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Sprite Updates

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13 hours ago, Alrexwolf said:

 

There is no agreement made that sprites will stay the same. You (general you) are working on lineages at your own risk of the sprites changing at any time - and you are aware of this. You can't hogtie progress of a game because you want to do something you know full well can change at any moment.

 

 

I completely agree with that. There is no guarantee that things will stay the same and people should of course take that into account when putting so much time and effort into something like lineages. There I can agree. What I do not agree with, what many of us do not agree with, is that sprite updates are inherently 'progress' for the game. People who push certain suggestions on this forum (not you, just in general) often work under this assumption that their suggestion will *definitely* make the game better. The suggestion will definitely benefit the game, improve the game, and if people can't see that they are slowing down progress. What people often don't consider is the fact that *no one* can know for sure how a suggestion will impact the site, negatively or positively, until it's actually implemented. People often don't consider that what *they* believe is progress/better may be completely subjective, and that just because others disagree it doesn't make those others wrong or anti-progress. (There have been multiple suggestions for 'battling' dragons, for example, where the suggester *insisted* that DC was a lesser game because it didn't have battling...)

 

Some people believe that making all the art in the game more uniform and detailed and realistic is progress, is 'better' for the game as a whole. Some of us believe that history is important, and keeping sprites that people have loved and collected for years is more important then making sure everything 'matches'. Neither view is *wrong*, but I think the entire playerbase needs to be taken into consideration when contemplating such changes, not just a subset of users that would benefit from the change.

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23 minutes ago, olympe said:

Edited to add: While DC has quite some variety in anatomy, I have yet to see a dragon with insectoid, arachnid or even mollusk anatomy. All dragons on here are based on some kind of vertebrate - reptilian, mammalian and avian mostly.

And none of these - reptilian, mammalian or avian - in real life have six limbs, as far as I'm aware.

Like I don't know any that have no more than two, for that matter. They all seem to always have four (though sometimes the 2nd set is hidden due to not being needed anymore, like whales) or none.

 

Dorsals: Doesn't look injured to me. Thinner and thicker? I don't see it. Might just be because I'm using the Blackout skin, who knows.

 

23 minutes ago, olympe said:

And, yes, the "it's fantasy" and "because magic!!!1!" arguments have been debunked so many times, it's not even funny any more. 

Well, if you want everything to be realistic, we need to ban Balloons. Or move them to where pufferfish are living. Because magic or fantasy is no argument, as per your statement.

Edited by Ruby Eyes

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51 minutes ago, Ruby Eyes said:

Well, if you want everything to be realistic, we need to ban Balloons. Or move them to where pufferfish are living. Because magic or fantasy is no argument, as per your statement.

 

Yeah, there’s a reason we don’t see any releases like that anymore. It has been stated that no gimmicky concepts like Cheeses, Chickens, Dinoes, Papers, and Balloons will be allowed anymore, because they no longer fit the style of DC. Like, that’s exactly the reason. As far as I know they aren’t going to get banned, nor is anybody advocating for them to be banned, but new concepts in the same vein will not be allowed in Dragon Requests, nor on the site.

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1 hour ago, Ruby Eyes said:

And none of these - reptilian, mammalian or avian - in real life have six limbs, as far as I'm aware.

Like I don't know any that have no more than two, for that matter. They all seem to always have four (though sometimes the 2nd set is hidden due to not being needed anymore, like whales) or none.

 

Dorsals: Doesn't look injured to me. Thinner and thicker? I don't see it. Might just be because I'm using the Blackout skin, who knows.

 

Well, if you want everything to be realistic, we need to ban Balloons. Or move them to where pufferfish are living. Because magic or fantasy is no argument, as per your statement.

There's a fine line between creativity and laziness. Magic and fantasy should be used as an explanation for the former, not the latter.

Edited by blockEdragon

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49 minutes ago, blockEdragon said:

There's a fine line between creativity and laziness. Magic and fantasy should be used as an explanation for the former, not the latter.

 

Not having the artist in question around to defend herself, it doesn't seem like very good form to speculate about whether she was being creative or merely lazy. 😞 A better question is: Are there people who really LIKE the balloons and dorsals, who find them creatively satisfying to THEM? If so, then the fact that no more dragons like this are being made makes it if anything a bit meaner to go removing them, since they'll never see anything else like them here again.

