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#31 EdgeV

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:53 PM

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.

Was that aimed at me? Are you looking for a fight? :tongue:

Dialogue with fire emblem tactical sprites would be laughable


I think dialogue looks quite fine with just the standard battle sprites in Final Fantasy 5.

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And it's definitely not hard to create funny or engaging cutscenes with sprites that are only 16 pixels wide and tall.

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The more elaborate your character art is, the harder it will be to pull this off. The result will be a game that might have stunning realistic graphics, but no sense of humor at all. :ninja:

Edited by EdgeV, 08 February 2012 - 03:53 PM.

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#32 Saijee

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:07 PM

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

Kinda want to make that into a sig. *rates up*

Well, first, let me apologise if my approach got your back up. All I'm trying to do is help him understand something, for his benefit. Nothing else.

It's not you in particular, but it does annoy me when I have to restate all of the contributing factors. Long story short:

I'm different, and my situation is different.
1) I find it easier to animate drawings than sprites (as in I cannot sprite anything other than lasers and explosions)
2) I started as an artist who got into game design. I could draw all the portraits in my game in 2 days if I wanted to.
3) My game doesn't even use sprites, it uses 3D models, that being said i wouldn't even need to draw portraits, I could simply make a rendered image of the 5000-polygon version of their model.
4) The only benefit I am interested in is making sure my game is the best possible game it can be. In terms of graphics, there is nothing that I cannot do within a reasonably short amount of time. I have no obligation to cop out taking short cuts.

Greep brought up a good point, that there are reasons behind the particular styles. So let me inform you about how things look in my game. The game looks like this:
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In terms of how it plays, it's a metroidvania style game, it's also comparable to Smash Bros Brawl's Story Mode, but funner because the stages and enemies are designed around the characters abilities and there are only 2 characters. But there is a lot more dialog in this game, than in SSBB.
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#33 Visor

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:12 PM

It's not you in particular, but it does annoy me when I have to restate all of the contributing factors.


I wasn't aiming that at you specifically.

I do realise that some people would find it easier to work with your methods. I wasn't aware that it was using models; in those circumstances, it probably is easier to use portraits.

Edited by Visor, 08 February 2012 - 04:31 PM.

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#34 Saijee

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:35 PM

It probably is easier to use portraits.

But the question is: Witch looks better.
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#35 EdgeV

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:35 PM

Portraits are definitely a better choice for such a game.

If you don't animate everything perfectly, the animations will look extremely clumsy.

Which, of course, is a lot of work. Too much work if you ask me. It really isn't worth the tiny extra bit of appreciation you'd get for it.

4) The only benefit I am interested in is making sure my game is the best possible game it can be.

If you obsess too much about graphical eye-candy, it -will- be especially lacking in other, more important areas of game design.

it's a metroidvania style game, it's also comparable to Smash Bros Brawl's Story Mode, but funner

Look, I know you're excited about your game, but I'd wait with making such bold statements until it's finished and the first reviews are in. :ninja:
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#36 Visor

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:37 PM

Witch looks better.


I'd need to watch it in action to say for certain, but from what I can gather, probably portraits.
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#37 Saijee

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:40 PM

Mind elaborating what you gather?

Editing for Edgev-------

Which, of course, is a lot of work. Too much work if you ask me. It really isn't worth the tiny extra bit of appreciation you'd get for it.

No it isn't. Not for me. If there is one thing I'm proud about for my game, it's the animations.

If you obsess too much about graphical eye-candy, it -will- be especially lacking in other, more important areas of game design.

Not really. The gameplay works perfectly. I've had several people play test it and find it addictive fun. I could probably have no eye candy in the game at all and it still pass as a good game, but I don't want that. I want this game to be as great as it possibly can be. And graphical presentation in the eye candy is a big factor in that.

Look, I know you're excited about your game, but I'd wait with making such bold statements until it's finished and the first reviews are in.

Smash Bros Brawl Story mode wasn't fun for a number of reasons. Simply put. It was a good idea, and sounded good when they were talking about it on their web site. But it simply wasn't what it could have been. it felt slow and clunky. Enemies were annoying as heck to fight. And platforming puzzles were non-existent to dry.

