NPC Dialogue issue

For discussing and sharing all forms of artwork related to the game

Moderator: Staff

User avatar
Jetryl
Artist
Posts: 1485
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:35 am
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA

NPC Dialogue issue

Postby Jetryl » Thu May 31, 2007 7:31 pm

E.g. how do we handle the gaping hole where there is no portrait?

Safir-Kreuz had an idea of using sort of a "generic portrait"; however, we may have a much easier, and perhaps better solution on our hands.


For those characters who don't have portraits, why don't we just use the sprite of the character, bumped up to 300% size, and centered over the name block? (Also, always use the forward-facing version of the sprite, as though you're seeing from claudius' point of view.) It should be trivial to implement, and takes precisely zero work on the part of the artists. It'd look like the following:

I'm all for this. :approve:

[img:1016:758]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/jetryl/Misc/npc_talk_sprite.jpg[/img]
User avatar
ChopperDave
Developer
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby ChopperDave » Thu May 31, 2007 11:03 pm

That does keep it unique, but the pixelation is not really desirable.

Another option is to make generic male and female portraits. They won't be unique, but they won't be pixelated either. The generic portrait will help though because it lets the player know the NPC is nothing special.
User avatar
Jetryl
Artist
Posts: 1485
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:35 am
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA

Postby Jetryl » Thu May 31, 2007 11:15 pm

ChopperDave wrote:That does keep it unique, but the pixelation is not really desirable.


What? :huh:

The pixelation looks _cool_. Practically any SNES game played on an emulator would display a pixel-to-screen ratio about equal to this.

Besides, it would also be possible to have OpenGL interpolate between them. And further than that, we could implement something like hq3x to do even more intelligent interpolation, if we really, really wanted.
Image
User avatar
Rain
Musician
Posts: 1525
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:43 am
Location: Granz

Postby Rain » Thu May 31, 2007 11:22 pm

This looks like it could be a really good idea. Even moreso if at some point, we have a large number of individual sprites to back this function.
The pixellation should only be an issue for people who don't know what kind of game they are getting into. If someone began playing Allacrost expecting the graphic equivilant of Halo 2 for instance, then well...they're just stupid.

I think the look of our sprites are very unique and very high quality and should hold up under close scrutiny. A little pixellation isn't a problem. Hell, its almost cute! :) Another idea would be too have the 'sprite portrait' (since there is no more appropriate name that comes to mind), in a state of walking to add a sense of movement to the screen aesthetics. (IE) The party selection menu screen in Chrono Trigger. That was always a very nice touch, imo.
'When Zeon lost his powers, he fell to Earth, and created a giant crator where he hit. His moan destroyed the mountains and the crater was buried by the debris.'

(of Zeon)

Image
User avatar
AaronA
Developer
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 4:00 pm

Postby AaronA » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:51 am

Personally I think it looks great, and well suited - and more importantly, artists wouldn't be expected to make several hundred more pixel perfect portraits :).

Another option is to make generic male and female portraits. They won't be unique, but they won't be pixelated either. The generic portrait will help though because it lets the player know the NPC is nothing special.


I can't really agree, I think looking at the same generic male or female portrait again and again would get painfully dull - In my opinion none would be better than `generic portraits` just so I could use some imagination.

Just throwing this out there... perhaps the portraits could display a slight animation of talking? Moving a few mouth pixels around would look kinda' neat, and maybe double the quality (disadvantage, loading another sprite). Food for thought.
User avatar
Jetryl
Artist
Posts: 1485
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:35 am
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA

Postby Jetryl » Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:15 am

AaronA wrote:Just throwing this out there... perhaps the portraits could display a slight animation of talking? Moving a few mouth pixels around would look kinda' neat, and maybe double the quality (disadvantage, loading another sprite). Food for thought.



Maybe. On a very related note; safir had played around with expressions before, and it would be very trivial to work these into useable sprites:

[img:200:200]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/CharaEmodes2.png[/img]


Rain wrote:Another idea would be too have the 'sprite portrait' (since there is no more appropriate name that comes to mind), in a state of walking to add a sense of movement to the screen aesthetics. (IE) The party selection menu screen in Chrono Trigger. That was always a very nice touch, imo.


It made sense there, since they weren't understood to be doing anything in particular. So it made sense to have them "marching off to adventure" in that screen. But for a talking screen, it feels a little wonky to have them marching while talking to people.

-however-

There are a lot of animations that would make sense in a dialogue, and I would love to see people change expression from screen to screen. The following would actually not get used in dialogue, since claudius would have portraits for the different emotions. But if you could think of their analogues for other characters; they'd be perfect:
http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/saf ... mod_sp.gif
http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/saf ... s_fear.gif
http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/saf ... r_es_1.png



Furthermore, one enormous plus of everything described in this post is that it would only have to be made for the forward direction.
User avatar
ChopperDave
Developer
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby ChopperDave » Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:16 am

Besides, it would also be possible to have OpenGL interpolate between them


Uh, interpolation only works one way (going smaller). If you go in the other direction it's going to try to extrapolate colors, so it'll be pixelated anyway.

So the point of this post is if they're not a major player, then we use their sprite instead of their portrait? Why don't we just use sprites for everything? At least that way we're consistent.
User avatar
Safir-Kreuz
Artist
Posts: 458
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 8:06 pm
Location: VA
Contact:

Postby Safir-Kreuz » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:34 am

Um... I am not sure about that either... nor really do I like the concept of generic portraits... I guess I am used to the old system of it's an unimportant character... there is no portrait, lol... maybe just the persons name in a bold text, would suit me just fine.
User avatar
jsmith71
Artist
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:57 am

Postby jsmith71 » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:40 am

I like the idea of the blown up sprite for NPCs, but then again taking out the area intended for the portrait and giving NPCs more room for text might work just as well. I dunno, just figured I'd throw my opinion out there. I like the pixelated look myself, but then again I am completely in love with the 'old-school' look so I can understand how others may not dig it. :heh:
[img:256:70]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/Frog32/skillz_small.png[/img]
User avatar
eleazar
Senior Member
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:56 pm
Location: USA

Postby eleazar » Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:09 pm

An enlarge front-view seems to be a reasonable stand-in for a custom character portrait. A better idea IMHO than generic portraits. I believe it's important to have a visual indication of who's talking.

Of course, the best is to have portraits done for every PC & NPC with emotional variations, but it's unreasonable to expect that, especially at first.

It's sensible to make open-source software deal gracefully with incomplete content. Assume that there will be a portrait, but if it can't be found use the zoomed unit graphic as a stand-in.

Return to “Artwork”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests