BLIND'S PROFILE

Once, Picasso was asked what his paintings meant. He said, "Do you ever know what the birds are singing? You don't. But you listen to them anyway."
— Marina Abramović

Flickr
Twitter
Beloved Rapture
16-Bit Style Indie jRPG

Search

[RM2K3] Intense Lag and Slowdown

Over the past six months, I’ve started to encounter a considerable “lag” and slowdown while playtesting my game in RM2k3. When it happens, the FPS rate dips so low, that some of the maps even become unplayable. At first I thought it was just my laptop/hard drive storage, but even after resetting Windows, the problem persisted.

The strange part is, I don’t think the lag is resulting from any complex Common Events or parallel process code, because most of these maps never previously had any issue. The maps are admittedly detailed/with numerous animations - but there’s nothing theoretically that should be game-breaking to this extent.

Has anyone who still uses (or previously used) 2k3 encountered this issue? It doesn’t happen it battles, ironically enough.

The maps do use:
- Lots of high file-size WAV ambient sounds
- Pictures scrolling
- Moving-animated events

There are also a lot of unused MP3s in my project folder, so perhaps that’s contributing to it somehow? Could the DynRPG patches be a factor? Etc. This is the “Tsukuru” version if that matters.

Hoping to find some way to minimize the problem.

Ratings On Screenshots

This was an idea I've talked about with a few others here, for quite a while now. XD

I'm not sure how easily this could be implemented into RMN's code (although, we already have a general 5-Star rating system, so it doesn't seem too infeasible), but I think it'd be a great addition. On any given week, there are hundreds of screenshots/videos that get posted on RMN, most of which receive zero response. This trend makes the main site appear a bit useless, compared to its full potential. Unless the game is one of 100 or so that are "popular", it's largely ignored. If we want to encourage more user engagement outside of the screenshot topic, this could be a great/easy way to promote it.

I often think of NewGrounds, where they have a great rating system on all Videos/Artwork/Audio and media in general. In that way, all content on the front page is easily dictated by user interaction. We could have a "buzzing screenshot" section; or even if not, just a simple way to generate numerical feedback for developers here. Similarly, on YouTube, if you glance at the "Likes" for a video, you can (usually) get a reasonably good consensus on its quality.

While numerical ratings aren't as good as constructive text feedback, it's still better than nothing. If it's easy for users to do, I think people are much more likely to rate screenshots with a score rather than type out paragraph-length replies for 10 screenshots. If one screenshot were rated 50 times with a 4/5, that's arguably just as valuable as a comment or two, feedback-wise.

Anyhow, since our community is relatively small, I think it's important to do anything possible to continue promoting interaction on the main site as well as the forums. Similar to Keampfer's post about tagging users, this is a feature that seems like it could be easy to add, but could be a stepping stone to "modernize" RMN.

Any thoughts? Disagreements?

[PAID] Get Paid to Design a Dungeon!

June 2015 - Still seeking contributors!
(This position pays $100+ or more, depending on your input.)

You heard that right! I'm now going to be outsourcing developers to work on Beloved Rapture!

I'm seeking one or two very competent (and dedicated!) developers who specialize in designing dungeons, dynamic puzzles, and potential enemy encounters/bosses. This is a paid commission. (For Rm2k3)




Wait, what?!

After nearly 4+ years working alone on a single game, it may seem like an odd time to bring on other members to be part of the "team". I've thought quite a while about the pros and cons, and I've decided this is the best option for a few reasons!

  • Development Time:

I'm not as young as I used to be, and free time is more valuable than gold these days! As many of you know, RPGs take the cake as far as development HELL. I've spent probably thousands of hours now working on this project, and I scarcely have the time for it. Hiring someone to assist me will considerably alleviate some of the burden (xD), as well as free up my time to focus on the visuals & storytelling.

  • Expertise:

It's no secret that Beloved Rapture was always intentionally a "cinematic" game... but often at the expense of the underlying game-play. After a long period of trial and error... I've come to the realization that I'm just honestly pretty mediocre at it, lol. By bringing a developer on-board who has more comprehensive skill-set with designing puzzles and dungeons, the game will benefit from a more balanced design and experience.

  • Release Date:

BR has obviously past it's 1000th "release date" of Winter 2015, lol. With the amount of content involved, it's simply not feasible to finish the game by the summer's end without the help of another person.



What Am I Looking For?