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On 10/10/2018 at 2:08 PM, tjekan said:

 

Not having the artist in question around to defend herself, it doesn't seem like very good form to speculate about whether she was being creative or merely lazy. 😞 A better question is: Are there people who really LIKE the balloons and dorsals, who find them creatively satisfying to THEM? If so, then the fact that no more dragons like this are being made makes it if anything a bit meaner to go removing them, since they'll never see anything else like them here again.

I wasn't saying they where bad or need to be removed, but "It's fantasy and magic exists" is not an excuse for dorsal dragons having a flawed sprite or any other issue, magic is not a catch all licence to not be subject to any kind of standards.

 

It's acceptable to have crazy stuff happening and still have standards for what flies (metaphorically) in your fantasy. It was about people trying to use magic as a cop out. Magic is not a good crutch and using it as one is EXTREMELY lazy.

 

Example:

"This plant uses magic to float, it floats above the clouds to collect sunlight in an area where it's always so cloudy that the sun can't reach the surface"

 

A fun and interesting life form that adds whimsy and uniqueness to the world it lives in while having logical reasons for it's way of life.

 

Example:

"The plants grow in a permanently cloudy place with almost no sunlight just fine despite there being no way for them to survive. I do not need to justify this because MAGIK"

 

An excuse for why plants are able to live in such a place despite having no means of survival.

 

One required effort and the other was avoiding effort. One is creative the other is lazy.

Edited by blockEdragon

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Ultimately, the contrast of the highly cartoony and sometimes anatomically incorrect sprites with the realistic sprites (which TJ has at least implied if not outright stated is the site's intended house style) just makes it look like the game has bad quality control. That's why the updates happen.

 

You are free to think nothing should be updated and/or to prefer older sprites, but the fact of the matter is that the massive differences between the styles of certain sprites looks to a passing observer like a quality control issue, which is a bad thing when you're trying to keep a site running and make enough money off it to stay in the black. I like the current Mint sprite a lot... but if it got updated, even drastically updated, it'd be entirely understandable because they don't match the site style anymore.

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1 hour ago, tjekan said:

Not having the artist in question around to defend herself, it doesn't seem like very good form to speculate about whether she was being creative or merely lazy

Well, either way, "MAGIC!!!" is not a good excuse for a whole species running around with (and on!) a broken foreleg.

 

3 hours ago, Ruby Eyes said:

And none of these - reptilian, mammalian or avian - in real life have six limbs, as far as I'm aware.

Like I don't know any that have no more than two, for that matter. They all seem to always have four (though sometimes the 2nd set is hidden due to not being needed anymore, like whales) or none.

There's still a difference between "using a basic body type and add something", like an extra set of limbs for lore reasons ("All dragons of Valkemare stem from an ancestor with three sets of paired limbs.") - or using a basic body type then changing something to make it look broken - and doing so in different ways on the left and on the right... Unless you have a very good lore explanation for that kind of thing, it shouldn't happen. Like "Dorsal dragons lure in predators by pretending to be hurt, only to kill the hopeful, yet foolish predator. They actually use illusions to change other creatures' perception of their health." <= Would be a possible explanation that actually uses magic in a semi-creative way. On the other hand => "Dorsals have broken-looking forelegs because of magic."

 

3 hours ago, Ruby Eyes said:

Well, if you want everything to be realistic, we need to ban Balloons. Or move them to where pufferfish are living. Because magic or fantasy is no argument, as per your statement.

There's at least one reason why I don't like balloons. Although I can kinda sorta buy into the "they use air mana to float when blown up", although it doesn't make that much sense. The other is their dino-style shading. XD 

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1 hour ago, Guillotine said:

Ultimately, the contrast of the highly cartoony and sometimes anatomically incorrect sprites with the realistic sprites (which TJ has at least implied if not outright stated is the site's intended house style) just makes it look like the game has bad quality control. That's why the updates happen.

 

You are free to think nothing should be updated and/or to prefer older sprites, but the fact of the matter is that the massive differences between the styles of certain sprites looks to a passing observer like a quality control issue, which is a bad thing when you're trying to keep a site running and make enough money off it to stay in the black. I like the current Mint sprite a lot... but if it got updated, even drastically updated, it'd be entirely understandable because they don't match the site style anymore.

