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65046 No.5038   [Delete]   [Edit

Because of an inexplicable loss of data, I have to redo my fangame from scratch. And while I still have my notes and such, this has given me another chance to make a game people will want to play. Firstly, I'll ask:
What art style do you think I should use? There seems to be a discrepancy between whether or not people like the "Yume-Nikki" style.
Basically, should I do it in Yume Nikki style or not? I'd like to hear what you all have to say.
Secondly, the engine.
I can program in RPGM 2003/XP/VX. Which one do you all think is best for something like this?

A bit about the game:
The MC is Alles (pictured left, he has the vest on). Yes, he has an eyepatch. He's a badass like that. (Seriously, it has to do with his backstory). Basically, you wake up in a house and must explore both dream realms and reality to find your missing memory fragments (the effects, called treasures) and escape from your confusing prison.
Each dream realm represents a figment of Alles' imagination or of his past. Subtly, of course.
If anyone had been following the last permutation, yes, I've changed the plot around a bit.
Long story short: Tell me what you think of it, give me feedback, comments, suggestions, yell at me for being a horrible person, whatever.

>> No.5043   [Delete]   [Edit]

Thinking it over, I'll just try something new. Do it the way I want. I'll still take suggestions and questions, I want people to know what to forward to.

>> No.5073   [Delete]   [Edit]

Well, RPG Maker VX is obviously the easiest to work with, and it's not really lacking anything that the other ones have, save for maybe problems running the game.
As for the art style, make it varied if you can.
And well, good luck with this.

>> No.5092   [Delete]   [Edit]

I use VX and I can say that it has a huge limitation: You're limited to only one tileset per layer. Which means your game's graphics must fit in one tileset only. Unless you really abuse panorama BGs (like Kikiyama does in a lot of maps, Poniko's house for example is a panorama) or go with that crazy script for more tilesets that I can't get to work.

>> No.5098   [Delete]   [Edit]

Yeah, I've tried VX, and for the type of variety I want in this game, the tileset limitation will really mess things up.
Just a question: Do you guys like more simpler designs, or more detailed? I can do both. Or perhaps a mixture of either detail and simplicity depending on the world...
The more comments there are, I think the better this game will be.

>> No.5278   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1281865172117.png -(43.5 KiB, 658x519) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

Finally getting around to working on this.
Here's the room you start in (and where Alles' physical body will be spending most of its time).
I'm going to add more things as I think of them.
I might add trophies that show up in real life with each Treasure collect...but I dunno.
The sprite for Alles is a recolor of the RPG Maker XP Default Main Character. I think it looks nice.
Everything you see is custom made. Enjoy (or not.)
Edit: Except for the bed...I'll come up with something later.
Also, I'm probably going to reduce the size of the room. It's a tad too big.

Last edited 10/08/15(Sun)14:14.

>> No.5279   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1281865342485.png -(525.5 KiB, 658x519) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

And the obligatory Balcony. Since it doesn't matter where this takes place in the real world, I opted for a more mysterious, aged-looking locale.
I think the tileset for this one turned out nicely also.

>> No.5285   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1281907354100.png -(40.8 KiB, 657x521) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

Okay, shrink the room down a little. It looks more reasonable, I think. Onto the hallway/Nexus!

>> No.5286   [Delete]   [Edit]

I really wouldn't go with a recolor for the main character, especially of the default sprites. Recolors tend to look cheap. Everything else looks fine so far, although I can't tell what the big square of light on the left side of the room is, and the balcony looks pretty unrealistic.I would also make the rug smaller so it's symmetrical in the room.

Also, there should be a middle ground between simple and detailed that you should be aiming for. Simple enough to be recognizable, and detailed enough to be pretty instead of just flat colors. Try to go for having shapes in your graphics rather than just spriting out square tiles. In a tile-based game, hiding the presence of tiles with your graphics is the key to a nice-looking game. Also, really try not to do the pillow shading that you seem to be doing in your sprites.

I really like the choice of background you used for the balcony, by the way. Do you have any idea of the kind of imagery you'll be using in your game? Any themes or common elements? I'm curious as you what you have in mind.

