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Update #23

More Trials -- and a Question!

25 comments
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Here we are again!

Today's going to be a short post, but that doesn't mean it's hollow. Let's get straight to the stuffs, shall we?

More Trials

As we have said before, there were a couple more artists we're trying out instead of just the two we showed you. Today we're going to show two more.

Reynard #3 

 Reynard #4

Currently we're testing a collaboration -- the artist who did #4 will sketch and outline the characters, and it'll be coloured by artist who did #3. The results will come up later this week, so we'll be able to show it to you on the next update.

A Question

Okay, this isn't exactly an update, but we'd love to communicate with you for different things than just work. So maybe we'll put something else on our updates every now and then, like this one ^__^

So, a question came up in the office a few days ago, and nobody could really nail the answer. We thought maybe you as avid gamers could help us out.

Why are player characters commonly put on the left-hand side in platformers and action games, but on the right-hand side in RPG combat?

The answer wouldn't really change our design, but it's a curious one isn't it?

Seto Konowa, Alexandre MANGIN, and 2 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator Shaun J on November 14

      Err, that second "left" in the JRPG segment should be a "right". I apologize if you end up in Albuquerque due to my ineptness >.<

    2. Missing_small

      Creator Shaun J on November 14

      For platformers, I believe Aditia nailed it: the computer understands going Right as a positive number and Left as negative. Back in the days of Super Mario Bros., you needed every bit you could get, including that bit which would signify positive versus negative. Thus, only have Mario run from Left to Right as you are going from a lower number to a higher number and never going into the negatives. It's form following function.

      For JRPGs, most characters are right-handed. If you put a right-handed character on the left side of the screen and put her in a battle-ready stance, you would only see her back towards the audience. If you put her on the left side of the screen, you see her front. In acting, you never turn your back to the audience, you always make sure they can see your front at some point. Of course, if you have a left-handed man, you encounter the opposite problem, though that's a problem you would encounter 1 out every 8-9 heroes (Hero of Time not included :P)

    3. Avatar200200.small

      Creator Atarun on November 11

      @Jesse Dylan Watson: it's true that Japanese video games tend to write horizontally and are thus read left-to-right. But Japanese is traditionally written vertically (in novels and manga it's still the case) and is read from right-to-left.

    4. Avatar200200.small

      Creator Atarun on November 11

      @TeamWeaver: actually, my theory (which is admitedky just that) DOES explain Mario.
      Let me try again.
      Vertical Japanese writing = right-to-left.
      Horizontal Japanese writing = left-to-right.
      Platformers (like Mario) = essentially horizontal = left-to-right.
      JRPGs = PCs in front and enemies behind = vertical depth = right-to-left.
      There. That's my theory. And though it might not explain games I haven't thought of or don't know about, it sure as hell DOES explain Mario.

    5. Missing_small

      Creator William B on November 8

      That is weird. The only RPGs I can think of where the PCs are one the left are the Mario RPGs, probably because the Mario platformers have you start on the left.

    6. Me.small

      Creator Caleb Benoit on November 7

      I love the outlined look of #4 the best and the coloration on #2 the best.

    7. Adol_gentleman_(small).small

      Creator AttentionDeficitGuy on November 7

      Personally I still prefer Reynard One, but Reynard Three is pretty nice too!

    8. Depe-minime-bearded.small

      Creator Aditia Dwiperdana on November 6

      In computer graphic programming, the (0,0) coordinate is on the left corner (top left in several technology such as OpenGL or J2ME, but bottom left on basic math 'cartesian coordinate system').
      The value of X (horizontal axis) increase to the right direction, so its only natural for games with long level design like side-scrolling platformer (or the older top down shooter such as Gradius), scrolls from left to right. *And this is mainly because most of television has greater width than height*
      As for the right-sided RPG, I agree with the 'Japanese text/literature is read from right to left' argument.

    9. Ks_profile_pic.small

      Creator Jesse Dylan Watson on November 6

      I can't think of any right-to-left platformers! (although of course there are RPGs with the players not on the right... but I can't think of any RPGs where the players are SPECIFICALLY on the left either...)

      There must be a right-to-left platformer if we think hard, though, or at least one with a segment where it's right-to-left...

    10. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jeff Moore on November 6

      I'm going to have to throw my vote in with "tradition" Mario and Final Fantasy were two of the first big names in platforming and RPG's and I think that they shaped the ideas and perceptions of not only the developers, but the players to the point that if someone did develop a mirror image game, it would be unsettling to a certain degree.

    11. Moon_100.small

      Creator Ashley Finney on November 6

      I'm really liking Reynard #3. even more so than #1 in the last update.

      As for the side scrolling games (left to right). I'd say it is because the player is heading to a destination or goal FORWARD. Facing and traveling right to left would seem to be heading backward or away. Maybe? :]

    12. Folken21biobsidian.small

      Creator Leewelo Lorekeeper on November 6

      Until someone publish a platformer with the ability to simply invert the world and check in what settings (unalduterated) players spends the most time, we will never know if there's something deep in our brain justifying the choice.

