Bloodfox1998

Fire Emblem: Conquest of the Five Kingdoms Sprite Gallery

Recommended Posts

Hey everybody, here's just a dump of the completed portraits for my (currently unmade) hack, Fire Emblem: Conquest of the Five Kingdoms. If you have any questions or comments on a specific sprite, just let me know!

Spoiler

595b47986ec2b_PortraitSheet.thumb.png.ea1b88f46b0f5e6b60de2d44242c9964.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now they're super obviously splices between multiple faces/hairs/and bodies, with little done to differentiate them from their original sources... Sometimes ignoring proportions outright for the sake of plopping someone's head on someone else. Which is a pretty common mistake I see among newbie splicers.

Have you taken a look at some of the splicing/spriting tutorials around here? A lot of them are pretty good.
But if tutorial learning isn't your thing (I understand if it's not, it's not mine either.) critique is something folk here are usually more than welcome to give, if you're able to take it.
Just be warned that people have a tendency to do so somewhat "aggressively" compared to other places. If you don't hear a lot of "you did this thing or that thing well" as encouragement, don't take it personal, it's just how people operate here.
Is it a good thing? I wouldn't really say so... But one could argue it weeds out those without the will to *actually* see a project through. A test of resolve. Making a game is freaking hard, and FE games will demand an incredible amount of resources and time from you. Do you have the strength of will and the personal time to put into a project? That's what you'll find out very soon after starting to work on something.

I will furthermore say it seems like you've got high ambitions. I don't like shooting people down for this, but seriously, it is the number one most common cause of downfall among people who wanna make games, and not just FE games. They overestimate what they can do, especially alone, and get discouraged or burnt out before they're even halfway through. Do not attempt to make your "dream project" or "this thing I really want to do" your first project. It is a path destined for disappointment.
Instead, I much more strongly recommend trying to design your game in a sort of organic way. My own project, Revenge of the Emblem, started as a freaking contest entry, but now it's evolved into something I could have never expected, changed radically over the course of development, embracing changes for harmony in gameplay and narrative, and all of it for the better. It was also my first attempt at a project where I, for once, varied up my workflow, as an experiment of sorts. I basically ran in gameplay first, and then built my story around the things the gameplay created. It was actually pretty neat. I don't think I'll do it that specific way in the future, (I've learned it's very bad for me to design the two independent of each other; I'll lose motivation to finish any portion because it "feels" finished, even though it isn't.) but it worked very well to give the game its unique identity.

...Honestly any time I see any fangame that's still in concept phase but has a title that's not overtly declared as tentative, it's usually a good tell as to when it's somebody's baby project. Some idea they had cooking beforehand. It's fine to have some idea of what you want going in, but I strongly recommend against concepting beyond your "guide" as a solo developer. We just don't have the manpower to overcome our own weaknesses to translate our idea cleanly to the "canvass" of the game. You'll have to make sacrifices and change things for the sake of the game, often throwing entire ideas out, sometimes redefining the game entirely for its benefit. It is much easier to do this when the project is not something you feel is "the story you have to tell."

And that's one other thing before I end this text wall of probably discouraging-feeling advice; not everyone is a writer. I haven't seen what you're capable of so I can't say for certain, but I will say that this is an incredibly common pitfall for just about every fledgeling RPG developer. They get an idea in their head, they weave a little story around it, really like it, and want to make a game about that story/tell that story through a game, without any actual understanding of how game story developing tends to go. Oftentimes these are also people who self-credit themselves as writers, when they are usually, at most, storytellers. The types of people you'd picture as old folk telling stories to children, metaphorically speaking, if you get what I mean. It doesn't take much actual writing skill to just "make a story." It takes skill to make that story well written and have meaning, and that's hardly even accounting for characters themselves, whom writing requires a strong understanding of the human psyche in order to do consistently. Writing is not just "I have an idea, let me write it down, everybody will love it!" No, hardly. This phase of writing can be useful, but it is not usually a skill that is exactly sought after. Loath as I am to say it, ideas are a dime a dozen.
Do not be afraid to consult an actual writer if your own writing is poorly received. You'll get actual critique on something most people, for some reason, go without being actually critiqued on, just panned for "THIS IS BAD" rather than anything constructive or even especially helpful. Heck, if your project shows merit and they aren't occupied by their own project, it's possible somebody may even be willing to help you straight up. And let me tell you that, while managing a team is a skill in and of itself, the more people you have helping you, the better. Games are made by studios with hundreds of people in them at the minimum for good reason.