>> No.5349   [Delete]   [Edit]

Yeah, I see what you mean about the tileset, I can fix that. As for the character's sprite, I can't seem to make up my mind about the exact specifications. The recolor is really only a placeholder. (I should have said that earlier.)
And the pillowing...I'll get rid of that. I kind of do that without thinking.
What do you think I could do with the balcony to make it less fakey? (I'll post pictures of the updated versions).
For the imagery, I wanted to go with a more mysterious feel, like you don't know where you are but without feeling too lost. I was going to have less wide open areas and more concrete ones. Like a dingy manufacturing plant, a foggy classical ruin, areas inspired by literature and fantasy.
So, yeah, I've got high hopes for this stuff, but I need some input from the community to help me out, help iron some things out, and make a game worth making and playing.
By the way, what is is it that you like about the background. Perhaps that would help in my future area ideas.

>> No.5350   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1282462362342.png -(40.9 KiB, 654x518) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

Here's the newest version of the room.

>> No.5351   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1282462465413.png -(533.6 KiB, 656x518) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

And the newest version of the balcony.
Haven't really been working on this, schools started, so I'll have to make do with my small free time.

>> No.5352   [Delete]   [Edit]

Right now:
-Working on making the rug less tile-y. Better design, perhaps a spanish or persian design. It would suit the house.
-Thinking of new design for balcony/room transition location. Right now it's that terrible tile thing there. Perhaps stone on the balcony? It might fit the location.
-Also might want to age the roof tiles, make them more weathered, lighter.
-Some thoughts about dream world design...but not until the room/balcony is agreeable.

Any other thoughts/ideas would be appreciated.

Last edited 10/08/22(Sun)00:39.

>> No.5406   [Delete]   [Edit]

-Working on (perhaps) permanent custom sprite for Alles.
-Re-writing ideas for house (dream+Reality) layout, different entry zones, connecting zones, etc.
-Dreaming up effects...
-Continuing redesign of furniture

Well...now some questions:
What do you guys feel about compound dreams? You know, the ones where you "wake up" into another dream (kinda like Inception)?
For example, as a random event, when you wake up, you have a certain number chance to "wake up" into another dream. These secondary dreams might just be short little "BOO!"s, or perhaps slideshow "memories", or maybe you wake up in another part of the dream world entirely?

Also, nightmares. Perhaps Alles isn't a perfect lucid dreamer, what if he was scared from something that happened in a previous dream, causing a scarier experience (more enemies/mutated denizens/grotesque scenery) in his next dream? Just an idea.
One more thing, Alles' "wake up now" animation. Everybody does pinching (or instant wake ups), I was thinking maybe Alles counts his fingers in an attempt to wake up, adding to the whole "not very good at lucid dreaming" thing. Of course, just to keep the game rolling smoothly, it would work 99% of the time, but just once in a while, it would trigger a nightmare, a "bad trip" sequence cause immediate wakeup, or something stange and terrible to happen instead of a wakeup, trapping Alles in the dreamworld until the terror is averted.

Anyway, I'm still chugging away, checking this site as much as I can. Hit me up with some comments or things you think would be cool/scary you want to see, and I'll see what I can do.

>> No.5418   [Delete]   [Edit]

The problem with the balcony is I can't really tell what's going on with it or how it works. Is it placed on the roof? Since (in my experience at least) that's not generally how balconies work, it seems fakey. But I can understand it, since any balcony from that perspective doesn't tend to work very well in terms of realism, but it's easy to sprite. I'd prefer it if it faced to the left, in the same direction the door is in, but since that might be difficult I still understand your decision on this so you don't really have to change it.

The more fantasy-inspired areas sound really amazing and original. I'll try to help you by giving advice as best as I can. I liked the background you used because it fit and worked well with the sprites and I've never seen anything like it in other fangames. It gives a much different setting and character than the others do. It feels sort of like it's set in a historical Spanish town or something similar, and I'd definitely like to see more if you're thinking of using it to inspire future areas.

