Friday, May 21, 2010

ASSets

I'm pretty desperate.. I got myself into a big trouble with this game: assets are not so easy to come by !!

It took me long enough to get some decent car sprites going. Taking pictures of car models on a blue screen background, then heavily Photoshopping.
I also bought a new camera with that excuse ;)

Of course for that I need base car models.. and good quality ones are not easy to find at decent prices.
Also, most car models are Ferraris or Skyliners, Japanese Taxis... not your average Californian traffic ;) (Ferrari aside, in some areas !).

It was hard to get that process mainstreamed.. but now it seems a bit like the easy part. Because now I need some sprite animation (something like in this video).
And the background scenery and the track design is also more work.. what makes it fun ? etc etc.
Sprites around the track can't be just taken of most pictures.. perspective is a big problem, and of course legality of grabbing pieces of images left and right is tricky too.
Some stock photo sites have some nice references and I may end up spending some money there to get some base images to work on.

But possibly the hardest problem is sound ! More specifically the sound track... if only I could get one very good music track that matches the game.

My music knowledge is equal to 0, so I cannot spell out what makes a great sound track.. but I can't definitely tell is one is great or not.. and this brings me to some video that I must embed 8)

14 comments:

  1. Here I come to the rescue. :)

    C64 remixes (contact authors, ask for permission/license):
    http://remix.kwed.org/

    royalty free music/sound effects (buy licenses)
    http://www.dbsoundworks.com/
    http://www.shockwave-sound.com/
    http://inkaudio.com/

    Sprites/anims (this guy is a genius):
    http://probertson.livejournal.com/

    Amiga/Retro font archive:
    http://cgi.algonet.se/htbin/cgiwrap?user=guld1&script=fonts.pl

    Sound effects generator:
    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2007/12/13/sfxr-sound-effects-for-all/

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  2. Why the guy is a genius:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5zpNfTfGZU

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  3. Hmmm whats the high point of that soundtrack? The drummer seems very fast, but kind of repetitive. I stopped at the 1min 30sec mark.

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  4. Hey Kaz,

    I was going to mention to you about the legality of the cars ... I'm not sure if some car manufacturers require permission to use images of their cars ... who knows though.

    Soundtrack-wise what do you have in mind? Also how are you planning on implementing the audio side of things?

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  5. Ahhh the assets... also known as analsets!!!

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  6. Freddy,

    Thanks for the links !
    One problem I guess is that if you someone don't know somebody, it's hard to collaborate.. so, picking people at random out of some work they did, doesn't really if they are available or interested (usually, neither 8P).
    Though one has to start somewhere.. !

    http://remix.kwed.org looks cool.. while the royalty music thing..
    I can see it being useful for some tunes to entertain, but otherwise it's hard to find something that even comes close to what one would like (I guess there is plenty of rock guitar kind of "bullshit".. which is pretty much the only music one listens in racing and sports games nowadays.. arghhh !!).
    Today I got in touch with some Italian musician in Japan (not Tokyo) that I know through some older friend, and he seemed interested.. that's more like it.. but we'll have to see how well it works for both 8)

    The sound effect gen is pretty cool ! Too bad there is no car engine ;)
    That worries me a bit.. never tried to do some car engine noise... I guess it's some idle sound with modulating frequency.. but I'll have to try !

    The Robertson's guy stuff is spectacular indeed.. but I doubt that someone like him would bother to help with a game where most of the gfx is done by a programmer ;)
    In any case it was fun to watch.. and looking around those things I also found another site which collects artists, including pixel artists ( http://browse.deviantart.com/digitalart/pixelart/ ).

    ..I'm starting to think that maybe I should forget about animations for now.. ummm.. though as a programmer, I'd like to find a way to do something to reduce the need of human emotive skills 8)

    Maybe by using video instead of hand-made sprites. But I'm no model myself (auto-thinning algorithm ?!)

    ummm ummm

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  7. Paul,

    The point is that the guy is playing back a couple of old games sound tracks (Space Harrier and Turrican, which has also been played by a proper orchestra (!) -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dJrsmt9BOY ).
    I haven't played Space Harrier myself, but if I listen to the tune then it comes back to my mind.. and it's just cool that it can be played that way too.
    Also funny because the video is a gathering of geeks, basically 8)

    Anyhow, as a reference, here is Space Harrier ->

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_Tam9lv1KQ (main theme)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOH68OsvOEI (gameplay, music is hard to hear)


    ..and Turrican 2 ->
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fvha_2hAzq0 (intro with music)

    ..which at the time was also also revolutionary because it could play 8 voices on Amiga (otherwise only supporting 4 in hardware).

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  8. Ragin,

    I'm not going to show any car brands or use any names and the sprites are not detailed nor accurate.. hopefully that will be not a problem.
    After all, Out Run had a dozen-pixels prancing horse in their car model (and was flipping with the car, because they obviously mirrored the sprite 8P).

    I guess in 86 it was different.. and nowadays it's all about licenses.. but I'm also not big publisher and I'm not providing accurate 3D models and such.

    About the audio.. I know OpenAL is available, and I think that should be fairly easy to playback MP3s with some higher level iPhone API.. but I can't tell until I get busy with it (^^;)


    Rasty,

    It would all be easier if I could show pictures of sets of (female) asses 8P

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  9. Ah, Julian Eggebrecht, producer of Turiccan 2. He was the owner of Factor 5 here in San Rafael.

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  10. Mr. Paul,

    Everything connects ;)

    BTW, a small correction.. I _did_ play Space Harrier, but I didn't play much of it, because it was quite hard and not as satisfying as other Sega games.

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  11. I have finished Space Harrier, at the last screen you are forced to fight all previous bosses. :)

    About the Robertson Guy, it could be interesting to hire him to do graphics for a retro beat'em up, probably it would sell pretty well in Japan.

    About the music, the overall Idea would be to contact people like Allister Brimble or N-JOY (he is italian) and hire him to do a retroremix or to buy the license/permission to use the remix.

    It would be possible to do the same with people selling stuff on the royalty free sites, but as you have said they are not into this kind of music.

    If you want to create something fur fun or for profit let me know, we could work together or I could just point you in the right direction (aka what game to develop).

    MUUUUU

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  12. By the way, Chris Huelsback and Jeroen Tel are quite accessible guys, so if you need a quote you just need to email them. :)

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  13. Freaking bosses ;)

    At this point, I wouldn't want to go bother some famous composer without having proper graphics and gameplay.
    I want to get one simpler game out first so that I can be confident with the development process, for a subsequent game of the same type.

    I'll get all the help that I can ;) ..though my current plan is to keep things as simple as possible..
    My immediate needs are:

    * Audio and audio programming (including sfx)
    * Level design and creation (Photoshop and text files)
    * An ending of some sort
    * More car models
    * General game programming (high score, better playability)

    ..I need testing too.. and it helps having a PC version going.. only that on the iPhone it feels and looks somewhat different than on a PC monitor with keyboard.

    These days level design is really bogging me down.. I think I'm overdoing things to some degree.. (^^;)

    I can give you access to the project if you what to see how it's proceeding 8)

    woooo

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  14. I could create talking Arale's-like shit graphics, but then you would need to rename the game as "TurdRun". :)

    Anyway people on Kwed are not that famous, except for a few known names.

    Give me access, I may be able to help with testing/photoshop taska.

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