Banghammer

Banghammer
by on (#212733)
Almost finished with the titles for my compo entry.

My scrolling shooter took a sideways turn and has come out as something else entirely.

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Critique is always good.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212734)
Great, memorable name.

Clear cut graphics too! Good job. :)

Two things you maybe want to consider (or then again not. btw i don't feel strongly about either of these points):

-Watch out for large fields of checkerboard. Might not turn out the way you want on hardware. Then again, it's a stylism you seem to have actively chosen and used consistently, which can sometimes be far more important than to avoid every little technical hickup there is, imo.

-At that large size and level of detail of the character/title, i feel like i'm missing solid fill-field shadows and highlight fields on the character to give it some depth and sense of light direction. Up to you though as that might not be the style you were looking for.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212758)
Thanks Frankengraphics!

Both of those are intentional in this case (I quite like the shimmer and the character is supposed to have a bright, strong cartoon feel) but as always this is a great critique.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212775)
I wasn't expecting a movie adaptation project, but why is Fred Williamson white here? :mrgreen:

I like the city skyline screen. Keep up the good work, I'm curious on how this game will turn out to be.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212785)
To make it unrecognizable to lawyers perhaps? I remember some NES movie tie-in game had to be altered because though they had the movie license, they didn't have the separate license for the lead actor's likeness. (It may or may not have been Bruce Willis; my memory fails me.) This is also my hypothesis as to why the Thomas sprite in IREM's Kung Fu doesn't look much like Jackie Chan in the movie it was based on (Wheels on Meals).
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212786)
And of course, journey to silius is the closest we've ever gotten to the bad future as depicted in the terminator (the movie that was supposed to portray it didn't capture all the lures and charms of the original vision in an attempt to be temporary/cool)
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212800)
Fred Williamson! That's awesome! I'm somewhat sad to say it's unrelated, however.

Three (semi related) facts:

1. The main character for this was originally (Indian) asian when the game was called SPECIAL TEAM, however I updated the graphics when the concept of banghammer hit.

2. My favourite blaxploitation movie is The Spook who sat by the door. If you haven't seen it, check it out. Made by United Artists, it's the story of a black CIA recruit who causes a new civil war in America.

3. Mario is a knock off of Popeye, Solid Snake is a knock off of Kyle Reese, Contra stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I don't imagine Bruce Willis's estate authorized this:
Image
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212801)
Also the fact the guy from Kung Fu is Jackie Chan blew my mind when I found out about it a year or so ago.

Also,

Image
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212823)
Alright, it's getting late here and I'm still frantically bug fixing.

I'm going to submit this Friday out of compo.

Here's some screen shots of the game:

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The guard is mid hop in his animation, his feet do touch the floor, I promise!

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And finally, here's a guard animation:

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enemy_runner_knife_slash_anim.gif
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I'm off to commiserate celebrate coming that much closer then last year to submitting on time.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212826)
Hey, this looks awesome! Coherent style, just like the title art. I love the guard!! Great swing!

Are you open for some suggestions?
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212830)
I love the aesthetics. Can't wait to play this.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212855)
Thanks! Yes, all critique and suggestions welcome.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212864)
Well first off, i'll state it again, i *love* the guard. Iconic yellow, iconic helmet, and a really good swing.

I think it may be brought forward even more if you experiment a bit with the timing of the durations of each frame/cel in that animation. Think of how quick its subactions take: Preparing for the swing vs doing it. How long does it take for the swing to traverse? How long does the guard need to recoup afterwards? Things like that. Generally, reversing the direction of momentum is slower than moving along the momentum. So that's a good place to start. Sometimes, though, subtle effects can for example express determination or vagueness or other shades of attitude in the character when those rules are played with. Generally speaking, timing of durations can also inform the feeling of weight, size, force and direction of each object that is animated.

Some engines don't allow for variable durations, which is fine, too. Every game has its specific priority.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212921)
The game looks great. In its way it reminds me of the game "Chōjin Sentai Jetman" developed by Natsume. Not in the sprites of the characters and enemies but in the style of the game. I hope that soon the ROM of the game is published to be able to play it.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212928)
Ryoga, I'm glad you think so! This is my attempt at something like a Blue Shadow, another Natsume game (Shadow of the Ninja in the US), and one I absolutely adore! I should be releasing a ROM next week.

Frankengraphics, I think I get what you mean, although it took me a while to decipher your zen-like comment.The first frame is immediate on attack, which is the swing forward - you think there could be more lean to it? Then the second and third are a lean back and a rest, the completion of the swing. I'll experiment with it a bit and see if I can add more weight to it, probably after the first release. I should say, the timings on the gif aren't the timings in the game.

For sprite timings theres a general update timer for everyone, and then metasprites can "override" it with their own. I use the general one for things like walking, as it saves cycles and space not having to hardcode everything. I did write a whole new animation engine on Monday, which has bugs and I am not using, and the poor prioritisation of which is likely why I missed the deadline!
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212935)
Oh, haha, sorry for being overly cryptic. I guess i tried to oversummarize the spirit of a textbook on cartoon animation i once found very useful (and without any illustrative examples to boot)...

I guess what i'm basically saying is that the cels are perfect as far as i'm concerned, and their individual durations can be experimented with to express very different things even if their contents are still the same.
A general rule of thumb is trying to complement the contents/attributes/intentions of a cel by experimenting back and forth with the timing of each cel until it feels "natural".

I ought to add a quick example. Hope you don't mind me modifying your original.