In an ideal situation, I'm looking for someone who:
  • Is highly familiar with Rm2k3; variables, switches, common events, advanced "programming," etc.
  • Has a proven "track record" of strong gameplay design, evidenced by either an existing game project/demo or samples of work.
  • Is capable of generating diverse, expansive, and genuinely thought-provoking puzzles.
  • Can work within an existing graphic style (i.e. tilesets that I have designated, which are open to discussion), in the style of Rudra, Suikoden 2, etc.. and custom tiles.
  • Can work fairly quickly, is responsive to feedback, and can chat frequently with me on Facebook/Sykpe about the nature of the dungeon, the "theme," or even the layout of each individual map if necessary.

    Currently, I'm looking for 2-4 dungeons at the max, but that's subject to change lol.

    I'm not necessarily looking for someone to create visually pleasing dungeons, but rather the 'bare bones' layout of them, and the underlying puzzles. I will be "touching up" the maps, adding details, overlays, and the aesthetic qualities after the dungeon is finished.

    *In general, the dungeons should last 25-45 minutes.

    I want to keep the quality of the gameplay in the dungeon maps consistent with the visuals, so the game plays as well as it looks. I won't be selecting any random newbie for the commission, unfortunately lol.


How Much Does This Pay?

The payment will vary with the size of the dungeon (the amount of content and maps/puzzles). A good estimate might be $60-150 to start off, but the compensation will be negotiable for the right fit. I won't be paying hourly. Once the dungeon is finished to my liking, the person will be sent the payment via Paypal.

Plus, you'll get your name in the credits of RMN's most infamous rm2k3 game! ;P



And?

Feel free to send me a private message, or share you interest in this topic! Having them all in once place will help me organize whomever might be on board.

Some questions to consider;

Why would be you a good contribution?
What projects have you worked on previously?
What compensation would reflect your input?

If you have a link to your project (or a random dungeon sample), feel free to post that in here too! Or any questions! I'll be updating once I've chosen someone.

Photography Topic!

Haven't seen one of these recently! I see a lot of interest in this in Intro posts, I'm sure there's some of you out there??! ;D

I thought it would be cool to share any photography you guys have accumulated, a sort of alternative screenshot topic? Amateur and professional both equally welcome. It certainly intrigues me to have a brief glimpse into members' lives. Feel free to comment or discuss eachother's work, of course! :)

Here are a few I took around Boston.





I guess I'm back? 8]

The topic title says it all? Haha. I've been pretty occupied with school/work/dating and just life in general for the past year or so, not squeezing in much time for the site. I'm not sure what drew me back, but I'm glad to see that the site is still alive and (somewhat) thriving as a community--I worried that it might have fizzled out. I definitely see a lot of new faces here! 8] I'm still pretty busy, but hopefully I can find some time to start being constructive with a project again, once I re-learn the fossil of RPGMaker..

What monumental events have I missed? Anything significant? Lol.

Pixel Contest #2: Winners Announced and All Results Posted!

The results are in! (Mostly!)

Yes, it's probably about time. I want to apologize to everyone who might have been anticipating this, I am pretty much entirely to blame for the delay in the announcement of the winners. I started a new job several weeks ago, and have been working eight to ten hours overnights the past fourteen days or so, leaving me absolutely exhausted and without a lot of time to sit down and get this done. I requested to my manager that I not be given so many shifts in a row, so hopefully this won't be a hinderance to my being in the community during the next few months or whatever.

Anyhow, I buckled down for an hour or two tonight to get this done as best I could, because the building demand for it among the staff members and those who participated. Unfortunately, because of the scale of the event, I wasn't able to get all of the individual, in-depth critiques done simultaneously. The "reviews" for each of the (non-winning) pieces should be posted and added to this topic sporadically throughout the next several days. For now, I'm happy to reveal the winning entries-- their creators shall be sent their prize money via RMN's official PayPal account sometime very soon!

Again, we'll be announcing the scores for everyone's submissions in the coming week, so check back soon if you were anticipating a response to your entry. For now, here are the winners!

The Results:

First Place: DE
Score: 38/40



Adherence to Theme: Wonderfully, wonderfully presented. The style and structure of the visuals very much conveys the sensibility of a game environment, and absolutely nowhere does it appear as though it'd been strictly conceived for a contest. No HUD exists, but the use of text excuses this, providing the illusion of cutscene or dramatic moment. (Likewise, the text is well-made and professional, admirable for its sharpness without anti-aliasing.)

