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Leder efter partner for Mega Drive projekt (ulønnet)

Posted: 04 Jan 2014, 02:47
by Camous

I må undskylde at teksten er på engelsk, men det er copy paste fra mit indlæt på andre forum.


For over a year now I've been wanting to start a game project for a 16bit system. An action-platformer in the same design category as Ghouls 'N Ghosts and classic 2D Castlevania.

I've created a prototype for the X68000, a Japanese exclusive 16bit platform, and I find I really like doing development on older hardware. I have done game development and design professionally before. I am also comfortable working on very limited older hardware, so I know I have what it takes.

Problem is I cannot do it all alone. I need some talented and dedicated partners. Not to sell the old skin before the bear is shot, but I am sick and tired of being in the industry working on projects that I do not give a shit about. I feel with the rise of popularity of retro gaming, as well as a few pioneers having already released new 16bit games as physical products there certainly is a market out there.

Let us not kid ourselves though, that market is small, but it certainly is large enough to support a small team of talented individuals willing to pursue their dream and make the kinds of games that they themselves love to play.

There is a company who specializes in cart production for older hardware and if we can get a finished product to them they will promote and manufacture physical copies for free and share with us a certain percentage of sales. Basically they will play the role of publisher.

Anywaste, that is the pipe dream, or the goal I should say. But before all that, to get a 16bit game off the ground and brought to completion a minimum of three persons are needed. A programmer, a pixelartist and lastly a chiptune composer/sound engineer.

I am the programmer and I need to find the two other partners to make this thing a reality. As per the prototype for X68000 certain design elements of the game are already clear, but action-platformers from that era live and die by their level design and enemy AI. Stuff like that are formed and tweaked at a late stage of development which all members get a chance to leave their mark upon.

bear in mind working on a 16 bit project demands a unique set of technical prowess from each member. Knowledge of tiling and palette mamagment is a must for the artist. Furthermore, composing music for a 16bit system is whole hell of a lot more technically demanding than doing so using modern software. I expect each member can master their own subject matter so I can focus on the game mechanics.

Just to clarify, I am looking for partners here, not freelancers. The end goal is to turn this group of professionals into a small studio that can support itself by continuing to develop more games for older hardware. But to start off I want to partner up with interested parties and work on this in our spare time to the point where we have a playable demo ready to go. Then we could perhaps use Kickstarter or Indiegogo to finance us all going full time on the project.

Unfortunately the X68000 is not a popular system in the west, so making games for it is not commercially viable. Thus I have decided to scrap all my previous work and start from scratch on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive this time around. The architecture of said hardware is different enough that none of the code for the X68000 can be used. It was not all a loss though as I have gained valuable experience with game development on vintage hardware.

Some details about project:

16 bit action/platformer with similar design philosophy as Ghouls 'N Ghosts and classic Castlevania. What that means is simple gameplay married with punishing difficulty that requires repeated play and memorization to proceed. Each level will be short in length (5-10 minutes) if cleared perfectly, with one, maybe two checkpoints throughout. A boss battle completes a level. Player will restart at last reached level checkpoint as long as they have any lives left. If gamed over the player will start at the beginning of current level, but there are infinite continues. There are hidden one-up items and other goodies throughout each level.

Gameplay consists of controlling a guy who throws some sort of long projectile weapon for offence (most likely an energy lance) and brandishes a shield for defence (some sort of forcefield). Thrown projectiles can stick to certain surfaces, as well as enemies, and can then be used as jump pads. This is a very important mechanic that needs to be mastered.

The shield will be brandished in the frontal direction upon pressing a button, or perhaps the downward direction. Enemy projectiles will deflect off of the shield which is another impotant gameplay mechanic. The shield will only be active for a few frames upon deployment and will go away after that. After a short cooloff time the shield can be deployed again.

In the style of the aforementioned action-platformers the character actions are kept simple and minimal. Thus all the difficulty of the game will come from level design, enemy placement and AI. In short, the design document of a game like Castlevania might not look very interesting, only once you play it you will understand what makes it special.

As for the graphics, I have some suggestions for the visual aspects of the hero, the final boss and some of his underlings. Everything other than that is up in the air.

If you want to be a partner let me know. Also, if you know of a better place I can go to find such a person for the project then please do share.

Re: Leder efter partner for Mega Drive projekt (ulønnet)

Posted: 04 Jan 2014, 14:24
by Jesper Kondrup
Det varmer mit gamle SEGA hjerte at læse dit indlæg -og super fedt, at du har energi og lyst til at kaste dig ud i sådan et projekt :)
Jeg har ofte selv haft lyst til at lave noget lignende, dog i meget mindre skala. Er selv stor fan af de gamle platformer spil. Især Altered Beast, Golden Axe og Streets of Rage har en høj placering på hylden (se billede). Jeg har også Castlevania, men har ikke spillet det så meget som de andre.

