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Hapiel
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Topic: [OPP] Style discussion
    Posted: 30 April 2013 at 11:10am

Hello PixelJoint!

Welcome to the Open Pixel Platformer



Styleguide below is outdated and not being updated any more! Check out the most recent version at the wiki


style guide v1 for Open Pixel Platformer:

Colors:
Everything will use DB32 palette



Light:
Light comes from the top of the screen, if it is unavoidable that an angle has to be chosen it will come slightly from the right. Avoid other light angles in characters so that all sprites can be flipped. Check for example this tree from Jim16


Tiles:
32x32
Cartoony, big pixel clusters.
Edges have single pixel outline. Dark, preferably not black.
Little to no dithering
Top surface is wide (slight top view)
Top surface exists of two tiles: One base tile and one tile on top of this for the top edge, about four pixels heigh. This is to allow objects such as shrubs to be merged properly with the tiles. Characters will walk on top of the base tile. Example:

Space between tiles can be filled with a single color. Detail tiles can be made to break the silence.
Tiles can be in front of and behind each other.
Tiles can be transparent.
Little to no dithering


Characters:
Base size: 64x64 (feel free to make smaller or bigger characters)
Animations should run at 8/100 seconds per frame (12.5 FPS)
Single px outline, dark preferably not black
Feet are both at the same hight.
No shadow
No dithering
Big cartoony faces, size about half of the character height (for humans).
Humans also have very short legs and a tall body.
Tall black eyes and pink noses, such as in these examples:


Objects:
Base size: 32x32
Outline.
No dithering


Backgrounds:
Undecided for now. Feel free to make something.



-----

Old topic start: (Just for referrence, all the styles discussed here are old. Please use the style guide above)

Over the last two weeks I have been discussing with many artists about the creation of a Creative Commons licensed platform tile and spriteset. Many people have responded very enthusiast and brilliant suggestions have been made!


Aside from talking to many of PJs members, also moderator Gecimen will keep an eye on the project!


I will sum up quickly what is the plan, this has all been decided with the help of many PJers:


Everyone can submit anything. Of course finished tiles and sprites but also sketches, ideas, edits, as long as you license this with CC-BY

The work done here will be presented into mock ups and packaged together nicely.

If this turns out to become a success we contact people from game creation communities such as TIGsource and perhaps we can turn this in an actual, open-source, community made action platform game.


Since I want to get as many people involved I think that it is important that we come up with a pixel art style that works for everyone and allows to make one consistent set.


--


Before I open topics about asset contribution, please discuss a pixel art style in this thread!

Feel free to make edits, examples, select your favorites, and also leave your opinion on this project in general!


So far the following decisions have been made:

Tile size: 32x32

Standard sprite size: 64x64

Palette: DB32

Yes, that is right, DawnBringer published his brand new amazing 32 color palette and gave permission to use this for the OPP!


Some style examples that have already been made:

(watch out, these use old versions of the DB32 palette, do not copy the colors from these)


Hapiel:


Skeddles:

RileyFiery

Surt


Thats it for now! Next week I will post about the contribution process, which should get the fun started for everyone! I hope a week should be enough to come up with a style everyone can work with. Please leave your opinions in this thread!


Specific questions:

  • colored outlines for sprites (like Riley 1)or colored outlines (like Riley 2)?
  • outlines for BG elements (like Skeddles) or none? (like Hapiel)
  • Inner tiles (like Hapiel 11) or inner flat surface (like Hapiel 12)?
  • Which of the different types of heads do you like most? Hapiel 4, Hapiel 8, Riley or Surt 2? (I vote Riley!)
  • Feet stance, flat surface on top of tile (like Surt) or one higher than the other on a slight top view surface (like Hapiel) or a hybrid (like Skeddles)


Thanks a lot!




Edited by Hapiel - 29 December 2014 at 9:20am
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Mr.Fahrenheit
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Quote Mr.Fahrenheit Replybullet Posted: 30 April 2013 at 4:23pm
Seems like fun. I'm excited!
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ultimaodin
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Quote ultimaodin Replybullet Posted: 30 April 2013 at 11:14pm
Personally, I'm not that keen on 1px outlines, I like outlines either thick, or practically non-existent. If outlines are a go I'd prefer to see shaded outlines (so a darker shade of what's being used rather than an all round black or white outline). So long as all foreground elements are consistent, it should be okay whatever we go for.