 

I can't agree more. There are other collectibles sites I have stumbled across that seem to have awful quality control and I can genuinely say it has deterred me.

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This thread doesn't really have a suggestion, so we are going to move it to Site Discussion.  I'll leave a link behind though so it's easy to find.

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I like updates, because the newer sprites have better executed anatomy, shading, color choice. Older sprites often don't have that due to the color limits that were in place originally, and because of how green most artists were. A few have definitely aged well, but eventually as the abilities of the artists grow, so will the quality gap between the old and new. Most won't need a total overhaul, just some touch ups and deeper shading.

 

Imo it's almost like getting a new car. You might be attached to the old one and you love it, but as it ages and problems arise, eventually you will end up getting a new car out of necessity/growth. (I recently upgraded from a car to a suv because of kids/dogs and safety. I loved my car and I literally cried when signing the paperwork for trade-in, but I had out grown it, and having something that's easier to transport kids in with higher visibility was definitely worth getting rid of it. We might be attached to old sprites, but once we take off those rose colored glasses and accept that we've grown to the point of needed to update some, while we'll be upset and cry, in the end we'll hopefully see that it was worth it in the end.)

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7 hours ago, Guillotine said:

Ultimately, the contrast of the highly cartoony and sometimes anatomically incorrect sprites with the realistic sprites (which TJ has at least implied if not outright stated is the site's intended house style) just makes it look like the game has bad quality control. That's why the updates happen.

 

You are free to think nothing should be updated and/or to prefer older sprites, but the fact of the matter is that the massive differences between the styles of certain sprites looks to a passing observer like a quality control issue, which is a bad thing when you're trying to keep a site running and make enough money off it to stay in the black. I like the current Mint sprite a lot... but if it got updated, even drastically updated, it'd be entirely understandable because they don't match the site style anymore.

Eyyyy this is why updates are Important right here. Said it better than I could have.

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9 hours ago, Guillotine said:

Ultimately, the contrast of the highly cartoony and sometimes anatomically incorrect sprites with the realistic sprites (which TJ has at least implied if not outright stated is the site's intended house style) just makes it look like the game has bad quality control. That's why the updates happen.

 

You are free to think nothing should be updated and/or to prefer older sprites, but the fact of the matter is that the massive differences between the styles of certain sprites looks to a passing observer like a quality control issue, which is a bad thing when you're trying to keep a site running and make enough money off it to stay in the black. I like the current Mint sprite a lot... but if it got updated, even drastically updated, it'd be entirely understandable because they don't match the site style anymore.

 

Actually, I think your 'fact' is fairly subjective just like this entire discussion is. You don't know for sure that any random 'passing observer' is going to look at these old sprites and think 'oh man, that game really has a quality control issue, wouldn't want to join that!'. In fact, I can tell you for a *fact* that if the random passing observer was me, that would not be my reaction at all. I have deliberately joined online games in the past *because* of the old-school simple art. Because the game reminded me of those old computer games I used to play when I was a kid, and I like that. Because I actually often prefer simple minimalist art. 

 

I'm not saying that *some* passing observers wouldn't think the way you are describing, but most certainly not all. And I'd like to think that if someone is actually interested in the game itself, then a tiny handful of older-style sprites is not going to keep them from playing, especially when the vast majority of sprites are not that style at all. I mean, I have a couple breeds I simply do *not* like the look of (and no, none of them are older breeds), but that doesn't stop me from playing a game I love.

 

(Also, I'm not sure what making enough money has to do with any of this, I've seen absolutely no hint that DC is in danger money-wise or that a handful of people possibly not playing would somehow damage the site. Unless TJ specifically says something about sprite quality directly affecting how much money the site is making, I really don't think it's fair to make that assumption.)

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Obviously, the spriters have final say on what they do with their designs.  Speaking as someone who literally owns thousands of guardians, I wouldn't want big changes to the sprite.  I like that the male and female have the same pose and I like the overall shape.  I wouldn't mind minor updates to the sprite, perhaps smoothing out the outlines and an update to the shading.  But I wouldn't want a major update or dimorphism.  It may be a little selfish on my part but that is just how I feel.  😛  If they remain unchanged, I would be fine with that.  I've still had fun with them.