You mean like false awakenings in real dreams? That sounds really interesting, I say go for it. As for nightmares...it really depends on how you go about it. Grimdark is extremely overused and tired in fangames; blood, teeth, hands, eyes, monsters, etc. have all been done. I'd try to go for a more atmospheric terror if you want to put nightmares in. Don't use blood and toriningens to force the idea of "you should be scared" on the player, make them feel uncomfortable gradually and naturally. And remember that you don't need scary elements for your game to be interesting, pleasant areas are just as enjoyable as scary ones.

Also, I'm not sure about the finger-counting thing. Is that a method lucid dreamers use to wake up? As for any suggestions, I only have some extra things to try to stay away from: large, looping voids with a panorama background and toriningen enemies, at least for the first versions of your game. They make it very slow and frustrating to test play.

>> No.5419   [Delete]   [Edit]

I see what you mean about the balcony. There are some things I can do to it to make it more...understandable.
Yeah, I noticed the other fangames like to go off the whole "lol dark city" balcony (except for 2kki, they get props for that), so I wanted to do something a little more concrete if you know what I mean. It's supposed to be in the real world, so why not use some real world inspiration?
The problem with a sideways-facing balcony is the house it sits on. Without the proper perspective, the house would look infinitely tall. That works with the other games which take place in an apartment; it lends to the isolation. However, the house Alles is in is only two stories tall, so infinity is a no-go.

Oh, thank you. I wanted to base the game on a more original concept than the others. For example, Mado and the others (apparently) dream for enjoyment, but Alles does it out of necessity to escape/understanding/remembering.
That would lead to a more weary experience.
I've thought about using more structured, themed areas instead of less structured but numerous areas like in YN and 2K. The fantasy/literature-themed areas are just consequence of that choice; I'll need a good foundation to structure my areas from. But I agree, if done right it should lead to a better experience. The problem is doing it right.

Yeah, I noticed nobody else using the false awakening thing, even though it is a common experience in real dreaming. Maybe it's hard to program/confusing to play? I'll see when I get to it.
What do you think would be a good example of 'atmospheric scary'? I agree that it would be much better (and scarier) to play as opposed to "run away from me rawr" events, which can just be killed with the weapon effect/ evaded with the evasion effect anyway.

For counting fingers: no, lucid dreamers use it to begin lucid dreaming when they realize they are dreaming...I see what you mean. Well, if not pinching and not that, then what? Would it be fine to use pinching, just not on the cheek? Perhaps the arm...hmmm...

And, yeah, the "wake me up" button should work 100% of the time. Nightmares would take place in the false-awakenings, I think. It would be less frustrating and be a bit of a shocker "waking up" only to find out something's not quite right here...

That aside:
-Finished rough draft of custom Alles sprite (posing in a bit).
-Continuing hammering out the details...

Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming!

EDIT: derp, forgot an "it".

Last edited 10/08/28(Sat)22:03.

>> No.5420   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1283058088504.png -(6307 B, 128x192) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

Draft of custom sprite. What do you guys think?
Walking down looks like he needs to use the bathroom, but walking left/right looks like the "haters gonna hate" stride. I think it looks fine, for now...
Also, do you guys think he should have an outline? I've made one with an outline too, just in case...

Last edited 10/08/28(Sat)22:01.

>> No.5422   [Delete]   [Edit]

It does look fine, though seeing it animated would help a lot. Outlined sprites are hard to get to mesh well with many differently-colored backgrounds so I'd keep it outlineless.

>> No.5426   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1283134841941.png -(494.1 KiB, 656x519) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

Newest balcony tileset (with new sprite!)
Next is the bedroom. I've got a lot of work ahead of me there... Color theory, here I come...

I'll get together a gif of Alles walking soon.
Thanks for the input!

>> No.5427   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1283634986604.gif -(5553 B, 32x192) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

Here's a gif of Alles walking, including each direction simultaneously.

EDIT: Fixed the derpiness, this should the final sprite for Alles.

Tell me what you guys think.

Last edited 10/09/04(Sat)14:16.

