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Neoriceisgood
2013-11-10, 10:20 AM
Yo!

http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/314/8/a/hero_oh_hero_by_neoriceisgood-d6tq7e1.png

I used to have a comic that started out on the Giantitp forums called Path To Greater Good, which I killed for a while due to a few issues. art, impossible format to update, issues with story, there's an enormous list I won't type out without anyone asking.

I haven't actively posted about my new comic in these forums (aside from my signature, obviously) cause I felt I'd let the archive build up past 100 pages first. (update: reaching nearly 400 pages now though.)

My comic can be found at: www.neorice.com It's fantasy/humor and pixelart/sprite based.

Changes for old readers:
Art:
http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/314/c/f/old_new_comic_by_neoriceisgood-d6tq5ym.png
A comparison of the very first page's art in PTGG & Hero oh Hero
The old comic's art was all over the place, but I've finally settled on a style that I'm comfortable with using till the end of days.
Story: The comic used to have 3 seperate stories that switched around every 10 pages or so. All three stories will be back but to keep everything a bit more streamlined I'm handling it chapter by chapter.
Story II: Eventhough this is a reboot, to keep it interesting for old readers I'm not simply using old pages with new art. There'll be a lot of overlap in characters and progression as time goes on; But it's essentially a new story in a lot of ways as well.
Characters(large image warning) http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/271/b/d/100_hero_oh_hero_character_sprites_by_neoriceisgoo d-d6o9h6a.png
Characters are largely the same in the long run, though some might have unexpected changes ranging from visual to their role in the story. If you liked any character from the old comic & they're in the above spritesheet, they'll be back eventually. :smallredface:

Hope you guys enjoy reading!

Fion MacCumhail
2013-11-10, 01:19 PM
i rather liked the old style back when i did my archive binge...

Neoriceisgood
2013-11-10, 02:14 PM
i rather liked the old style back when i did my archive binge...

Old style of art? :smallconfused:

Grif
2013-11-11, 12:38 AM
Old style of art? :smallconfused:

I had thought the old style was rather charming. :smallwink:

New one looks good too, though it'll take some getting used to.

TaiLiu
2013-11-11, 12:43 AM
art, impossible format to update, issues with story, there's an enormous list I won't type out without anyone asking.
I am asking, especially considering that there seemed to be no problems on the surface.

Neoriceisgood
2013-11-11, 02:56 AM
I had thought the old style was rather charming. :smallwink:

New one looks good too, though it'll take some getting used to.

I guess a funny thing with the "old style" is how many different ones I ended up having. At least with this new one, once people are used to it they can know it's permanent. :smallredface:
http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/299/1/1/burk_art_progression_by_neoriceisgood-d6rvv6v.png


I am asking, especially considering that there seemed to be no problems on the surface.

I think the two biggest "surface" problems that might've been obvious
would be;

1. Constantly missing updates/going on hiatus.
2. The depression/problems with school I was having, which I often
talked about in journals.

Behind the surface ..

3. The constant switching of art styles wasn't just a gimmick or for fun, I had enormous problems with almost any style I used.
Most of them were either too simple and unimpressive, or they were so detailed and time consuming that it destroyed my update rate.

4. The only styles I felt comfortable with for artistic merrit destroyed my ability to get unique backgrounds done in time. Anyone who has read through the "castle arc' in Burk's old archive who paid attention might notice I kept reusing the same castle hallway background. This was not by choice, the art was so difficult for me to create at a rapid speed that even with one update a week I couldn't manage to get as many unique backgrounds done as possible.

5. Eventhough most readers didn't seem to mind that much, the inconsistent art style and page sizes personally pissed me off.

6. I made one or two major choices in one of the storylines I seriously regret.

I think those are the major ones, there's a few more but I'm sorta tired and forgetful. :smallsigh:

Dragonus45
2013-11-17, 04:47 PM
Oh hey I remember this, I'm really looking forward to starting reading this again.

Grif
2013-11-22, 09:23 AM
I'll say this. I don't quite dig the new style.

A lot of the time, I found it difficult to tell what the characters was doing, as their bodies (or their outlines, rather) seemed oddly blurred together. More importantly, even the expressions can be hard to see at times. To illustrate, 8-Bit Theatre had sharper outlines (and better colour selection, possibly?), which made it easier to see what the individual characters were doing, despite their low-res quality.

The story itself seems to have changed significantly, to my knowledge. Was hoping to see more of mecha-girl, (I forgot her name), but eh, it might be too early to tell whether for good or worse.

Neoriceisgood
2013-11-22, 04:16 PM
Oh hey I remember this, I'm really looking forward to starting reading this again.

Thanks! I hope you enjoy reading.


I'll say this. I don't quite dig the new style.


Shame, gonna have to split this one up though:


A lot of the time, I found it difficult to tell what the characters was doing, as their bodies (or their outlines, rather) seemed oddly blurred together.

This might not have to do with their bodies as much as with the fact that I switched to pixelart backgrounds.


More importantly, even the expressions can be hard to see at times. To illustrate, 8-Bit Theatre had sharper outlines (and better colour selection, possibly?), which made it easier to see what the individual characters were doing, despite their low-res quality.


A few big differences with 8-bit:

1. As far as I know 8-bit barely uses expressions (the characters barely have faces to begin with) so I'm not -entirely- sure what you're talking about there.

2. for body/poses and readability in contrast to a BG a big difference is that 8-bit uses blurred google photos as backgrounds, I use pixelart.

The sharp pixelart backgrounds can in some cases lead to the pixelart of the characters being slightly less readable than on a painted/photo BG.

3. The old comic went through several different unique art styles, so I'm not sure what particular one you miss.http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/299/1/1/burk_art_progression_by_neoriceisgood-d6rvv6v.png

They all had enormous readability problems at points though. People just ignored this during the earlier pages as a lot of readers admitted only paying attention to the character portraits. (which took more time than the actual pages btw, which is why I stopped doing them.)


I'm not sure if those points explain your readability problems.. I've been playing around with more readable light for the comic (around page 162 you should find characters to stand out from the BG a lot more as I found a trick to make them more readable) so that might solve issues slightly.



The story itself seems to have changed significantly, to my knowledge. Was hoping to see more of mecha-girl, (I forgot her name), but eh, it might be too early to tell whether for good or worse.

Burk, Noah & Tobi will all return as in the old comic. The big difference is that this time around I decided to try and do one entire chapter for each character rather than switching storyline every 10-20 pages. (this helps me a lot with keeping a consistent update rate.)


Anyway, it's a shame to hear you're having some mild issues with the style. :/ I will say that the current one helps my update rate A LOT like..


My old comic at one point took me around a week to get a single page done, and I still didn't have time to get backgrounds made.

With the current comic I manage to do 10 new pages over a weekend, design several new characters & make more backgrounds than I imagine needing for the next year when I have time left. The increase in update speed is insane.

Grif
2013-11-22, 05:02 PM
Mmm, that explains a lot. Mind, I've not stopping reading yet, but having to squint to tell what was going on was beginning to frustrate me. I have not noticed any significant change pre and post page 162, but well, we'll see.

I'm glad you found a style you're comfortable with though.

Neoriceisgood
2013-11-22, 05:10 PM
Mmm, that explains a lot. Mind, I've not stopping reading yet, but having to squint to tell what was going on was beginning to frustrate me. I have not noticed any significant change pre and post page 162, but well, we'll see.

I'm glad you found a style you're comfortable with though.

162 isn't up yet, the comic's currently updated to 132.

Do you find the expressions hard to read on the zoomed in panels as well?

Grif
2013-11-22, 09:43 PM
162 isn't up yet, the comic's currently updated to 132.

Do you find the expressions hard to read on the zoomed in panels as well?
Oh, my bad. Was in a hurry and didn't check. (I swear I thought I read 162 somewhere.)

In any case, yes, I do find the expressions a tad hard to tell as well. I mean, it's obvious after some squinting (and hindsight), but not at a glance.

Neoriceisgood
2013-11-24, 02:44 PM
Oh, my bad. Was in a hurry and didn't check. (I swear I thought I read 162 somewhere.)

In any case, yes, I do find the expressions a tad hard to tell as well. I mean, it's obvious after some squinting (and hindsight), but not at a glance.

Hm, and you had no problems with this in the old comic on the pages that had no portraits?

Grif
2013-11-24, 11:47 PM
Hm, and you had no problems with this in the old comic on the pages that had no portraits?

I don't recall having any such complaints previously. To be fair though, my memory of your old comic was quite fuzzy (and probably rose-tinted to boot), and I no longer have references to them. :smalltongue:

Neoriceisgood
2013-11-25, 05:44 AM
I don't recall having any such complaints previously. To be fair though, my memory of your old comic was quite fuzzy (and probably rose-tinted to boot), and I no longer have references to them. :smalltongue:

I don't quite remember the link to the old archive,
but here's various pages in old styles I used:

http://neoriceisgood.deviantart.com/gallery/7371497

I think the only styles missing there are the two I used for like 3-5 pages at the end of the old comic's life.

I don't particularly feel the old sprites had clearer expressions myself, but maybe I'm missing something. :smallsmile:

Trazoi
2013-11-25, 06:10 AM
I like your current sprites (but I also liked your old sprites too!).

If there was one issue with the current sprites, it's that your backgrounds are now so detailed that the sprites can get lost in them. For example in the current comics with a twilight colour palette, everything blends together. This doesn't apply to the zoomed in portrait panels though, where you're using a more colourful palette and a white outline for the character sprites so they stand out.

As far as expressions go I think they're fine; maybe a little subdued compared to webcomics in general but that's a limitation of non-animated pixel art.

Neoriceisgood
2013-11-25, 10:02 AM
I like your current sprites (but I also liked your old sprites too!).

If there was one issue with the current sprites, it's that your backgrounds are now so detailed that the sprites can get lost in them. For example in the current comics with a twilight colour palette, everything blends together. This doesn't apply to the zoomed in portrait panels though, where you're using a more colourful palette and a white outline for the character sprites so they stand out.

As far as expressions go I think they're fine; maybe a little subdued compared to webcomics in general but that's a limitation of non-animated pixel art.

Yeah the blend in is something I noticed. Around 165 (which should pop up in a few weeks) I actually try to use a seperate light filter for character sprites & the background to counter this issue.

A big problem comes from the fact that, especially if I go for pixelart backgrounds, I'm sorta left having to pick between high quality backgrounds that might affect readability a bit .. or backgrounds that sorta look like **** >_>

Maybe some day I'll find a better balance between those two.

Gez
2013-11-26, 12:22 PM
The one thing that has always annoyed me with APTGG and HOH: the navigation arrows. On nearly every other webcomic, it goes:

[<==First==] [<--Previous--] [--Next-->] [==Last==>]
Here you go the other way around, and it always throw me off:

[<--Previous--] [<==First==] [==Last==>] [--Next-->]

Neoriceisgood
2013-11-26, 01:22 PM
The one thing that has always annoyed me with APTGG and HOH: the navigation arrows. On nearly every other webcomic, it goes:

[<==First==] [<--Previous--] [--Next-->] [==Last==>]
Here you go the other way around, and it always throw me off:

[<--Previous--] [<==First==] [==Last==>] [--Next-->]

Well all other webcomics are wrong. :smallyuk: :smallwink:

Eldhusgaur
2013-12-14, 02:05 AM
I started reading around number 50 (of the new art style) and I highly enjoy your comic in its current form. I think that the old art style doesn't complement snarky ham . Thank you for your hard work Neorice!
Such pigs, so ham, wow

Neoriceisgood
2013-12-22, 06:48 AM
I started reading around number 50 (of the new art style) and I highly enjoy your comic in its current form. I think that the old art style doesn't complement snarky ham . Thank you for your hard work Neorice!
Such pigs, so ham, wow

Thanks a lot! I did feel that the current style does fit the general atmosphere/humor a bit better myself. (there's plenty styles I could've designed that took this level of effort, this one stuck for me tho)


Little sprite update for readers:

http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/356/7/3/noah_by_neoriceisgood-d6yvrli.png

I'm getting around the end of chapter 1 so I've been working hard on getting all the sprite work done for the next part. Haircolour change aside, I hope old readers still recognise him. :smallbiggrin:


I had a small question btw: Burk's story is rounding off and seems like it'll be settled around 200 pages or so. I feel like that might be a bit too much time spent on a single character when I've got 3 seperate ones I want to put in the spotlight.

Considering work on chapter 2 is gonna start within the next few weeks I'd appreciate some feedback on what you prefer:

1. current format is fine, 200 pages is a lot but at least it means a chapter gets rounded down entirely.

2. Round chapters down but make them shorter. (50 pages? 100 pages? please specify what chapter size'd feel good to you)

3. Always cut off the story after x pages to switch to another character, regardless of a chapter being finished or not. (30, 50, 100; just name a number)

It'd be nice to know what'd feel best to readers. After all doing a comic is a learning experience. (and I know people who read Goblins got sorta annoyed when it stuck to one storyline waaay too long.)

Gez
2013-12-22, 11:50 AM
1. current format is fine, 200 pages is a lot but at least it means a chapter gets rounded down entirely.
That's my vote. Alternatively:


3. Always cut off the story after x pages to switch to another character, regardless of a chapter being finished or not. (30, 50, 100; just name a number)
Shouldn't get too hung up on a number. If you switch between characters, I'd suggest switches should happen anytime between 5 to 50 pages, as appropriate for the ongoing scenes.

I'd also suggest making a full chapter for each of the three main characters (it's still three characters, right?) and only then go on chapters that mix all three. So they all get to have a proper introduction that establishes them as main characters, instead of being nothing but supporting cast for Burk.

Neoriceisgood
2013-12-22, 02:20 PM
I'd also suggest making a full chapter for each of the three main characters (it's still three characters, right?) and only then go on chapters that mix all three. So they all get to have a proper introduction that establishes them as main characters, instead of being nothing but supporting cast for Burk.

I do plan on getting an establishing chapter in for all three of em first, yeah.

I just realised that'd be a looong time without the others if it was a permanent format. :smallwink:

Lissou
2014-01-05, 11:21 PM
I am so, so happy to see this! When did it reboot? I loved the old comic.

I was in the thread for the calendar, where the Giant mentioned having said something in the latest strip's thread. I don't usually go there but I checked as I wanted to know what he had said... saw a post by you, immediately clicked and read with delight... but somehow managed to miss the fact that it was a reboot for a long while! Heh.

I guess I didn't automatically recognise Burk as my memories of the old version of the script mostly revolve around Noah.

I'm happy to know they're all coming back! No real problem with the style, except that it doesn't seem very fit for printing, which is a shame as I like being able to read on paper (or e-paper), since reading on a screen hurts my eyes and head.

Still, I read the whole archives up to date yesterday, and today looked for a thread on the comic. I want to reiterate my support and I might not read every update as it goes out, but I'll come back for more again and again!

Neoriceisgood
2014-01-06, 04:32 AM
I am so, so happy to see this! When did it reboot? I loved the old comic.

I was in the thread for the calendar, where the Giant mentioned having said something in the latest strip's thread. I don't usually go there but I checked as I wanted to know what he had said... saw a post by you, immediately clicked and read with delight... but somehow managed to miss the fact that it was a reboot for a long while! Heh.

I guess I didn't automatically recognise Burk as my memories of the old version of the script mostly revolve around Noah.

I'm happy to know they're all coming back! No real problem with the style, except that it doesn't seem very fit for printing, which is a shame as I like being able to read on paper (or e-paper), since reading on a screen hurts my eyes and head.

Still, I read the whole archives up to date yesterday, and today looked for a thread on the comic. I want to reiterate my support and I might not read every update as it goes out, but I'll come back for more again and again!

Yo Lissou! Super nice to see you again. :smallbiggrin: I don't post much on these boards nowadays (only send glass mouse PMs for sunday's challenge every week, hahahah) so I guess it'd be pretty easy to miss the reboot.

My first page got posted in January 2013 so ... I guess I've been at it for a year or so now? (time goes fast... +- 150 pages per year, huh? interesting to know that.)

Anyway I'm glad you dig the new style & all that. I'm curious though, why would it be bad for print? I'm probably missing something there. :smallredface:


Anyway while I'm posting,
here's a few sprites that I decided to fix/improve quality wise:
http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/302/6/e/sprites_sprites_by_neoriceisgood-d6sal99.png

just a small thing and none of these characters have shown up yet, but I like showing you guys updates to the art and what not.


Comic's still going strong, 151 pages posted & my buffer's up to page 203 right now. :smallbiggrin:

Lissou
2014-01-06, 06:22 PM
Anyway I'm glad you dig the new style & all that. I'm curious though, why would it be bad for print? I'm probably missing something there. :smallredface:

Oh, I have been told before that pixel art doesn't work well in print, or something... But come to think of it, it works fine for game magazines so... I'm probably wrong about that. Why were you thinking of collecting them into printed books (maybe, eventually)? I would definitely be interested but... I understand that you'll need a strong following first.

150 pages in a year is pretty good. That's a bit under 3 pages a week, definitely a good rhythm, especially since you say you have a good buffer, and premade sprites, etc. If you've been working on the ones you'll need for the other stories, that would slow you down at first (a lot of initial work that doesn't pay off while Burk is in the spotlight) but that would free more time to work on strips once all the main stories have started and you'll need less new characters or backgrounds...

Of course that depends on when you plan on switching from one story to the next. If it's when a story is changing setting, for instance, then you'd still need to work on stuff for the new setting.

Anyways, I can't wait to read more. It will be hard to wait for each story to come back if it takes over a year, but thankfully I like all of them (well, I assume. I guess I'll have to see the other two reboots to know for sure :))

Neoriceisgood
2014-01-19, 12:34 PM
Oh, I have been told before that pixel art doesn't work well in print, or something... But come to think of it, it works fine for game magazines so... I'm probably wrong about that. Why were you thinking of collecting them into printed books (maybe, eventually)? I would definitely be interested but... I understand that you'll need a strong following first.


Yeah I'd have no problems with it, but right now I'm still working towards getting my following up to uh ... well, I'd be happy if I got my old comic's size back to be honest. x_x It's been reduced to a 10th since those days.


150 pages in a year is pretty good. That's a bit under 3 pages a week, definitely a good rhythm, especially since you say you have a good buffer, and premade sprites, etc. If you've been working on the ones you'll need for the other stories, that would slow you down at first (a lot of initial work that doesn't pay off while Burk is in the spotlight) but that would free more time to work on strips once all the main stories have started and you'll need less new characters or backgrounds...


Mhm. I actually have a ton of characters and backgrounds made. (as you'll note in my first post, which has an image of 100 premade sprites) I'll always run into the occasional moment where I realise a new story/chapter needs more/different backgrounds than expected but with my current art style it's a piece of cake.

Honestly the only moments that reduce momentum are extended fight scenes. There's one in Burk's buffer right now that required like 2-3 new sprites per page. That's a lot harder than the more cut-and-paste pages that require a new expression tops.


Of course that depends on when you plan on switching from one story to the next. If it's when a story is changing setting, for instance, then you'd still need to work on stuff for the new setting.


I tend to make sure I have most bare necessities for the next chapter's setting essentially done/largely done before I get to it. And the more assets I get in the progress of making the comic, the easier it can be to reuse stuff.



Anyways, I can't wait to read more. It will be hard to wait for each story to come back if it takes over a year, but thankfully I like all of them (well, I assume. I guess I'll have to see the other two reboots to know for sure :))

Yeah, I honestly hope all 3 will be lovable. I'll try to cut the chapter size a bit to make sure no character vanishes for too long though. :smallredface: The pacing in Burk's first chapter was a tad slower than I had hoped, but it's a learning process anyway. :smallredface: (at least the art's incredibly consistent this time around, hahahah)

Neoriceisgood
2014-02-08, 04:41 PM
Yo!

I hope you guys are enjoying the 3x weekly updates. I've been trying real hard to build a solid buffer to avoid any and all hiatus problems I've had in the past.

It's actually been growing rapidly recently, going from +-46 pages to 68 buffer pages. (I'm hoping to build it up to at least 75 in the next two weeks & 100 buffer pages before the summer.)

On an additional note: I've actually started Chapter 2 buffer-wise, which is Noah's story. It'll still take a while to get there for readers but I figured it'd be nice to let ya all know.

Slightly related,
during the break of my old comic & the reboot I actually did a full practice comic to figure out a style/pace I could work with for my reboot.

The entire practice comic (called "TOM RPG") can be found here, for those interested:

http://i.imgur.com/AShmg.png
Full Tom RPG comic:
http://imgur.com/a/81Aas#0


It's just a minor side story I did for practice, but canonically speaking it does take place in the same world as Hero Oh Hero. So I figured I'd share it for those interested. (and if you like my comic, this is 110+- pages in the same style!)

Anyway peace out and enjoy!

random_guy
2014-03-10, 10:43 PM
I am a fan of a Path to the Greater Good. Now, I am a fan of Hero Oh Hero. I see that the bandit's role in the story has changed. Will 3's role in the story change as well?

It looks like the White Terror and Sunny will be in the reboot. I thought they were interesting characters that added to the setting's lore.

Off topic: By the way, are you the same neorice that worked on Battle for Wesnoth?

Neoriceisgood
2014-03-20, 03:51 AM
I am a fan of a Path to the Greater Good. Now, I am a fan of Hero Oh Hero. I see that the bandit's role in the story has changed. Will 3's role in the story change as well?

It looks like the White Terror and Sunny will be in the reboot. I thought they were interesting characters that added to the setting's lore.


I'd say Three is one of the characters that will probably stay most similar to his old role.

If people are interested I can post some 1 on 1 art comparisons of characters from the old comic & new ones; Probably with some hints as to who'll change and who will stay largely the same.

Lemme know if that's appreciated and I'll pop something into the thread!





Off topic: By the way, are you the same neorice that worked on Battle for Wesnoth?

Yup, that's me!

Lissou
2014-03-20, 04:36 PM
Oh, I'd love to see some comparison art!

I've been enjoying the comic, although I always have some trouble figuring out what the last page I read was so that I don't miss any. Definitely not a problem on your part, though :)

random_guy
2014-03-20, 09:31 PM
Seconded. I'll love to see comparison art as well.

I always start from the latest comic and work backwards to the last one I saw and then work my way forwards again.

I just reread the comics, and I noticed the aristocrat desires one of the most powerful heroes in the world.

http://neorice.com/hoh_33

He really does desire Burk.

Neoriceisgood
2014-03-21, 04:00 AM
Oh, I'd love to see some comparison art!

I've been enjoying the comic, although I always have some trouble figuring out what the last page I read was so that I don't miss any. Definitely not a problem on your part, though :)

Heh, I wonder how hard it'd be to add a little "save" button like homestuck, I should ask my web guy about that.


Anyway, here's some images for you guys:

1. Just for fun a full on evolution of all the styles I've ever used and/or considered:

http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2014/080/4/4/evo_chart_by_neoriceisgood-d7b0qxq.png


2. 1 on 1 comparison of various key characters from every story line.
http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2014/080/7/a/update_comparison_by_neoriceisgood-d7b0qww.png

I know some people will probably prefer the old style cause it was larger & had fancier shading, I just want to make mention I've been keeping a regular update rate this time around for a reason.


Either way, the style I've chosen for Hero oh Hero is pretty simple to work with but I'm also extremely happy with the readability of character faces/expressions compared to essentially every old style.

The chars picked for that comparison sheet are fairly random btw, I mostly picked guys that had a solid quality old sprite & a new one. By request I can provide more specific characters if asked though! :smallredface:

Gez
2014-03-21, 05:28 AM
1. Just for fun a full on evolution of all the styles I've ever used and/or considered:

http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2014/080/4/4/evo_chart_by_neoriceisgood-d7b0qxq.png

I'm curious what motivated switching the hair colors around. This change in character design doesn't seem a decision motivated by the change in art style.

Neoriceisgood
2014-03-21, 05:50 AM
I'm curious what motivated switching the hair colors around. This change in character design doesn't seem a decision motivated by the change in art style.

A few reasons that differ per character:

1. Colors that fit closer to how I envisioned em. (Tobi's hair is supposed to be black for example, I tried to make this more obvious.)

2. Story/logical reasons. (At the start of my old comic I was preeetty lazy with stuff like skin tones.)

3. Personal preference. (There's some designs in the old comic I just ... didn't like much, so I simply changed details like haircolor around cause I liked it better)

4. Color coordination with future characters. (this might be a weird one but I try to pay attention to how characters look together with future characters/the additional cast. For some stories I want to focus more on a cohorent similar color sceme & for others I want chars to stand out more; So I've adjusted the colors accordingly)


I could probably tell what reasons apply for which character if you really want to know, but most of em fall into one of those 4 camps. :smalltongue:


Oh and reason 5:

http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/thumb/6/6d/Black_2_White_2_N.png/200px-Black_2_White_2_N.png I know my design outdates this but ... not comfortable with it.