BG elements definitely shouldn't have an outline in my opinion.

For heads I like hapiel 5 and 6.

As far as feet/leg stance goes, I prefer the 15 degree angle version but straight side view is easier - something that may need to be factored in. I'm also a fan of flat shadows, though again this starts adding issues when jumping around. (A good programmer can code in a nice sprite shadow system anyway)

If we are doing a community thing, a style like skeddles might be a bit too difficult for newer members wishing to contribute.
The world is but a shadow of emotion, cast in shades of grey.
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Hapiel
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 01 May 2013 at 2:23am
Originally posted by ultimaodin

Personally, I'm not that keen on 1px outlines, I like outlines either thick, or practically non-existent. If outlines are a go I'd prefer to see shaded outlines (so a darker shade of what's being used rather than an all round black or white outline). So long as all foreground elements are consistent, it should be okay whatever we go for.

Hi Ultimaodin,
Thanks for your reply!
I think that 1px black outlines do not look so great either, but they are an easy solution to prevent the sprites from mixing with the BG. I was thinking at first that perhaps enforcing black outlines makes things clear and easy for everyone, but now my suggestion is softer lines such as hapiel 10 and riley 1.

Originally posted by ultimaodin


BG elements definitely shouldn't have an outline in my opinion.

Haha, I agreed until I saw Skeddles work! Hard decision!


Originally posted by ultimaodin


As far as feet/leg stance goes, I prefer the 15 degree angle version but straight side view is easier - something that may need to be factored in. I'm also a fan of flat shadows, though again this starts adding issues when jumping around. (A good programmer can code in a nice sprite shadow system anyway)

Easier is definitely better, and I like the poses Surt's sprite has. What do you mean with flat shadows? A shadow underneath the sprite like Riley's sprites have? If this were to be added I guess this is something for later by the programmer, yes. Not to be included with the sprite.

In the end, simplicity is the answer I think!
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Quote Gecimen Replybullet Posted: 01 May 2013 at 7:10am
I need to comment to follow this thread :)

Riley's character can carry many different types of items so that's a plus. Maybe you can add RPG elements such as armor and weapons. More work for contributors :)

On the downside it can be hard to interpret for other people. Not sure though.
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Quote JerryPie Replybullet Posted: 01 May 2013 at 11:25am
Okay sorry Hap...been busy, but I will put something together to contribute as well.

As far as the characters go, I like the different styles that are here already.

--- My biggest concern from the get go was the fact that a majority of PJ members are not going to be able to compete with some of the stylized/complex character styles that are shown here.

Because of this we will have a lack of quality contributions, and it will be a pain sorting through the things that should make it into the game.

I think the best approach is to go with a very very simple art style, this doesn't mean quality needs to be lost.

Honestly I think something along the lines of this would be the better choice. --- It's easy, its simple, it looks good.. It has a hard outline that will stand out from the backgrounds. It's easy to create items for, and more animations.

I would love to see a main character so simple, that there are 200 animations created by all the members here on PJ. Imagine that? A pixeleted main character that has so many movements it feels real.

The only way we can put together a game that is as grand as we want, is to make sure its easy enough to work on for everyone.

Sked, Riley, Surt...wonderful stuff. But I think its going to be hard for even 75% of the community here to match.

I hope others will agree with me on this, I would love to see a bad ass game colab be one of the things PJ was known for when people look back.
Eat babies.
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Quote JerryPie Replybullet Posted: 01 May 2013 at 12:01pm
i know they look really bad, i just put about 10 mins into this, and took an old background i had and threw them on there. but i think with a little more time, the character styles can really come together. -- i used the colors from your little cave man, (sorry i didnt use the DB32 palette we're using for the game.) -- but this is kind of what i mean by simple and easy. everyone should be able to participate.


Edited by FlyGuy - 01 May 2013 at 12:05pm
Eat babies.
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Hapiel
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 01 May 2013 at 12:35pm
Very nice BG fly!
I would like to keep the resolution higher and have 64x64 characters to make this set useful beyond the retro pixel lovers.
What do you think of Rileys sprite? that is simple right? No detail in legs or arms (allow for simple animation) and a face style that anyone could work with!

