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#1 Saijee

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:04 PM

Witch is preferred? And why?

Type 1: Detailed Character Art:
Posted Image
Posted Image

Type 2: In game art with expressive animations:
Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by Saijee, 01 March 2012 - 01:40 AM.

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#2 Visor

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:47 PM

I prefer the second kind. Fully animated cutscenes, including those you can advance the dialogue of yourself, appeal to me. I prefer letting the graphics convey some of the scene in the same context as they do with gameplay.

However, if the game engine doesn't permit that kind of detail in animation (say, if you're trying to make a retro game with a lot of sprites on screen, and you only have a small view to work with), or the characters don't have 'field' graphics to begin with, I don't mind the other kind.

Edited by Visor, 01 February 2012 - 08:54 PM.

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#3 Zeddy

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:30 PM

The latter. I find the former to break immersion unless the game is entirely made up of dialogue.
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#4 Yal

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:36 AM

After getting neophyted by Cave Story, I started to prefer the second kind, except that characters featured no animations whatsoever and just turned left or right as needed. Facial expressions was taken care of via mugshots in the dialogue box.

But recently I got quite hooked to the first Disgaea game, and I'm sort of thinking about experimenting with the detailed character art system a bit myself and see how that would look.
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#5 Saijee

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:21 PM

After getting neophyted by Cave Story, I started to prefer the second kind, except that characters featured no animations whatsoever and just turned left or right as needed. Facial expressions was taken care of via mugshots in the dialogue box.

But recently I got quite hooked to the first Disgaea game, and I'm sort of thinking about experimenting with the detailed character art system a bit myself and see how that would look.

I hope you know that you have just defined cave story as Type 1 ma'am. Anything that has faces come up for dialog is type 1.
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#6 chance

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:52 PM

I don't understand the question. The topic's title is "dialog"... but your question is about "character art".

What exactly are you asking?
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#7 Saijee

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:02 PM

I don't understand the question. The topic's title is "dialog"... but your question is about "character art".

What exactly are you asking?

In the OP I have presented 2 different ways that game developers decide to have the dialog expressed. But witch one does the better job.
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#8 jakobs98

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:20 PM

I have to say the first one. To be more specific, the kind where the dialogue box is always in the same place, like the Hisoutensoku one. However, dialogue varies in pretty much all games and is almost never the same. Where they appear, pictures, etc. My favourite system would be the one in Cave Story. Take note of the frame, square at the same position all the time. The picture with not only the picture of the character, but also their facial expression and though not visible, the text appears letter by letter. There are so many good dialogue systems, so picking a favourite is kinda hard, though I say this one. I think one of the best, chat bubble systems I've seen is in Tales of Symphonia.
Posted ImageCave story.


Posted Image Tales of Symphonia.

Edited by jakobs98, 02 February 2012 - 07:21 PM.

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#9 chance

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:13 PM


I don't understand the question. The topic's title is "dialog"... but your question is about "character art".

What exactly are you asking?

In the OP I have presented 2 different ways that game developers decide to have the dialog expressed. But witch one does the better job.

In both your OP examples, the dialog appears in a speech bubble over the character's head. What's the difference?

Other than differences in art style, this seems like a trivial distinction in how the dialogue is expressed. So I still don't understand what you're asking here. Surely, there's more substance behind your question.
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#10 Saijee

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:37 AM

Your the only one not getting it, so me trying to explain it to you won't get anywhere. Someone explain please.
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#11 Zeddy

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:43 AM

Type 1: The dialogue is "overlaid" over the game using different portraits.

Type 2: In-game graphics.


I always thought Final Fantasy 7 did the best job of it.
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#12 Visor

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:48 AM

I think what's he's trying to say is that he'd like some views on how cutscenes are acted out, but he's got bogged down with the word 'dialogue'.
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#13 chance

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 11:39 AM

Your the only one not getting it, so me trying to explain it to you won't get anywhere. Someone explain please.