I took the idea of SSE, listed all the things I didn't like, and fixed them.

My enemies run on non-random AI, making them predictable. They can still fight incredibly brutally, but because they are predictable, they are not annoying.

Second is that the game is designed to where you are never actually vulnerable. You can always get out of any animation by doing some other animation. Effectively making it the players fault for not getting out of the way, and not the games fault for not letting the player have the opportunity to get out of the way. Further more, enemies cannot combo the player, because the worst gaming experience is when you feel like you have absolutely no control over a situation, witch is something I took great effort to avert. On the other hand you can combo all the enemies.

Lastly platforming challenges are very alive in this game. I've taken the liberty of adding a bunch of various hazards from Super Mario World, because so many people have been able to create a bunch of neat challenges, as has been seen from rom hacks. There are only two characters in this game, and the worlds are designed to challenge their abilities.

Edited by Saijee, 08 February 2012 - 05:04 PM.

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#38 Visor

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:49 PM

The graphical style, the way I expect it moves, the sizes of the characters in relation to the view, the perspective from which the game is played, and the difficulty a player might have in following a cutscene of either kind taking the other factors into account.

That said, I wouldn't be opposed to some animation being used.
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#39 twelveways

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:13 PM

I would probably combine the two.If a main character is talking to a main character then a the game pauses and a portrait box appears in each corner with the dialoge written like:

Player: Im here to slay you!
NPC: That's what you think!

Then the game would unpause and the NPC would attack the player and the dialogue boxes would close. This way you dont lose the immersion but you get the detail tha you get in portrait.
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#40 EdgeV

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

Editing for Edgev-------

It's nice to see that a lot of consideration went into the gameplay. Yet it is only a fraction of the amount of consideration that went into the gameplay of Super Smash Bros Brawl.

Your game won't be suffering from the same annoyances as Super Smash Bros Brawl. Your game will have its own flaws instead. How much those flaws distract from the gameplay depends on many factors, for example how critical your beta testers are.

And it's those things which will determine whether your game will really best a game that is widely considered to be one of the best games of 2008.
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#41 Saijee

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:02 PM

It's nice to see that a lot of consideration went into the gameplay. Yet it is only a fraction of the amount of consideration that went into the gameplay of Super Smash Bros Brawl.

Since you weren't on the team that made that, you can't say that for sure. Sakurai himself, said that " I did all the balanacing myself. "


Editing for Edgev-------

Your game won't be suffering from the same annoyances as Super Smash Bros Brawl. Your game will have its own flaws instead. How much those flaws distract from the gameplay depends on many factors, for example how critical your beta testers are.


I actually have two extremely critical alpha testers, one of witch is the fifth best Smash Bros Brawl player in state. And one of my beta testors is extremely familiar with regular fighting games and Castlevania. Not going to lie, I've come up with some ideas that I thought were pretty sound, that looking in retrospect were pretty stupid, and have been removed because of the play testers would give me legitimate reasons as to why something was either confusing, annoying or just flat out a bad idea.

And it's those things which will determine whether your game will really best a game that is widely considered to be one of the best games of 2008.

your statement is invalid, people don't like SSBB because of it's story mode, people like it for the multiplayer.

The graphical style, the way I expect it moves, the sizes of the characters in relation to the view, the perspective from which the game is played, and the difficulty a player might have in following a cutscene of either kind taking the other factors into account.


Please explain individually why these factor into your judgement, while I go into more detail about them myself.

Graphical Style- How would you categorize this?

Graphical Movement- I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

Character Size on screen and Perspective- The images show the camera in a particular battle event. The camera is by no means in a fixed position, and will zoom in and out depending on how far your foe is. I can also choreograph the camera to do specific things for cutscenes if need be, Like zoom in a lot closer than it would in game play, and position itself to where it so that you are viewing the world from a dramatic angle. The possibilities are endless.

Difficulty following- Like what?

Edited by Saijee, 08 February 2012 - 06:06 PM.

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#42 Visor

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:37 PM

I'm not trying to be hostile. I'm trying to advise you, not stir things up; I think he's doing the same. As you requested, I'll talk you through how each of those factors influenced the decision.