10/10

Originality/Creativity: While not quite warranting a perfect score, this entry came extremely close. The astounding atmosphere achieved was largely unparalleled, achieving not only familiar steam-punk ambience, but effortlessly fusing them with elements of noir and foreboding touches of darkness. We felt that while the setting itself was not an entirely new locale, it's presentation was striking enough to appear fresh.

9/10

Detail/Use of Color: Despite his use of a mere 51 colors, the depth, detail and clarity of the image was truly wonderful. Hues and tones subtly complement one-another, with the shading itself appearing truly spot-on.

However, a unanimous decision was proposed not to award the entry a nine simply because of our small qualms with it's perspective. Most noticeably, the looming backdrop of what appeared to be a reactor seemed flat and our of sync with the rest of the piece. The pipes, likewise, were a tad bit off in their adherence to the angle of the building, but this was a relatively negligible issue.

9/10

Style/Form: This is where the piece truly delivers. Everything presented here is crisp, intricate, and expertly constructed. It was essentially the epitome of in-game screenshot mockup, and DE deserves his due for astonishing us with the depth and precision of his craft.

10/10

Total Score: 38/40

----------------------

Second Place: Blitzen
Score: 33/40



Adherence to Theme: Our understanding of the piece was that it was meant to resemble a point-and-click adventure game, so hopefully this was correct? The hand-icon in the bottom corner seems to indicate that. The issue of perspective both helped and subtly hurt the piece; while we enjoyed it aesthetically, it seemed impractical functionally and we couldn't warrant awarding a full score.

8/10

Originality/Creativity: Also a largely creative piece. The characters both appear originally crafted, and the environment scenario is largely an untouched one. We were happy to see creativity paired with such talent in both of the winning pieces.

8/10

Detail/Use of Color: Expertly done. The color coordination and shading are absolutely spon-on in their implementation, and as mentioned, the angle very intriguing. The female character is particularly well designed, and we very much admired how so much was done with so few colors, in regards to the foreground. Very nice work here.

9/10

Style/Form: Yet again, very nicely put put together. Our largest nitpick was arguably the design of hand-icon, with several of us being of the opinion that it was not entirely distinguishable from the background, and could use a stronger defining outline. Likewise, with lighting as such a strong component of the piece, we wished both characters could receive proper shadows, as it would have contributed nicely to their depth.

8/10

Total Score: 33/40

----------------------
Natook
Score: 19/40



Adherence to Theme: While nicely done, we felt this entry was quite far from adequately pertaining to contest theme. No HUD of any sort existed, and it did not appear to our judges as particularly representative of an in-game screenshot. We awarded it a the middle-of-the-road score of five, as it arguably could pass as a single frame of an animated character sprite, but even this, we felt, was pushing it. Nice effort, anyhow.

5/10

Originality/Creativity: Again, this issue divided us somewhat amongst ourselves. While we felt it was somewhat of an easy route to create an illustration of an existing character, we also noticed a nice and rarely attempted touch in using (what seemed to be) a mid-animation frame. However, everything reeked of imitation: from the background details down to the animation itself-- it seemed as though you simply re-illustrated existing Kirby sprite-work, and that isn't something encouraged in this contest.

4/10

Detail/Use of Color: This entry faired quite a bit better here... there were a number of small, intricate details nicely placed throughout the piece. The vibrancy of the colors, despite their occasionally awkward shading, truly shine here. It was difficult to discern whether Natook was going for a "NES ERA" kind of Kirby image, but having only our speculation to go by, we felt collectively that many of the colors lacked depth and crispness, however.

6/10

Style/Form: We found very little form to speak of here. Being as small as it is, we found it decidedly difficult to mark for style, and nearly everything in the piece looked very stale and unpolished. None of it appeared as though it would be moving around or actually taking place in a game environment... and in that sense, it just came across as the static image that it is.

Total Score: 19/40

----------------------

Edit by Karsu: I am totally hijacking this thread, because Blind has proven himself incapable of doing so.

Sorry about the briefness guys, but hey...it's something.



Cop Killa:



Cop Killa's piece has a number of serious problems. Firstly, there is no real indication of it being a game, the colors are used poorly and there is little detail, and the black outlines everywhere kill what little detail and form there was in the piece. Using pure black outlines on sprites is usually not a good idea. On the plus side, the concept is relatively original. As a side note, what is with that detailed asteroid in the far upper-right? It doesn't match everything else.

