Does anyone work on handheld?

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  02 February 2002
Does anyone work on handheld?

I wanted to know if anyone out there works on handhelds. Currently I work at a company who produces mostly games for the gameboy advance. I really enjoy my work, and the short dev cycles, but feel it can be very limiting. It can get frustrating when someone asks you to do a hi spirited confident walk but do it in 10 frames. Does anyone else have much experience with the gba or other sprite based games? How do you deal with the limitations? What tools do you use to aid you 3d or 2d? Just curious.
  02 February 2002
I work in that business, and sometimes its extremly frustrating coz of all the limitations. We produce for mobile, pda's and the internet. And its limitations everywhere, time, texturesizes, framecount etc.
Never worked on gameboy, and if u have 10 frames to make a walkcycle, try 3 that cant be good.
Webgames are alittle different, there I have a litle more freedom, but for now, our 3d engine doesnt support bones/biped, which Im looking forward to, when it gets implemented.
But all in all its a fun experience.
But I hate working with sprites, in color for a mobilephone, making a character that looks cool for that size....its a challenge alright...and I am seldomly satisfied, but as long as the customers are...

  02 February 2002
Yea even though the color and frame limitations get to me I do enjoy the challenge of working around them, and coming up with creative solutions. But if I can pull off something that looks decent with these limitations then it becomes much easier working on something with a little more freedom.
  02 February 2002

I'm working on the GBA and I find it good and bad. I like the purity of the machine but then it really gets frustrating when even the simplest of ideas falls flat on it's face due to the Cart size, or the lack or sprites or whatever. I guess it just keeps you on your toes and tests your ingenuity to the max!

Most of the character stuff I work on comes from Next-Gen assets. A walk cycle from Maya or Max or whatever is rendered out and then scaled, touched up and palettised by hand using a combination of Photoshop and Pro Motion.

As the game I'm working on is in isometric, the pre-rendered reference frames are a Godsend as hand animating in isometric is a f@@ker! This sequence normally arrives on my desk as 640x480 images, 5 Isometric directions x 16 frames per direction. I then dive in and crop it all to anything from a 24x24 to a 64x64 pixel sprite and cut down the number of frames as far as I think I can get away with!

Most of the time it's quite reward but there are days.... (!)
Now that it's done..... I've begun to see the reason why we are here.
  02 February 2002
I also deal with alot of assets from the Larger consoles. For the most part I animate in 3dmax render it out to a 64x64 or 128x128 for larger characters, and then clean up as much as I can in promotion (man I wish it had layers). The trend seems to be every publisher wants it to look more and more 3d. Personally I would love to hand do it in promotion you get quite a bit more control over pixels. 3d just ends up being very muddy on a pixel level.
  02 February 2002
Agreed! You will ALWAYS need to touch them up. It's all about that very last white pixel - makes'em shine!

What do you think to Promotion? I think the current verion (4.2) is much improved over previous versions but for me, it's still nothing compared to Brilliance 2.0 on the Amiga. Arrrhhh, them were the days!
Now that it's done..... I've begun to see the reason why we are here.
  02 February 2002
I love promotion I think it makes this kind of work alot easier than it could be. My only complaint is that it's very hard to sync up certain animations. For instance I've had to do quite a few animations where I had to lay one sprite over another to synch the animations correctly but because promotion does not have any layering abitlity this makes it quite a task. But that's really my only complaint. I love how the brushes work, and I could not live without animated brushes.
  07 July 2002
can anyone plz give me a link the producer of thi Promotion application where u are talking about?

what is it for an application?

thx for your help

  07 July 2002
Promotion is a bitmap creation/animation program. It's very good for controling images at a pixel level and managing color palettes which is crucial for the Game Boy Advance. here's the site.

here's some screenshots.
  07 July 2002
thx for the fast information.

so long C.
  07 July 2002

Yeh I did a spot of handheld work last year, just in my spare time, found it ok to begin with, but sometimes you just wish you had twice the image size and more frames

I did post a little bit of the stuff I did on my site if your interested and have the time to look:

- John
John Lomax
  07 July 2002

I work on handheld...but that damn 9lbs of XBOX makes my arms tire quickly...
  01 January 2006
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