In terms of graphical style and expected movement (that is, how I would expect the game to move in terms of speed, fluidity and physics with only screenshots to go on), I wouldn't favour or exclude either option, as it doesn't seem to lend itself to or distance itself from either of those. Character sizes and perspective are also based on the screenshots, and therefore don't factor in the specifics of the camera which I didn't know. The last part is just a view on which style would be easier for the player to follow, based on the other factors. Based on the above, I decided that portraits would look better in my view.

Edited by Visor, 08 February 2012 - 07:42 PM.

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#43 Saijee

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:08 PM

hostile? Did I ever imply that I thought you were?

Look, I'm not trying to be defensive, but when someone starts pointing something out and I don't understand it, than I want to know what they mean instead of pretending like I get their point. So I ask more about it.
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#44 Visor

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:13 PM

Like you said, you seemed a little bit defensive. You've explained that, so that's fine.

If the camera is as flexible as you reckon it is, I'd probably support animated cutscenes, or a combination of the two. If you were to use portraits, would they be taken from the models or drawn separately?
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#45 Saijee

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:07 AM

I still don't know why you would think it's defensive, unless you were reading it with a tone that wasn't there. But like I said, if I don't understand something, I will keep asking about it until it is cleared up.

I'd probably support animated cutscenes, or a combination of the two. If you were to use portraits, would they be taken from the models or drawn separately?


I should clear up something. I honestly don't see why you guys like portraits so much. I find it to be a bit confusing when there is both an in game graphic being animated and an up front portrait making faces. It's like ... having double vision.

If I did use portraits they'd most likely be hand drawn.
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#46 EdgeV

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:09 AM

I should clear up something. I honestly don't see why you guys like portraits so much. I find it to be a bit confusing when there is both an in game graphic being animated and an up front portrait making faces. It's like ... having double vision.

It depends... If it's a full-body portrait, it will look double and weird. If it's just a mugshot, it will blend in quite nicely.
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#47 Yal

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:42 AM

It's sorta painful to read five screens of you guys not understanding each other.

If I understand correctly, the topic goes like this:


Saijee: Which one of these do you prefer and WHY?

Some other guys: Pick whichever one it's the easiest to make, silly!

Saijee: Both of them are easy! I'm asking about your personal opinion!

Some other guys: Whoa, stop it! There's no need for you to get angry!

Saijee: No, I'm not angry.

Some other guys: Oh, I see. Well, in that case... both of them are bad. Use the fourth option.





Anyway...

I took the idea of ______, listed all the things I didn't like, and fixed them.

I'm thinking of making this into a sig! :]
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#48 EdgeV

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:18 PM

It's sorta painful to read five screens of you guys not understanding each other.

Yes, a shame isn't it? Things would be so much better if we just answered the question with a simple answer. :rolleyes:

When it really doesn't matter WHICH style of dialog you implement. It's more important HOW you implement it. Most of us aren't explicity in favor of one or the other -especially- because it depends a lot on how it is implemented.

If there's anything he needs, it's suggestions and input on HOW to implement either option. And there is plenty of such good advice to be found where you can only see "you guys not understanding each other." :tongue:

Saijee has stated he wants to make the game as good as possible. He'd be wise to take these suggestions to heart. ;)
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#49 Yal

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:36 PM

If there's anything he needs, it's suggestions and input on HOW to implement either option.

It's obvious that you don't know Saijee as good as I do. :P
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#50 Saijee

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:45 PM

From my perspective, all that matters is the output.
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#51 Visor

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:42 PM

I honestly don't see why you guys like portraits so much.


I don't, particularly. I just think they work okay with certain types of game. A detailed mugshot with more detail than the sprite or model itself looks okay in my view.
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#52 Adequate

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:18 PM

It depends.

How story based is your game?

Do you have enough character animations?

Do you want dialogue to become more like scenes in a movie, or scenes in a book?
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#53 Saijee

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:33 PM

In order:

I take it most people who play the game will be playing it for the gameplay. But story and dialog is about 30/100 of the game. I'd like to get the player to know the important characters well.

Yes.