Gez
2014-03-21, 07:12 AM
I could probably tell what reasons apply for which character if you really want to know, but most of em fall into one of those 4 camps. :smalltongue:

Well, it's mostly Noah and the wizard diplomat. Tobi's hair color change is just a minor palette tweak rather than a change.

Lissou
2014-03-21, 07:46 PM
Yeah, the original style of the diplomat looked middle-eastern to me, now he looks like an aryan guy with a tan. Definitely a weird change.

And I'm disappointed about Noah losing the green hair :( I realise you did that because of pokemon, but it's still a shame, I feel. I would have made his hair shorter instead of making it a boring colour :P Or if I had made it a boring colour, blonde, he already looked almost blonde anyways.

It's really nice seeing the comparison things though. I have a lot of trouble recognising Noah with the new design, the others are easy to recognise though. And I'm sure I'll get used to the new Noah. (I didn't think of Tobi's hair as different from the first one, just adapted into the new style).

Neoriceisgood
2014-04-02, 08:24 AM
Yeah, the original style of the diplomat looked middle-eastern to me, now he looks like an aryan guy with a tan. Definitely a weird change.

And I'm disappointed about Noah losing the green hair :( I realise you did that because of pokemon, but it's still a shame, I feel. I would have made his hair shorter instead of making it a boring colour :P Or if I had made it a boring colour, blonde, he already looked almost blonde anyways.

It's really nice seeing the comparison things though. I have a lot of trouble recognising Noah with the new design, the others are easy to recognise though. And I'm sure I'll get used to the new Noah. (I didn't think of Tobi's hair as different from the first one, just adapted into the new style).


Took longer to reply to this than expected cause the forum just ... vanished. :smallbiggrin:

Yeah I know some of the changes may seem odd, personally I consider most of them for the better. Some just visually and others for reasons I'll leave in the wind for now!

My buffer's already ventured very deep into Noah's story though, so that design change is pretty locked in. :) (as far as base start-of-the-story design goes, I'm not the type of author who won't have his characters ever change through story events. :smallsmile: )

Neoriceisgood
2014-06-24, 08:30 AM
Yo!

Updating this thread as I've (finally) finished chapter 1 with 221 pages and have officially started chapter 2 starting this week.
Switching from Burk's story to Noah's (as readers of the old comic might've figured out)

The start of chapter 2 is found here: http://neorice.com/hoh_222

I'm always curious about feedback/advice based on previous chapters, as I try to keep it in mind & apply as much of it
to a new chapter as I go along. :smallredface:


And cause I enjoy throwing some character art whenever I post here:

Size comparison of (most) important characters from chapter 1.
http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2014/139/4/c/chapter_1_heights_by_neoriceisgood-d7iwx06.png

Neoriceisgood
2015-02-21, 03:50 PM
Decided to update this thread as I just finished Chapter 2, running from page 222 to ... 333... that actually wasn't intentional. :smallconfused:

Thinking about it they're almost more like volumes/arcs than chapters in a way, hahah.

Just for the fun of it I'm gonna be updating Hero Oh Hero daily for the next 2 weeks, as my buffer can easily handle that.

Chapter 3 starts here: http://neorice.com/hoh_334


As I like adding comic-related images/art to my posts here, here's 3 pixelcards based on the protagonists:

http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2015/052/7/2/hero_oh_hero_heroes_by_neoriceisgood-d8iygjc.png

Lissou
2015-02-21, 06:56 PM
I enjoyed Noah's ark but I'm looking forward to Tobi's :)

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-15, 01:29 PM
I enjoyed Noah's ark but I'm looking forward to Tobi's :)

Heheheh, Noah's ark..


It always cracks me up how the structure of my comic + his name make for that phrase popping up quite often. :smallbiggrin:


Hope everyone who reads is enjoying Tobi's story arc so far!

Lissou
2015-05-15, 01:53 PM
I am! I wanted to say something a while ago but I didn't want to double post since it's against the rules, and now I forgot what it was. I'll tell you if it comes back to me, though!

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-17, 05:22 PM
Well ... now I'm super curious what it was, I hope you remember. :smallbiggrin:


Also huge image warning:

"Pixelcards" based off of a ton of characters seen in the comic so far, just for fun. :smallbiggrin:

http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2015/061/d/4/all_by_neoriceisgood-d8k6wgy.png

Link for full size image: http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2015/061/d/4/all_by_neoriceisgood-d8k6wgy.png

Lissou
2015-05-17, 08:58 PM
I remembered! Although it wasn't actually that interesting, and I might even have mentioned it already.

In most webcomics, the first arrow links to the first comic, and the last arrow links to the latest comic. In yours, they link the the previous and next respectively, with the inner arrows linking to first and last. As a result, and despite the fact that they have text legends, I regularly click the wrong link. It just seems counter-intuitive (to me). I don't know if you researched it and it ended up being the best layout or what, but I was curious about your reasoning.

I mean, now the comic has been running for a while, so changing it would probably throw people off too. But since you're doing it a different way from pretty much everyone else, I was wondering if there was any specific reason.

Gez
2015-05-18, 02:57 AM
Heh, I bugged him about that on the first page of that thread. :smalltongue:

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-18, 02:16 PM
I remembered! Although it wasn't actually that interesting, and I might even have mentioned it already.

In most webcomics, the first arrow links to the first comic, and the last arrow links to the latest comic. In yours, they link the the previous and next respectively, with the inner arrows linking to first and last. As a result, and despite the fact that they have text legends, I regularly click the wrong link. It just seems counter-intuitive (to me). I don't know if you researched it and it ended up being the best layout or what, but I was curious about your reasoning.

I mean, now the comic has been running for a while, so changing it would probably throw people off too. But since you're doing it a different way from pretty much everyone else, I was wondering if there was any specific reason.

I'll be honest and say that I've done this entirely out of a personal preference, fully knowing every single other webcomic in the world does it differently. :smallamused:

I can probably substantiate why it feels better to me, if you really want me to explain, but bluntly said "It's my site and I like this better" :smallredface:

Lissou
2015-05-18, 02:42 PM
I'll be honest and say that I've done this entirely out of a personal preference, fully knowing every single other webcomic in the world does it differently. :smallamused:

I can probably substantiate why it feels better to me, if you really want me to explain, but bluntly said "It's my site and I like this better" :smallredface:

Sure, I'm curious. I figured there wasn't a high chance of you changing it at this point but yeah, I would like to know why. At first I thought it was an accident since it seems so counter-intuitive to me, but since it stayed that way and was never "fixed" I figured there might be a reason behind it.

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-18, 02:55 PM
Sure, I'm curious. I figured there wasn't a high chance of you changing it at this point but yeah, I would like to know why. At first I thought it was an accident since it seems so counter-intuitive to me, but since it stayed that way and was never "fixed" I figured there might be a reason behind it.

I'm not very prone to do something just because others do it, but I've always found the placement on other sites sorta.. jarring?

I find the outter arrows much easier to click, as my eyes focus on the end of a line faster than the middle. And logically speaking: you'll click next/previous page more often (in rapid succession) than "final/first" page, which you'll only click once.

So based on that I personally just preferred having next/previous in the easier to reach spot on the bar. :smallcool:


I know a lot of people find it counter intuitive cause everyone does it differently, but I literally find it counter intuitive to use any other comic site ever. :smallredface:

-D-
2015-05-18, 03:29 PM
I find the outter arrows much easier to click
They are. If one accepts Fitt's Law that distance is proportional to time required to get to a point, one realizes that (assuming edges act as blockers), edges are actually closer than point halfway across the screen. Because you can quickly ram the mouse into an edge, where it stops and then move it slightly back to hit the buttons.


And logically speaking: you'll click next/previous page more often (in rapid succession) than "final/first" page, which you'll only click once.
Actually, for me this use case is different. I'm used to clicking comics and then clicking last. Only few moments ago I noticed there is latest button :smallfrown: . I am shame.

Lissou
2015-05-18, 04:21 PM
Interesting. I understand your point, the outer arrows may be easier to click (I haven't experimented. Since I keep clicking the inside ones accidentally I would say that's not the case for me, but it's probably a habit thing, so...) I find the linear approach (the arrows in the order of what they link to) more straightforward that the practical approach (the arrows in the order of which will be clicked most) but at least I understand your reasoning now.

I wonder if in that case it wouldn't work better to only have arrows for previous and next, and have the first and last simply be links in the navigation bar or something. But I guess you probably already gave the whole thing a lot of thought and concluded this was the most practical way.

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-18, 04:35 PM
Interesting. I understand your point, the outer arrows may be easier to click (I haven't experimented. Since I keep clicking the inside ones accidentally I would say that's not the case for me, but it's probably a habit thing, so...) I find the linear approach (the arrows in the order of what they link to) more straightforward that the practical approach (the arrows in the order of which will be clicked most) but at least I understand your reasoning now.

I wonder if in that case it wouldn't work better to only have arrows for previous and next, and have the first and last simply be links in the navigation bar or something. But I guess you probably already gave the whole thing a lot of thought and concluded this was the most practical way.

Well for me the most practical has always been just clicking the page to go to the next one. :smallwink:

Lissou
2015-05-18, 04:44 PM
Well for me the most practical has always been just clicking the page to go to the next one. :smallwink:

You know, I tried setting that up for my own webcomic but for some reason it doesn't work. But it's hit or miss for me. Sometimes I enjoy that feature, sometimes it frustrates me, because if I accidentally click my first instinct is to click on the left side of the new image to go back, and usually it just goes to the next one again.

I've been enjoying the frequent updates when you reach some rank, by the way. That's really nice. You have so much buffer though, you could probably update every day for a year or two! I'm pretty amazed by how fast you work. I only update once a week and I still miss my deadline often (which isn't noticeable yet because I still have some buffer, but if I can't catch up soon I'll be in trouble).

And quite honestly, your comic looks like more works goes into it than mine :P I'm guessing you've been doing this for so long that you're becoming pretty efficient. Also, you've played around with style, which I assume helped you pick one that was pretty fast while still being pleasing to the eye.

Anyway. I really enjoy Hero Oh Hero. Oh, another thing I admire with you: you manage to skip all the unnecessary dialogue. I don't think I have had a single page that wasn't dialogue-heavy :P Probably a matter of style, but I'm sure a lot of people get discouraged by the walls of text.

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-18, 06:54 PM
Replying to your post in chunks, as you hit on a few different subjects.


You know, I tried setting that up for my own webcomic but for some reason it doesn't work. But it's hit or miss for me. Sometimes I enjoy that feature, sometimes it frustrates me, because if I accidentally click my first instinct is to click on the left side of the new image to go back, and usually it just goes to the next one again.


I've always been more frustrated with comics that don't have it myself, unless their page/site format is so unconventional that you can't really read it properly without clicking the page. (some websites have click to enlarge AND click for next at the same time ... why..?)



I've been enjoying the frequent updates when you reach some rank, by the way. That's really nice. You have so much buffer though, you could probably update every day for a year or two! I'm pretty amazed by how fast you work. I only update once a week and I still miss my deadline often (which isn't noticeable yet because I still have some buffer, but if I can't catch up soon I'll be in trouble).


Well HoH's predecessor was plagued by constant hiatuses that honestly killed the readership, so I wanted to make sure never to let that happen again & prioritized having a brick solid buffer.

Let's see 592 - 394 = 198 buffer pages ...

At around 150 pages I can update 3x per week for a year.

at around 240 pages I can update 5x per week for a year.

And with 7 pages per week I'd obviously need 365 pages buffer for a year. :smallbiggrin:

Those are obviously rough estimates, but I've got well over a year worth of content if I update at the regular rate.

I worked pretty hard to get this buffer where it is though, I actually started Hero Oh Hero with a buffer of over 150 pages which shrank down below 40 between the suffer summer vacation up until winter or so. I struggled quite hard to get back to the 150 buffer I started out with due to
how much work the initial phase took. :smallredface:

I've progressively gotten more efficient at creating art as well. The current Tobi arc I'm posting is actually where I started getting so quick at comic creation that my capability to create pages skyrocketed. (you'll see how I took advantage of the extra time this gave me at the end of the arc btw, faster pages = more time for impressive/fanservice-y artwork.)