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I am 100% behind sprite updates in all shapes and forms, wherever they are deemed necessary. Sometimes all that's needed is a quick brush up, though quite frankly I do see a couple sprites that would benefit from more than a few small anatomy tweaks. When comparing some of the older breeds to ones from the last 5 years, there's quite a palpable difference in quality that, tbh, I believe should not be there. Old art shouldn't be left to stagnate and rot purely for sentimental reasons; if the site is capable of doing better, than I firmly believe it should. We have such interesting breed concepts- it's such a shame to see some withering when we have the capacity and resources to improve them 😣 
 

On 10/10/2018 at 2:56 PM, Guillotine said:

Ultimately, the contrast of the highly cartoony and sometimes anatomically incorrect sprites with the realistic sprites (which TJ has at least implied if not outright stated is the site's intended house style) just makes it look like the game has bad quality control. That's why the updates happen.


Exactly my sentiments as well. At the end of the day, DC is a business, and the dragons we collect are effectively products. Why not put our best foot forward? 

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On 10/10/2018 at 7:08 PM, tjekan said:

 

Not having the artist in question around to defend herself, it doesn't seem like very good form to speculate about whether she was being creative or merely lazy. 😞 A better question is: Are there people who really LIKE the balloons and dorsals, who find them creatively satisfying to THEM? If so, then the fact that no more dragons like this are being made makes it if anything a bit meaner to go removing them, since they'll never see anything else like them here again.

Of course there are people who LIKE the Balloons. I find them really fun and visually interesting. The concept of them wouldn't work in the new realistic style. You are correct - we will never ever see sprites like the Balloons or Dorsals or OG Seasonals ever again on DC. Why must we change them instead of preserving what was?

 

If people want to liken this to Pokemon; many of the original 151 have a more basic style. Those old angry Onix and Primeape eyes. The legendary bird trio does not look so special or rare compared to new legendaries. But they are not replaced! They might get new evolutions but the originals stay the same.

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I dislike 'major' sprite updates like the reds, silvers and seasonals. Each of those made me lose interest in DC for a couple of months. While the new sprites are pretty enough, those aren't the dragons I've collected. I feel that in a sprite collecting game like DC, it is not unreasonable for players to get attached to the sprites they collected, even when those sprites don't fit certain standards. To have those taken away doesn't feel great.

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I don't have a strong opinion on sprite updates. The only dragon that comes to mind that I'd be curious to see an update on are the old Black dragons. I like the alts, but they're so different from the regular Blacks they look almost like a completely different species. I like them both as they are now, but I'd be interested to see them re-imagined as well. 

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2 hours ago, Elennilda said:

I dislike 'major' sprite updates like the reds, silvers and seasonals.

 

I wouldn’t really consider those major updates tho? I know the seasonals were most likely redone from scratch, but the artist did put a lot of effort into getting them as close to the originals as possible while correcting anatomy and updating shading. The bright pink update was more major, with dimorphism, and a larger, more detailed resprite of the original.

 

And again, while we might be attached to the sprites like we would a real world object, we should be able to see when replacements are needed, and replace the item with something more functional. While sprites don’t have much functionality other than how it looks, it’s not a bad thing to update the sprites. A lot of websites go through updates. Granted they’re usually not well recived, but they do tend to look better. Heck even in retail you can just rearrange an aisle for a better layout, and once it’s fully stocked and you can take in how much more accesible it is, oh man it’s good. ☺️☺️☺️☺️

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32 minutes ago, Sextonator said:

 

I wouldn’t really consider those major updates tho? I know the seasonals were most likely redone from scratch, but the artist did put a lot of effort into getting them as close to the originals as possible while correcting anatomy and updating shading. The bright pink update was more major, with dimorphism, and a larger, more detailed resprite of the original.

 

And again, while we might be attached to the sprites like we would a real world object, we should be able to see when replacements are needed, and replace the item with something more functional. While sprites don’t have much functionality other than how it looks, it’s not a bad thing to update the sprites. A lot of websites go through updates. Granted they’re usually not well recived, but they do tend to look better. Heck even in retail you can just rearrange an aisle for a better layout, and once it’s fully stocked and you can take in how much more accesible it is, oh man it’s good. ☺️☺️☺️☺️

 

Just because an update has the same (ish) pose doesn't mean they aren't major. The Reds especially lost a *ton* of their old-school feel, the 'Welsh feel' as some people have called it. The stage2 Seasonal hatchlings lost their surrounding leaves altogether. I understand the spriters did what they thought was needed or whatever and tried to stay 'close' to the originals, but that doesn't mean it's not a significant change, especially for people who really loved the old sprites so of course will notice every little thing that is different. 