    13. Missing_small

      Creator Mihir-Pirate King of the Obsidian Order on November 6

      why even decide on either left or right? Take a look at systems where the developers throw tradition out of the window. Golden Sun and its sequel, Golden Sun - The Lost Age, do a great job of this, with their pseudo-3Dish turn based combat.

    14. Ekuator_logo_01.small

      Creator Ekuator Games on November 6

      Whoa, so many good answers!

      We've pondered upon these ourselves (in the office) and asked the question to some friends on social media. In the end we decided that there's no actual way to find out the real answer since the design has stuck and became the 'mainstream'.

      Each argument has a point of its own -- whether it's the 'left-heavy' tendency, 'according to the directional pad', 'read from right to left', or even 'some guy made this first-gen stuff like that, so the rest just follow'. We'll probably never know the truth, huh?

      By the way, has anyone ever played a right-to-left platformer?

    15. Ks_profile_pic.small

      Creator Jesse Dylan Watson on November 6

      That's a good point about both platformers and Final Fantasy-style RPGs being "left-heavy," but in RPGs you're looking at the menus quite a bit, which are on the right, near the player characters, I think. And the question still remains: in both cases: why did they choose the left side of the screen for the focal point?

    16. Ks_profile_pic.small

      Creator Jesse Dylan Watson on November 6

      Well, their point was that a lot of 2D RPGs, at least the ones that don't have the enemies in the middle of the screen and players at the bottom, put the players on the right-hand side. Maybe it originated with Final Fantasy and was just kept up by tradition. I've never seen a console RPG with vertical text or text read right to left, though. They're written in kana, and later a combination of kana and kanji, and it's read from left to right.

      As for side-scrollers, I had to wonder if perhaps, since most players are right-handed, they wanted the player running towards their dominant hand.

      A more simple theory: The directional pad is on the left side of the controller, so perhaps that's why they put the character on the left side of the screen as well.

    17. Waffle100.small

      Creator Will Kilgore on November 6

      I have a feeling I'll like this collaboration.

      I'd also like to point out that there are a lot of JRPGs that don't follow the players-on-the-right combat style. Just off the top of my head, from the 2D era Chrono Trigger varies character placement wildly, and MegaTen, Mother, and even Pokémon games go for a first-person perspective (or at least close to it). And when you get into the 3D era, you get frequently changing camera angles. I would guess (as in I have no real evidence to back this up) that the main reason we see this phenomenon *today* is (similar to what TeamWeaver just said) game developers who played Final Fantasy back in the day and it just feels strange to them to have it any other way.

    18. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Daryl Putman on November 6

      I'd argue that the placement of the characters in an RPG on the right isn't terribly important. You don't look at them a lot while playing the game compared to the rest of the viewports. In them, you're usually looking at the menus, or the enemies (which change frequently, where you choose targeting, are often looking at to see the results of actions, and otherwise interact) and not your party (which changes infrequently, is usually only glanced at briefly to get an overview of status and so on). I would argue both game types are "left heavy" in their eye-draw; where you spend your time looking. (Platformers, of course, you're almost always looking at your character.)

    19. Tw.small

      Creator TeamWeaver on November 6

      @Atarun As Ekuator said, that doesn't explain Japanese sidescrollers like Mario.

      I think it was just a personal design choice that was adopted by other developers for the sake of competition. Why is jumping on an enemy's head an attack? It's really all the same; these features are simply adopted because they debuted in popular games.

    20. Avatar200200.small

      Creator Atarun on November 6

      Maybe it's because of the way Japanese is written and read. If it's written horizontally, it's written left-to-right and if it's written vertically, it's written right-to-left.
      It's easy to derive from that that platformers (which are essentially horizontal) should go left-to-right, but JRPGs tend to put enemies behind and PCs in front, adding some vertical depth, hence the right-to-left direction.
      Of course, I'm only guessing there. ^^

    21. Ekuator_logo_01.small

      Creator Ekuator Games on November 6

      @Stephen: We thought of that too, but.. after looking at Mario, we weren't so sure :)

      @Dar: Don't those games originated in the console, where they control using directional buttons on the left side?

    22. Missing_small

      Creator Dar Rivkin on November 6

      My first guess is that it's to do with the controls.
      RPG combat is usually controlled with the mouse, which is usually on the right side (since most people are right handed).
      Platforms are usually controlled with the keyboard, often with the WSAD scheme, which is on the left side of the keyboard.

      This makes me wonder why most games don't use the arrow keys. I mean, they're right there, not like they have so many other uses.

    23. Cton.small

      Creator Helena - Ordo Draconum on November 6

      #4 is the best so far, I think - he looks really tough and mean, like the original. But the colouring of #3 is also pretty good, so I like the idea of a collaboration.

    24. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Wenxiox on November 6

      I believe Stephen got it right, that is what I was going to suggest in any case :)

    25. Facebook_thumbnail_001_medium.small

      Creator Stephen "Stoibs" D on November 6

      At a completely random, off the top of my head guess... This phenomenon was typically seen in JRPGS, and unlike here in the west they read from right to left. I suppose looking at things from the right hand dominance and screen space just came naturally and has been adopted over the years as the norm ..?
      Not something I really consciously noticed - now I can't unsee it, so thanks for that ;P

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