First, i set the timing of your gif from 15 ppu frames for each cel to this:

12, 7, 25, 50.

12 for anticipation,
7 for a quick swing
25 for completion of swing and reversal of direction
50 for rest (quite trivial, could be anything decided by enemy AI, but probably always at least existing before resuming running or attacking again?)

But then the "speed lines" of the swing started to misinform the new timing. They inform me as a viewer that something is happening quickly, but i made them linger in the air unnaturally long.
Which i hadn't anticipated at first. I then split the troublesome cel into two so i could gain more control.

12, 7, 7, 18, 50

12 for anticipation
7 for a quick swing
7 for completion of swing
18 for reversal of direction - here, i simply took the same cel as before, but removed the "speed lines", assuming it was an individual sprite i could remove from the metasprite or at least void-fill with an empty sprite.
50 for rest.

The result of this split (which could be further refined of course):
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(Just to compare it with something real, the animation engine of Project Blue can only hold 4 cels per animation. That means a total animation of 5 cels requires *two* animation objects to be daisychained rear to front. In this case i'd probably justify the 5th cel requiring its own object by simply using it as the "idle" object, with or without any further animation. Oh, and each cel holds up to a maximum of 4 sprites, so it would actually require a lot more, haha).

Quote:
For sprite timings theres a general update timer for everyone, and then metasprites can "override" it with their own. I use the general one for things like walking, as it saves cycles and space not having to hardcode everything. I did write a whole new animation engine on Monday, which has bugs and I am not using, and the poor prioritisation of which is likely why I missed the deadline!

I know exactly what you're talking about. I've been quite wasteful with a lot of my animations hardcoding every cel and its duration. That sure eats a lot of space! As i'm sure calima can attest to. (Sorry, calima!)
Having a lean backup engine for more generic movement patterns which one deems can "get away with it" sounds very reasonable, especially in an action platformer.

You might've missed the deadline, but i'm really looking forward to see your project in all its splendor one day. :)

EDIT: point of clarification.
The "reversal of direction" is only existing in the ideal world, because this transition from movement to a full stop to a movement again in the other direction is summarized by one and the same cel in this example. Which can be totally fine as the timing itself implies this change of direction.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212937)
Haunted: Halloween '85 and its sequel set a duration for each of Donny's frames. They also set a damage amount, hitbox coordinate, and physics flags for each frame, so it's not (proportionally) that much of a difference.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212956)
Once more I have been drawing pictures that my programming can't cash.

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Comments/critique appreciated.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212958)
If still aiming for CNROM you can store the strip of nametable needed (compressed if you wish) inside the currently used chr bank depending on how filled it is. Chances are the sprite page isn't much used at all in this state?
That might be viable, just because while you only have 32kB of prg, with infiniteneslives' cnrom you have a whopping 128kB of chr without any added cost compared to one with lower amounts of chr.

For the art, i have a few points that might be worth exploring:

If the flexing arm is meant to be viewed directly from its front, i think it is more common/more natural angle for the hand to be facing knuckles/fingers towards the head rather than the onlooker - except if you're also bending the whole arm backwards like some professional body builders seem to do when showing off their torso, in which case they would be knuckles-front.

I feel you can be a bit more bold with the usage of shadows, but this is mostly a matter of taste. My suggestion would be trying to distribute some more of them as if a spotlight came from a direction of your choosing.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212959)
The pose is physically possible, although the reference material I've seem does mostly have the hand facing backwards - I think this would make for a more boring image, however.

I'm actually such a rookie I don't think about lighting - that's a really good point and something I need to practice on.

I'm compressing the chr and writing to ram in an unrom. I've dedicated a bank to graphics. I haven't had a look at cnroms at all yet, I'll have a look.

Thanks!
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212961)
Aahh sorry i just assumed you were using cnrom because so many entries seemed to use it at some point that i forgot about unrom. My bad.

I mean with unrom-128 (mapper 2) you almost have the same total space. Just a little bit less, but more conveniently organized. Then there's unrom-512 (mapper 30) which you could expand into without the conversion problems you'd have if changing from unrom to cnrom.

cnrom is 50 cents cheaper than unrom-128 per unit and before bulk reductions apply, but it's a really minor point.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212962)
Ah I was just posting about this too. I thought there was some secret benefit I'd overlooked. Cheaper is better!
Re: Banghammer
by on (#212966)
If cheaper is better, you also ought to check out the aptly named cheapocabra aka gtrom by memblers if you haven't already. Prices vary some per batch, but it is very attractively priced. Get in touch with Joe and ask when you get the chance! It's also a pretty straightforward move from unrom.

Specifications + some informative talk can be found here.

Also be on the outlook - after NESmaker is properly released, supply and demand might change for the better when it comes to unrom-like pcb:s. Speculatively speaking without special insights...
Re: Banghammer
by on (#214052)
team_disposable wrote:
Ryoga, I'm glad you think so! This is my attempt at something like a Blue Shadow, another Natsume game (Shadow of the Ninja in the US), and one I absolutely adore! I should be releasing a ROM next week.


Blue Shadow is also one of my favorite Natsume games. I hope that soon you can release your game to play it. In the captures you've shown look great.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#214157)
Thanks! I'll be picking this up again this week, so hopefully something soon. Ive been trying to write some more generic new libraries in the meantime.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#215882)
Is there any status update on this game? Can’t wait to see it in action.
Re: Banghammer
by on (#215913)
I put it aside for a couple of weeks to get a wider focus on what it should actually be, but I should be getting back to it soon. I've resolved I'm not going to make the cart (again)!