Speaking of complications:
I was thinking to have the whole 'game' take place in an animal world. Monsters could basically be anything, but any 'character' NPC, player, whatever should be an animal. The whole thing will be generic enough, this would be one of the tiny things that make it slightly different from 'standard'. However, also this would make designing characters perhaps harder.

Of course, people who enjoy making concept art could produce some sketches from which beginning artist could also choose and finalize some work.

Here are two idle tests with rileys sprite



Edited by Hapiel - 01 May 2013 at 1:39pm
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Ellian
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Quote Ellian Replybullet Posted: 02 May 2013 at 4:42am
Yay, it's live!

Originally posted by Hapiel

  • colored outlines for sprites (like Riley 1)or colored outlines (like Riley 2)?

I'd say as in Riley 1... Even if I don't see much difference between the two lol

Originally posted by Hapiel

  • outlines for BG elements (like Skeddles) or none? (like Hapiel)

For consistency purpose, I tend to prefer outlines on background. That way the sprites don't look to "off" from the background and other elements.

Originally posted by Hapiel

  • Inner tiles (like Hapiel 11) or inner flat surface (like Hapiel 12)?

Well, flat surface makes it easier to create tilesets, without having to worry too much about repeatitive patterns and such. Also with inner tiles you'd want to have some extra tiles just to break the monotony (for example, on a cliff you'd want occasionnal vines, mushrooms or different rocks just so it's not the same tile over and over and over again)...

Assuming people are excited about it, I'd go with inner tiles just because it gives more opportunities to be creative, it's way more fun!

Originally posted by Hapiel

  • Which of the different types of heads do you like most? Hapiel 4, Hapiel 8, Riley or Surt 2? (I vote Riley!)

I'd say Riley; I'm not fond of SD in general, but I think it offers more in terms of personality : easier to create expressions (smiling, angry, etc) and variety in faces.

Originally posted by Hapiel

  • Feet stance, flat surface on top of tile (like Surt) or one higher than the other on a slight top view surface (like Hapiel) or a hybrid (like Skeddles)


I'd say that both feet on the same level, because it'd make it easier to reuse sprites with other tilesets, as I think it's easier to find flat tilesets rather than top view ones...
This may need to be confirmed, lol



Anyway - exciting!
Can't wait to see it started. :)
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Quote surt Replybullet Posted: 02 May 2013 at 1:05pm
I'd vote for:
Terrain side-on Hapiel-style (simpler and better allows Castlevania-style stairs, Ghouls'n'Ghosts-style slopes)
Sprites RileyFiery-style proportions (maybe head a touch smaller) but with a more dynamic pose (think Gunstar Heros, Metal Slug type pose)
All with Skeddles' colours and style (cartoonish yet highly rendered).
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RileyFiery
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Quote RileyFiery Replybullet Posted: 02 May 2013 at 6:35pm
Thanks for letting me participate. It was fun.
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Hapiel
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 03 May 2013 at 2:19am

Originally posted by Hapiel

  • outlines for BG elements (like Skeddles) or none? (like Hapiel)

For consistency purpose, I tend to prefer outlines on background. That way the sprites don't look to "off" from the background and other elements.

Originally posted by Ellian

Originally posted by Hapiel

  • Inner tiles (like Hapiel 11) or inner flat surface (like Hapiel 12)?

Well, flat surface makes it easier to create tilesets, without having to worry too much about repeatitive patterns and such. Also with inner tiles you'd want to have some extra tiles just to break the monotony (for example, on a cliff you'd want occasionnal vines, mushrooms or different rocks just so it's not the same tile over and over and over again)...

Assuming people are excited about it, I'd go with inner tiles just because it gives more opportunities to be creative, it's way more fun!

So how about flat surface for ease, with the ability to create inner detail tiles whoever likes? Thats the best of both no?


Originally posted by Ellian


Originally posted by Hapiel

Which of the different types of heads do you like most? Hapiel 4, Hapiel 8, Riley or Surt 2? (I vote Riley!)