Adherence to Theme: 4
Originality/Creativity: 6
Detail/Use of Color: 2
Style/Form: 3
Penalty: N/A

Overall: 15 / 40



D-Bones:



This piece has a major positive point: it actually does look like a shot from a possible game. Beyond that, though, it has trouble in all other areas - the use of an unoriginal character design in a familiar setting is the biggest detractor. One major thing that was noted during the review of this piece was the inconsistency of the characters with the environment - the characters are detailed and well done, but the background looks like it was slapped together quickly and without much thought. Also, .jpeg with sprites is a no-no and highly discouraged; this is a very precise art form and .jpegs make everything look worse immediately.

Adherence to Theme: 7
Originality/Creativity: 3
Detail/Use of Color: 4
Style/Form: 4
Penalty: -1 for .jpeg format

Overall: 17 / 40



Neok:



Neok admirably creates what looks like a fun, side-scrolling brawler. It is the first scoring entry on this list with an actual attempt at an interface, and the concept itself is somewhat clever - but the execution could've been better. The details are muddy and distorted and the characters clash with the background, dragging this piece down and making it weaker than it could be. Like our previous entries, it also has issues with flatness.

Adherence to Theme: 7
Originality/Creativity: 7
Detail/Use of Color: 4
Style/Form: 5
Penalty: N/A

Overall: 23 / 40



Arcan:



Arcan demonstrates a good degree of spriting skill here. There is an interface present, and it is quite attractive, and it really feels like a game mockup - albeit, an unfinished one, which is this piece's greatest flaw. Everything appears to fit and feels coherent. The colors are especially good.

Adherence to Theme: 9
Originality/Creativity: 7
Detail/Use of Color: 8
Style/Form: 7
Penalty: -5 (sorry man, can't warrant giving an award to an unfinished entry - why couldn't you just put something there!?)

Overall: 26 / 40



Darken:



Darken attempts a very limited color palette (only four!) and mostly succeeds despite the rather complicated subject matter. The simple interface reminds one of simple, oldschool side-scrollers. A few nagging issues persist; the dithering on the cloud is probably too much, distracting from the foreground image, the water details in the middlgeround are weak, and Cthulhu's wing outline is awkwardly drawn when on the sky.

Adherence to Theme: 7
Originality/Creativity: 8
Detail/Use of Color: 6
Style/Form: 6
Penalty: N/A

Overall: 27 / 40




Boobledeboo



An intriguing take on the contest subject matter, Boobledeboo directly emulates, but does not duplicate, the Phoenix Wright games. While the flatness issues and the color choices weaken it, the strong emphasis on detail counts for a lot. The animation is also solid, suggesting an understanding and knowledge of the limitations of sprite animation. A solid work.

Adherence to Theme: 8
Originality/Creativity: 7
Detail/Use of Color: 7
Style/Form: 6
Penalty: N/A