And quite honestly, your comic looks like more works goes into it than mine :P I'm guessing you've been doing this for so long that you're becoming pretty efficient. Also, you've played around with style, which I assume helped you pick one that was pretty fast while still being pleasing to the eye.

Yeah my old comic gave me a LOT of experience learning what styles don't work. As much as I know certain readers just prefered the fanciest most detailed aptGG styles I've used, those simply couldn't provide any form of stable update rate next to my study.

I could probably go into the individual choices & what I learned from the old styles in depth if I really wanted to, but I'll save that for if anyone really wants to hear me ramble on about stylistic choices. :smalltongue:

I'm actually still experimenting, albeit in more subtle ways than aptGG. I haven't seen anyone in the comments ever take notice but a few things have changed massively from Burk's first chapter. (the backgrounds becoming a platform-game type of 2D rather than having a vague hint of perspective, several changes to special effects. etc etc.)

More subtle improvements are more fun though, they're less jarring but still end up making the product gradually better over time. Something pixelart/sprite comics aren't particularly known for. :smallbiggrin:



Anyway. I really enjoy Hero Oh Hero. Oh, another thing I admire with you: you manage to skip all the unnecessary dialogue. I don't think I have had a single page that wasn't dialogue-heavy :P Probably a matter of style, but I'm sure a lot of people get discouraged by the walls of text.

I kinda set a few rules for myself when it comes to exposition dump-type dialogue & scene length.

I'll happily do stuff like leaving out basic information like a character's name if I don't think it particularly helps the flow of a scene/interaction. (this actually is a bit of a difference in noah's story v.s. burk. subtle difference really.)

Domochevsky
2015-05-18, 07:36 PM
...
I could probably go into the individual choices & what I learned from the old styles in depth if I really wanted to, but I'll save that for if anyone really wants to hear me ramble on about stylistic choices. :smalltongue:
...

Yo. Lay it on me, bro.

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-19, 05:05 PM
Yo. Lay it on me, bro.

Alright, but don't say I didn't warn you..



You asked for it so here I GO!


THE GREAT PATH TO GREATER GOOD & HERO OH HERO STYLE CHANGE STORY

Part 1: A Path To Greater Good

A bit of history

So before I go through all the styles I've actually used, it might be good to go a bit into my desire to do a sprite/pixelart comic in the first place. While it may seem obvious
given my skillset I'm not a stranger to traditional art or doing traditional comics (http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs28/f/2008/127/a/1/WFA_battle_round_2_page_2_by_Neoriceisgood.jpg).
I have however, always I loved the aesthetics of pixelart & especially the almost iconographic nature of "game sprites".

I actually didn't start doing pixelart for game purposes explicitly, my pixelart "career" more or less began in the megaman sprite comic community. Through various megaman related sites I ran into pixelart for various megaman bosses (all in MM7 style) and back then I was really trying hard to find the source game for them & wondering why megaman sprite comics didn't make use of more of these cool sprites if they were available.
I found out soon enough that over half of them weren't official, but pixelart made by people online ... Although I've made pixelart before (e.g. sloppy rpg maker sprites); it never occured to me that a random person on the internet with ms paint could actually create sprites of a quality indistinguishable from a professional game like megaman.

Now I've always liked the aesthetics of sprites & as a young kid could find myself being entertained/interested in big name sprite comics like Bob and George ... but seeing the high quality sprites some people could make made me wonder why so few sprite comics actually tried to go for entirely or almost entirely self made art.

Sure lots of megaman (and sonic..) fans used recolored/modified megaman sprites, but essentially none of them went the entire way to make a full fledged pixelart comic.

Now there's a lot of stuff that happened, me getting better in pixelart made more and more game dev friends interested in working with me & I also did a ton of traditional paper/art still, especially once I got myself a tablet which allowed myself to do digital art properly.

But through the years the idea of a sprite-based or game-visual type comic never left me.

Just for some historical pieces:


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/neoriceisgood/interfupdate.gif
Probably one of my oldest perserved mockups for aptGG's initial format, with the portraits.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/neoriceisgood/reproduction.jpg
My big reason for not enjoying drawn comics, I had no idea how to use a scanner & it showed.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/neoriceisgood/charactairza.png
Literally my first "attempt" at a comic style, see these as aptGG's 0.0001 version.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/neoriceisgood/VOIDCITY/J-Jet-introduction-1.jpg
My short venture into drawn comics, mostly related to challenge sites like void city/war for arcadia.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/neoriceisgood/PIRATECOMINCTEST/pirate_comic_page_3.png
... the less is said about this, the better. (this is essentially aptGG's first run, I had no idea what I was doing.)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v158/neoriceisgood/desperados/comic-1.gif
And nonsensical practice comics I did for a forum competition that never happened.
(only adding this here cause it was a step in the evolution of aptGG)


Please note: almost all of this ranges from mid to end of highschool, I perserve art for historical value more so than pride for old work. (it honestly makes me cringe to read/see this.)


As you can see I had tried both traditional comics & pixelart comics at least a few times and came to two conclusions:

1. if I had to do traditional comics, I would just not do comics. Didn't enjoy them at all.

2. If I were to use pixelart/sprites for comics I HAD to solve the issue with the faces being way too small for any decent expressions.


APTGG: stage 1

The expression problem was easily solved: http://neorice.com/aptgg_1

Rather than doing anything with the sprites I decided a fun game-y route, give each character a portrait + dialogue box, just like in RPGs!
It was a great idea and really caught on with people ... and it was an absolute nightmare.

I quickly realised a few things:

1. You were restricted to two lines per dialogue tops per panel.

2. The page format was all over the floor as panel size was restrictive, so it could never be printed.

3. every (http://neorice.com/aptgg_8) single (http://neorice.com/aptgg_70) character (http://neorice.com/aptgg_69)
with dialogue needed a portrait. And guess what? One portrait took more time to create than several pages.

The Gang Rule Town story arc made me realise I was finding ways to avoid giving new characters dialogue, so the first style change came: http://neorice.com/aptgg_82
I decided to make the characters larger & more expressive to remove the necessity of the character portraits.
While this change was only intended to remove the necessity of portraits for side characters, it only took me a total of 9 pages ( http://neorice.com/aptgg_90 )
to realise that these new sprites could release me of the burden of my obnoxious page format, as they completely removed the need for portraits.
With the fanbase removing the portraits might've not been the most popular decision, but in the end it allowed for more than 2 lines of dialogue per box,
something I immediately took advantage of. ( http://neorice.com/aptgg_91 )

Now this style I was actually quite satisfied with for a long time, it lasted me all the way up to ( http://neorice.com/aptgg_181 ) (funny now that I think of it, +- 90 pages of the old format,
then 90 of the new one..)

At this point I also had a big hiatus lasting from June 2009 to September 2009. During this time I decided that after 180 pages I still wasn't satisfied with drawn backdrops and that it was honestly worth giving pixel backgrounds a shot cause perhaps my issue finding an enjoyable drawn BG style was ... that it was drawn.
http://neorice.com/aptgg_183 The associated style change was for a simple reason: the old sprites didn't look particularly great on detailed pixel backgrounds, They felt more like 2D images pasted on than something that suited the BGs. For this reason I decided to reuse the same sprites, but in a different style/shading.

This is also where I made a big mistake ... the backgrounds I made were complicated as all hell & something I made during my hiatus, but during Burk's castle story arc I soon discovered
that they were essentially impossible to create as quickly as I needed.

If any of you ever wondered why I stopped switching between stories during burk's castle arc ... it wasn't cause I loved the castle, it was because it became physically impossible to handle
more than one story at once.

Big shocker for some: this is one of several reasons I actually look back to the second style more fondly than several styles that came after.


Realising I needed to solve my style issue + not wanting to risk another hiatus so soon after the last one lead to some .. interesting situations:
( http://neorice.com/aptgg_202 )
( http://neorice.com/aptgg_203 )
( http://neorice.com/aptgg_204 )
( http://neorice.com/aptgg_211 )
( http://neorice.com/aptgg_219 )
( http://neorice.com/aptgg_221 )

Between 220 and 250 I thought I finally settled on a style, but it had some ( http://neorice.com/aptgg_249 ) problems, particularly that fancy as it was it was still hard to quickly make action poses for such detailed sprites & I simply delayed the background problem by keeping the castle backgrounds almost entirely the same,
rather than solving it.
(I actually hope to make the castle rooms a lot more diverse and interesting once I reach it in the reboot, I never intended for the limited quantity of wall types/assets.)

One possible solution I had for the background/sprite situation was to focus on different styles per story so that one or two of em could function as lower effort buffers.

( http://neorice.com/aptgg_251 ) for noah I went with higher resolution sprites but sorta simpler filtered backgrounds.

( http://neorice.com/aptgg_259 ) with Tobi I wanted to experiment with extremely reductive "chibi" style sprites and simple backgrounds to help me figure out simpler styles
that still looked fine.

( http://neorice.com/aptgg_263 / http://neorice.com/aptgg_280 ) *what the observant reader might've noticed is that this Tobi chapter had much more diverse & often fancy backgrounds/set pieces, if you contrast it
to the castle arc discounting the first 4-5 backgrounds made explicitly during my hiatus; you can tell how simplicity does fuel more creative backgrounds.) Despite being deliciously simple to work
with though, the tobi chibi style came back to my original problem: You can't see a characters's expressions without portraits! Agh.

Then after exactly 288 pages ( http://neorice.com/aptgg_288 ) A Path to Greater Good died with one more meaningless Noah page. Being plagued with hiatuses, me having a lot of bad stuff going on irl & the comic's archive now being a total mess of styles all over the map ... none which I actually liked ... I was done.

At this point in time I actually quit my comic & decided I was done with it, I felt incapable of producing the comic I wanted next to school work ... and I hated the archive & the mess it had become.
When I stopped producing pages it wasn't actually to reboot my comic initially, it was to quit for good.
http://neorice.com/aptgg_291 It would've ended on a strangely sad note too, two characters complaining about another hiatus. I actually made this as a last resort buffer page over summer, I actually never planned to outright quit making pages after this but ... I just had it. I was done.

http://neorice.com/aptgg_292

But that was not the end..

----

Okay so this became a aptGG retrospective LOL And I haven't even gotten to Hero Oh Hero yet, but it's midnight so I can't keep writing.

In Summary:

1. Portraits are cool: more effort than a page

2. RPG Dialogue boxes were the worst idea ever & I'm glad I switched to a normal page format around page 182.

3. Large sprites and detailed backgrounds are AWESUM when you've got a hiatus to prepare them all, horrible in practice.

4. Large sprites -> action scenes either kill update rate or are largely unreadable.
Small sprites -> Can't actually tell a character's expression ... that's pointless.

These were some of the biggest things I learned working on aptGG & tried to fix through various styles. But almost any style change came with an unforseen problem.


In case you wonder what my favourite style out of the old comic was, ignoring the time issues ... I think the answer (http://neorice.com/aptgg_144) goes without saying.



Anyway, feel free to let me know how you feel about my aptGG style retrospective! And ... major apologises for the extreme quantity of links, but my old comic's got to be good for something.

Any replies/opinions would be appreciated, especially so I can avoid making the sequel (HoH's beginnings/retrospective) not a double post. :smallbiggrin::smallyuk:
(Or specific questions about things I didn't explain, I did brush over a few things more rapidly than others.)

Lissou
2015-05-19, 07:20 PM
Thanks for this detailed first post! I did enjoy the portraits but I can totally see how time intensive they would be, and it DID make it difficult to have a lot of dialogue. I didn't really like most of the balloons you used over the years as I found many of them pretty difficult to read, but I find the newest ones legible, which is good.

I would love to hear more about what you did to solve the issue of facial expressions, since the current style is pretty small. I haven't noticed a lack of expressiveness and you don't seem to have a higher resolution when you zoom in the faces (they get more pixelated due to the zoom) so I wouldn't think the zooms help in any way...

Info about the backgrounds is useful too. I find I have spent weeks working on backgrounds for a new location and then ended up with something so simple it could have been done in an hour, had I know what I wanted from the start.

I'll probably comment more on your next post, but I wanted to allow you not to double post.

Domochevsky
2015-05-20, 07:44 PM
...go on. :)

I find this fascinating, as it strangely parallels my own musings and problems with comic making, except with pixel art.
Comparing notes, so to speak, is incredibly interesting to me.