>> No.5449   [Delete]   [Edit]

A little update (nothing done yet):
-Continuing work on the room. Changed rug to a less simplistic version. Changed color scheme a little.
-Beginning post-concept stage of effects, first effect done will be "Sword". (It's a little different than others' swords.) Perhaps change effect name to "Knight" to suit the look.
-Continuing design of areas, concepts for denizens.
-Overall, just chugging along.

I'm still here, open for questions, comments, and suggestions.

>> No.5486   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1283764692571.png -(18.3 KiB, 643x485) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

Here's the latest iteration of the room. As you can see, I changed the color scheme to match the muted red of the outside balcony. I still don't know what color (or pattern) to make the wallpaper...
I changed to bed to a double. Just for shits and giggles, I'll have it so the game will remember what side of the bed you slept on when you wake up. Who knows, perhaps the phrase "waking up on the wrong side of the bed" will mean something here...

Anyway, I'm still working. Comments or questions or suggestions would be appreciated.

>> No.5489   [Delete]   [Edit]

Okay, Alles can now sleep on both sides of the bed. Now for the transition to dream world and what the dream room looks like...

Like always, input would be appreciated. :)

>> No.5495   [Delete]   [Edit]

You asked a little while back what subtle scariness is. For me, it would be exploring somewhere that I have been before numerous times, but with a few subtle changes.

Maybe pieces of furniture in a room have changed position slightly, or the music for an area is ever-so-slightly-different from before.

Silent Hill 4: The Room does this wonderfully, with the TV being switched on at random, areas becoming dirty, strange shadows being present, etc. More than anything else in the game, those events made me shit brix.

>> No.5498   [Delete]   [Edit]

That's a good idea. Maybe some areas could change a little as the game progresses (which the player won't know for sure, since there's no dialogue). It would be especially creepy if those changes also happened in the real world...

>> No.5559   [Delete]   [Edit]

Back from Hiatus, managed to get a lot more of the dream world/symbolism/structure worked out. Work will resume shortly.
Some things I've come up with:
-No dialogue, but still wanted to converse with denizens/portray thoughts and speech, so the idea came up to incorporate thought/speech bubbles that incorporate easy to understand symbols along with a simple choice system instead of the old yes/no question system everyone else has. Also taking it to a new level, text that appears might change over time to reflect what is going on. (Think "there was a hole here, now it's gone" type scenario).
-Adopting traditional YN style nexus for ease of access. Ended up adopting a lot of YN stuff once I realized I could comment on them in the game. LIAH plays like YN, but I'll break down and examine/parody certain symbols or events I do adopt to add a new dimension to the game.
Other than philosophical additions:
-All 25 effects are drawn and fully fleshed out, beginning work on spriting and scripting.
-World map (which the player will never see) is mostly done, still need more worlds, but ideas will come in time. Beginning secondary development process.
-Room still under development. Thinking of adding a piano to the room in place of the table, on the right-hand wall. Alles can play...in his dreams.
-TV added when I realized there was an antenna on the roof, but nothing connected to it...

So, yeah. Still working on this, feel free to comment or ask questions.

>> No.5605   [Delete]   [Edit]

-Working on effects, scripting
-Finishing Nexus
-Beginning World creation
-Coming up with NPCs to populate
Stage Two is a go.

Like always, I'm open with questions, concerns, hate, love, whatever. I don't know when, but v0.01 will be out sometime before the end of next month.

>> No.5647   [Delete]   [Edit]

There's no detail in the area. The best it has is gradient, making it flat and ugly.

The general help thread had this link;
Which is basically what I'm talking about and how to fix it.

>> No.5648   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1285397327362.png -(20.2 KiB, 643x483) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

Okay. Thanks for the constructive criticism.
Although...I had already fixed most of it.
And what gradient? I got rid of that a while ago.
Do you mean the furniture? Or...?

EDIT: Not entirely done with the room, mind you. I still need to do the pattern in the center of the rug, finish the wallpaper, and add finishing touches to the furniture (and add that damn piano...).
But, yeah. If you have any more suggestions, just let me know.

Last edited 10/09/24(Fri)23:52.

