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Dorsal redesign?

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1 hour ago, Dalek Raptor said:

Comparing the sprites to Pokémon because Pokémon is one of the biggest sprite games around. You go around collecting monsters and as times changed, so did their sprite work. While other people prefer the new art, others prefer the old artwork. For instance, let's compare the old Furret shiny sprite from the original gen 2 to the one today. The old and original shiny sprite for a Furret, it was pink with brown stripes but they changed that and a lot of the original sprites (both regular and shiny) in gen 3 and that just killed me. For me, gen 2 had some of the best sprites and colouring around even it looks terrible to others. 

 

It's the same thing as Dragon Cave while there are no "shiny" dragons figuratively speaking, sometimes the old sprites are there because people like the old vibes they give of how far dragon cave has come. We shouldn't complain or whine about what needs updating (even though some of them actually do like the albino's neck and the white hatchies thigh) jmho

 

This times a hundred.  I think there are people still salty over the silver dragon update.  I remember being there for that one!  While I was salty about it at first as I loved the old sprites, I did get over it.  I am still not used to the seasonals update either though I do love the new red.  I am indifferent to the dorsals  getting a reboot.

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I honestly really dislike the view of 'old sprites have flaws that need fixing, new sprites are better quality so there is no issue there and people need to stop worrying about that'. The fact is, perception changes with time. Skill changes with time. Standards change with time. A lot of the sprites being picked on nowadays (not necessarily Dorsals) were considered *fine* when they first came out. But now that newer dragons look different/more detailed/etc, now those things that were totally up to standards back then are apparently not anymore. It's rather presumptuous to assume that *won't* happen somewhere down the line with the newer sprites. It's assuming that the current DC 'standards' will always remain the standards forever, which is honestly just unrealistic. It's assuming that the spriters of recent releases will never get better at spriting, will never look back and think 'omg what was I thinking'. Again that's unrealistic. 

 

And that's one of the reasons I so dislike the whole update thing in general. Because where does it stop? Seriously, where does it stop? A lot of the bigger updates so far have been on the 'original' breeds, Reds and Seasonals and Golds and Silvers, breeds that have been around since the beginning (or nearly so). But then people start talking about Dorsals and Electrics and Balloons and such, which came years after those other breeds and are certainly not as 'outdated' as the others. So at what point is enough enough? Where is the line drawn? Because, logically, if older sprites are outdated and should be fixed, then in 8 or 9 years from now the *current* releases will be outdated and people will be wanting them fixed. That's common sense really. And I don't like that. I don't like this trend of replacing older sprites because they should 'fit new standards' or whatever, I don't like that more and more old sprites are vanishing, and I *don't* actually think that every single sprite should always fit some new arbitrary standard. 

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It has been quite a while since a dragon was released that I fell in love with, with the new ones I often can't even figure out where the head is. I've been here a while so I was there for many of the "old" ones being released. I fell in love with many of them instantly. So what I'm saying is that art is about charme more than about correctness. Just leave them alone.

 

And the only update I've ever fully enjoyed are the Hollies.

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I’m just of the opinion that everything should look at least somewhat vaguely in-line. For the same reason that things like Dinos, Papers, and Cheeses are no longer allowed, DC now has a sort of “line of best fit”, where new releases seem to remain within a pretty broad set of rules. Generally, these seem to be: be plausible (e.g. no dragons made of cheese), be anatomically correct (anything distinctly broken usually sees edits, in DR anyway), have realistic shading (every new release for the last few years has this), and a neutral, somewhat realistic style (no googly eyes, etc). DC retains a certain style that seems to fit within these rules. Black Teas for example; they’re quite old, but they’re well shaded and textured, have good anatomy, and don’t have a funky cartoony style. I don’t see them needing a rework any time soon, or see many people complain that they’re out-of-line. A lot of the older sprites however: let’s say the Albino, for the purpose of not repeating myself - their shading is basic, no highlights or texturing, their lines are wobbly, the anatomy hard to work out and borderline broken in places (you all know where I’m talking about), and the face has little detail, kind of giving them a sock-puppet mouth - quite cartoony. Compare that to the Aether that just came out, and it’s clear that it does not match, does not look like it belongs.

