My suggestions for NESmaker

erockbrox
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My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by erockbrox » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:28 am

Oh, boy Joe either you are going to appreciate the comments that I make here or you will literally just hate me. We will just have to find out. :mrgreen:

So I've very opinionated about certain things and I like things a certain way. Even though I have just begun messing around with NESmaker. I already have many things that.... well.... just bug me. So I'm going to make a list and I will try and offer constructive criticisms here. Also since I'm new to this program, what might look like a complaint might just be something that I do not understand. I also understand that this is a beta and things are subject to change.

1) When you click on a palette and that image of all of the NES's colors pops up when 2 colors meet there is a blur and it generate "extra" colors. In my opinion it is kind of misleading because it technically is showing colors that the NES can't do and it seems like a better image could have been used. Yes, it gets the job done, but it looks like a blurred image and I cringe every time that I see it.

2) When I click on Overworld a special tab comes up which says MAP next to FILE, PROJECT, TEST. Same thing happens when I click on Pixel Editor a special tab comes up which says PIXEL EDITOR. The problem that I have with this is that it just feels odd. Like whey can't the tab MAP and PIXEL EDITOR just always exists there at the top of the program as shortcuts? To see something appear and disappear just bothers me.
Last edited by erockbrox on Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TheNew8bitHeroes
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by TheNew8bitHeroes » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:26 pm

We totally appreciate any and all feedback. Some things are harder than other things to change, and a lot of things, at this point, are function over form. The magic trick that we're trying to pull off here is the sort that, for 30 years, we were all told wasn't possible. So...UI and UX get the short end of the proverbial stick compared to it actually being able to output the data. All criticisms are welcome and are great to hear at this phase, but keep that in mind as a balance :-)
erockbrox
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by erockbrox » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:11 pm

Thanks Joe, well I'll just be posting all my thoughts here as I continue to learn the software.

3) In the Pixel Editor, the icons that say Global Color Change and Tile Fill. I can't even tell that the icon is a paint bucket. In other words, its very hard to me to recognize what the picture on the icon represents. In the image below I can clearly see the fill paint bucket icons in other programs, but in NESmaker at first I didn't even know what it was.

Image

4) While in the pixel editor. Every time I click the button "show bad pixels" I keep on wanting to treat this icon button as a toggle on/off button. One click and it shows the bad pixels and another click turns this off. I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I keep on doing it and it doesn't work that way.

5) While working in the pixel editor. I am very used to working with YYCHR and with YYCHR to copy or select a color all you have to do is RIGHT CLICK on a color and then you can start drawing with that with the pencil tool with the LEFT CLICK button on the mouse. I would really like to be able to right click on a particular color in the pixel editor and then start using that same color with my left mouse clicks.

6) While working in the pixel editor. If you turn on both the 8x8 grid and the 16x16 grid the blue and yellow lines sometimes confuses me because they are of equal "weight". Sometimes I think the yellow is the 16x16 and the blue is the 8x8. The top image is how NESmaker shows it currently, in the bottom image I dashed the lines of the yellow to make it easier to differentiate between the two sizes. What do you think? Does the bottom image look better and is more clear? Note that mine isn't perfectly dashed I just did it in paint kind of quickly to make the point.

If a person ever gets confused they can always remember "oh remember the dashed lines are always inside of the solid lines". and quickly know what area is what.

Image

7) While in the pixel editor, if I use the select tool and select something and then hit DELETE on the keyboard nothing gets deleted. It would be nice if selecting something and pressing delete turned that area to the "black" color or transparent color.
Last edited by erockbrox on Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Mihoshi20
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by Mihoshi20 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:55 am

Though I don't have issues with the solid lines of two different colors, I've always been a huge fan of pixel or image editors that use dashes to differentiate between 8x8 and 16x16 along with two different colors.
erockbrox
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by erockbrox » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:59 am

8) I tried to copy a 16x16 graphics tile from paint and photoshop and paste it into the pixel editor in nesmaker and it didn't paste. It would be nice if you could copy images from one program and paste them into nesmaker. Let me know if there is a way because it doesn't seem to work for me.

9) It seems to me as if the "paths" are always automated or auto-generated. While this does speed up game development time in some cases, I just want to place my path's one tile at a tile manually. Is there any option that allows this? I like to have full control over my game and where each tile specifically goes.

10) So I tried to create some assets and got that strange infinite loop again saying "A tileset was changed, would you like to reload it". it won't go away. Don't know what to do.

11) Probably a small bug, in the pixel editor if you click on the 16x16 grid then click 8x8 grid and then click 16x16 grid all of the grid lines turn yellow.

12) So after creating some assets I went over to the overworld section and clicked on a screen to start building my screen. I have some duplicate tile graphic assets and so I wanted to get rid of them. I literally clicked on the tiles that I did not want and clicked the REMOVE button and nothing happened. It won't let me remove them.

13) When creating my assets in Graphics Bank 1, I understand that you need to click on each tile and then set the tile type to give it properties, however after I have given it the type like Solid or Walkable then if I click on it again it seems to never "remember" what type it previously was. Like shouldn't it do this? And are you only allowed 15 different tile types in the whole game?
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TheNew8bitHeroes
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by TheNew8bitHeroes » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:59 pm

To address a few of these - thanks so much for the feedback. I'll let you know what things you can expect to be supported, what things are interesting to think about on our part, and what things aren't easy or possible or high priorities, for reference. But the notes are great and appreciated! :-)

1) Palette blur in picker may be a resolution issue on your machine? Not sure.

