Thanks thomas_surles for starting this thread, I appreciate you getting the word out on Rogue Dawn.
There seems to be some misconceptions and I'd like to clear them up.
They totally lost me at the super mario level as I was scrubbing through. And did I see castlevania, strider, and even some double dragon sprites in there? Nah dog.
Actually the Super mario area is a hidden extra (well hidden) and not part of the main game, it's unfortunate that it has been revealed as widely so soon after release, I think one of the beta testers put it out on YouTube. I did mention a hidden area in my Readme but I figured it would take a while to locate. Regarding the "castlevania, strider, and even some double dragon sprites" I'm actually flattered that would see them as professional grade since everything in the entire game is original graphics 99% of which was created by myself, the other 1% by other members of out team.
I only skimmed it. I did see some castlevania, but I missed the smb part.
Again, everything is 100% original, literally created one pixel at a time. I used Tile Layer Pro to edit directly on the tiles but when I started developing the cut scenes I used Photoshop and a utility called NES Screen Tool (to convert the graphics to 8x8 tiles before injecting into the ROM).
Also, some of the hit detection looks wonky, like surfaces are poorly defined. Trying to make it look better can give you problems when you fudge your path boundries on the map.
Some of the special items are reached in the walk through by using multiple enemy hit detection to bounce up to other areas. It's really trite.
Not sure I agree with the praise in the quote about the graphics looking 16bit or the swansong comparison the author was clearly trying to make.
Regarding the surfaces, you would have to take that up with the original developers as this is a game hack. Unfortunately we are limited as to what we can change when pursuing a project like this, it's part of the challange and appeal actually. We make the best out of what we have to work with. It's a lot like trying to restore an old classic car, typically there's only so much you can do. The map is as good as it's going to get for an old NES game, the fact that it's even there is a huge achievement. It's by no means a "precision instrument" but it's neat in it's own right by the very fact that it exists. Also it does have it's uses. I'm not sure what you mean by "swansong comparison the author was clearly trying to make", I guess if it was something I was clearly trying to make I'd understand what you meant. Regarding the graphics looking 16bit I think a lot of that is also how the tiles are used, as in most 8-bit games are very "blocky" but as an artist I wanted to approach it with a much more organic look and over all design (including layout). There was never any intention to copy any other art style or form, not even Super Metroid, I just kind of went with what I liked, it was a "hobby project" after all, not like it was meant to be retail, so no design constraints really. Also if you only watched the "beta" video (it's not my video or my game play) and actually never played it you can't really appreciate the graphics over a low res YouTube video. Also his weird tricks (in the video) are by no means required to play this game.
Agreed on all parts. We barely have enough real Metroid games, so parody is just a waste. No smb crossover crap.... new Metroid game please.
To me the graphics just look like they took some of the super Metroid sprites and reduced them to two colors, which is all that's really needed as the nes doesn't have any other graphical limitations(other than the number of sprites on the screen, but that can be worked around). The original Metroid was a launch title for the fds and thus sprites had to be simple and reusable to save space. It's common knowledge that early era NES games look much worse than late era ones... that's why SMB3 is such a marked visual improvement over the original.
But ignoring that the graphics don't look better, they just look more detailed. It's the SMB2 (Japan) dilemma. With SMB2 they tried to rework the original SMB sprites to give them more detail and thus update the game. All it did was make it look like an over-drawn mess and if you notice they didn't offer those sprites on Mario Maker, the snes remakes or any iteration of the game since. On a low res game console only capable of av-out at best, super detailed sprites don't look so hot.
This is an entirely new Metroid game, maybe not "official" but it is 100%. The Mario area was just a fun (secret) extra I put in there (not required at all to beat the game). I can ensure you that I didn't sample graphics from anywhere but it has received a lot of comparisons with Super Metroid which I can understand. Design-wise I suppose you could say it would fall between the original M1 and SM though there was no intention to do so, I just wanted to make an open, organic feeling atmosphere based on the original game engine. I respect your opinion on the graphics though I'm not sure what you mean by "don't look better", I would have to ask "than what". That's the real question, better than Super Metroid? No, definitely not. Better than the original Metroid? Hmm.. well, to answer that you'd have to play the original followed by Rogue Dawn, I think we'd all draw the same conclusion unless it's based on the charm or nostalgia of the original graphics, they certainly have that. The original NES graphics contain 8 3-color + transparency palettes, not two colors. Four palettes are for the background graphics and four are for the sprites. It's a very limited resource and has to be carefully planned and managed.
I wonder if those Mario sprites were changed when the final was released. (This is a video of a beta version).
Looks interesting, no skin off my back giving this a try.
The sprites in the secret area are still there, it was added just for fun. We added some other Easter eggs too but nothing else to the level of the secret area.
Anyway, thanks for reading, I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions about Rogue Dawn. On another note I have two arcade cabinets I'm going to be restoring pretty soon, one is an old NBA Jam 4 player cabinet and the other is a Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers cabinet. They're from the late 90's and have some wear on them. I was considering modifying the NBA Jam cabinet to a MAME system but I'm not committed to that yet. I'm going to lurk around these forums for a bit and see if I can figure out what I want to do with them.