will dither for you, which is pretty sweet.



As a final note, it doesn't look like your sprites are really pixel art (although that depends on how strict your definition is), since it looks like you're blurring/adding texture without manually manipulating the pixels. That's a whole other topic though.


Edit: Let me know if you have any questions, I should be able to respond tomorrow although anything in depth will have to wait for the weekend...


Good luck!

#5016179 Feedback on 16 Bit RPG models please

Posted by on 31 December 2012 - 04:14 PM

Overall they look pretty good!


Just a few things I'm not sure about: Are the images you posted native resolution? If not, could you post the originals? The don't look quite pixel-artish enough to be really 16-bit, although if that's an issue depends on your goals.


The major artistic weakness is that the shading/lighting isn't distinct. You have stuff sort of shaded, but there's not really a light source. This is especially problematic for the guy with the plank since he's one texture and therefore looks formless without directional shading.


I took the liberty of quickly splashing some shading over the plank guy in Photoshop to show you what I mean:



Edit: swapped image formats

#5010364 Help Learning to Design a Tile Based Web Game?

Posted by on 13 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

Sorry if I jumped to conclusions but 99.99999% of posters talking about an MMO (or really any vaguely ambitious project) in any sense are exactly the kind of people who need The Feature Creep Talk.

My first step would be to read articles/books (gamedev's collection: http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/creative/game-design), then after you're primed to look at games through the eyes of a designer, check out other games similar to your idea, or even games you like in a different genre.

Sunandshadow has it right, if you have too many ideas, don't worry about it, just record all of them to get them out of your system. Some people even set up a wiki, which might not be a bad idea at all if your project is long-term.

#5009342 Feedback needed - 2D art

Posted by on 10 December 2012 - 11:47 PM

I agree, it would be nice to have more art-oriented (rather than engine oriented) stuff in IOTD, IMO. Can't wait for the updates.

#5009234 Wolfenstein3d

Posted by on 10 December 2012 - 05:08 PM

Ha, thanks for the shoutout, Dave. Not sure about Wolfenstien, but there are tons of free DooM (original) resources available, which doubtless will have something appropriate. Here's one with a BSD licence: http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Freedoom If you want to sell your game, you'll probably need to read up on licenses, and I'm not even going to pretend to know the ins and outs of them.

Hmm... this might be what you're looking for, too: http://www.areyep.co...reLibrary.html. (has both tutorials and some textures posted). Couldn't find anything about licensing, looks like they are open for anything.

EDIT: can't use words good

#5008445 A game made solely to tell a story

Posted by on 08 December 2012 - 03:15 AM

Yeah, I think a game made only to tell a story isn't really a game anymore.

#5007553 What 3d art program I should start with?

Posted by on 05 December 2012 - 04:41 PM

Be aware that while Blender is definitely free, it had a very unconventional interface and the learning curve is extremely steep. I wouldn't recommend it for beginners.

It didn't see to much worse than Maya to me (although I've only just dabbled in modelling), and Blender has a pretty substantial community, too: http://cgcookie.com/blender/. I didn't have a ton of trouble after watching a couple tutorial videos.

But Dave's suggestion to look at free student version of Maya is a good idea, too, since it might be advantageous to work with a more common commercial software. IIRC there are limitations of what you can export with the student version though.

#5007142 Space game ideas

Posted by on 04 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

What are you defining as a "scene"?

I mean one 'room' were you can walk around freely without having to load stop and wait for it to load new data, or teleport to new scenes with whom there is no other physical connection.

Oh, okay, I was thinking in film terms for some reason. For that I think all you need is a few modular assets, that could be themed for whatever faction that control/inhabit the section of space you're in. You could have a few regional hubs with customized scenes but have far more procedurally generated using the same few buildings or whatever.

You could even say that obscure planets have only outposts, like a space 7-Eleven, and reuse the same building for each one, just switching up the inventory and some of the textures and NPCs.

#5007133 How much will creating cutscene videos cost, and other stuff (details inside)

Posted by on 04 December 2012 - 11:20 AM

Do have a university with a 3D animation program nearby? You could get the names of some of the more competent students, who would likely be cheaper than someone who is already professional (although, you might get what you pay for). Non-commercial software licenses might be an issue, though.