 

Not everything will need an update if the art continues to be produced in such a way. Yes, the Black Teas are old, but they live up to the same look that subsequent releases have retained. They hold up. Our artists may well (and certainly will!) improve, but they will continue to release artwork with those basic rules mentioned above, and as long as that continues, I can’t see such work needing a sprite update unless the artists want to. The old art that clearly fails to acknowledge such basic points, in my opinion, do, so that they can look like a full set. Of course some artist’s styles are different, but they all hold those basic standards. 

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15 minutes ago, RealWilliamShakespeare said:

I’m just of the opinion that everything should look at least somewhat vaguely in-line. For the same reason that things like Dinos, Papers, and Cheeses are no longer allowed, DC now has a sort of “line of best fit”, where new releases seem to remain within a pretty broad set of rules. Generally, these seem to be: be plausible (e.g. no dragons made of cheese), be anatomically correct (anything distinctly broken usually sees edits, in DR anyway), have realistic shading (every new release for the last few years has this), and a neutral, somewhat realistic style (no googly eyes, etc). DC retains a certain style that seems to fit within these rules.

 

Those 'rules' are pretty darn subjective, really. Quite a few people mentioned they felt the Mimic Pygmy looked sort of cartoonish and unrealistic, for example. Multiple people also pointed out how awkward the Pyrovar's pose looks. Obviously the spriters and TJ think all the newest releases are up to standard, or else they wouldn't be released, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the rules work the same for all new releases (there have been multiple releases in the past year that have drawn many comments about how the sprite would never pass the 'ridiculous' DR crits nowadays...). I also don't see why some new set of standards means that old dragons should be changed. Obviously all those old dragons *were* up to standards when they were released, I see no reason to go changing random things now just because a new set of standards has been developed. 

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32 minutes ago, blah said:

It has been quite a while since a dragon was released that I fell in love with, with the new ones I often can't even figure out where the head is. I've been here a while so I was there for many of the "old" ones being released. I fell in love with many of them instantly. So what I'm saying is that art is about charme more than about correctness. Just leave them alone.

 

And the only update I've ever fully enjoyed are the Hollies.

I have to agree with a lot of this. Newer is not always better. If a dragon like the Carina (which should be beautiful but has so much going on with the sprite that it almost obscures its frame) meets the new standard, then all I can say is no thanks! I would much rather see flat shading than something as distracting as that. And I don't mean to single out the Carina, either, there are others, by artists whose work I usually admire, that have just gone too far. The Omen -- I cannot for the life of me figure out where its features are! And others. Is this the new standard? The quality of art that everyone is supposed to measure up to?

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7 hours ago, RealWilliamShakespeare said:

Why is it that new art has to be worked on painstakingly and meticulously, with every detail perfect, in order to even get considered for being in-cave, while old art can sit with blatant anatomical errors and non-existent shading? I don't understand how that's acceptable, quite honestly.

 

Though I understand what you're trying to say here, there are a few errors in your logic. #1), we have no reason to assume that original artists didn't work on their sprites painstakingly and meticulously. If anything, I'd guess they did. #2), it's HIGHLY debatable that all the new art has "every detail perfect." I personally disagree completely. Over the last few years there have been some great ones, some extremely bad ones, and a whole lot of meh ones.

 

Also importantly, art isn't all in the technical details anyway. Many of the older breeds catch the eye and the imagination more than technically better-done but less interesting newer ones. If, say, an inferior artist with better shading technique reworked them, we would end up with a worse drawing that was better-shaded. If sprites already have a certain artistry about them to begin with, reworking them isn't NECESSARILY a net win.

Edited by tjekan

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Either the old sprites should have to meet basic, new rules, or the new rules should not be forced on new artists.