 

Hopefully all that wasn't too demotivatingly worded. I just have seen a lot of things happen kinda the same over and over again and would rather not see another repeat of them if possible. :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ritisa said:

Right now they're super obviously splices between multiple faces/hairs/and bodies, with little done to differentiate them from their original sources... Sometimes ignoring proportions outright for the sake of plopping someone's head on someone else. Which is a pretty common mistake I see among newbie splicers.

Have you taken a look at some of the splicing/spriting tutorials around here? A lot of them are pretty good.
But if tutorial learning isn't your thing (I understand if it's not, it's not mine either.) critique is something folk here are usually more than welcome to give, if you're able to take it.
Just be warned that people have a tendency to do so somewhat "aggressively" compared to other places. If you don't hear a lot of "you did this thing or that thing well" as encouragement, don't take it personal, it's just how people operate here.
Is it a good thing? I wouldn't really say so... But one could argue it weeds out those without the will to *actually* see a project through. A test of resolve. Making a game is freaking hard, and FE games will demand an incredible amount of resources and time from you. Do you have the strength of will and the personal time to put into a project? That's what you'll find out very soon after starting to work on something.

I will furthermore say it seems like you've got high ambitions. I don't like shooting people down for this, but seriously, it is the number one most common cause of downfall among people who wanna make games, and not just FE games. They overestimate what they can do, especially alone, and get discouraged or burnt out before they're even halfway through. Do not attempt to make your "dream project" or "this thing I really want to do" your first project. It is a path destined for disappointment.
Instead, I much more strongly recommend trying to design your game in a sort of organic way. My own project, Revenge of the Emblem, started as a freaking contest entry, but now it's evolved into something I could have never expected, changed radically over the course of development, embracing changes for harmony in gameplay and narrative, and all of it for the better. It was also my first attempt at a project where I, for once, varied up my workflow, as an experiment of sorts. I basically ran in gameplay first, and then built my story around the things the gameplay created. It was actually pretty neat. I don't think I'll do it that specific way in the future, (I've learned it's very bad for me to design the two independent of each other; I'll lose motivation to finish any portion because it "feels" finished, even though it isn't.) but it worked very well to give the game its unique identity.

...Honestly any time I see any fangame that's still in concept phase but has a title that's not overtly declared as tentative, it's usually a good tell as to when it's somebody's baby project. Some idea they had cooking beforehand. It's fine to have some idea of what you want going in, but I strongly recommend against concepting beyond your "guide" as a solo developer. We just don't have the manpower to overcome our own weaknesses to translate our idea cleanly to the "canvass" of the game. You'll have to make sacrifices and change things for the sake of the game, often throwing entire ideas out, sometimes redefining the game entirely for its benefit. It is much easier to do this when the project is not something you feel is "the story you have to tell."

And that's one other thing before I end this text wall of probably discouraging-feeling advice; not everyone is a writer. I haven't seen what you're capable of so I can't say for certain, but I will say that this is an incredibly common pitfall for just about every fledgeling RPG developer. They get an idea in their head, they weave a little story around it, really like it, and want to make a game about that story/tell that story through a game, without any actual understanding of how game story developing tends to go. Oftentimes these are also people who self-credit themselves as writers, when they are usually, at most, storytellers. The types of people you'd picture as old folk telling stories to children, metaphorically speaking, if you get what I mean. It doesn't take much actual writing skill to just "make a story." It takes skill to make that story well written and have meaning, and that's hardly even accounting for characters themselves, whom writing requires a strong understanding of the human psyche in order to do consistently. Writing is not just "I have an idea, let me write it down, everybody will love it!" No, hardly. This phase of writing can be useful, but it is not usually a skill that is exactly sought after. Loath as I am to say it, ideas are a dime a dozen.
Do not be afraid to consult an actual writer if your own writing is poorly received. You'll get actual critique on something most people, for some reason, go without being actually critiqued on, just panned for "THIS IS BAD" rather than anything constructive or even especially helpful. Heck, if your project shows merit and they aren't occupied by their own project, it's possible somebody may even be willing to help you straight up. And let me tell you that, while managing a team is a skill in and of itself, the more people you have helping you, the better. Games are made by studios with hundreds of people in them at the minimum for good reason.