Overall: 28 / 40

RMN Pixel Art Contest #2

[size=20pt][font=Tahoma]RMN-Approved Contest #2: Game Material/Mockups![/font][/size] [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/tree54.gif[/img] [size=16pt]The Rundown[/size] [list] [li]Make a game-related piece of pixel art. [li]Win [b]$100[/b] if yours is better than everyone elses.[/li] [li]Win [b]$50[/b] if yours is better than everyone elses except for the guy who won $100.[/li] [/list] A year after the relative success of the first (similarly named) event, I've been speaking with several individuals about rekindling the interest in this! Many months of [s]incessant laziness and[/s] time away from the community last Winter have allowed me to (sort of) accumulate more prize money, along with general site productivity! There was a reasonably fair turnout for the first RMN Pixel Art Contest, but I'd like to expand the scope of this version, in terms of both member involvement and detail of submissions. For those of you who take one look at this topic and backtrack from intimidation: Don't. We encourage absolutely everyone to try their hands at this regardless of experience. Due to the behemoth-sized assortment of information I shoved into the last topic, in terms of tutorials and nonspecific details, I hope no one will [s]notice[/s] mind that I've rehashed some of it! That said, for those of you unaware of what Pixel Art IS, allow me to provide this rather verbose definition from Wikipedia! [quote=What is Pixel Art?][b]Pixel art[/b] is distinguished from other forms of digital art by an insistence upon manual, pixel-level editing of an image ([b]without the application of image filters, automatic anti-aliasing or special rendering modes[/b]), often at close magnification. In this form, it is commonly said that "each pixel was placed carefully" to achieve a desired result. Purists within the pixel art scene hold that "true" pixel art should only be created from tools that place individual pixels (such as the 'pencil' tool), and that pixel artists should avoid all other tools including line, Bezier curve, circle and rectangle. Others counter that tools such as line and bucket-fill are acceptable as their functions could be just as easily, if not as quickly, replicated on an individual pixel basis.[/quote] For a more elaborate set of guidelines; you may opt to check out the page itself, [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_art]Found Here[/url]! [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/mockup__r166931711.png[/img] [size=9pt][b]Copyright [url=http://partisan-tb.blogspot.com/]Nathan Christie[/url][/b][/size] [size=18pt]How does this contest work?[/size] Despite their differences in subject matter, this contest works quite similarly to the Map Design events. Participants are given certain periods of time to complete and polish their entires; and each is critiqued respectfully by the judges. To provide a far more accurate description than I myself could muster; feel free to consult the following description in terms of how the work is actually put together! [b]The process of Pixel Art:[/b] (From Wiki) [list] [li]Drawings usually start with what is called the line art, which is the basic line that defines the character, building or anything else the artist is intending to draw. Linearts are usually traced over scanned drawings and are often shared among other pixel artists. Other techniques, some resembling painting, also exist.[/li] [li]The limited palette often implemented into Pixel Art usually promotes the use of dithering in order to achieve different shades and colors, but due to the nature of this form of art this is done completely by hand. Hand-made anti-aliasing is also used.[/li] [/list] [size=18pt][i]What[/i] do we need to create?[/size] (Read this!) To bring the methodology of the contest more in line with that of RMN itself, we've narrowed the focus a little: to [i]games[/i]. Yes, huge surprise. These leaves an open door for not only creatively constructed game mockups, but generalized material or resources that are created originally for a game. While there is no strict limitation, we are going to accept all submissions that aesthetically appear related to a game in some form. If entrees fail to meet this criteria, they are denied. For those of you contemplating attempting a game mockup, but are unclear of the specifics related to it: [quote]In manufacturing and design, a mockup is a scale or full-size model of a design or device, used for teaching, demonstration, evaluating a design, promotion, and other purposes. A mockup is called a prototype if it provides at least part of the functionality of a system and enables testing of a design.[/quote] In our case, a mockup typically reflects the visual tone and style of a game without necessarily being a functioning product. This is useful for establishing a strong stylistic sensibility without yet having taken work too far, and can keep others interested in your work. As before, literal examples are probably far more helpful than my endless ranting could ever be; so perhaps some of these pieces can inspire you! [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/rock.gif[/img] [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/clanratsmockup.gif[/img] [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/solmockup.png[/img] [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/grassworldtiles.gif[/img] [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/rpg_mockup.gif[/img] Keep in mind that nearly every example I've provided was done by an experienced artist and not necessarily reflective of the quality we're expecting. There is sure to be a range of talent showcased in this event and we appreciate everyone's unique contribution. We take our guidelines seriously, but the important issue is simply to enjoy the process of expanding your artistic prowess and have fun coming up with something! [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/shoe.gif[/img] [size=18pt]HOW do we do it?