 

The reason new art looks so similar/detailed/"bland" is because a handful of people are picking (and nitpicking) every sprite that goes into the site.

 

There's far more limitations on concepts from the get go. They told me my concept couldn't have ears because they said so.

 

The current... Waxy dragons (not their name but I've been told before to keep DR names out of other places for fear of them not being released) have been crit'd to hell. Their toes, legs, faces, heads - literally NOTHING on them has been able to stay the same. They couldn't even keep their cool concept because the artists said no.

 

The reason nothing really wows most people anymore is because they all essentially just have to be a type of dragon with a vague detail slapped on top. It's gotten so that things like mimic pygmies and pyros look weird because everything else is so standardized and polished to hell. And no, they wouldn't have made it through DR - I don't care what anyone tells me. Well, Mimics may have, but I feel they would have met resistance. Yet, there's nothing WRONG with them (except one big anatomical error).

 

Nothing can be wrong with anything in DR. From the lore to the sprite. It stifles creativity. 

 

It's not fair that new sprites can't have the same creativity and leeway as old sprites for artistic effect (horses, for example). It should be standardized. Everything needs to meet the standard (except for joke breeds like paper/dino/chickens) or there needs to be more leeway for DR - at least as much as in cave spriters seem to have with theirs.

 

I don't care what way it goes. I think I might prefer if things went backwards - slightly lower standards with more artistic leeway. But everything really should meet a basic bar.

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46 minutes ago, tjekan said:

 

Also importantly, art isn't all in the technical details anyway. Many of the older breeds catch the eye and the imagination more than technically better-done but less interesting newer ones.

Nailed it.  That's why Dragon Cave grew and spread--many older sprites are just wonderful.  The old red was hands down one of the very, very best dragons on the whole site.  And the new seasonal hatchlings lost their trailing leaves and snowflakes. I miss them...  And the glowy silvers ruined the look of many cherished lineages created with the old art in mind.  Changing art is wrong.  All you do is drive away more and more old-timers with each sprite change.

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11 minutes ago, Brekke said:

The old red was hands down one of the very, very best dragons on the whole site.

 

Slightly off-topic - apologies - but I have to ask: why do you think this? No offence intended - it’s just a perspective I have honestly never heard before.

 

Pretty much the only opinions I’ve ever heard about the old Red is that it was conversely one of the worst on the site, with reasons being the stuff previously mentioned in this topic (posing and anatomy, shading, etc). I’m just very interested in hearing from another perspective :)

 

Edit while I’m here: I have to disagree with that last point. Silvanon was the original Red spriter and they actually worked on the 2018 Red update. Evidently they weren’t driven away

Edited by RealWilliamShakespeare

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I didn't say the spriters were driven away, I said the old time users were.  I basically quit after the gold fiasco, I came back in December when I managed to snag my first ever cb gold, then when they wrecked my beloved seasonal hatchies, my interest waned once again.

 

Old Red--what do I like better:  I like the legs and claws better, I like the curve of the chest better, I like the undersides of the wings better, the red color seems deeper somehow, I like the underside of the tail better.  I know I'm in the minority--but the old red dragon was perfect, just perfect.  It was curvier and looked like a much deeper red even if the color didn't change--perhaps because of greater contrast to the undersides that I mentioned.  The old one looked alive and roaring--the new one looks flat to me.

Edited by Brekke

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34 minutes ago, RealWilliamShakespeare said:

 

Slightly off-topic - apologies - but I have to ask: why do you think this? No offence intended - it’s just a perspective I have honestly never heard before.

 

How not? At the time there were quite a few people posting exactly that. 

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1 minute ago, Fuzzbucket said:

How not? At the time there were quite a few people posting exactly that. 

 

I wasn’t around at the time! xD

Edited by RealWilliamShakespeare
added smiley because i seemed shouty when i am indeed smiley

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The last straw for me was the seasonal hatchie--my very favorite sprite on the whole site.  Now it's not the same anymore.

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I agree. The new seasonals may be more anatomically correct, but in the process they lost their character.