I'd say Riley; I'm not fond of SD in general, but I think it offers more in terms of personality : easier to create expressions (smiling, angry, etc) and variety in faces.


Everyone seems to be fond of Rileys big and expressive face! Obvious choice that we go for this!


Originally posted by Hapiel

  • Feet stance, flat surface on top of tile (like Surt) or one higher than the other on a slight top view surface (like Hapiel) or a hybrid (like Skeddles)


So also from this I think we have a clear choice, feet at the same level but tilesets from 'top' view.


So far:
Dark but not black outlines
Top view
Flat surface between tiles

There are two questions that still bug me:

  • BG elements outline or no? (one vote for, one against.)
  • Cartoonish flat areas (Riley style. Possibly easier) or cartoonish highly rendered (Skeddles style. Possibly more interesting)

And discuss!

I will be away next week, I will check on you guys this Monday but I will open the contribution plans probably around 13/14 May. I have a juggling convention to organise ;)



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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2013 at 12:36am
I will be off this week, but I trust you guys will give the answers needed!
Also, look at this beautiful even more colored sprite from Riley!


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Quote Gecimen Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2013 at 6:13am
I think the sprite style is cool. I can perfectly picture a girl, a bearded man etc. What I wonder is what monsters can be designed in this style.
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Quote skeddles Replybullet Posted: 07 May 2013 at 3:59pm


I love those character sprites

I did some edits, I didn't like the dithering, and idk if the colors really worked, I changed a bit.

I think less colors for bg objects is better, and I'd vote cartoony with outlines to match the style, no outlines always looks too realistic.


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Quote surt Replybullet Posted: 10 May 2013 at 5:26am
Very rough edits of RiFi's.
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Quote Numberplay Replybullet Posted: 10 May 2013 at 12:22pm
I might try to do tiles. Can't guarantee much since I'm still novice in pixelarts
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 22 May 2013 at 5:49am
The conclusions, style guide v1 for Open Pixel Platformer:

Colors:
Everything will use DB32 palette



Light:
Light comes from the top of the screen, if it is unavoidable that an angle has to be chosen it will come slightly from the right. Avoid other light angles in characters so that all sprites can be flipped. Check for example this tree from Jim16


Tiles:
32x32
Cartoony, big pixel clusters.
Edges have single pixel outline. Dark, preferably not black.
Little to no dithering
Top surface is wide (slight top view)
Top surface exists of two tiles: One base tile and one tile on top of this for the top edge, about four pixels heigh. This is to allow objects such as shrubs to be merged properly with the tiles. Characters will walk on top of the base tile. Example:

Space between tiles can be filled with a single color. Detail tiles can be made to break the silence.
Tiles can be in front of and behind each other.
Tiles can be transparent.
Little to no dithering


Characters:
Base size: 64x64 (feel free to make smaller or bigger characters)
Animations should run at 8/100 seconds per frame (12.5 FPS)
Single px outline, dark preferably not black
Feet are both at the same hight.
No shadow
No dithering
Big cartoony faces, size about half of the character height (for humans)
Tall black eyes, such as in these examples:


Objects:
Base size: 32x32
Outline.
No dithering


Backgrounds:
Undecided for now. Feel free to make something.






Edited by Hapiel - 29 May 2013 at 7:03am
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Quote CraftyPixel Replybullet Posted: 22 May 2013 at 9:00pm


<3 looks like a maplestory replica though.

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Quote Numberplay Replybullet Posted: 23 May 2013 at 6:26am
Originally posted by CraftyPixel

<3 looks like a maplestory replica though.


Who minds seriously. The game might be bad but the graphic style of MS is still on a godly level from my POV

I tried doing random things using the palette to get used to it. I'm still trying to get something to work so don't count me out.