 

Hopefully all that wasn't too demotivatingly worded. I just have seen a lot of things happen kinda the same over and over again and would rather not see another repeat of them if possible. :/

To be honest, I feel like you're assuming a tad too much about who I am and everyone knows what they say about assuming. I write stories as a hobby, and have been called a fairly strong writer many times before, so the plot is no problem, and I've even got a skeleton of the story structure planned out. And while they may be obvious splices, I'm proud of them, and most of the people I've shown them to already have been amazed by them. The only thing stopping me from actually making the hack faster is not knowing how to event and insert maps, but besides that, I'm pretty strong with everything else. 

tl;dr, I feel like you're a tad to worried about me haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're just giving you adequate warning because we're not the sort of people who sugarcoat our critique. Most people you've shown your work to are probably not artists nor spriters in the least, or they're friends who don't want to hurt your feelings; i.e. people who can't really be counted on to give you objective feedback to improve your work. As far as I can tell, you're pretty much just sitting on your laurels because you can do some simple splicing.

I will say that the initial text wall was perhaps a bit much (mostly because I don't really care if a hack project goes through or not here in the sprite board), but I will agree with the first paragraph: they're mostly very novice splices with poor proportions and little regard for actual technique. Shading is poorly applied, if at all in some places, the palettes are all over the place and borrow from both FE6/7 and FE8, and, really, there's just such a massive slew of proportional issues that unless someone were kind enough to sit through each and every mug with you, we'd really never get through this entire cast.

IMO, pick a few you think need the most work and ask for critique on those. The forum will provide the rest. Whether or not you want to listen depends on you, but I'll most certainly state that I am absolutely not amazed by any of these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the other two put it a bit more eloquently than I could, so I won't delve too much into where they've already gone. As for the splices themselves, they're not great, but I've definitely seen worse. There's a bit too many to go into individually, but there is one common theme I can see that needs to be addressed. Color consistency. You're clearly using colors from both the FE6/7 and FE8 palettes. If these are all going to be part of one game, you need to settle on one or the other.

I'd also suggest you try to be a bit more creative and ambitious with your design choices. None of the characters really stick out from the crowd or catch the eye. Not every character necessarily needs to be a stunning bastion of originality, but there's not a lot of inspiration on display here. The lady with the bandanna and the purple braids, and the smug looking green guy are a step in the right direction. More of that please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Teapot said:

They're just giving you adequate warning because we're not the sort of people who sugarcoat our critique. Most people you've shown your work to are probably not artists nor spriters in the least, or they're friends who don't want to hurt your feelings; i.e. people who can't really be counted on to give you objective feedback to improve your work. As far as I can tell, you're pretty much just sitting on your laurels because you can do some simple splicing.

I will say that the initial text wall was perhaps a bit much (mostly because I don't really care if a hack project goes through or not here in the sprite board), but I will agree with the first paragraph: they're mostly very novice splices with poor proportions and little regard for actual technique. Shading is poorly applied, if at all in some places, the palettes are all over the place and borrow from both FE6/7 and FE8, and, really, there's just such a massive slew of proportional issues that unless someone were kind enough to sit through each and every mug with you, we'd really never get through this entire cast.

IMO, pick a few you think need the most work and ask for critique on those. The forum will provide the rest. Whether or not you want to listen depends on you, but I'll most certainly state that I am absolutely not amazed by any of these.

See this kind of stuff is the reason I almost never want to post on these forums. I didn't come here to be personally attacked because I'm proud of what I'm done. And I'll say it again, how do you know who I have and haven't shown these to? Don't just make assumptions like that. I'm really sorry if any of this is coming off as rude to you but despite you having valid criticisms I'll take into account, you worded it almost insultingly. Nearly everyone I've interacted with on these forums is just so harsh and unfeeling, and it kinda makes me never want to come here again. Either way, I see your points, and I'll look over the proportions in more detail with a couple artist friends of mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't need to know who you've shown it to - the final results alone speak volumes. There's nothing wrong with being proud of what you've done; it's the fact you're being defensive about your work that inhibits your ability to improve. You've done nothing to address your actual work in the past couple of posts. All you've done is go on and on about how we're getting on your case.

I'll state it simply: going back to your "artist friends" and hiding in your little clique isn't going to make you improve, if this is the level of quality your private chats produce. As I said earlier, pick one or two mugs you want the most help on and we'll provide the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Teapot said:

I don't need to know who you've shown it to - the final results alone speak volumes. There's nothing wrong with being proud of what you've done; it's the fact you're being defensive about your work that inhibits your ability to improve. You've done nothing to address your actual work in the past couple of posts. All you've done is go on and on about how we're getting on your case.

