I pasted your question to Bard and it's pretty convinced it's Valdis Story: Abyssal City. It'd be pretty funny if it was right; the death of google and forums all in one slice.
Other suggestions it gave when I pressed it for more output:
Cave Story (lololol)
Mighty No. 9
Azure Striker Gunvolt
Luminous Avenger IX
if I had to guess, it partitions space into contiguous regions for the broad strokes, then maps a spline or wave function through them to get the zigzag outline?
Nothing so exciting, just simple dumb brute force.
The red pixels show the outline of the scaffolding where the outer line cannot pass. It starts drawing a line from the top picking a random path until it reaches the center again on the bottom. "L" shaped paths aren't allowed. If a line doesn't meet the basic criteria, try it again.
As you can imagine, computation time scales exponentially with size. Fortunately, the biggest ships I show are about where it breaks down anyway. It looks way
better with the smaller ships, more like Galaga than a Rorschach blob. Which was my hope and intention to get from it. One funny thing is when I was trying it out with Super Duper Duper big ships, is there would be times when the entirety of a RNG seed didn't generate a single viable line.
Anyway, I've been a little surprised at how little practical use messing with art has. Constantly mixing up swapping heads/clothes/weapons of the same kind of enemies just causes a confused jumble and makes it harder for a brain to learn silhouettes and response patterns. The best examples of it are things like the summoned skeletons in Diablo 2. Where it breaks up the sameyness of the blob, but you don't have to look at them or react to them so its ok.
Random terrain is indeed its crown jewel..... I do wish everyone on the planet would stop doing the Hack thing of nine boring rooms connected by corridors thing though. Monster Hunter has rooms connected by corridors, but it's so so much better.
Anecdotally, I wasn't expecting AI art to appear in actual games so soon
I was gathering Waifu Labs portraits for use in an "AI Waifu Dungeon" kind of game years ago (another thing doomed to never be finished). All of which look like dogshit by what's possible with LORA's+inpainting and all that. I think a lot of people have the feeling of "if I just wait another year or three, the tools available then will just blow what's possible now out of the water." Not sure if that's completely true unless they invent AGI within that time.
Things have finally gotten to a point where they feel pretty stable, relatively. If something looks good today it'll still look good decades from now. Real games are totally gonna start being packed with the stuff, which is why so many people were freaking out over it. They know it doesn't look like shit. They know humanity is screwed.
Ah, for some reason this reminded me of video game superstar Limbo of the Lost (LOL)
Sumez wrote: ↑Thu Sep 21, 2023 5:56 am
I missed this one
There is no way DQ1 has mid-frame palette swaps. It's possible to do on NES, but it's complex and there's really no way to do it without screwing with sprite memory.
Oh, no no no. It's a Pico-8 thing.
The Pico-8 has a global palette of 16 colors which... is way better than what the NES has, just by not having Black take up 33% of all colors. It's closer to a Master System. I'd say worse, but, sometimes I wonder who decided on the final system palettes of these old systems. I know there's hardware constraints, but golly. The old 3-bit color on PC's really takes the cake - 100% cyan and magenta are the kinds of colors basically only perverts ever want to use.
Anyway, swapping colors on the Pico-8 is a global thing, and not something that's an option if something else on screen uses the same color. There's almost certainly a way to change the colors of a sprite by rewriting them during runtime, which could have met most of my needs (simply recolor monsters while the battle loads; no palette swaps of the same monster on screen at the same time..... wait actually that would have screwed me over bigtime, since I wanted to use character sprites as enemies as well!); while the Pico-8 simulates old systems with most of its limitations, one thing it has is an unrealistically high amount of horsepower. (It really is great for making Shm'ups, making something like Recca but better is trivial in the thing.)
But like with everything else, that will eat up a game's limited space. Cart swapping is a thing some people do, but I feel like it's cheating and feel like it defeats the point. By that point, just don't make it a Pico-8 game!
I am always interested about midframe color swapping on old systems though. The Atari 2600 is a particularly insidious beast; the guy who made that Homestar Runner RPG mockup prototype is pretty memorable.
(As an aside, does anyone know of a good-looking NES game that doesn't use dark matte outlining on sprites?)