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-21, 09:22 AM
Thanks for this detailed first post! I did enjoy the portraits but I can totally see how time intensive they would be, and it DID make it difficult to have a lot of dialogue. I didn't really like most of the balloons you used over the years as I found many of them pretty difficult to read, but I find the newest ones legible, which is good.

I would love to hear more about what you did to solve the issue of facial expressions, since the current style is pretty small. I haven't noticed a lack of expressiveness and you don't seem to have a higher resolution when you zoom in the faces (they get more pixelated due to the zoom) so I wouldn't think the zooms help in any way...

Info about the backgrounds is useful too. I find I have spent weeks working on backgrounds for a new location and then ended up with something so simple it could have been done in an hour, had I know what I wanted from the start.

I'll probably comment more on your next post, but I wanted to allow you not to double post.

I really really wanted to try and find a way to make pixel balloons/text work in an attempt at making my comic 100% pixelart, even dialogue-wise. But after various attempts
I realised it just wasn't possible without relying on enormous fonts. The pixel bubbles were time consuming & too hard to read, but I did at least want to experiment to see if I could make it work.

I'll go into backgrounds & expressions a bit in the rest of my post, as the rise of Hero Oh Hero is really where I started figuring out how to deal with both.


...go on. :)



Yes!

THE GREAT PATH TO GREATER GOOD & HERO OH HERO STYLE CHANGE STORY

Part 2: Tom RPG

Before the comic..

So I essentially quit aptGG, I realised I was done with it. Except ... I wasn't ... really.

I was done with that comic, aptGG. I was done with what it had become, with how it looked & how I was telling it.

But I wasn't done with creating a pixelart comic about this world, Tobi, Noah or Burk. I liked all of them, their narrative, and I still liked pixelart webcomics.
For me A Modest Destiny (a now dead pixelart webcomic) had always been proof of concept. It was popular, it was fun, it was made with pixelart. Very simple
sameface-y pixelart, but it was a fun fantasy webcomic narrated with pixelart.

And it made me realise that aptGG had essentially run it's course at what it was: a nosedive to see if I could actually do a longform fantasy webcomic & enjoy it.
All the past comics I've made never made it past 14 pages before I got bored ... aptGG while flawed in many ways lasted over 280 pages during very stressful times for me irl. I had shown myself I could keep up a comic & given myself plenty of styles to work with (both within the narrative & art) to actually know what I liked/disliked.

Much more than that though ... eventhough some needed some massive changes, I loved almost all the characters I designed for my comic & future characters I never got to introduce to the readers. Despite being absolutely and completely through with aptGG itself ... I realised that after nearly 30 pages I still wanted to tell the story, I just wanted to do it properly.

Cue the teaser page 2 months after the "death" of aptGG: http://neorice.com/aptgg_292

TOM RPG

What I realised after ending aptGG & deciding I wanted to do a reboot, and do the comic properly ... is that there was a significant risk of the same problem happening again. I invent a style, jump in ... and start hating it. What I experienced through aptGG is that a lot of styles seem great on paper, but start falling apart during a longer running story..

With some styles I found out that large numbers of NPCs made portraits hard to work with, other styles were fantastic ... until I actually had to use them for action scenes..
The solution for this was surprisingly simple: I needed to actually do a style test in a comic that had enough characters, action & pages to actually experience a newly developed style before jumping into a new version of aptGG.

Most style changes in aptGG came from desperation, because the previous style had a fundamental flaw. But if I just made a shorter comic (say +-50-100 pages) I could easily use a style, do the entire comic ... and assess after the comic is done how much I enjoyed the style and if I ran into any glaring issues.

http://imgur.com/a/81Aas#0

This is when Tom RPG, the practice comic was born. The idea was pretty simple:

1. I developed a style that, in my eyes fit the criteria that were base conditions for me to enjoy my comic:

- quick/comfortable to create.

-faces that can be expressive.

-Looking at some of my source inspiration (A Modest Destiny, Lunar Legend GBA, several old SNES rpgs) I realised I wanted a style that was "iconographic" in nature.
I wanted my characters to not just look like fancy pixelart, but like little "iconic" almost game-y sprites. (something the fancier aptGG styles failed at.)

-Bodies that were large enough to make for near action poses, but small enough to have a low barrier of time/creation & small enough to make reuse of body types on
NPCs seem fine. (higher detail level = re-use of assets becomes far more obnoxious looking)

2. Create a one shot comic with a narrative that really puts all these elements to the test in a setting similar enough to aptGG to actually test it properly.

Because I wanted this comic to function as a test for aptGG's reboot I realised it'd work well to just reuse the universe, so despite not being part of the main HoH archive I do consider TOM RPG part of the story's canon. Beyond that it's also meant to just be a short little story to test the art style in non-action & action-scenes.

TOM RPG CHARACTERS

TOM RPG actually only has two characters, Tom & The Temptress. Everyone else is basically on-the-spot improvisation. Both characters have one real purpose:

Tom: silly protagonist that's very different from burk/noah/tobi. He's meant to test what a fairly minor "regular"-body character animates/feels like & fights like.

The Temptress: Not particularly deep antagonist who's entire purpose is to fight & lose. Her entire purpose is to have a "boss"-body character animated/in action scenes to get a feel for how that'd work.


The scenery/backgrounds

Unlike aptGG's early painted backgrounds or later ridiculously detailed pixelart backgrounds ... the new backgrounds are completely different in nature. I realised once switching to full pixelart in aptGG that I definitely preferred it over drawn backgrounds, I didn't want to go back ... but I also realised that at the detail level I've been working it wasn't feasible.

However the backgrounds in aptGG had one big difference from the sprites, they've always had this difference: The sprites were made to be reuseable .. the backgrounds honestly weren't.

Realising this significant difference made me entirely rethink how to do background art. Rather than drawing huge set pieces that took several hours ... What if I made procedural backgrounds that I could rapidly put together ... building blocks rather than a mural.

http://imgur.com/a/lEJEY#0

This is the point in time where I started producing a few things, as seen above I started creating skylines + house blocks.

http://neoriceisgood.deviantart.com/gallery/46067098/100-x-Pixelart

The second thing I did is starting production on several "100 asset" sheets with bushes, flowers, mushrooms, foreground elements etc.
(there's a few not publicly uploaded, like a set of over 60 wall textures & a few skylines/citylines used in-comic)

By essentially making an enormous catalogue of background assets that are built to be mixed and matched & increasing the catalogue any time I need a new location I've essentially solved the BG issue by making unique backgrounds nearly as easy to produce as new poses/outfits for characters. I can still create prettier/fancier set pieces for important scenes. (e.g. burk v.s. logan's background) But I'm no longer required to spend that ridiculous amount of effort any time a character enters a vaguely different area or scene.

The Result

TOM RPG's style wasn't flawless ... however that's perfectly okay ... "flawless" was never my goal with the test comic. I like art evolving, I like seeing improvement in a creative work. The question wasn't so much if Tom RPG needed more work ... the question was if it had any flaw so fundamental that I'd have to literally replace the style with a new one at any point. And ... Tom RPG honestly managed to pass every single test I put before it.

It was easier to create than literally every aptGG style, even the chibi tobi one. (especially if you include the new bg method); the page format was easy to work with, the dialogue was easy to read & create. none of my test readers were at any point confused by the action scenes. The charactes were quite expressive, though might've needed 2-3 more pixels head space.

All in all I realised that with some small tweaks over time, this style gave me everything I wanted.

The Bad..

Tom RPG's style was essentially suited for the reboot, but I decided to change a handful of things immediately.

http://imgur.com/a/81Aas#8

1. The interior scenes were kinda weird, I realised that showing the floor/depth inside buildings just felt off. This needed work.

http://imgur.com/a/81Aas#9

2. as stated above, the character's heads (and thus bodies) were just a bit too small to get unique facial features in well. And unique/recognisable faces is essential for me.

http://imgur.com/a/81Aas#33

http://imgur.com/a/81Aas#16

3. Some BG assets like the trees were a bit too small and needed to be replaced by more interesting/cool looking trees, particularly cause every aptGG arc felt more serious in tone than TOM RPG.

http://imgur.com/a/81Aas#45

4. I cleaned up some of the zoomed in expressions during TOM RPG, which looked fine but, like portraits, became one of the most time consuming elements of page production.. while simultaneously not increasing the art quality enough to be as impressive as actual portraits.

While I do enjoy using facial zooms as a way to emphasise expressions/pull more focus towards a character talking ... you can't make a handful of them better looking & leave the rest unedited. So I decided after some experimentation not to do this for my real comic.

-----

So to summarise how I fixed my problems with the styles/methods chosen:


- "chibi" character sprites with small/easy to animate bodies + relatively large heads that allow for all the necessary expressions.

http://neoriceisgood.deviantart.com/art/Burk-art-progression-409633447 (if you'll take notice, while the latest style is the smallest by far the head barely shrunk at all compared to the others.. allowing me to keep the same level of expressiveness.)

- Backgrounds almost entirely composed of individual reusable assets, walls, windows, doors, floor types, skylines, plants, containers.. I have a ton of simple variations of each type to ease creation of new assets.

(fun fact: Tobi's dungeon background is essentially an edit of the background seen in Logan v.s. Burk, reusing basic geometry like the pillars is hardly noticable due to how big the differences are; but it can literally cut the necessary time for a new background by up to two thirds.)


---

Anyway, I'll go more into the changes & things I discovered in the next part. Lemme know what you guys thought so far & if there's any other questions.



p.s. I've been considering doing some video stuff on this & how I do pixelart + comic assets, especially cause it's easier to explain/show some of the stuff I do/have done when I can show it at the same time. Let me know if this is something you guys would be interested in.

Lord Raziere
2015-05-21, 11:16 AM
hm, nice to see this going again.

I think I'll start reading this, read path to greater good, liked the characters, maybe its time for me to start reading the reboot.

Domochevsky
2015-05-21, 02:27 PM
Templates... lots and lots of templates. I'm with ya so far. :D

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-21, 03:57 PM
hm, nice to see this going again.

I think I'll start reading this, read path to greater good, liked the characters, maybe its time for me to start reading the reboot.

Make sure to let us know if you do give it a shot! It'd be nice to have one of my old readers back. :smallredface:


Templates... lots and lots of templates. I'm with ya so far. :D

It's not just templates of course, most of the stuff I've made falls more along the lines of fully fledged assets that are built around being reusable but also
to allow for relatively simple modification.

The fact that I use pixelart does help a lot with that though, as there's little post processing & you can easily tweak a fully fledged design without having to completely
redo the drawing process. (I know for example that a lot of CG/Drawing styles don't really allow you to quickly modify one crate into another without having to essentially redraw a whole thing.)


I do know that keeping around a collection of stuff like crates, boxes, general debris & other fairly non-intrusive assets can help a lot with filling up scenery/areas though. That's one of my primary tactics with asset creation; generalized objects that don't need much modification to look good in various locations. :smallredface:


I'll probably post part 3 tomorrow though, too tired to make another huge post like that today.

Lissou
2015-05-21, 04:55 PM
This is really interesting. I had never noticed how much smaller the bodies are in the new pixelart compared to the heads (which as you said haven't changed sizes much). What I like about your comic (shared by oots) is how the characters are fully on panel most of the time. I created a style that, well, doesn't combine well with that. The characters get cut off mid-thigh or higher (if they're short) and I think if I had created a test comic of 50-100 pages, I might have reworked the style to make it simpler and make characters fit in my panels. At this point though I think I'll go with what I have. Maybe after I create more pages (I mean, seriously, I don't even have 15 pages online yet) I'll get into a rhythm or figure out an art style change that makes sense without being too jarring.

Can't wait to see the third post. This is all super interesting. I remember your test-run comic, I really enjoyed it.

Lord Raziere
2015-05-21, 11:36 PM
Make sure to let us know if you do give it a shot! It'd be nice to have one of my old readers back. :smallredface:


kay kay, been reading both Burk and Noah first arcs.

Burk is usual silly self, kay, and Noah....hm, no longer blonde but whatever.