Type 1: The dialogue is "overlaid" over the game using different portraits.

Type 2: In-game graphics.

Ah... I see. Thanks Zeddy. I didn't understand his distinction between "character art" and "in game art" (since I've never played either of the games shown in the OP).
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#14 EdgeV

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:52 PM

Witch is preferred? And why?

Simple, it's whichever idea takes the least effort, time and money. I'd say the cutscenes from Final Fantasy 5 are a good example.

Fully animated cutscenes are nice, sure. But how long will it take for you or your team (if you have one) to make just one fully animated cutscene? How long will it take to make say... 20 of them?

Sure, it would be nice if in 5 years from now, you release a really awesome game with animated cutscenes, elaborate character art and all the superficial eyecandy.

But still, how many days, weeks, months and years do you want to spend programming and animating without being even close to halfway finishing the game?
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#15 Saijee

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:59 PM


Witch is preferred? And why?

Simple, it's whichever idea takes the least effort, time and money. I'd say the cutscenes from Final Fantasy 5 are a good example.

Fully animated cutscenes are nice, sure. But how long will it take for you or your team (if you have one) to make just one fully animated cutscene? How long will it take to make say... 20 of them?

Sure, it would be nice if in 5 years from now, you release a really awesome game with animated cutscenes, elaborate character art and all the superficial eyecandy.

But still, how many days, weeks, months and years do you want to spend programming and animating without being even close to halfway finishing the game?


No, bad EdgeV, bad!

Skrew the work load on my part, I'm asking you as a player witch you prefer to see.

Edited by Saijee, 05 February 2012 - 05:59 PM.

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#16 Yal

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:43 AM

Skrew the work load on my part, I'm asking you as a player witch you prefer to see.

Saijee... this is the Game Maker Community, not the Game Player Community. ;)
All of us thinks about everything from a devvie perspective.

Edited by Yal, 07 February 2012 - 11:44 AM.

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#17 masterofhisowndomain

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:02 PM

Saijee... this is the Game Maker Community, not the Game Player Community. ;)
All of us thinks about everything from a devvie perspective.

Yeah you're right... I probably should leave quietly, right? *Exits through the fire escape*

I think it depends upon the style of the game; if you're willing to put the effort into the animated portraits and believe the results will suit your intentions, go for it. However, I suppose for the majority of games, in-game graphics will serve the purposes just fine.
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#18 Saijee

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:45 PM

I think it depends upon the style of the game; if you're willing to put the effort into the animated portraits and believe the results will suit your intentions, go for it. However, I suppose for the majority of games, in-game graphics will serve the purposes just fine.

Interesting that you see it that way. Because I would have thought that having still portraits would be coping it out the easy way. Where as using in game graphics would take more technical effort.
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#19 Visor

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:44 PM

You could make arguments for either. Using portraits and not in-game sprites might be easier in terms of the amount of programming that needs to be done, but could involve more graphical work.

Edited by Visor, 07 February 2012 - 09:44 PM.

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#20 Saijee

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:33 PM

I fail to see how that argument can be made.

If you do portraits, you technically only need to draw each portrait once.

Where as if you do things with in game graphics, you would need to have every action timed correctly, to work as a vehicle for story telling. Like so:

Josh: Come on everybody, we are almost there.

*Josh gestures to the left

Nick: We've been walking for hours, I think I'm going to die.

* Nick faints.

* Josh looks at him and there is a pause.

* Josh face palms himself.


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#21 Visor

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:00 AM

If you do portraits, you technically only need to draw each portrait once.


You only need to draw one sprite for each character in an animated cutscene, but the result usually wouldn't be particularly good. A scene presented with a single portrait for each character would only look marginally better in my view. Both approaches do the job, but only to a basic standard.

If you're satisfied with a single portrait for each character, or numerous portraits with only minor changes in expression, it might be easier to create, depending on your art skills. If you'd prefer to use dozens of huge, full-body, expressive sprites for the portraits, which can get across emotions and actions in a similar way to animated cutscenes, it's a lot of work.

