Spriting Help! (MechWars)

Posted by anthonyloprimo on April 9, 2014, 3:04 a.m.

Oi vey. I can really use some help here with these sprites. You might recognize them from the screenshots in my last post.

..If you don't know, these are the sprites to an upcoming game that's currently called "MechWars". Currently considering "SteelRift" or "MetalScratch" as another potential name, but I've got no clue. But that's rambling at this point. In any case, I'm in major need of some help with these sprites. Kinda at my wits end with them and I'm tired of messing with it.

Long story short, I could use some help improving what I've got already, and I need to also improve them to the point of having 4 more directions - diagonal directions, specifically. Regarding the angle, it's not bad, but I think it could be better by going a bit more of an angle than 45 degrees; I'm thinking something like Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen's view:

Regarding the sprites, here they are:

(NOTE: The sprite above follows the NES restrictions - or should fall under them as close as possible - the cockpit is an overlaid sprite as seen in the middle column of sprites, and is used to get around the 4 (with only 3 visible) color limit with sprites. I can't make it look good without doing this; any ideas/examples are welcome! )

The sprite is inspired by the M-308 Gunner from Metal Storm:

Any help here is appreciated, and I actually posted over on pixellation forums in case any of you guys post over there as well: http://wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=16516.0


McFluffeh 10 years, 1 month ago

It bothers me, and I don't know if you were just going for this kind of retro look that older game sprites kind of had, that your sprite's up and down seem to look as if it's moving its legs much further than it does on the left and right sprites.

As for diagonal directions, with your style of sprite, I don't think it would fit in well. If you're going for a retro style game, I feel like only using the 4 directions for facing would fit better. But this is juts my opinion.

anthonyloprimo 10 years, 1 month ago

The idea for all 8 directions come from the game Deadly Towers. I can ultimately deal without them but I'd prefer them.

As for animation… I need help with it. I'm no animator, and yeah, I don't like the walking animations. I agree with you completely.

McFluffeh 10 years, 1 month ago

As a suggestion, (And I'm sure you already are thinking this) try and get a better angle on your left and right frames to look a bit more of an angled, birds-eye view perspective, as opposed to just looking at it directly from the left or right. And for the up and down, try to make the legs come in a bit closer, because they look like huge leaps from those frames.

Other than that, the sprites look pretty great!

EDIT: I'm gonna look into it and seeing what I can do to help. Editing as we speak.

EDIT2: I've come to the realization that working with a limited palette is really hard.

Toast 10 years, 1 month ago

I think it's pretty good for a nes sprite, don't worry about it. Maybe consider a color other than gray. As for animation, just use a reference, copy the outlines and draw over it

As for diagonal directions, I've done it a few times (even 16 directions). It's really just trial and error, imagine it in 3d and draw it. It will probably take 2 or 3 attempts before you get it right

anthonyloprimo 10 years, 1 month ago

Hmm. After taking a good look at a handful of other sprites, the up and down bobbing of the sprite… though I am looking to be rather strict with the color limitations on these sprites… is the white intended to be part of the blue color palette or something? (Trying to follow the palletes here)

eagly 10 years, 1 month ago

The side on view makes him look like he's skate boarding rather than walking because the legs/arms aren't alternating. The front and back look good to me though! I do like Spectre's edit; it adds a bit more depth to it.

Toast 10 years, 1 month ago

The up and down bobbing is a good thing to add. The way Spectre's shaded it seems fairly accurate in terms of lighting but it's way too noisy

anthonyloprimo 10 years, 1 month ago

@SpectreNectar sorry, that's why I shouldn't be using the internet at 4 AM on no sleep. The up and down bobbing of the sprite looks good. It makes sense and that actually makes it look a LOT better just like in a lot of games I've started looking at for reference. As for the palette, it's hard to explain really, but basically I could only use a total of 6 colors for this sprite. 3 colors for the mech body (which is a sprite made of multiple 8x8 tiles), using INVISIBLE, black, dark gray and light gray, while the cockpit is a sprite 'overlaid' on top of the mech, which has it's own palette (dark blue, light blue, white, INVISIBLE). It's really really hard to explain so if that's confusing for you… A better description can be found here: http://wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=10784.msg115062#msg115062

@eagly, @Toast the side sprites were a pain to animate. The idea was to use 2 frames only, which can be used for standing idle OR walking. D: I do agree that spectre's edit looks good, though sadly I'm trying to see how it works out restriction wise. Granted it's not being made FOR an NES, but I like the idea of keeping everything as close to an NES-like presentation as possible (and if I DO get crazy enough to make some homebrew, I might just make an actual rom. :D )