Noah's place seems more modern than Burk's place. Tobi's place seems more advanced than Burk's, but maybe not Noah's.

which makes me wonder if they are heroes in different eras or heroes all in the same world but separated by vast distances in geography. which I don't think I ever got an answer on. I'm tempted to think that Burk is a folk hero in the past, Noah a hero in a relatively modern time slowly realizing his empire is evil or something and Tobi a hero in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in the far future, but something tells that might be wrong.

and unfortunately by now, I only vaguely remember the original Path To Greater Good. but I do think that the arcs have definitely expanded and changed in ways from way they were originally. and I'm still not sure how the three heroes are all connected, because they have to be connected to one another somehow right?

and I do like how each character seems to have their own mood and style of story to them: Burks is more a classic folk hero in the vein of foolish anime protagonist, at least thats I think of, Noah has this weird mystery thing going on with him regarding his magic, the elves, the empire, basically surrounded by intrigue.

while where I am at is Tobi is basically going on airship ride raid a dungeon for food and medicine. further evidence for post-apoc wasteland in my opinion: who else would need to go form adventuring parties for things so basic?......huh, they apparently consider dungeons to be a part of nature.

your comic is good, but it always leaves me with more questions than it answers.

-D-
2015-05-25, 04:09 AM
Enjoying the comics. I was wondering what Sari said about attacking the eye means.

Also Driver ability isn't too shabby, but it dealt 0 damage, so that's disappointing.

Lissou
2015-05-25, 04:53 AM
Enjoying the comics. I was wondering what Sari said about attacking the eye means.

Also Driver ability isn't too shabby, but it dealt 0 damage, so that's disappointing.

It looks like the monsters are separated into several entities. Some look like mouths, some look like limbs and some (we saw them earlier) look like eyes. The enemies only take damage if you attack the eye ones, which is why the attack did 0 damage.

-D-
2015-05-25, 06:02 AM
It looks like the monsters are separated into several entities. Some look like mouths, some look like limbs and some (we saw them earlier) look like eyes. The enemies only take damage if you attack the eye ones, which is why the attack did 0 damage.
Right, but they already killed the eye looking one.

Lissou
2015-05-25, 06:40 AM
Right, but they already killed the eye looking one.

There is more than one. In one of the comics, there were 3 of them. I imagine each eye is "linked" to a set of the other body parts.

EDIT: Here (http://www.neorice.com/hoh_365) is the page when we see 3 of the eyes (not sure if there are more than 3). I don't remember when they killed one of them though. Do you have a link?

Neoriceisgood
2015-05-26, 05:58 AM
Actual discussion on the giantitp forums .. it's been so long. It almost brings a tear to my eye. :smallredface: :smallbiggrin:


Anyway as promised, the third installment of my retrospective!

THE GREAT PATH TO GREATER GOOD & HERO OH HERO STYLE CHANGE STORY


Part 3: Hero Oh Hero, chapter 1

So to avoid spoilers I'm obviously gonna leave out things I've learned/changed that haven't actually been shown yet, so I'll cut off this part of the retrospective at "the end" of chapter 3. (which you haven't reached yet, but there's not any major artistic changes/updates left, so that's fine.) Because this part of the narrative goes into the actual reboot I also plan to explain some of the thought process that went into the most notable changes within the narrative, rather than just art. I'll post about Burk's chapter for now, will do Noah and Tobi in the near future.



Burk chapter 1: The man who fell from the sky

Completely different opening story from aptGG's initial burk story arcs. The reason for this is simple: While I realised a reboot was necessary for me to still enjoy the comic, I've personally never quite enjoyed series that "reboot" into essentially an outright carbon copy of themselves. I decided that partly for myself, but also for old readers, a healthy dose of new content & recognisable content would keep the comic fresh despite being a reboot.

Some ways I've done this are actually by simply taking some content I simply hadn't gotten to in aptGG & changing the order at which information is given/shared. (A basic example is by having "the bandit" now be "The Aristocrat", it actually changes very little about his behavior, identity or my future plans for him ... it just gives reader a bit more information about him than aptGG did.); While simultaneously keeping his almost odd lack of specific identity.

Furthermore, compared to Tobi/Noah Burk's arc took a long time to build anything resembling an extended cast in aptGG, especially cause most early scenes/arcs up to the castle only really introduced 1 noteworthy character. The resthill arc introducing characters like the town guard, Daryll, the Hero etc were meant to help give burk's world more character beyond just the mainstay roles in it.
A fun little fact you guys might not know though, large chunks of Resthill are actually based on my original Burk story. Burk's the oldest of my 3 protagonists as I initially had him (and Pablo) as the protagonists for a short story I wrote for English class. The story was about a heroic barbarian named Burk fighting mysterious bandits on monster boars & him confronting the town's protector about his unwillingness to face this threat himself.
I thought that it'd be fun to take elements from my childhood story, especially because I wanted the reboot to get a "fresh" start rather than just being a rethread of the original comic's opening.
Beyond that, working on TOM RPG also made me realise one thing ... it's fun to actually have a complete story arc/chapter for a character you can really show off. While I did enjoy aptGG's switch-a-roo format & do plan on returning to it, I realised I'd do my 3 protagonists a lot more justice if I allowed them to have a full fledged chapter of "100" (full) pages.

Art evolution throughout resthill

A few differences that stand out from TOM RPG immediately:

1.
http://neorice.com/hoh_4

The forests/trees etc are a lot taller/less "cutesy" looking.

2.
http://neorice.com/hoh_17

Interior scenes are sideview, which I realised made them both easier to work with AND better looking.

3.
http://neorice.com/hoh_30

versus http://neorice.com/aptgg_292

While it might not be immediately noticable, the heads for characters are 3-4 pixels taller than tom rpg allowing for more unique faces & expressions. My pre-tom rpg test page where Burk poses in front of sheep should show just how much I ended up tweaking the style for the final product.

Now here's some things that changed during the Burk chapter:

http://neorice.com/hoh_146

http://neorice.com/hoh_168

1. "night" scenes and different scenes that use different light contrast just had a general darker layer before, as seen in the above two pages I actually started filtering characters seperately to make them feel sorta dull blue rather than just "darker", for example.

2. Doing interior scenes from a sideway perspective was something I had been doing for interiors already and ... I realised I [I]both/I] preferred the look & that it was actually a ridiculous time saver due to it removing some tedious elements like shadow color on the ground. The observant reader will notice that from the forest path to the hero & nearly every single comic after I've made every single background "sideview" & cutting out the faux perspective entirely.

3. As should be obvious, around the Hero fight my buffer got large enough to make doubling the page size a worthwhile investment. I actually think that with "Half pages", at 3x a week the comic's pacing is flawed.. but I couldn't afford a permanent switch until I got my speed up enough, which (probably with help from the sideway perspective switch) I finally started being capable of around this part.



Anyway, I think that's most of the obvious stuff I can remember about the Burk chapter. Thanks for commenting & posting btw. It makes me happy to hear people enjoy my work. :smallsmile:

Lord Raziere
2015-05-26, 10:27 AM
Yes I enjoy it but....

the questions! they are endless.

Why was Burk falling from the sky? Why do need a license to be a hero? was that maid a robot, and was it created in modern times or is it a recovered artifact? since its just a scam, what does the amulet REALLY point to? just what IS Noah? Is he an elf? a half-elf? what were those robotic soldier things? what was with the part where he met an elf in some weird different world? time travel? space travel? why are the elves and the empire opposing one another? are dungeons really a part of the landscape, or have they just been around so long that no one questions their presence? how does this all relate to one another? IS this all supposed to relate to one another? why DOES Nail cover himself up like that? and probably a lot more I've forgotten.

but I'm just going to assume that this is all the same world, and that this is all taking place at the same time. what do I know?

-Magic is possible.
-steampunk tech is possible
-being able to kick ass and be awesome without any magic at all is possible.
-there are dungeons where you can put on classes to fight through things, but so far only shown in the desert with no indication of any place outside the desert having similar dungeons so far
-there is a big conquering empire
-you need a license to be a "hero". However the definition of "hero" in this world seems to be....kind of odd.
-there is at least one part of the world where aristocracy still rules and bandits roam freely terrorizing villages, whether this holds true for the empire and the desert remains to be seen, but signs point to "no" because of their higher tech level
-thus the most likely explanation is that this world, much like ours, has differing levels of technology for whatever part of the world you are in: Tobi's area probably has the most while Burk's area probably has the least, with Noah's area having near-Tobi levels of tech as well but only because of a strong centralized empire.
-much of the magic we have seen cast in the comic is combat/blaster magic, but transformation magic (the pigs) divination magic (the amulet), and whatever Noah is, are in it to. magic seems to be rare in general and generally recognized as something only wielded by the powerful, interestingly enough, the dungeons are not considered to be magic.
-but neither are the dungeons considered technological, dungeons in this comic are strange because there is no indication in any other part of the world that anything follows dungeon crawl rpg logic, so why is Tobi's part of the world be so used to it?

-D-
2015-05-27, 09:17 AM
There is more than one. In one of the comics, there were 3 of them. I imagine each eye is "linked" to a set of the other body parts.

EDIT: Here (http://www.neorice.com/hoh_365) is the page when we see 3 of the eyes (not sure if there are more than 3). I don't remember when they killed one of them though. Do you have a link?
My bad. I thought they killed/damaged one, but it actually ran away.

Kantaki
2015-05-27, 10:32 AM
Yes I enjoy it but....

the questions! they are endless.

Why was Burk falling from the sky? Why do need a license to be a hero? was that maid a robot, and was it created in modern times or is it a recovered artifact? since its just a scam, what does the amulet REALLY point to? just what IS Noah? Is he an elf? a half-elf? what were those robotic soldier things? what was with the part where he met an elf in some weird different world? time travel? space travel? why are the elves and the empire opposing one another? are dungeons really a part of the landscape, or have they just been around so long that no one questions their presence? how does this all relate to one another? IS this all supposed to relate to one another? why DOES Nail cover himself up like that? and probably a lot more I've forgotten.

but I'm just going to assume that this is all the same world, and that this is all taking place at the same time. what do I know?

-Magic is possible.
-steampunk tech is possible
-being able to kick ass and be awesome without any magic at all is possible.
-there are dungeons where you can put on classes to fight through things, but so far only shown in the desert with no indication of any place outside the desert having similar dungeons so far
-there is a big conquering empire
-you need a license to be a "hero". However the definition of "hero" in this world seems to be....kind of odd.
-there is at least one part of the world where aristocracy still rules and bandits roam freely terrorizing villages, whether this holds true for the empire and the desert remains to be seen, but signs point to "no" because of their higher tech level
-thus the most likely explanation is that this world, much like ours, has differing levels of technology for whatever part of the world you are in: Tobi's area probably has the most while Burk's area probably has the least, with Noah's area having near-Tobi levels of tech as well but only because of a strong centralized empire.
-much of the magic we have seen cast in the comic is combat/blaster magic, but transformation magic (the pigs) divination magic (the amulet), and whatever Noah is, are in it to. magic seems to be rare in general and generally recognized as something only wielded by the powerful, interestingly enough, the dungeons are not considered to be magic.
-but neither are the dungeons considered technological, dungeons in this comic are strange because there is no indication in any other part of the world that anything follows dungeon crawl rpg logic, so why is Tobi's part of the world be so used to it?

Quoting this is easier than writing all those questions myself.:smallbiggrin:

I think that Tobis home seems the most advanced and that they are so used to dungeons is related to each other. My theory is that they got most of their tech out of dungeons and since they seem to appear on a regular base they started to base their economy on them. I have no idea why the dungeons seem to prefer an arid area of the world. Maybe water kills them.:smallamused:

-D-
2015-06-26, 04:16 AM
That's a pretty cool dungeon Neorice.

I loved the reverse gravity monsters, and the pop the eye to kill it.
So far enjoying it, but not much to comment.

Neoriceisgood
2015-07-04, 08:17 AM
Yes I enjoy it but....

the questions! they are endless.

Why was Burk falling from the sky? Why do need a license to be a hero? was that maid a robot, and was it created in modern times or is it a recovered artifact? since its just a scam, what does the amulet REALLY point to? just what IS Noah? Is he an elf? a half-elf? what were those robotic soldier things? what was with the part where he met an elf in some weird different world? time travel? space travel? why are the elves and the empire opposing one another? are dungeons really a part of the landscape, or have they just been around so long that no one questions their presence? how does this all relate to one another? IS this all supposed to relate to one another? why DOES Nail cover himself up like that? and probably a lot more I've forgotten.

but I'm just going to assume that this is all the same world, and that this is all taking place at the same time. what do I know?