 

I'm not sure how rearranging a retail aisle is at all the same as *replacing* sprites? Rearranging doesn't involve actually swapping out products for different 'better' versions. Rearranging a retail aisle seems more similar to rearranging the order on your scroll then completely changing what is there. Also, 'it's not a bad thing' is your opinion, and that's fine. But for some of us it most definitely *is* a bad thing to lose a sprite we loved for years in the name of 'progress'. 

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Sorry I rambled, I wanted a cohesive argument, but idk having time to think during a debate is hard.

 

a tl;dr: Don’t think of it as losing your favorite piece of art, but as regaining your favorite dragon.

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21 minutes ago, Sextonator said:

Sorry I rambled, I wanted a cohesive argument, but idk having time to think during a debate is hard.

 

a tl;dr: Don’t think of it as losing your favorite piece of art, but as regaining your favorite dragon.

 

I.... am so confused by that sentence. What do you mean 'regaining'? It hasn't gone anywhere. That favorite dragon has been there and still is there, sitting on my scroll. Significantly changing the art would be what makes me 'lose' a sprite I love, what about sprite updates would mean 'regaining' a favorite dragon? That makes no sense. There is nothing to regain, it's never been taken away. Unless the sprite gets updated, *then* it will be taken away.

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On 10/11/2018 at 11:27 PM, Starbit-Plushie said:

Of course there are people who LIKE the Balloons. I find them really fun and visually interesting. The concept of them wouldn't work in the new realistic style. You are correct - we will never ever see sprites like the Balloons or Dorsals or OG Seasonals ever again on DC. Why must we change them instead of preserving what was?

 

If people want to liken this to Pokemon; many of the original 151 have a more basic style. Those old angry Onix and Primeape eyes. The legendary bird trio does not look so special or rare compared to new legendaries. But they are not replaced! They might get new evolutions but the originals stay the same.

I love them both just the way they are. And someone I know signed up just because of the balloons. I also live in hope that someone will pick up the weather balloons..

6 minutes ago, HeatherMarie said:

 

I.... am so confused by that sentence. What do you mean 'regaining'? It hasn't gone anywhere. That favorite dragon has been there and still is there, sitting on my scroll. Significantly changing the art would be what makes me 'lose' a sprite I love, what about sprite updates would mean 'regaining' a favorite dragon? That makes no sense. There is nothing to regain, it's never been taken away. Unless the sprite gets updated, *then* it will be taken away.

Exactly. The changed gold,to take the most extreme example of all time, in no way led to my regaining anything. Nor has any update I have yet seen done exactly that. Some were ok, but others detracted from that which I loved.

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1 hour ago, Sextonator said:

a tl;dr: Don’t think of it as losing your favorite piece of art, but as regaining your favorite dragon.

Have to agree that this makes no sense. There is nothing regained (or even gained) if your favorite dragon is changed in a way that you find unappealing.

Edited by purplehaze

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I feel like one thing should be noted is that older sprites look "cartoony" or "old school" may not be that way on purpose, but merely a product of the artist's level of skill at the time. You can like the sprites for that reason, but I don't think that was the intent. (Kinda like finding a bunch of themes and meanings in a book, while the author is like "I wasn't even thinking of that.") 

 

I don't think this site ever aimed at maintaining an old school feel, or we'd be allowed to be way more creative in the Dragon Request sub-forum than we are now.

 

My best description for the style of Dragon Cave is "What ever TJ likes/find interesting/pleasing/cool," which so far has been progressing towards more realistic styled dragons based on real-life anatomy. 

 

So, sprite updates are probably going to continue to match that feel. I hope they would stay as close to maintaining a similar look to the original sprite as possible, but I feel that may be outside our hands. 

 

Maybe if enough people are loud enough, maybe TJ will listen?

 

As for myself, I'm like sprite updates and would prefer them to stay as stylistically close to the original sprites as possible.

 

However, I do have older sprites that I would be sad to see updated. 

 

I've kinda surrendered to the inevitability of it though.

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