>> No.5660   [Delete]   [Edit]

oh hey look at that. Nice job!

Still a bit simple on the blankets and the contents of the bookshelf. Page parts could use a grey pixel at the top to keep it from looking so flat.

Also, clock's face looks a little weird. It's just flat grey.

>> No.5667   [Delete]   [Edit]

Oh thanks. Yeah, that clock has been giving me some grief...
Also, it's hard to tell because the picture's resolution is kinda low, but the books do have gray shades in them.
But, yeah, this helps me a lot! Now if only more people would comment (although I guess there isn't much to comment on...).

>> No.5673   [Delete]   [Edit]
File: 1285633669743.png -(39.3 KiB, 643x483) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

I did a very quick and dirty touch up job of the room.

One of the big problems is that all of your wood is basically the same color, which makes them blend together and seem flat. Adding shadows beside everything helps a little, but you may want to lighten the color of your furniture while darkening the color of the floor or vice versa. I changed the color of the wood on the sides of the wall to help prop up the 3D feel.

Some of your shadows are going in different directions as well. Determine where your light source(s) is/are coming from and keep your shadows consistent. Their color is also a bit gray and should probably be darker.

If you can add textures to your wood, carpet, walls and so on it really helps bring them to life. I added textures to your carpet, bed and wall to help illustrate my point.

Your room also is not fully 'hemmed in' and the right and left sides seem open with no walls to contain them. I added those walls and made a quick side doorway for the rug leading outside.

Last edited 10/09/27(Mon)17:31.

>> No.5674   [Delete]   [Edit]

WOAH! That's amazing.
I see what you mean about the wood being the same color, and your recoloring really makes it stand out. Also, those textures give such life to the room ;_; especially the wallpaper. I had been wonder forever what to use there, and you may have found it!
I was going to add the border to the outer edges of the room before the release, but the wood color might not have changed.
This is great! This gives me the kind of artistic direction I've been needing! I can't thank you enough.
Do you use photoshop for your texture/lighting placement? I've been using Windows 7 paint (which is actually quite nice, but not good enough to achieve what is being requested).
Anyway, thanks. Although, this may prolong to initial alpha a bit...but I doubt anyone will mind if it will make it a better experience.

>> No.5675   [Delete]   [Edit]


>Do you use photoshop for your texture/lighting placement? I've been using Windows 7 paint (which is actually quite nice, but not good enough to achieve what is being requested).

I use Paint Shop Pro 7 for all of the graphics that I do. The GIMP is alright as well, and free ... you'll want a program which can use layers, as they're extremely helpful. Here is a link to the portable version if you want to try it before actually installing it.


> Anyway, thanks. Although, this may prolong to initial alpha a bit...

Don't fall into the trap of continually upgrading or tweaking an area, because then you'll never make progress with the rest of your game. I'm extremely guilty of this, but I've been learning to leave an area unpolished for the sake of moving forward.

My suggestion would be to get the area workable and in a semi-nice state before moving on. Do not try and reach perfection on your first pass, you will only be spinning your wheels and wear yourself out. You can come back to the area when you need a break or if you get an artist block on another area.

Last edited 10/09/28(Tue)04:23.

>> No.5696   [Delete]   [Edit]

Oh..I already use GIMP for animations and touchups. I use paint for basic spriting. I was just wondering since you seem to be some kind of graphic designer/artist. Just curious I suppose.

>Don't fall into the trap of continually upgrading or tweaking an area...

Believe me, I know. This isn't the first game I've worked on. I just want things to look decent before I do a release is all. I plan to have all the nexus worlds pretty much done, as well as a lot of the side worlds halfway done.
Maybe I'm just a perfectionist...but I know what you mean. I'm still keeping with my deadline of october 30th, but it may be postponed because of school or other things.

Anyway, update:
-Progress is being made with the treasures, they amuse me to no end.
-Almost done with the room. Reworking it a little to make it more...livable.
-Nexus is mostly done, but might go through a few changes in the near future.
-Worlds are planned and final sketches are underway.
I know there isn't anything to comment on, but hang in there.

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