Edited by Visor, 08 February 2012 - 12:03 AM.

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#22 EdgeV

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:01 AM

I fail to see how that argument can be made.

If you do portraits, you technically only need to draw each portrait once.

Where as if you do things with in game graphics, you would need to have every action timed correctly, to work as a vehicle for story telling. Like so:


Josh: Come on everybody, we are almost there.

*Josh gestures to the left

Nick: We've been walking for hours, I think I'm going to die.

* Nick faints.

* Josh looks at him and there is a pause.

* Josh face palms himself.

If you used still portraits, you'd have to design new portraits for every new things that happens. Or else it will look really stupid. :tongue:

It's more work than having your character sprite facepalm itself.
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#23 Saijee

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:05 AM

If you used still portraits, you'd have to design new portraits for every new things that happens. Or else it will look really stupid.


What are you talking about?

Fire emblem made it look fine with no more than 2-3 portraits per character, plus blinking and mouth moving.

It's more work than having your character sprite facepalm itself.

Missing the point. The point of the example was to illustrate that everything would scenerio would need to be timed correctly, like a play in a theater.
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#24 EdgeV

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:13 AM

What are you talking about?

Fire emblem made it look fine with no more than 2-3 portraits per character, plus blinking and mouth moving.

Have you ever seen a facepalm in Fire Emblem? I haven't. :ninja:

Missing the point. The point of the example was to illustrate that everything would scenerio would need to be timed correctly, like a play in a theater.

That's quite easy to implement. Program it so that everytime somebody says something, the game waits until the user pushes a key and you don't have to worry about timing anymore. In a good cutscene, it usually doesn't last long before somebody says something. :tongue:
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#25 Saijee

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:23 AM

Have you ever seen a facepalm in Fire Emblem?

Actually kinda. There are a number of times where it says " *Sigh* " witch leads lots of people to believe that at that moment that character was face palming.

That's quite easy to implement. Program it so that everytime somebody says something, the game waits until the user pushes a key and you don't have to worry about timing anymore. In a good cutscene, it usually doesn't last long before somebody says something.

You could but it depends. Because it can become really complicated, especially when your trying to get a character to move toward a particular point in 3D space.

Edited by Saijee, 08 February 2012 - 12:24 AM.

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#26 greep

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:01 AM

Honestly it just doesn't matter. However, if you note the first two examples, they are done out of necessity. Dialogue with fire emblem tactical sprites would be laughable, same with whatever that one bullet hell game was called.

Btw, is it just me, or does anyone else think "I'm 12 and what is this?" when they look at the 4th example? Especially considering the disinterested "Yeah.... uh...." expression of the floating person.

Edited by greep, 08 February 2012 - 07:42 AM.

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#27 Yal

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:55 AM

Suggestion: Saijee, use these images from a more well known game instead of the touhou images:

Posted Image
Posted Image

Both examples features Toad talking to Mario, but using different graphic styles. Should make the point come across a lot better than some games at least two people so far evidently haven't played.
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#28 Visor

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:32 AM

You could but it depends. Because it can become really complicated, especially when your trying to get a character to move toward a particular point in 3D space.


Using portraits can also become difficult, if you're using a lot of them and they're of high quality.

Have you considered that people might find it easier to program a timeline than to draw a load of portraits? Or to draw gameplay sprites than to draw portraits? Programming and graphics are two different disciplines.
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#29 Yal

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:48 AM

Have you considered that people might find it easier to program a timeline than to draw a load of portraits? Or to draw gameplay sprites than to draw portraits?

Likely not, since Saijee is asking for advice about HIS OWN PARTICULAR GAME without giving a damn about what other developpers plan to do.
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#30 Visor

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:25 PM

I did gather that; it was rhetorical. I just through it might help him; in retrospect, I should probably have checked a few more things first. Sorry if it gets your back up.

Edited by Visor, 08 February 2012 - 04:15 PM.

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