I'll state it simply: going back to your "artist friends" and hiding in your little clique isn't going to make you improve, if this is the level of quality your private chats produce. As I said earlier, pick one or two mugs you want the most help on and we'll provide the rest.

Alright fair enough. Let's not fight anymore, it's just making us both look bad. Here are the splices I personally feel are the most well made among the bunch. What would you suggest could be improved about them?

 

Spoiler

595c8c14d3348_betterportraits.png.6d49f5040c68aaec82dea984ab7ad53d.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Lenh said:

Pick one or two, if you could. Four's too many.

Ok, let's just focus on the first two for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wCpDS.png

- Sain's face, Lloyd's chest, Whatshisface's hair and slightly altered armor. For the quantity of sprites you made the bar's higher and you could try and get out of the comfort zone/easy level of face/hair/body a little more. Particularly the face is worth altering a little, since this splice just says edgelord Sain right now.

- Black spots on the hair don't work.

- Stray browns on the jacket collar near the belt. Either get rid of those or incorporate that color into the rest of the jacket.

- Breastplate collar doesn't wrap around the neck and is asymmetrical.

- Shading on the jacket is uggs/pillow shading on the circled area in particular. Part to blame on the vanilla source, part to blame for selecting colors with a higher contrast that really accentuates it. Same could be said for the purple.

- Darkest brown and dark grey are very similar but underutilized as subtle color-shift shading, which aside from straight laziness or palette swapping ease would be your only reason for keeping two similar colors without just crushing them. You could really use the extra color to push depth on the jacket.

- Color scheme is pasty skin, yellowy-desat brown, red-brown, blue-purple, and blue-grey? There's no real harmony in it so it looks over-busy/confused, and with so many colors a lot of them are flat, when you could have fewer with more depth/shading.

- Bad seam /missing eyebrow

- The trim on the breastplate irks me, might be b/c shading on the actual metal is flat.

- Who wears armor under their jacket. I see you expanded Lloyd's original width to cover the additional padding it'd have, but still I feel it's questionable design.

- Collar isn't aliased with the neck

 

(The royal We will) start with the one and see what you do from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lenh said:

- Black spots on the hair don't work.

- Stray browns on the jacket collar near the belt. Either get rid of those or incorporate that color into the rest of the jacket.

- Shading on the jacket is uggs/pillow shading on the circled area in particular. Part to blame on the vanilla source, part to blame for selecting colors with a higher contrast that really accentuates it. Same could be said for the purple.

- Darkest brown and dark grey are very similar but underutilized as subtle color-shift shading, which aside from straight laziness or palette swapping ease would be your only reason for keeping two similar colors without just crushing them. You could really use the extra color to push depth on the jacket.

- Color scheme is pasty skin, yellowy-desat brown, red-brown, blue-purple, and blue-grey? There's no real harmony in it so it looks over-busy/confused, and with so many colors a lot of them are flat, when you could have fewer with more depth/shading.

- Bad seam /missing eyebrow

- The trim on the breastplate irks me, might be b/c shading on the actual metal is flat.

So taking these specific points into account, I redesigned the sprite a bit. Mainly I focused on choosing colors that look better together as well as fixing a few small errors in the sprite's structure. I was a bit confused by what you meant when you said "Collar isn't aliased with the neck", so if you could clarify what you meant, that'd be great.

595db276ed7f6_V4vsV5.png.f0565c96754acc156a0bc36245f18b8f.png 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wCOIs.png

Aliasing means you take a crisp line and smooth it out with darker colors to soften its edge. Done right it makes the mug more cohesive and is easier on the eyes. Done wrong or overdone it can destroy shapes and make the mug blurry and unreadable.

---

- Black spots on the hair don't work. Works ok.

- Stray browns on the jacket collar near the belt. Either get rid of those or incorporate that color into the rest of the jacket. Ok.

- Shading on the jacket is uggs/pillow shading on the circled area in particular. Part to blame on the vanilla source, part to blame for selecting colors with a higher contrast that really accentuates it. Same could be said for the purple. Personally I don't see an improvement, you're probably better off mimicking the color values that Linus has (best off learning to shade that part appropriately). A color value is the perceived brightness of a color, even if they're different hues, say an equally bright blue or grey or purple.