-Magic is possible.
-steampunk tech is possible
-being able to kick ass and be awesome without any magic at all is possible.
-there are dungeons where you can put on classes to fight through things, but so far only shown in the desert with no indication of any place outside the desert having similar dungeons so far
-there is a big conquering empire
-you need a license to be a "hero". However the definition of "hero" in this world seems to be....kind of odd.
-there is at least one part of the world where aristocracy still rules and bandits roam freely terrorizing villages, whether this holds true for the empire and the desert remains to be seen, but signs point to "no" because of their higher tech level
-thus the most likely explanation is that this world, much like ours, has differing levels of technology for whatever part of the world you are in: Tobi's area probably has the most while Burk's area probably has the least, with Noah's area having near-Tobi levels of tech as well but only because of a strong centralized empire.
-much of the magic we have seen cast in the comic is combat/blaster magic, but transformation magic (the pigs) divination magic (the amulet), and whatever Noah is, are in it to. magic seems to be rare in general and generally recognized as something only wielded by the powerful, interestingly enough, the dungeons are not considered to be magic.
-but neither are the dungeons considered technological, dungeons in this comic are strange because there is no indication in any other part of the world that anything follows dungeon crawl rpg logic, so why is Tobi's part of the world be so used to it?

Just wanted to say I liked this post. :smallcool: Always good to see that all the questions raised are generally questions I meant to raise.


That's a pretty cool dungeon Neorice.

I loved the reverse gravity monsters, and the pop the eye to kill it.
So far enjoying it, but not much to comment.

Thank you, D.

I've got some cool stuff coming up next week btw. Doing a bonus update for today + sunday cause I'd like a particular page to be the friday update.


... You'll see it friday. :smalltongue: But yeah for those without an RSS feed, updated today & another one tomorrow. Enjoy.

-D-
2015-07-12, 08:01 PM
Just wanted to say - that is one sweet looking boss.

Neoriceisgood
2015-07-22, 07:06 AM
Just wanted to say - that is one sweet looking boss.

Thank you!

I did want the dungeon to build up to something visually impressive, so I put a bit more effort into that boss than usual. :smallredface:

Kantaki
2015-08-26, 08:25 AM
I get the feeling Ciel isn't trying to be helpful to Noah. she seems to do her best to avoid giving (useful) answers to his questions. But on the other hand a spirit guide (or whatever she will turn out to be) has to get amusement from somewhere - annoying the guy you are supposed to help seems like a good way for that.

-D-
2015-08-26, 08:35 AM
Ciel is pretty weird. She seems kinda annoyed to be guardian or whatever. Also she is champion of Passive Aggressive Combat.

However we did found out couple of things. Heroland has official Hero passes which is probably where Burk is at. Empire (not evil) has Noah undergoing secret military training, and probably the third country in which Tobi lives had some artifacts stolen.

According to Baku, they were important (and I believe him). So is there an evil mastermind, moving between the states? Will Burk finally make his team?

BTW what will Burk's team be? My guess - Noah, Tobi, Aristocrat (and someone else)?

Kantaki
2015-08-26, 08:48 AM
Maybe Sari and/or someone from Noah's chapter?

What makes me suspicious of Ciel is that she A) avoids giving (straight) answers to Noah's questions and B) that she keeps saying that she is what Noah wished for and is there to do what he desires. Combined with her devlish appearance it doesn't make her seem very trustworthy.
Maybe she does all that to go on Noah's nerves, but a more sinister goal wouldn't surprise me.

Lissou
2015-08-26, 10:12 PM
The latest update gave me the impression that she was part of Noah's abilities. Not really a person on her own, but a representation of his thoughts or something. If so, she couldn't give answers he doesn't already have.

Kantaki
2015-08-27, 07:08 AM
The latest update gave me the impression that she was part of Noah's abilities. Not really a person on her own, but a representation of his thoughts or something. If so, she couldn't give answers he doesn't already have.

That doesn't exclude the fact that she could be working against him in some way. And so far she has at least mislead Noah with her answers. Even more so if she really isn't a "living" being but a part of him.

-D-
2015-08-31, 05:49 PM
So Noah is an empath? Magical empath? One that can enter casters mind.

Kantaki
2015-08-31, 06:43 PM
So Noah is an empath? Magical empath? One that can enter casters mind.

He can literally enter minds. That could be incredible useful if he wants to escape a harmful situation, but it seems he can be harmed inside the mind as well. Now is the big question, what can he do in there? If he „only” can gather information that would make him a great spy/interrogator. If he can influence the mind or even harm the person it belongs to that would make him even more useful for the empire.

I think I might take back some things I said about Ciel. I still don't trust her but she is genuinely helpful right now.

Neoriceisgood
2015-11-23, 03:00 PM
500 pages! (http://neorice.com/hoh_latest) Arbitrary round number celebration. :smallbiggrin:


Hope you guys are still reading and enjoying. :smallredface:

Lissou
2015-11-23, 09:58 PM
500 pages! (http://neorice.com/hoh_latest) Arbitrary round number celebration. :smallbiggrin:


Hope you guys are still reading and enjoying. :smallredface:

I know I am!

-D-
2015-11-24, 12:41 AM
Its well written. It got my interest, but I still don't see the large picture.

-D-
2015-11-24, 09:28 AM
Latest page, didn't help :P

I'm now even more confused.

Neoriceisgood
2015-11-24, 11:36 AM
Latest page, didn't help :P

I'm now even more confused.

Heheh sorry. :) I have a habit of throwing weirdness bombshells at my readers sometimes.

Gez
2015-11-26, 06:10 PM
Hope you guys are still reading and enjoying. :smallredface:

Yep.

The Tobi pages are probably the strangest, because the very video-gamey nature of these dungeons cause one to question the nature of the world they live in. And here Tobi getting returned to the real world (http://neorice.com/hoh_501) and noticing that her village doesn't exist (http://neorice.com/hoh_502) make it seem like basically King Baku created a colony in a magical video game setting. The economy is sustained by the game creating/opening new dungeons that can be raided for loot. Tobi was born in it, so she never entered the Land of Beasts from the outside, which explains why the game found no entry data for her...

-D-
2015-12-15, 04:04 AM
Wonder if this is going where it seems to be going (Mage Baron being a cold bloody killer).

-D-
2015-12-18, 05:38 AM
For posterity, Burk last name is Jenkins, correct?

Neoriceisgood
2015-12-18, 06:00 PM
For posterity, Burk last name is Jenkins, correct?

Nope, but I get where you're coming from. :smallwink:


Hope you're all enjoying the slew of december bonus updates btw! Fun fact: My buffer's still over 200 pages despite all these updates.

-D-
2015-12-28, 06:36 AM
Nope, but I get where you're coming from. :smallwink:
Time's up, lets do this. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uQbQFbioHg)

Gazz vs bottle - Who will win this dramatic duel? I can bet on inanimate objects, right?

Gez
2015-12-28, 01:05 PM
So the issue is that Eloy is moving the bottle around too fast. Felix ought to card and immediately discard the bottle. This way the bottle will be put right back where it was, but no longer in Eloy's hands since Eloy moved, and Gaston will be able to smash it as it hangs in mid air and starts to fall.

-D-
2016-01-02, 10:46 AM
Oh, wow, that took a darker turn.

I just hope the combustion engine isn't powered by anguished screams of magic users.

-D-
2016-01-09, 07:43 PM
I wonder if Noah is oblivious to love, he seems to miss subtext. A lot.

-D-
2016-01-19, 12:07 PM
A talk and it reveals some interesting questions. We're sure she is magical in nature, but her bill is clean. Maybe test doesn't detect her type of magic...

Interesting.

Neoriceisgood
2016-01-24, 09:26 AM
I wager they let her take her own test, because that never leads to skewed results. :smallcool:

(Just kidding ofc.)

Kantaki
2016-01-25, 09:18 AM
New comic.

I don't see how this could go wrong for Noah.:smallamused: I think he will regret this pretty soon. More importantly, assuming it works what then? Unless he plans to stay inside that cow for a very long time there is nothing that stops the empire from testing him at a later point. And that is the best case scenario.

-D-
2016-01-25, 10:32 AM
I don't see how this could go wrong for Noah.
Slaughther day!

Kantaki
2016-01-25, 10:39 AM
Slaughther day!

:smalleek:In a PETTING ZOO???:smalleek: Well, maybe if the empire works out where he is hiding.:smallamused: I was thinking more along the lines of the cows mind being more dangerous than Noah expects.

Ibrinar
2016-01-25, 11:36 AM
New comic.

I don't see how this could go wrong for Noah.:smallamused: I think he will regret this pretty soon. More importantly, assuming it works what then? Unless he plans to stay inside that cow for a very long time there is nothing that stops the empire from testing him at a later point. And that is the best case scenario.

I think he is just testing his powers and staying in a cows mind isn't his plan to avoid the testing. (Unless this is the first step of an elaborate plan to leave the empire!)

-D-
2016-01-25, 12:11 PM
:smalleek:In a PETTING ZOO???:smalleek: Well, maybe if the empire works out where he is hiding.:smallamused:
What if Eloy is hungry?

Neoriceisgood
2016-02-22, 06:46 PM
Word of god: eloy doesn't go to the petting zoo to eat animals. :smalltongue:



Just a small little remark (particular for readers who've been around since aptGG); as you might be aware I'm operating an extremely strong 200+ page buffer that I try to keep over 200 at all times. (any time I do increased updates it's due to my buffer getting over 220 or so pages.)


One thing that makes me so happy is to finally conclude/finish up stuff that I was working on with my old comic when I quit it (due to study, work stress etc).

Within the span of the buffer's pages I've actually managed to get through basically every important part of the old comic & it's really fun to work on fresh content + finally actually resolving plot points that ended on cliffhangers all those years back.


Just figured I'd drop a message, hope you guys are enjoying reading the reboot!

Kantaki
2016-02-22, 06:59 PM
New comic

Well, I guess it can't hurt to be friendly to the faceless abomination with the bladed arms and the static voice that just saved your hide.
Still, Tobi must have nerves of steel for that.:smalleek:
I guess you get those if you live your life in the death world that is a videogame.

-D-
2016-02-23, 06:29 AM
Word of god: eloy doesn't go to the petting zoo to eat animals. :smalltongue:
This does nothing to dissuade my fears!


Just figured I'd drop a message, hope you guys are enjoying reading the reboot!
I'm just here for the fish ;)

Anyway, it's a really lovely comic and your storytelling improved quite a lot since then. Reading aptGG where Burk talks with Mayor of Gang Town, that whole thing is just done better in HoH (where Burk just drop kicks Mayor into the street). You're optimizing the story and I love it :D

Welf
2016-07-16, 07:26 AM
Just a small little remark (particular for readers who've been around since aptGG); as you might be aware I'm operating an extremely strong 200+ page buffer that I try to keep over 200 at all times. (any time I do increased updates it's due to my buffer getting over 220 or so pages.)


One thing that makes me so happy is to finally conclude/finish up stuff that I was working on with my old comic when I quit it (due to study, work stress etc).

Within the span of the buffer's pages I've actually managed to get through basically every important part of the old comic & it's really fun to work on fresh content + finally actually resolving plot points that ended on cliffhangers all those years back.


Just figured I'd drop a message, hope you guys are enjoying reading the reboot!

Just dropped in to say I like the comic. Although it is weird to read about a web comic with a 200 comic buffer. It feels unprofessional :smallwink:
I never read the old comic, so I can't enjoy it as reboot, only as new comic. Rock on!

Neoriceisgood
2016-08-10, 06:24 AM
Just dropped in to say I like the comic. Although it is weird to read about a web comic with a 200 comic buffer. It feels unprofessional :smallwink:
I never read the old comic, so I can't enjoy it as reboot, only as new comic. Rock on!

Haven't paid attention to these forums for a while so a bit late to reply, but thanks for the comment! I'm glad you're liking the comic! :smallbiggrin:


The super large buffer is mostly related due to my irregular page production btw, when I started my reboot my comic had a 150 page buffer that shrank below 50 due to how busy I was
with study, internship etc. (and that was when pages were half as big); So I've always had that initial buffer deflation in the back of my head as a "worst case scenario".


Because my old comic was plagued with Hiatuses I try to keep my buffer at a size where even several months without page production due to work can be survived. :smallcool:



On that note, how's everyone enjoying the daily updates over summer?

