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Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom


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#16 NoeL

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    Remilia looks better with grey/green hair.

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 07:31 PM

I don't think anyone was saying that flowing, many-frame animations are inherently bad. You, OTOH, were arguing that stiff, few-frame animations are inherently bad (or rather, inherently worse). I argued cases where limited frames worked better, but at the end of the day it's all subjective opinion: you like the flow and bounce of old cartoons (probably why you like to draw them so much too), other people prefer structure or minimalism, so stiff animations aren't necessarily a sign of laziness. And like Rambly alluded to too, you can't really assess sprite animations in isolation since they're part of a greater whole, i.e. the game frame. It could easily make a game unfocused and confusing if everything is flapping about, even if each piece looks good in isolation.
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#17 Koh

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 04:08 AM

I don't think anyone was saying that flowing, many-frame animations are inherently bad. You, OTOH, were arguing that stiff, few-frame animations are inherently bad (or rather, inherently worse). I argued cases where limited frames worked better, but at the end of the day it's all subjective opinion: you like the flow and bounce of old cartoons (probably why you like to draw them so much too), other people prefer structure or minimalism, so stiff animations aren't necessarily a sign of laziness. And like Rambly alluded to too, you can't really assess sprite animations in isolation since they're part of a greater whole, i.e. the game frame. It could easily make a game unfocused and confusing if everything is flapping about, even if each piece looks good in isolation.

I can agree with that.  Willow on NES is a good example of too much animation, even if the frames are limited.  Look what happens every time you enter a battle on the overworld.

 

https://youtu.be/HpHnZ6rKb6k?t=103

 

I can see what they were going for by doing that, but that's where it's actually very DISTRACTING.  Hard to keep your eye on the monsters when the trees and grass are moving at much more intensity than them.

 

Metal Slug on the otherhand, my sprite bae, has the right level of balance of everything that matters animating nicely, and the background animating subtly, if at all.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=w8BpW1bTqrk

 

 

It's also a problem when the level of animation is inconsistent across the living things, which is apparent in one of my favorite Zelda games, A Link to the Past.  Link animates very smoothly and has plenty of personality.  But every NPC and monster in the game only has 2 frames defined for every direction, and if Link is walking by anyone, it's very jarring, and it pulls me right out of the game, lol.

 

And that's also what I wanted to say.  For me, those stiff animations on living things pulls me right out of the game, it's a big distraction.  It's not something you just can't notice, because you have to stare at it throughout the whole thing.  Imagine someone walking down the street at 2 frames per second, it'd be both jarring and hilarious at the same time.  That's all I can think about when I see Cecil in FF4 flapping his arms about when he walks like that, or, that he's doing some sort of odd dance.  

 

But remember what I said, it's not just frame count that matters to me.  I can let that slide, even if it's hilarious, if the character actually has more animations.   That was my problem with Undertale like I mentioned before.  All Frisk does is walk.  He doesn't pull levers, he doesn't open doors, he doesn't convey any action that he takes.  It's all implied, and we have to use our imagination like we're reading a fucking book.  When your visual medium of your game is as plain as your paper counter part, lol.

 

To me, this is no different than comparing animations of traditional cel animation and flash animation.  Where you can directly see the drop in quality with the latter when it's used with its shortcuts compared to the former.  That's how jarring it is.  We've seen better, even on NES and GBC with animation quality, and yet, we're somehow just supposed to accept something less than that as an "art form."  8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, to me is the art form.  Animation is part of the quality of the art.  Animation is the traditional cel versus cheap flash of cartoons.  Where does it look cheap, why does it look cheap, how does it look cheap.  The three questions that you can easily answer because of how jarring it is.  Where does it look cheap?  It looks cheap in the quality of the animation, not the detail of the sprite.  Why does it look cheap?  Because it looks like the character/object is lagging.  How does it look cheap?  When the character moves, they're moving faster than they animate (or vice versa), or smoother than they animate (or vice versa), or not animated at all (Undertale).


Edited by Koh, 13 June 2018 - 05:23 AM.


#18 NoeL

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    Remilia looks better with grey/green hair.

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:35 AM

Again, budget can be a huge part of why things end up looking cheap. Games like Undertale are one-man projects (at least I think that one was) so you can't expect them to have AAA quality. The ones that DO put in the extra effort do so at the expense of time, and time is money. So you just have to accept that games - particularly indie games - will vary in quality largely due to budget constraints. Calling it "lazy" is a bit unfair, especially if it was a choice between a cheap-looking game and no game at all. That's not to say you need to accept cheapness or that cheap games are equal in quality to games with higher budgets, just that "laziness" isn't the only factor at play (and in commercial games it's usually a small factor because lazy workers will get the boot).
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#19 Koh

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:46 AM

Right, I get it.  I just call it out when I write my reviews of things where I notice it.  One man show, indie team, AAA team, I don't care who developed it, all I care about is the end result we did end up getting, and compared to other things in the market that are available of a similar nature.  I don't give anyone a free pass because of their situation while developing, I judge them all the same, because what matters in the end is the finished product, since that's what you're selling.  I used to be of the mindset that the graphics don't matter and that it's only really the gameplay that matters.  But having tempered my experience with many things over the years, I've slowly changed my opinion on that.  I still don't think they ultimately matter in the enjoyment of the game, but they heavily matter when it comes to engagement and presentation, and this is one of the reasons why.  They can either keep you engaged and in awe, or on the polar opposite, pull you right out of the experience because of their quality.


Edited by Koh, 13 June 2018 - 05:50 AM.



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