That is the best 16bit background I have ever seen.
I do agree. This is incredibly realistic. Especially the parallax-scrolling. To some extent your FG looks a bit too simple now, compared to this amazing BG, but I don´t want to complain. This is too beautiful to have any complaints.
Thanks so much, everyone! It's good to know I'm making something people like to see.
...so yeah, it's been half a year since the last sign of progress, and I'm a little disappointed in myself just how often this happens. However, as of now I'm not nearly as low on free time as I used to be, so at least now all I need is willpower. :V
I've been making levels for this hack one part at a time - graphics, ASM, level design, in that order - and I'm pleased to announce that now at least I'm in the third phase. (of this one level, that is.) I'm currently whipping up level design ideas, and though it's temporary and not much to look at, here's a beta setup:
Time to resurrect this once again! (I wish I could keep a steady pace for once and not take month-long breaks.)
There's not yet anything new that's visual, but I did do some ASM today.
Notice the status bar: counters now detect when there's free space above them and slide up to fill the gap. A lot more economical, and nice-looking to boot!
I've given the sprite status bar a huge overhaul in general (fixing bugs and adding features), which I'll release at C3 if not earlier. The sliding-up feature may not be included, though, because I want to keep at least something about the status bar unique to my hack.
And world 2-2 is done! I had wanted to record a video, but I think a couple screenshots will do a good enough job.
I'm not sure if my level design here is something to be proud of or not. I'm really satisfied with the color palette though (lively hues of red, green, yellow and blue all going together), as well as the way the land in the background slowly scrolls away gradually giving you that "out at sea" feel.
1) These pelicans are goonies or another custom sprite?
They're custom sprites that fly in a parabola (down, then up).
Originally posted by Roberto zampari
2) Did you know that Dolphins in underwater level is a bad idea?
How so? If you mean they're bugged underwater, don't worry, I used an edited disassembly so they work just like they do above ground. They work well enough as obstacles. (i guess that would have been clearer in a video)
I'm absolutely in love with these palettes, especially the underwater ones. They reflect the ambiance extremely well while being pretty vivid at the same time. Not a lot of people seem to pull off that balance of colors and ambiance correctly.
Glad you guys like it! (it's intended to be a seagull by the way, but any seabird is fine)
Here's what I spent the last couple of days doing: after a bit of trouble and lots of invaluable help from people on Discord, I added a touch of mode 7 to the Presents screen. Nothing too fancy considering all that *could* be done with mode 7, just a little animation to spice up that first impression.
It's quite a bit smoother in-game than this GIF makes it look. (I actually made the animation in CSS and converted the values for each frame by hand!)
I've been procrastinating. I'm not sure why I was procrastinating, but at the same time, I know exactly why. It was time to make the swamp background.
I subconsciously dread making backgrounds - partly because it's so much work, but mostly because of the disparity between the product and my vision. Unlike foregrounds and sprites, it's really tough to make them look exactly like what I have in mind, and I don't often succeed.
This issue is only worse when it comes to forests and swamps. I have a bit of a fascination with forest settings, and a strong sense of what I want to convey. (My levels for SMWCP2, VLDC7 and VLDCX were all attempts in that vein.) So it's all the more frustrating when I can't get things to look exactly right, and all the harder to start doing it.
Making the forest background for world 1-4 was frictional enough, but for the swamp level I had been forming a vision in my mind for at least four years. (I guess I shouldn't have done that.) I'd been taking photos and collecting images of leaf backdrops, trees with interesting shapes, brushwood, riverbanks, roots and bushes, and I had this vision of it all coming together - and of course, knowing I couldn't live up to these expectations kept my from trying.
Despite all that, yesterday I started picking that project up again, and I was finally able to throw something together that at least works. It fits in with the rest of the backgrounds, it does get the "deep in the swamp" atmosphere across pretty well, and the water effect looks pretty neat - it's just that... it's nothing like I imagined. Walking around with this elusive vision in my head for four years, this here is pretty underwhelming. No complex roots or bushes or tree stumps or shorelines or boathouses - two trees and basic bushes is all LM could handle.
The downside is that it looks a little grainy and washed out, and it's also really hard to work with palette-wise. I'll probably be redoing it, but at least I have this to fall back on. It's something now.
Don't get me wrong: this does not mean that I don't like making this hack, or that I'm giving up, or that I'm asking for help. I've just been having a particularly hard time doing this, so even though the outcome is not perfect and probably temporary, I wanted to show what I got. And also let you guys know what's been taking me so long.
Look forward to the remade version of this, I hope!
They say art comes from adversity, and it certainly is starting to look the part if the quality of this background is anything to go by. I can sympathize with the frustrations that a product just doesn't look as good as it does in the mind (we all can, really), and part of that might have something to do with how flat the very back looks. It might appear a little less flat if the bushes were placed in front of the trees and have them scroll at variable rates, although it looks like it's tough work to get it to scroll like this. It's coming along very nicely, and you have a good attitude to challenge yourself like this: don't forget that perfect is the enemy of good, though.
In other news, may I ask how you accomplished the "beam of light" graphic in your forest tileset? It's a very smooth transition from transparent to totally invisible.