Edited by Numberplay - 23 May 2013 at 6:27am
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Quote CraftyPixel Replybullet Posted: 24 May 2013 at 3:15pm
- Well I personally love maplestory , the game and it's graphics. but yep it's pixel art is really good! -

Edited by CraftyPixel - 24 May 2013 at 3:14pm
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 25 May 2013 at 4:34pm
I changed the style guide slightly to match the current works:
Light source is now coming from the slight right. This to match Jim's amazing tree.
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 27 May 2013 at 8:48am
Technical question: Where should the character stand?
Before I said it would be on the level where the top tile 'splits', on this white line so to say


However, this gives a problem:
The character will be exactly in line with overlapping objects, such as this temple:
(on the left is an example of how it looks best in my opinion, on the right are 3 examples of how it would look with the current 'rules'


There are many solutions to this problem, such as not putting objects on top of the grass like that or creating different base tiles for this temple, moving the characters two px down or perhaps something completely different.
Does anyone have a genius suggestion? Or do you guys maybe think it does not look so bad at all?







Edited by Hapiel - 27 May 2013 at 8:48am
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Quote Numberplay Replybullet Posted: 27 May 2013 at 1:36pm
Originally posted by Hapiel

creating different base tiles for this temple


That's what I though we would do actually

Edited by Numberplay - 27 May 2013 at 1:35pm
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Quote Damian Replybullet Posted: 27 May 2013 at 3:11pm
Possible solution could be making the "Ground" object 30px height and 32px width instead of 32 x 32. I might play around in gamemaker to try and make an example tomorrow.
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Quote skeddles Replybullet Posted: 28 May 2013 at 2:35pm
Originally posted by Hapiel


Technical question: Where should the character stand? Before I said it would be on the level where the top tile 'splits', on this white line so to sayHowever, this gives a problem:The character will be exactly in line with overlapping objects, such as this temple:(on the left is an example of how it looks best in my opinion, on the right are 3 examples of how it would look with the current 'rules' There are many solutions to this problem, such as not putting objects on top of the grass like that or creating different base tiles for this temple, moving the characters two px down or perhaps something completely different. Does anyone have a genius suggestion? Or do you guys maybe think it does not look so bad at all?<span style="font-size:10px"></span>





The left one looks best in front of the temple, but we'd have to see how that looks on the grass. He def shouldn't be right on the edge of the wall like in the second one.

But he also should be centered in the grass. It should fit both of those, and if it doesn't, the temple tiles should be altered to fit the character rather than the other way around, because the character has to look normal in all situations.




Also can we talk animation? We should determine the number of frames each animation should be, because we don't want some 16 frame running animations and some 4 frame.

I feel like 4 is usually good, and 8 is way too in depth, would take too much skill and time for this. 6 is okay, but harder to pull off, so I think 4 frame animations are good (for walking at least, others will depend).

Edited by skeddles - 28 May 2013 at 2:38pm


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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 29 May 2013 at 3:23am
Of course the whole problem can be solved simply by always putting the temple behind the floor tiles as it was originally planned. You walk in front of the temple, the temple is not obstructing you. Therefore this makes sense!




About animation:

Animation style will mostly be determined by the first who give animation a go! I personally like smooth running/walking animations, 6 - 10 frames. At this sprite size I think 4 would be way too little. However, it is not so bad if different animations have different sizes right? The only thing we might need to worry about is a standard frame rate.
Is it important for a game to have a fixed frame rate? Technically? I can see it also looks nicer if items use the same kind of rate...

Perhaps there is someone with technical expertise to clarify if a fixed framerate is useful?
If we need such a thing, I suggest either 10/100spf (10fps) or the much smoother 8/100spf (12.5 fps). With an 8 frame running animation they will both look nice, though the 10/100spf can get away with a 6 frame animation.
This is 10/100 spf, 8 frames

This is 7/100 spf, 8 frames

(but don't trust your browsers. Even when frame speed should work they are often a tad delayed)
This is 7/100 spf, 10 frames

And this is 8/100 spf, 8 frames (my suggested frame rate and frame count)


Example from Ellian:
This frog at 8/100 spf (all frames the same, unlike the original) still work nicely:

This frog at 10/10 spf is a tad slow..


What do you guys think about a fixed framerate of 8/100 spf (12.5 fps)? That allows for spritesheets to be created and used without confusion.








Edited by Hapiel - 29 May 2013 at 4:05am
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Quote Ellian Replybullet Posted: 29 May 2013 at 5:17am
While yes, 4 frames would make it... well easier for anyone to make animated sprites, as Hapiel I'd rather have something smoother; i.e. 8 frames; this allow to put a little bounce or something, 4 frames is really the minimum for walking animation and it lacks the special something that makes an animation really cute/nice/polished/whatever.