- Darkest brown and dark grey are very similar but underutilized as subtle color-shift shading, which aside from straight laziness or palette swapping ease would be your only reason for keeping two similar colors without just crushing them. You could really use the extra color to push depth on the jacket. 

- Color scheme is pasty skin, yellowy-desat brown, red-brown, blue-purple, and blue-grey? There's no real harmony in it so it looks over-busy/confused, and with so many colors a lot of them are flat, when you could have fewer with more depth/shading. An attempt was made, now it's monochromatic but most of the body colors are much darker than the head/hair. I don't know where you're pulling colors from but you're better off keeping the color value of the vanilla color you're swapping.

- Bad seam /missing eyebrow Still missing, you touched the wrong eyebrow. Just look at Sain's eyebrows and copy the shading he had/splice them back in properly. 

- The trim on the breastplate irks me, might be b/c shading on the actual metal is flat. The trim got worse with a downgrade from 3 levels of shading to 2, and while there's a drop shadow on the breastplate now it still seems pretty flat..

---

Since it seems you are focused more on cleanup I'll tackle it once, and hope you can pull something from it. I mostly referenced the vanilla sprites to reshade what got destroyed on the face sections, and swapped colors around and went free on the body. Clean-up is one of the easier things but it's something that needs to be done.

wCQF8.png | wCQH0.png->wCQla.png

- Don't alter any color on the skintone ramp unless you know what you're doing. I have a feeling you shared the hair color with a skintone and then altered the hair color, which altered the face shading.

- I was too lazy to alter Linus' coat. With vanilla there are easily spliceable and good things and there's bad, where you'll have a lot of work to put in before they can be used elsewhere/put up to standard. Linus' coat, things with low color-counts, and quite a few FE6 mugs are in that category.

-This doesn't solve the issue with the breastplate being an illogical design point, and there's anatomical wonkiness that's kind of downplayed because you have the bigger elephant of the breastplate there, but eh.

-You're frozen into the odd color scheme because of the shared colors between them, hair and collar is forced b/c it shares with skintone, belt/armor/jacket/trim are forced together because they're dependent on one another and the jacket is dependent on the outline color. The arrangement/color crushing is great for freehand work but much more difficult to deal with when you're playing with splices.

-I think in general you have an issue with pulling/replacing the right colors for your splices. Again, match your new color value to the original color value you're replacing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Lenh said:

-This doesn't solve the issue with the breastplate being an illogical design point, and there's anatomical wonkiness that's kind of downplayed because you have the bigger elephant of the breastplate there, but eh.

-I think in general you have an issue with pulling/replacing the right colors for your splices. Again, match your new color value to the original color value you're replacing.

Honestly, I can't thank you enough. Not only did you teach me about mistakes I commonly fall into and how to fix them, but you also went so far as to actually fix said mistakes, giving me a good example to go off of. I'll be sure to credit you if I ever end up actually making this hack. I took some of your advice and used it to touch up another of my sprites. I'm curious of what you think. 

595df488dd4c2_V2vsV3.png.b3025ab48d61c98a553a5e5a163d9f51.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have time to give my personal opinion, especially an edit, on everything. You got my one with the expectation that you'll put more effort in.

- Cape colors are bad, put back in a vanilla color ramp.

-Stray brown  in hair

- Eyebrows aren't great, splice something back in.

- Eyes are flatter than they should be (lacking depth, there's not the usual level of shading in them). Splice something back in and preserve the shading.

-Cape itself is pressing the body tightly while the shading says it's loosely draped.

- Again, basic splice, go for some more complex variations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions! I think I'll be fine for now then, and will post any updates or new splices I make here for people to asses as they wish. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/7/2017 at 1:30 AM, Hetler said:

Is this soldier a reference to Sans by any chance?

I never intended him to be, but I can see how you'd think that haha. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I took some time and updated some of my older sprites a bit. I'm curious what y'all think.

596323499a4c2_Update1.png.4ba955e1f1c6961b81afe4c99a8165e0.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first two are good aside from some shading issues with the on the second. Try smoothing out the edges of the bandana and eyebrows

The shape of the head on the third is wrong, unless it's intentional as part of the character. The lower half of her face seems to be too far forward. It looks like she's missing a whole half of her jaw. Maybe redraw the jawline a few times

I'm not exactly an authority on this stuff but this is what I noticed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.