2) The menus are loaded specific to the type of window you're working on. You can't load a BMP when you're on the map screen. You can't export the current screen info from the pixel editor, etc. So the menus change with the current part of the tool opened. Not sure this will change. You can always access the map by clicking on one of the maps, or pixel editor by clicking on the pixel editor.

3) The paint and photoshop icons are much higher resolution. Ours is more pixelated. But there are also tool tips if you mouseover. I can't imagine this would be too complicated after using the tool 1 or 2 times even if someone didn't quite recognize the icon. I haven't heard anyone else voice this yet - maybe some will?

4) Interesting thought about the show bad pixels. These are a mode of display, though...like BRGB - Translate through palette - show bad pixels. Those are three choices, so what would show bad pixels toggle to? Unless it was tethered to BOTH brgb and palette translate?

5) So right click acts sort of as a color picker from the canvas you're working on? Something like this might be able to be implemented. I'm not sure what function right click currently serves in the pixel editor specifically.

6) Dotted lines = not a bad idea. Also, possibly being able to choose your color for each. Though most people will be creating graphics using one or the other (whether they're working on background tile or sprite graphics)

7) That's because there is no such thing as delete in the traditional sense. Yes, as you've described is exactly what would happen. But for this purpose, why not just use the rectangle tool to achieve the same purpose?

8) You can't copy from an external source and paste to an internal source. The graphic has to be loaded to perform the NESmaker things. You CAN load the graphic, select the area, copy, and then paste. This is one of the primary things in the tutorials.

9) paths are auto generated. That's how paths work. I don't know what you mean "place one tile at a time manually". Tiles work like that, but paths are a special type of tile that are an attempt to modularly build graphics by using a much smaller part of the tileset for complex, modular graphics. If you need to place tile at a time, just make tiles rather than paths.

10) I'm not sure I've seen that error. This message pops up when you change graphics in the pixel editor. What's probably is that you were making changes in the pixel editor and this was popping up a bunch, and you were ignoring it or it was happening passively in the background, many many times? I'm not sure.

11) Interesting! I'll have to check that out!

12) I'm confused. You want to get rid of tiles? You remove them in the hierarchy, not in the screen painter. Find them in the drop downs, right click and choose delete.

13) You REALLY need to watch how this is done in the tutorials. I'm not sure what you mean, but this is one of the most fundamental NESmaker things, so I'd definitely make sure you're not just lone gunning it. Watch the tutorials on that particular part. Also, 16 (0-16) tiles...4 bits to define collision data. But that's a ton. Take Zelda...walk/solid/entrance/fairy pond/change-to-secret...that's about all. Super Mario 3...walk,solid,one way platform, vine, question block, music note block, level end, pipe, water, death...16 tiles goes a long way if you use them intelligently. There are some ways to cheat to get more out of the game, but it may be at the expense of other things.
erockbrox
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by erockbrox » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:22 am

Thanks for your response Joe. I'll comment on a few of these in the near future.

14) When I'm editing the overworld screens and I look at my color palettes, they all have this gray gradient effect happening on them. To me this is very strange because, well.... what's the point. I thought the whole point was to be able to see the actual color palettes and not hide or disguise them with some strange effect. Any logic reason for this that I'm not understanding.

15) When editing the overworld, I know that you can right click and place the player where you want, but I've always enjoyed the idea of clicking on the player icon and doing a drag and drop.

16) While editing the overworld, I didn't seem to see any UNDO or REDO buttons. These would be really nice.

17) While editing the overworld, for paths you press the 1,2,3,4 buttons on the keyboard. I found this very counter intuitive, almost as if these were "hidden" commands. Are there other ways to implementing the paths other than these shortcuts? Like why not have a drop down tab in the menu to choose your path? Also my first instinct on how to use this was that you need to hold the 1 key to get the path working but also click the mouse too, but it turns out that when you hit the 1 button that literally draws the tile as if you were clicking the mouse button. This again felt very counter intuitive when first starting to use it.
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dale_coop
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by dale_coop » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:04 am

Adding my comments :
14) agree with that, the grey gradient on sub pals color is bothering/distracting me, each time I open a screen :P
I think it’s just a small « bug » of the NESMaker tool, at initialization of the component. Josh will fix that for the new beta ? (Please)

17) Yeah the « press and draw » is a useful practice in the NESMaker tool (« 5 » key, « Q », « W », « E », « R », ... ;))
For paths, may be a drop down list on top of the tiles panel, ( « tiles », « paths »,...) to switch between the tiles panel and a paths panel ?

And I would add :
A button « select »/« draw », switch mode, for selection tiles on the screen (to use with the copy/paste keys) and for drawing with the selected title / path
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TheNew8bitHeroes
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by TheNew8bitHeroes » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:06 am

I am 99% certain that what you see when you enter the screen is the day/night gradient on palettes? If you have left *night pals* blank, they’re gray, thus the gray gradient. By toggling that day/night switch, that geadient will go away and you’ll either see day or night. This was something that is a holdover from Mystic Searches code, but may not be as applicable here.
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dale_coop
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Re: My suggestions for NESmaker

Post by dale_coop » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:32 pm

Oh nice, thanks Joe for that, I will try/check tonight.
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