Author Topic: How are Cave game graphics created?  (Read 1623 times)

Offline Quantium

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How are Cave game graphics created?
« on: June 22, 2012, 09:00:35 PM »
Just wondering this.  Do they use their own proprietery software, or do they just create the sprites from hand in Photoshop or something?  What do they use to compile the graphics with the programming code?

Offline colour_thief

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Re: How are Cave game graphics created?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 11:08:18 PM »
I'm not sure to what extent they touch it up by hand, but they definitely start with pre-rendered 3D for most sprites.

Offline MikeNeko

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Re: How are Cave game graphics created?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 03:38:48 AM »
If you mean for recent games, then they used what you could use, and produce in the end TGAs-like files. No proprietary tool afaik to create or animate graphics, they don t have time to spend doing that. As said, a lot of sprites are just 3D renders redrawn over to add details and allow smoother animation at a lesser cost, but beyond mechanical things cave artists are not good 3d modelers.

There are specific tools to cut backgrounds and sprites, and create the tiles "big reference images" though, but they are used by the programmers, they are specific per-engine (IKD had his engine, YGW has his engine).
These produce various references tables used by the code as static data (CAVE uses C++ for SH3 toochain, it s not assembly anymore).

A compile tool creates the graphics rom with all the tilesets data, and the rest is taken care off by the C++ compiler (i don t think there is anything injected).
Just for information the graphics can be compressed, either completely or in part, depending on the game platform and memory/ROM restrictions.

HOWEVER ! there are specific level creation tools, to lay out the enemies all over the place (assign their pattern and perhaps even edit), handle the layers synchronicity, speed and direction, sensibility to the panning, start to load specific tiles banks, memory consumption debugging, etc... this is done by the programmers.
If you look carefully at some employment videos from CAVE you can see the level tool in a glimpse.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 03:55:12 AM by MikeNeko »

Offline Muchi Muchi Spork

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Re: How are Cave game graphics created?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 12:11:53 PM »
I don't see the employment videos anywhere, do you have a link so I can stop looking? Also, from the recent history book translation:


?It sounds like very specialized work. Please tell us about the titles you've struggled with.

Tanaka: Daifukkatsu. That title has very little natural scenery in it. The Dodonpachi series in general has a lot of mecha elements in the background and it really takes a lot of time. With natural scenery I can take pictures of trees and such with my digital camera and use those as models, but mecha designs have to be drawn from scratch. Because of that the hours you have to put in are crazy. A normal stage map will generally take me about a month to complete. If the map is really long, then it might take about a month and a half. For vertical shooting games, they're quite long, but they are basically just one large picture. For older games it was typical to draw it in small parts, but lately it feels more like creating a long picture scroll. (laughs) In our early days there wasn't a lot of memory space, so we'd have no choice but to do things block by block, but now you can put it all in there at once. So compared with the past, its easier to express things now, but as a result it takes a lot more time to get one complete map done. And generally making the backgrounds is a one-person job. I don't always do everything... I might give one stage to someone else, but other than that I do it all. Though lately I've been doing everything by myself a lot. So please, hire more people. (laughs)

Offline phat hk

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Re: How are Cave game graphics created?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 06:30:35 AM »

There are specific tools to cut backgrounds and sprites, and create the tiles "big reference images" though, but they are used by the programmers, they are specific per-engine (IKD had his engine, YGW has his engine).



Sorry to be a pain, but is there a list of titles available that use IKD's engine? I am nowhere near most of you guys in terms of play but have noticed that some of the titles seemed to be 'wired' differently and find this very intriguing..

thank you

Offline AntiFritz

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Re: How are Cave game graphics created?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 07:12:22 AM »
I assume all of caves games except the yagawa ones (mmp/ps/ibara).

Offline phat hk

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Re: How are Cave game graphics created?
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 07:59:26 AM »
thanks :righton:

I noticed those 3 had similarities.. not quite sure why i can play ddp or mushi easily but ketsui absolutely rapes me

Offline Quantium

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Re: How are Cave game graphics created?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 02:43:35 PM »
This is turning out to be really interesting.  Great post there Mike, does anyone else have more in-depth information?  Another thing I was wondering is why Cave always seems to talk about being under pressure for releases, but they only come out with a new game every year+.  I know that's alot to design from scratch, but using these tools, it seems like it would simply the process a little bit.

Offline phat hk

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Re: How are Cave game graphics created?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 07:18:03 AM »
I agree 100% this is a great topic.. if anyone can share anything it would be valued by many.

Cave games kick ass  ;)