Jeg har stort set ingen erfaring når det kommer til 'old school' pixelgrafik, men har dog erfaring med tilesets og animerede spritesheets.
Jeg har ikke tiden til at gå all-in i et projekt som dette, men kunne godt tænke mig at følge projektet og måske supporte lidt på pixelsiden en gang i mellem hvis der er behov.

Er det muligt, at du kan sige noget mere om dig selv? Navn, alder, lokation portfolio/blog etc.?

SegaMD samlingen: ... esized.jpg :)

Re: Leder efter partner for Mega Drive projekt (ulønnet)

Posted: 04 Jan 2014, 15:09
by Camous
Navnet er det samme som mit id her. Alder er 34. Lokation Aarhus N. Og portfolio finder du her:

Du er velkommen til at give en hånd med, så lidt eller så meget som du kan magte eller har lyst til. Til mit X68000 demo brugte jeg kune ripped sprites fra andre spil, så bare et par animationer af helten, en fjende eller to og et par simple tiles ville være nok til at få startet på noget som en lille demo.

De to vigtigste ting at huske med hensyn til at lave grafik til Mega Drive er palette limitationer og sprite celle dimensioner.

Genesis kan kun vise 512 forskellige farver (3 bit per farve komponent). Men Af de 512 kan kun 64 faktisk vises on the screen. 4 Paletter af 16 farver hver + 64 (dog er farve nummer 1 i hver palette transparant, så kun 15 faktiske farver per palette)

Hver sprite eller 8x8 grafik segment bruger en af de 4 paletter. Det er meget teknisk. Men simpelt sagt skal der laves 4 paletter af 15 9bit farver hver, og alt grafik skal laves ved at bruge farver fra disse paletter.

Hver stykke grafik burde laves så den kun bruger en af disse paletter. Altså hver sprite eller tile burde kun bruge de 15 farver fra kun en af de 4 paletter.

Det mildest sagt utrolig vigtig at man vælger farverne i de 4 paletter med omhu.

Hvad det betyder for grafikker er at når man tegner en sprite burde man kun bruge 15 farver og helst genbruge de 15 farver når man laver andre sprites.

Og med hensyn til dimensioner er alt grafik opbygget af 8x8 segmenter og jo mindre af sådanne segmenter man bruger til at tegne tin jo bedre. Det ville være genialt hvis alt sprite grafik kunne holdes under 32x32 af tekniske grunde. Men 32 pixels er ikke meget at arbejde med.

Re: Leder efter partner for Mega Drive projekt (ulønnet)

Posted: 05 Jan 2014, 14:55
by Jesper Kondrup
"Du er velkommen til at give en hånd med, så lidt eller så meget som du kan magte eller har lyst til"

- Fedt, det er jeg frisk på. Jeg er så småt begyndt at tjekke nogle tutorials ud omkring pixelgrafik.

Det er helt sikkert teknisk, men det kan '3d grafik' nu også være, der er det bare andre begrænsninger man må tage højde for.
Hvis du kender nogle gode sider der forklarer mere omkring paletter og evt. også workflow, så må du meget gerne sende dem til mig.

Du kan adde mig på skype eller sende en mail: Jesper_Kondrup / Jesper at coindrop dot dk

Re: Leder efter partner for Mega Drive projekt (ulønnet)

Posted: 05 Jan 2014, 15:25
by Camous
Det lyder fantastisk. Der er faktisk rigtig mange sider omkring det ovenstående. Kig bare her:

Med hensyn til paletter. Der findes faktisk en editor der er beregnet til at lave sprites til Mega Drive. Den findes dog kun til linux.

Der også det her:

Med det kan du få fat i Mega Drive paletten til photoshop. Det eneste du så skal når du tegner er at ikke bruge mere en 16 farver når du tegner en enkelt sprite. Når du tegner en anden sprite kan du bruge 16 andre farver. Men en af farverne skal du reservere som transparant, altå alt tegnet i den farve bliver ikke vist.

Husk også at Mega Drive kun kan vise 4 x 16 farver af gangen. Så du må ikke bruge mere en 4 unikke paletter af 16 farver delt mellem alt det du tegner.

Altså når du tegner noget med 16 farver er det bedst at bruge samme 16 farver til at tegne noget andet også. Man skal altså vaelge de farver med omhu.

Mit skype er: kamruzmoslemi og email kamiboy på gmail.