 

I really wish we could just leave the old sprites alone. If you don't like them, fine -- don't collect them. But those of us who have loved those old sprites for years and built lineages around them based on the way they were then, are quite often put off when the new sprite comes along. It may be a perfectly nice sprite, but it is not the one we were working with. Lineage building is artistry, too, in its way, and when the elements of that art change it often destroys what we worked so hard to create!

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I agree with Purplehaze and Brekke about the seasonals.  I loved those Fall and winter sprites.  I still miss the old pink hatchling and the old silvers!  The standards may be different now as far as submitting them but all those old sprites have been grandfathered in as they were already here.  I did take a leave of absence from here after the silver fiasco.

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4 minutes ago, purplehaze said:

I agree. The new seasonals may be more anatomically correct, but in the process they lost their character.

 

I really wish we could just leave the old sprites alone. If you don't like them, fine -- don't collect them. But those of us who have loved those old sprites for years and built lineages around them based on the way they were then, are quite often put off when the new sprite comes along. It may be a perfectly nice sprite, but it is not the one we were working with. Lineage building is artistry, too, in its way, and when the elements of that art change it often destroys what we worked so hard to create!

 

"If you don't like them, fine -- don't collect them." Doesn't work when they have BSAs (reds) or hybrids (Waverunners).

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13 minutes ago, purplehaze said:

If you don't like them, fine -- don't collect them. But those of us who have loved those old sprites for years and built lineages around them based on the way they were then, are quite often put off when the new sprite comes along. It may be a perfectly nice sprite, but it is not the one we were working with. Lineage building is artistry, too, in its way, and when the elements of that art change it often destroys what we worked so hard to create!

 

7 minutes ago, Alrexwolf said:

 

"If you don't like them, fine -- don't collect them." Doesn't work when they have BSAs (reds) or hybrids (Waverunners).

 

As well, when your aim is to collect every dragon on the site, which I know is many people's end goal, that really isn't a fair statement. I honestly find that putting off updating sprites just because some people are attached to the old ones isn't conducive to the progress of the site. When everything has to be of an acceptable appearance to get onto it in the first place, surely the site should at least look uniform.

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Just now, Brekke said:

Uniformity is vastly overrated.

Variety is the spice of life.

 

I fail to see how this new standard should apply to things that were made before someone decided that it was the standard. I guess we should have a set template now for all our dragons and the only differences allowed would be minor details. Then they would all be standard -- but bo-ring!

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But there is so much variety even with the new standards!! Look at how chunky the Ashes are compared to the litheness of the Boreals! How unique the Celestial design is, how unique the Diamondwing is! How shiny the Firegems are contrasted to the fluffiness of the Khusas! Each of these dragons is completely its own - thick, broad plating, small and shimmery scales, entirely feathered bodies with almost beaky faces, a chunky dragon made from constellations, a dragon with script patterns under its wings? Do people seriously think the realistic shading and requirement for basic functioning anatomy is making the site boring? Do people really look at each Zyumorph and think they're too similar and uniform? I'm not talking about every dragon looking the same. I'm saying they should all have decent anatomy and shading, which every dragon I've listed above has. That is what I mean by uniformity. In no way does anything I've mentioned above fail to have its own variety. 

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No--we're saying leave the old sprites alone and make new ones.  There aren't that many old ones left--why not let them be?

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I actually really like the "new" look of the seasonals and I am quite fine with the Reds.

That being said I am still a bit heartbroken over the changes done to the Silver and the Gold dragons. Logically I know they were rather flat and had anatomy problems but I still kinda miss them and prefer the old sprites to the new ones. They just looked different from the rest of the dragons and therefore were even more special.

To clarify I am not generally against changing a sprite per se as I said before here; I just don't think it's worth the fuss seeing how changes to sprites were received in the past (including myself).