[/size] Appropriate software makes the creation of Pixel Art a far easier process, so I've provided a brief list of suitable examples. Certainly do not feel limited to what is listed here. We are more concerned with the end result than the process itself, in terms of assessment. [b]Some programs commonly used for the generating pixel art:[/b] [b][i]Microsoft Paint[/i][/b] is included in Microsoft Windows. It lacks many advanced features, but basic graphic editing is very mature and suitable for pixel by pixel editing. [i]If not; there are several alternatives![/i] [url=http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/]Graphics Gale[/url] Has both freeware and ¥1995 (roughly $20) shareware versions, and has features designed for animation and cursor creation. [url=http://www.gimp.org/]GIMP[/url] Shares the bulk of it's features with Adobe Photoshop and likewise functions similarly. [url=http://opensword.org/Pixen/]Pixen[/url] A free, open-source, and available for Mac OS X. It offers many tools tailored to sprite creation and animation. [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/celes3.png[/img] [size=9pt][b]Copyright [url=http://happip.deviantart.com/]Happip[/url][/b][/size] [size=18pt]B-but... I'm still lost![/size] [b]Try a few of these comprehensive tutorials![/b] [Hide] [url=http://www.derekyu.com/?page_id=218]Derek Yu's Tutorial[/url] [url=http://www.natomic.com/hosted/marks/mpat/]Mark's Pixel Art[/url] [url=http://www.flipflopflyin.com/g/2006/06/how-to-do-pixel-head.html]Pixel Head Tutorial[/url] [url=http://pxlgfx.com/tutorials/Perfect_Pixel_Patterns/]Perfect Pixel Patterns[/url] [url=http://www.drububu.com/tutorial/index.html]Drububu[/url] [url=http://www.gjdesigns.dk/tutorials.shtml]GJ Designs[/url] [url=http://www.zoggles.co.uk/asp/tutorials.asp?show=index]Zoggle's Guide to the Isometric Perspective[/url] [url=http://www.19.5degs.com/element/869.php#pixel-art-tutorial]Another Isometric Tutorial[/url] [url=http://graphicssoft.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=graphicssoft&zu=http%3A%2F%2Fsteve.neonstar.net%2Ftutorials.htm]Sprite Domain[/url] [url=http://news.deviantart.com/article/8008/]DeviantART Article[/url] [/Hide] [b]Image-Based (Visual) Tutorials:[/b] [url=http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/pixelbinktutorial001.gif]Making a Cube[/url] [url=http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/pixelbinktutorial002.gif]Building a Building[/url] [url=http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/pixelbinktutorial003.gif]Shading a Face[/url] [url=http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/iso_circle_tut.gif]The Isometric Circle[/url] [url=]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/mushroomsteps.png]Creating a House[/url] [b][size=19pt]The Rules (READ THIS)[/size][/b] [list] [li]Though it may already be obvious to those of you with experience, [b]Pixel Art differs from map design in that it is an ENTIRELY ORIGINAL craft[/b]. Anything and everything you turn in must be generated by your own hands. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.[/li][/list] [list][li]Plagiarism is a sin. Anyone caught plagiarizing will be expelled from the contest and RMN itself.[/li] [li]We do permit the use of existing palettes and color collections for your work. For example, if you want to endeavor toward a piece inspired by (and coherent with) Super Mario World material, this is perfectly acceptable.[/li][/list] [list][li]There are no size restrictions. However, make sure to use a size you are capable of. 800x800 is great if you are able to pixel such a large graphic.[/li][/list] [list][li]This is a game development site, and so your piece [b]must[/b] be a potential piece of a functioning game. Whether the game is real or not doesn't matter. Full screen mockups work best in this regard, but other types of art will function as well (character sprites, backgrounds, example tileset, etc.)[/li][/list] [list][li]Wednesday, July 8th, through Saturday, July 11th is the deadline for entries. To be eligible for judging, pending extreme circumstances, pieces [b]MUST[/b] be submitted within this time frame. (If you wish for your own to remain private/unexposed, PM it to myself or one of the other judges.)[/li][/list] [b][u]Note[/u][/b]: We are allotting more time for entries [b]so that participants can make use of it[/b]. We know how busy everyones' personal schedule can be, but we've upped the scale and resulting prizes for this event, so we're ex8ecting quite a bit more! [size=18pt]Judging and Assessment[/size] As noted, all submissions will be critiqued on a variety of factors. These elements are composed of the following: [b]1.) Adherence to Theme[/b] [b]2.) Originality/Creativity[/b] [b]3.) Detail/Use of Color[/b] [b]4.) Style and Form[/b] A total of ten points will be indicative of each major category; adding to the total of 40. This score is an idealized, nearly infeasible goal, and simply reflects the totality of what can be achieved, not what we're looking for. [size=16pt][b]Judges:[/b][/size] [list] [li]BlindMind[/li][/list] [list][li]Karsuman[/li][/list] [list][li]Sovan Jedi[/li] [/list] [size=18pt][b] Prizes:[/b][/size][size=14pt] [b]1st: $100[/b] [b]2nd: $50[/b][/size] A prize of [b]One Hundred USD[/b] will be awarded either via Paypal or postal system to the 1st place winner. (Likewise, fifty dollars to second place.) Further, we're open to a fourth potential judge. If anyone may also be interested in that position, or has general questions on scoring, feel free to contact me and/or post here. [img]http://www.pixeljoint.com/files/icons/full/caramba.gif[/img] [size=9pt][b]Copyright [url=http://www.foolstown.com/]Fool[/url][/b][/size] [size=18pt]Participation[/size] [list] [li]Darken[/li] [li]Cop Killa[/li] [li]DE[/li] [li]Blitzen[/li] [li]D-Bones[/li] [li]^646[/li] [li]Tau[/li] [li]geodude[/li] [li]Natook[/li] [li]arcan[/li] [li]Deacon Batista[/li] [li]boobledeeboo[/li] [/list] I was immensely pleased with the outcome of the last event, yet I hope to surpass it with this iteration. I hope everyone shall consider!