And again, do we really need to have a fixed frame number ?


As for framerate, considering your examples, I'd go with 8/100 - 12fps.
(thanks for fixing my frog, by the way! <3)

10/100 looks a liiiiiiiiiittle jerky to me.
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Quote Numberplay Replybullet Posted: 29 May 2013 at 6:49am
8fps 8frames walking/running seems ideal from my opinion. It's smooth enough and doesn't ask too much from newbies like me.

Edited by Numberplay - 29 May 2013 at 6:49am
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 29 May 2013 at 7:06am
Since you two seem to agree with me on 8/100, I put a rule about this in the style guide. From now on all animations 8/100 seconds per frame. You can see for your self how many frames you need for for example a walking animation.

Also, I added a rule to the characters: Generally all creatures should have tall black eyes. This matches the existing work from Riley, Jim and Ellian!
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Quote skeddles Replybullet Posted: 29 May 2013 at 6:13pm
8/100 with 8fps sounds good to me. I would like to try animating the character, but need some help nuding him.

http://i.imgur.com/Tw9pk19.png

I know some things just don't look right but cant fix it


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Quote Numberplay Replybullet Posted: 29 May 2013 at 6:18pm
The right arm seems a bit odd (left from our point of view). Review your angle.

Edited by Numberplay - 29 May 2013 at 6:18pm
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Quote Numberplay Replybullet Posted: 24 June 2013 at 9:08am
What happened to the jungle set and the general discussion?
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Quote Damian Replybullet Posted: 24 June 2013 at 11:13am
Thats a great question. Someone ask a moderator.
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Quote Mr.Fahrenheit Replybullet Posted: 24 June 2013 at 11:32am
That and the minuscule challenge thread someone else thought up that I was taking a liking to.
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DawnBringer
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Quote DawnBringer Replybullet Posted: 24 June 2013 at 11:39am
Threads sometimes go missing when mods clean up spam...
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Numberplay
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Quote Numberplay Replybullet Posted: 25 June 2013 at 10:42am
Recently I've tried to come up with a cloud style that would work. I've tried 3 times actually.

The first try, i was trying to follow a tutorial while keeping our palette but the style was way off. At least it confirmed me it was possible with 3 colors to come up with some clouds.

The second try I took inspiration from another piece but it wasn't there yet.

I finally decided to put more whites and less gray in the third try and the result was better than I thought. If this can inspire someone for a background in any set, I'm glad I could help. I might even try myself if I feel like it.

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Hapiel
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 25 June 2013 at 2:47pm
I really like the third cloud, though the second would work very well too!

What would happen if the second would also have more white?

Other question:
How will we treat backgrounds? So far we have been using a flat blue color, but some parralax scrolling would be really nice! Perhaps single objects (such as the clouds) on a one color background? Though in the cave set it seems that there will be a background tile filling up all/most of the open space...

Hmm

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Numberplay
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Quote Numberplay Replybullet Posted: 25 June 2013 at 2:58pm
I was thinking half-sky half-ground, depending on the set in question. For the village, having some sort of plain in the background could work very well for example.

Edit : Another cloud following the 3rd style. The blank space was for another one I didn't do yet.



Edited by Numberplay - 25 June 2013 at 3:01pm
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guima1901
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Quote guima1901 Replybullet Posted: 18 July 2013 at 12:40pm
im trying to start a snow biome
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Hapiel
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 04 January 2014 at 7:29am
bump (this thread dissapeared)
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Asmodeusss
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Quote Asmodeusss Replybullet Posted: 28 March 2015 at 12:02am
Love the idea. Way back on the gamemaker forums there was something called the GMCG(game maker community game) where a bunch of people tried to make a game. These were both artists, programmers and musicians all together but it failed pretty badly because of lack of organization and overall lack of direction with the project. Later on I tried to lead a second GMCG with the goal of creating smaller minigames. This turned out a biiit better but ultimately flopped. I am willing to contribute to the coding aspect if it ever gets to that and I will also try making some tiles or animations.
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