 

 

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   "Why is new art painstakingly scrutinized and yet old art can remain unchanged": I asked myself that lots of times after the CL cleanout, because I was one of the artists that stopped producing for DRs in disinterest of the tighter regulation. :'D I agree that DR regulation is EXCEEDINGLY tight now, and I'm not a fan of that - in fact, I admit I might be viewing the DC standards in a sort of generalized, bullet-pointed, optimistic way, by boiling the aspects of released art down and ignoring all of the painful nitpicking and tweaking that the artists probably (and that I know the DR artists definitely) went through. The Pipios, for example: I remember watching the DR thread move along, and I remember that there were going to be multiple variants for the Pygmy. I can't remember if they were biome-specific, or random, or breeding-specific, but whatever they were for, they were tossed in the end because the idea of a "multi-alt" concept was rejected. Pipios were said to be a lot less likely to get in-cave if they had the patterned alts. It's a shame, because they were as beautiful as the current sprites.
   However, the Pipio alts didn't have any problems fitting the realism guidelines of DC, unlike a couple of cherry-picked new breeds (with the Dorsal being one of them). That's why some of us are saying we're okay with them being updated. Some of the reasons I'm seeing is cohesion; in my case, I just like seeing an artist's improvement over the years and am excited by change. At the same time, I can also see why people would rather keep the old sprites...
 

   "Where is the line drawn": There isn't a line, technically. That's the nature of an update. It's a change made to a preexisting thing to make it fit the owner's current vision more, and the owner is TJ and, in the dragon sprite's case, the conceptor and artists for that dragon. The reason I assume no big changes will be made in the future is because there's only so much realism you can fit into a sprite with restrained dimensions, especially since the concepts being worked with are mythical creatures, and unless TJ suddenly decides that the overall standard is no longer "realism", then the most realistic sprites - that is, most of the newer ones and some of the older ones - are the least likely to be changed for at least several years more.


   Fuzzbucket is right that most of this does boil down to personal taste. I'm a very unpicky person, so if you said "an art update is coming!!" and gave me no other clues as to what will be changed or how, I would be cautiously optimistic about it. Not everyone is that way though. Also because art is subjective, there's an equal chance of someone be either disappointed or excited about the changes when they're released, and with everyone being different that means it's impossible to please everyone. That's why I see sprite update requests as more "We would be okay with seeing X changed" and less "X should be changed because of Y reason"; although in going through the thread, it looks like the community as a whole is still pretty evenly split about being okay with the changes... then I saw this:
   "It's too bad that the sprite locations/url change so much. Because if they didnt, this wouldn't be an issue. People could just use css to see the old sprites if they loved them so much. "
   WAIT!!
   Is that the only problem with implementing a feature to toggle on/off new sprites locally? Because that's a possible solution to this I've seen come up, and I remember it was turned down, but I couldn't remember why! I still think this would be a great compromise, because then people could toggle which dragons' sprites are displayed when they're using the site (I know we have old sprites because of the wikia, it's just a matter of re-uploading them). It shouldn't be any harder to implement than a new site theme or a scroll sort order, right?
   Do we still have a suggestion thread for this? XD

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47 minutes ago, Brekke said:

Uniformity is vastly overrated.

 

Yes!

 

43 minutes ago, purplehaze said:

Variety is the spice of life.

 

I fail to see how this new standard should apply to things that were made before someone decided that it was the standard. I guess we should have a set template now for all our dragons and the only differences allowed would be minor details. Then they would all be standard -- but bo-ring!

 

It's beginning to feel a bit like all drakes must be obviously not very bright so because some of them look intelligent, they have to be done over. That extreme. You don't go around old buildings saying ok now we have better glass, all that wobbly old glass must be replaced so we can see out of mediaeval windows as well as we can through the office ones. Ugh. Old buildings have character of their own, and would just lose by being "updated". It's not improving, it's close to sacrilege.

 

22 minutes ago, Brekke said:

No--we're saying leave the old sprites alone and make new ones.  There aren't that many old ones left--why not let them be?

 

Yes yes yes. 

 

Please. With cookies.

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