Photography Topic

Pretty self-explanatory! I thought this would be a neat idea, as I know some of us tinker with Photography as a side hobby. If it isn't clear, I make the distinction here from RMN's other POST A PIC topic in the sense that (ideally) what's posted here should be more artistically focused and expressive than the generic "MySpace pictures" of the other thread. I assume most people here are aware of how to give (and elaborate on) constructive criticism, so I hope we can all be adults and remember to use it.

I won't overload this with my own work (for now!), but here are a few shots I've taken during the past few months:



Fleeting Foliage (Large Size)



Auburn Rapture (Large Size)



English Ectasy (Large Size)

I encourage everyone to join in regardless of skill level -- it's all in good fun.

Where are you from? A Possible RMN Meet

A few certain staff members (and myself) have recently been contemplating a possible (and currently unofficial) RMN Fest for early next year. For those of you unaware of what this is; Fest(s) are literally real-life meet-ups of members within certain online communities-- a celebration of friendships that transcend mere Website and AIM text, to phrase it quite possibly in the corniest way possible! Hehe.

We haven't actually planned anything out yet, so keep in mind that it's purely discussion at this point. Likewise, as happy as we've been to deliberate; there are unfortunately problems inherent to these kinds of events. Although we all congregate here because of our (seemingly) common interests, our members are both distinctive and regionally separate. I'm making this topic in an effort to alleviate as much of the meticulous planning as I can; in an open, straight-forward message to the member-base.

So I suppose the thread is essentially three-fold:
1.) Where do you you live? Is it in or around the United States, where our staff plans to organize the event?
2.) Would you actually be WILLING to participate in the meet-up? Open to traveling anywhere outside of your own state, even?
3.) Are you older than eighteen years of age? This is an unfortunate cutoff our staff plans on enforcing, for certain practical purposes!

Be as concise of detailed as you'd like. We appreciate pretty much any and all feedback! =]

RMN Pixel Art Contest

RMN-Approved Contest: Designing A Scene (Or Character!)



So I was feeling marginally productive today and had been considering doing this for a good-sized period of time. To state the obvious, this is largely different than the older, mapping-based contests I've held here in the past, and steps things up a tad in terms of the workload (and creativity involved!). Be prepared to put in some effort if you'd consider participating!

For those of you unaware of what Pixel Art IS, allow me to provide this rather verbose definition from Wikipedia!

Pixel art is distinguished from other forms of digital art by an insistence upon manual, pixel-level editing of an image (without the application of image filters, automatic anti-aliasing or special rendering modes), often at close magnification. In this form, it is commonly said that "each pixel was placed carefully" to achieve a desired result.

Purists within the pixel art scene hold that "true" pixel art should only be created from tools that place individual pixels (such as the 'pencil' tool), and that pixel artists should avoid all other tools including line, Bezier curve, circle and rectangle. Others counter that tools such as line and bucket-fill are acceptable as their functions could be just as easily, if not as quickly, replicated on an individual pixel basis.
For a more elaborate set of guidelines; you may opt to check out the page itself, Found Here!


Copyright Andrew Bado

What exactly do we need to do?

Despite their differences in subject matter, this contest works quite similarly to the Map Design events. Participants are given are certain period of time to complete and polish their entires; and each is critiqued respectfully by the judges.

To provide a far more accurate description than I myself could muster; feel free to consult the following description in terms of how the work is actually put together!

The process of Pixel Art: (From Wiki)
  • Drawings usually start with what is called the line art, which is the basic line that defines the character, building or anything else the artist is intending to draw. Linearts are usually traced over scanned drawings and are often shared among other pixel artists. Other techniques, some resembling painting, also exist.
  • The limited palette often implemented into Pixel Art usually promotes the use of dithering in order to achieve different shades and colors, but due to the nature of this form of art this is done completely by hand. Hand-made anti-aliasing is also used.