-D-
2016-08-12, 07:46 AM
On that note, how's everyone enjoying the daily updates over summer?
Quite. I'm thinking of Patreoning hoping to lead to moar comics.

lord_khaine
2016-08-12, 01:40 PM
Can sadly not find much to comment on storywise, but i do greatly enjoy reading this so far. Thumbs up :smallbiggrin:

Kantaki
2016-08-17, 11:12 AM
Ciel, are you sure that you have Noah’s best in mind?:smallamused:
Because stunts like this one make wonder.

The delivery is still priceless. „Don't worry, you are the only one who can see me. To anyone else you look like a madman.”:smallbiggrin:

And who knows, it might even help him to get out of this... Nah, they already know he can do something.
And from what we have seen being crazy isn't among the things that get you out of the army.
Besides, the alternative is worse.

Neoriceisgood
2016-08-17, 11:19 AM
Quite. I'm thinking of Patreoning hoping to lead to moar comics.

Thanks! My update rate isn't really tied to patreon as I'd honestly do daily updates regardless if it wasn't for me needing to spend time on a lot of other things that just make
daily updates not viable throughout most of the year. :smallsmile:

That being said, it does seem the daily updates over summer got me 2-3 new patrons, which is neat.


Can sadly not find much to comment on storywise, but i do greatly enjoy reading this so far. Thumbs up :smallbiggrin:

Thank you! As long as you guys are enjoying it, that's important. :)


Ciel, are you sure that you have Noah’s best in mind?:smallamused:
Because stunts like this one make wonder.

The delivery is still priceless. „Don't worry, you are the only one who can see me. To anyone else you look like a madman.”:smallbiggrin:

And who knows, it might even help him to get out of this... Nah, they already know he can do something.
And from what we have seen being crazy isn't among the things that get you out of the army.
Besides, the alternative is worse.

:smallbiggrin: Who's to say Ciel's interested in noah's best?

Thalnawr
2016-08-17, 11:22 AM
:smallbiggrin: Who's to say Ciel's interested in noah's best?

But she just said she's a projection of his mind, so that means his own mind is out to get him?

Kantaki
2016-08-17, 11:42 AM
But she just said she's a projection of his mind, so that means his own mind is out to get him?

Considering she is our only source on what she is Ciel might be lying. Or Noah’s subconsciousness tries to sabotage him. Who knows.
But I expect her to be some kind of... spirit that latched onto Noah like some kind of symbiote/parasite* with his magic possibly being either the reason or what allows them to talk (or was created by his power) and now messes with him - not necessarily out of malevolence, but because he is a kinda boring to live in. Or she is a troll and stays in Noah’s head because he is easy to mess with and his powers let her do so**.
I don't think she is lying about Noah’s power or her being there to help him, but I doubt she told him everything.

*Most likely the former. Whatever she might get from this relationship, it doesn't seem to be bad for Noah.
**While still working as his assistant.

Neoriceisgood
2016-09-20, 08:23 AM
But she just said she's a projection of his mind, so that means his own mind is out to get him?

Bit of a late reply, but the "projection of his mind" but is mostly talking about how only Noah can see Ciel. I think there's been enough examples of Noah not being exactly
"happy" with the nature of his power (and Ciel by extention)

:smallsmile:


Hope you all are enjoying the frequent increase in update rate btw! I've been working hard on new pages, so have had more opportunities to increase the update rate.

Kantaki
2016-09-20, 10:53 AM
Hope you all are enjoying the frequent increase in update rate btw! I've been working hard on new pages, so have had more opportunities to increase the update rate.

More updates are good. That gives me more to read.

-D-
2016-09-20, 11:16 AM
Hope you all are enjoying the frequent increase in update rate btw! I've been working hard on new pages, so have had more opportunities to increase the update rate.
I'm enjoying Patreon updates and regular updates, but one thing kinda puzzles me (yeah I know you probably won't answer if it's spoiler) Why didn't Three protect Tobi when the Blood golem attacked (in the 713 strip) ?

In APTGG he was looking the other way, here he just stares and does nothing.

Neoriceisgood
2016-09-20, 11:42 AM
I'm enjoying Patreon updates and regular updates, but one thing kinda puzzles me (yeah I know you probably won't answer if it's spoiler) Why didn't Three protect Tobi when the Blood golem attacked (in the 713 strip) ?

In APTGG he was looking the other way, here he just stares and does nothing.


Honestly just an art mistake, I probably just forgot to change his pose. in aptGG the page's pacing was a bit different due to the page format & 3's reaction flowed more into the next page.

I'd change it, but I should probably fix a lot of the typos and stuff in old pages before I start fixing up art. :smallcool:

-D-
2017-01-25, 11:52 AM
Why doesn't anyone post here?

The last Burk chapter was great, even though it contained very little Burk.

lord_khaine
2017-01-25, 07:16 PM
I would like to give a thumb up to the author. This comic is really amusing, with lots of interesting little plot twists. I have had a lot of fun archive binging it.

-D-
2017-02-08, 11:21 AM
Last few strips are dragging a bit, though. Noah, just get in the hole with Felix already :smallamused:

-D-
2017-02-23, 05:53 AM
There have been interesting tidbits, but so far I'm assuming Felix goes down the hole. Whether through sheer incompetence, or Noah using his powers, I'm not sure.

Welf
2017-03-03, 02:35 PM
So no one was supposed to go into the hole, but Felix still was thrown there? I guess that is some kind of achievement. :smallsmile:

Kantaki
2017-03-03, 02:51 PM
So no one was supposed to go into the hole, but Felix still was thrown there? I guess that is some kind of achievement. :smallsmile:

Well Felix did almost kill himself. I guess accomplishing that deserves a reward. A nice comfortable hole all for himself.
Besides, with a name like that he had to be the lucky one and win the price.:smallbiggrin:

-D-
2017-03-04, 12:08 AM
Well Felix did almost kill himself. I guess accomplishing that deserves a reward. A nice comfortable hole all for himself.
Besides, with a name like that he had to be the lucky one and win the price.:smallbiggrin:
I don't know. That fall looks deadly...

I am surprised Garth wasn't limping. That page where Felix surges the ball, shows Kick?! And a lot of blood.

lord_khaine
2017-03-04, 08:24 AM
Well Felix did almost kill himself. I guess accomplishing that deserves a reward. A nice comfortable hole all for himself.
Besides, with a name like that he had to be the lucky one and win the price.

Whose fault was that though? the incompetent trainer that made him use a power that had not been explained first.
Honestly the one that should have been in the hole is said trainer.
And he should newer have been allowed anywhere near kids without a person to hold his leash.

Honestly, its 2 close deaths in a single training session? Of the Kingdoms most valuable resource? How on earth did he end up being allowed near them.

-D-
2017-03-04, 09:48 AM
Whose fault was that though? the incompetent trainer that made him use a power that had not been explained first.
Honestly the one that should have been in the hole is said trainer.
And he should newer have been allowed anywhere near kids without a person to hold his leash.

You assume it is a normal school, and not a ****ed up military school from Starship Troopers.

Also keep in mind, the concept of Magic School is new to this world. No one tried this before. I assume they are all winging it ;)

lord_khaine
2017-03-04, 12:13 PM
But the Starship trooper school could afford to waste recruits because they had more of them comming constantly.

These recruits on the other hand are a precious commodity that are not easily replaced.

-D-
2017-03-04, 03:32 PM
But the Starship trooper school could afford to waste recruits because they had more of them comming constantly.
Here are my thoughts on it:
A) they expect some to die, better now, before they waste all the money training them.
B) Garth is still testing people for latent pandemonium magic
C) Children with magic aren't as rare. They are definitely more numerous than personal guards


My money is on C) As it stands. Magic people in Justopia have the option of dying or being made into magic soldiers, or possibly running to another state. So it's not we have reserves, but people are expendable.

Neoriceisgood
2017-06-16, 01:00 PM
Hey guys! Been a while since I posted here, mostly due to my old PC dying and as a result a certain Neorice no longer keeping good track of his bookmarks.


Hope you are all enjoying the current story arc and updates. :smallbiggrin:



Here are my thoughts on it:
A) they expect some to die, better now, before they waste all the money training them.
B) Garth is still testing people for latent pandemonium magic
C) Children with magic aren't as rare. They are definitely more numerous than personal guards


My money is on C) As it stands. Magic people in Justopia have the option of dying or being made into magic soldiers, or possibly running to another state. So it's not we have reserves, but people are expendable.

Don't forget option (D): general incompetence cause the Empire doesn't know what they're doing. :smallamused::smallbiggrin:

lord_khaine
2017-06-17, 08:13 AM
Fair enough, when it comes to wicked empires i normally dont attribute things to incompetence when malice will do. :smallamused:

Welf
2017-06-17, 03:44 PM
is the Empire evil? I thought it was just kinda-stupid.

Kantaki
2017-06-17, 04:06 PM
is the Empire evil? I thought it was just kinda-stupid.

The death sentence for having magic is a pretty good hint I think.
I'm just not sure for which option.:smallbiggrin:

But I think stupidy and malevolence go hand in hand when it comes to the Empire.

Also, who is that guy in the newest update and what did he do with Burk?
Those observation skills are scary.

Welf
2017-06-17, 04:53 PM
The death sentence for having magic is a pretty good hint I think.
I'm just not sure for which option.:smallbiggrin:

But I think stupidy and malevolence go hand in hand when it comes to the Empire.

Also, who is that guy in the newest update and what did he do with Burk?
Those observation skills are scary.

Was it having magic or using magic?

And everything that makes Burke act serious is scary.

Neoriceisgood
2017-06-17, 07:09 PM
Fair enough, when it comes to wicked empires i normally dont attribute things to incompetence when malice will do. :smallamused:


is the Empire evil? I thought it was just kinda-stupid.


Was it having magic or using magic?

And everything that makes Burke act serious is scary.

"Using Magic", though that was mostly due to the fact that without using spirit magic yourself; it's not really possible to detect magic users anyway. :smallconfused:

The Veda project kinda changes this prospect as foreign magic users like Garth can easily use spirit to pinpoint which kids have magic.

lord_khaine
2017-06-18, 06:04 AM
Does like that there are times when even Burk might need a little help from his friends. Makes it easier to get invested in him as a character.

Was enough to make me reread Burks story as well. It does have a lot of hidden gems. Like page 592 "from one exhibitionist to another.. i Respect your your zeal in chosing to streak a heavily guarded castle Sir" :smallbiggrin:

edit.

Oh yikes.. wonder if its intentionally that the skeleton is bigger outside than inside? :smallconfused:

further edit.

Minor spelling error for comic on november 24, 2014, Caccoon.

Neoriceisgood
2017-07-16, 08:16 AM
Does like that there are times when even Burk might need a little help from his friends. Makes it easier to get invested in him as a character.

Was enough to make me reread Burks story as well. It does have a lot of hidden gems. Like page 592 "from one exhibitionist to another.. i Respect your your zeal in chosing to streak a heavily guarded castle Sir" :smallbiggrin:

edit.

Oh yikes.. wonder if its intentionally that the skeleton is bigger outside than inside? :smallconfused:

further edit.

Minor spelling error for comic on november 24, 2014, Caccoon.


Yes it was intentional. :smallbiggrin:

Will try to fix that error in a bit.

Hope you guys are enjoying daily-update-Summer so far!

Cluedrew
2017-08-11, 07:34 PM
So not only does Hero Oh Hero have a thread on Giant in the Playground, but Path to Greater Good started here and Neoriceisgood did work on The Battle for Wesnoth? Cool.

I should really catch up on Hero Oh Hero, I think they were still flying across the moat to the mage-baron's castle last time I was caught up. I tried re-reading it but fell off during the dungeon run. That part seems to suffer the most with repeated readings. On the other hand "Burk is 100% Burk" never gets old.

lord_khaine
2017-08-12, 12:52 PM
And you can always just focus purely on Burks story. Its has gotten though some rather interesting points recently.

Neoriceisgood
2017-08-18, 01:48 AM
So not only does Hero Oh Hero have a thread on Giant in the Playground, but Path to Greater Good started here and Neoriceisgood did work on The Battle for Wesnoth? Cool.


This is entirely accurate.

lord_khaine
2017-08-18, 03:42 AM
It was a good point in todays comic. Aristocrat is surpisingly strong, and he does know how to use spirit magic. But he is still a lot weaker than the hero we have meet so far.
And i guess he is arrogant to train much more like he needs to.