Movie, I never liked the idea of "leaving it up to your the viewers imagination."
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#54 Yal

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:53 AM

Yeah, ending up with a bad game because you're lazy is a pretty bad idea. However... it's important to try to cut corners where you can, so that you don't have to work more than you have to.

For instance, writing a routine to collide with tiles is a bit on the timely side compared to using the built-in collision checking system, but you'll eventually get it back since you cut down level design time with 50%.


Hmm... If I haven't said it, in my opinion detailed character art and a dialogue box is the best way to go. Not only is it easier to code, detailed character art is cool and there's a lot of cool little effects you can add to the images (e.g. add lens flares and dynamic shading and stuff in GIMP/photoshop to make them look neater; use surfaces and add a small, barely visible black/white noise on the faces and dialog box for a bit of creepyness/movieness (depending on how it's applied, blend mode, etc)).

If you're good at making art - which you've stated you are (and proved, in that comic topic) - I think you're better off using that talent and drawing lots of cool faces, poses, and talk backgrounds instead of pouring your time into making camera-movement cutscenes and stuff for the in-game-graphics type of conversation.
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#55 Saijee

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:30 PM

*Nodes with eyes closed* Well, you've certainly given reasonable points to back up your post.

Regarding that and this:

If there's anything he needs, it's suggestions and input on HOW to implement either option. And there is plenty of such good advice to be found where you can only see "you guys not understanding each other." :tongue:

Saijee has stated he wants to make the game as good as possible. He'd be wise to take these suggestions to heart. ;)


And considering the images I posted earlier on how the game looks, what do you think would be the ideal format. As in:
Where should text be placed, should it be dark text on light text box of vice versa. And how much of the characters should be visible in the portraits and how much of the screen should the portraits take up.
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#56 Adequate

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:14 PM

It's your game. Personally I'd make a different game, or make this game differently.

In the end you gotta weigh out the pros and cons of everything and figure it out.
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#57 Saijee

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:32 PM

It's your game. Personally I'd make a different game, or make this game differently.

In the end you gotta weigh out the pros and cons of everything and figure it out.

I don't know if I would call that feed back because it doesn't answer anything.

Of course I have my own opinions and preferences. But I am the person making the game, witch means I only have a limited view point. The reason why I ask is to collect more view points.
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#58 fluffydino2000

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 04:19 PM

I think you should use the portraits at key moments in the game, before a boss battle or something, and use the other method for the majority. That way, the player can focus on the game play, but when you are trying to tell the story, people will listen.
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#59 9_6

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:19 PM

You could also use mugshots in the textbox.
For lack of a better example right now:

Posted Image
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#60 EdgeV

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:21 PM

And considering the images I posted earlier on how the game looks, what do you think would be the ideal format. As in:
Where should text be placed, should it be dark text on light text box of vice versa. And how much of the characters should be visible in the portraits and how much of the screen should the portraits take up.

The ideal format doesn't exist. ;)

I'd say dialog boxes generally look better at the bottom of a screen. Subtitles in a movie are normally at the bottom of the screen as well. And having the dialog at the bottom of the screen fits in more with your game since your HUD information is at the top of the screen. Even if you hide HUD information during a cutscene, which I strongly recommend.

Considering your game has 3D visuals, I'd make the dialog boxes transparent. In that case, the text looks best when it's white, although you could always experiment with a few important characters having different text colors.

About your HUD: I don't know what purpose those white boxes serve at the top of your screen. I'd hide those until something useful is visible in them. And once they do serve a purpose to the player, I'd make them transparent.

Separate bars for the magic and skill stats look much better than a pair of numbers and a slash. If you really want to display numbers, draw them on top of the bar.

And it looks a bit weird how the main character has a shadow, but the enemies don't have a shadow. (Which doesn't seem to decrease in size when the character jumps, which also looks weird). The magical attacks all look very bright, but don't show a "shadow" of light on the ground. Also, several special effects show quite a lot of aliasing. Now I don't know how hard it is to remove that aliasing, but it stands out quite a bit. Also, I wonder if your game uses dynamic lighting. The ground looks a bit too bright compared to the dark, gloomy sky.

Now I know this is an early alpha screenshot and issues like those will probably be fixed by the time it's released, but I still felt like mentioning it. :tongue:
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