Needless to say, those of you familiar with traditional spiriting (for your own projects or otherwise) are at a slight advantage here. But for everyone else; fear not... the judging shall be handled in such a way that all things are equally considered and nearly everyone is provided a fair chance. Creativity matters nearly as much as general skill-- so don't be discouraged!



HOW do we do it?

To again point out what is uncomfortably obvious, appropriate software is clearly required for the creation of Pixel Art... for this contest and in general. I've provided a brief list of suitable examples, but certainly do not feel limited to what is here. We are more concerned with the end result than the process itself, in terms of assessment.

Some programs commonly used for the generating pixel art:

Microsoft Paint is included in Microsoft Windows. It lacks many advanced features, but basic graphic editing is very mature and suitable for pixel by pixel editing.
If not; there are several alternatives!

Graphics Gale
Has both freeware and ¥1995 (roughly $20) shareware versions, and has features designed for animation and cursor creation.

GIMP
Shares the bulk of it's features with Adobe Photoshop and likewise functions similarly.

Pixen
A free, open-source, and available for Mac OS X. It offers many tools tailored to sprite creation and animation.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright ThereIsNoCure

What do we need to create?

To be comfortably concise: anything you'd like! There are, of course, restrictions according to the rules themselves (found below); but pretty much anything goes. You may choose, if you find the option more comfortable, to create a top-down RPGMaker-esque set of tiles and arrange them as many of you traditionally would in a grid-based setting. (See Example Below)


Complements of Clest!

However, given the relative freedom of Pixel Art as opposed to the (comparatively) narrow Map Design, I encourage everyone to experiment and step bravely outside of their comfort zones. You can achieve far more than simply traditional RPG Map settings if you really fool around with it.

Literal examples are probably far more helpful than my ranting could ever be; so perhaps some of these pieces can inspire you!









Keep in mind that nearly *all* of the above were produced by established professionals; and aren't necessarily the level of quality we're looking for. Effort and inventiveness are among our primary concerns.

B-but... I'm still lost!

Try a few of these comprehensive tutorials!
Derek Yu's Tutorial
Mark's Pixel Art
Pixel Head Tutorial
Perfect Pixel Patterns
Drububu
GJ Designs
Zoggle's Guide to the Isometric Perspective
Another Isometric Tutorial
Sprite Domain
DeviantART Article

Image-Based (Visual) Tutorials


The Rules (READ THIS)
  • Though it may already be obvious to those of you with experience, Pixel Art differs from map design in that it is an ENTIRELY ORIGINAL craft. Anything and everything you turn in must be generated by your own hands. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.
  • As we knowingly have no effective was to forbid significant edits of ripped material, we're not going to naively presume to ban it outright. If our judges (and any other members) cannot identify the source material, then you're home free. However, do not presume that this is cause to toss in anything and everything you find; this is an assessment of your own artistic talents, not those of Squaresoft's development team!
  • We do permit the use of existing palettes and color collections for your work. For example, if you want to endeavor toward a piece inspired by (and visually coherent with) Super Mario World, this is perfectly acceptable.
  • 100x100 is the minimum dimension. 800x800 is the absolute maximum.
  • Saturday, November 15th, through Sunday, November 16th is the deadline for entires. To be eligible for judging, pending extreme circumstances, pieces MUST be submitted within this time frame. (If you wish for your own to remain private/unexposed, PM it to myself or one of the other judges.)

Judging and Assessment
As noted, all submissions will be critiqued on a variety of factors. These elements are composed of the following:
1.) Originality/Inventiveness
2.) Detail and Embellishment
3.) Use of Color
4.) Style and Form
5.) Compliance with Rules
A total of twenty points will be indicative of each major category; adding to the (nearly infeasible) total of 100.

Judges:
  • BlindMind
  • Karsuman
  • Sovan Jedi

A prize of Twenty Five USD will be awarded either via Paypal or postal system to the winner. We're open to a third potential judge. If anyone may also be interested in that position, feel free to contact me and/or post here.


Copyright Fool

Participation
  • Clest
  • King of Games
  • Euphorian
  • Natook
  • Harmonic
  • Nessiah
  • Ocean
  • Craze
  • VideoWizard
  • Ody
  • D-bones
  • iamnot

I hope everyone will consider it, regardless of skill. :]
Post if you're remotely interested, or have any questions as to the contest itself!
Pages: first 12 next last