Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
Sprite sheets vs Zip files
#1
I never completely understood why sprite sheets have been the preferred method to upload on the site, the reason I always 
heard is that they are nicer to look at and quicker to approve, I get those points but overall they are more of a hassle to make 
and use. While a nice zip file can have all the sprites exactly as intended and you could even provide animated gif's for animations
saving the customer the hassle of trying to properly animate them. 

The only advantages I see for sprite sheets is that they are nicer to display on the site then a zip file but other than 
that they are a waste of time. 

Also let me just say that people can upload whatever they want, I just simply am wondering why Sprite sheets are preferred. 

I just figured I would open up a discussion because I find it an interesting thing to discuss.
Reply
Thanked by:
#2
The reason is simple. Not everyone visiting the site are looking for sprites to use for their own project. Many (myself included) just like to browse the site and look at the artwork. Sheeted content makes this easy. Zips need to be downloaded and extracted and as a result, aren't really useful as far as browsing goes.
Reply
Thanked by: Goemar, the shirt ninja
#3
(02-25-2017, 07:02 PM)Petie Wrote: The reason is simple. Not everyone visiting the site are looking for sprites to use for their own project. Many (myself included) just like to browse the site and look at the artwork. Sheeted content makes this easy. Zips need to be downloaded and extracted and as a result, aren't really useful as far as browsing goes.

Sure, but they just make it more of a hassle for people looking to use them, It is a hassle for rippers and users.
The reason you provide only benefits a minority and hinders the majority.

Sprite sheets only seem to benefit browsers and site staff, no one else as far as I can see. 

I can't prove that the majority of people use the sprites, but I have a feeling that most people come to use not view.
Reply
Thanked by:
#4
As someone who has used sprites from the site for personal projects, I've always preferred sprite sheets over downloads; I find them easier to use and way easier to keep track of.

As someone who greatly enjoys browsing the site and looking at everything for fun, I much prefer sprite sheets over downloads as it's just an inconvenience to have to download things, especially considering my internet is really not good, making downloading a real pain sometimes.

Side note: I'd bet money on there being far more people that browse the site recreationally than actually utilize the resources in some way. The site works as a really cool gallery, an ideal video game museum of sorts.
[Image: 582217063e.png][Image: RWDCRik.png]


Reply
Thanked by: Garamonde
#5
(02-25-2017, 07:31 PM)Shade Wrote: As someone who has used sprites from the site for personal projects, I've always preferred sprite sheets over downloads; I find them easier to use and way easier to keep track of.

As someone who greatly enjoys browsing the site and looking at everything for fun, I much prefer sprite sheets over downloads as it's just an inconvenience to have to download things, especially considering my internet is really not good, making downloading a real pain sometimes.

I definitely agree at them being a lot nicer to browse, having to download them just to look at them is a load of crap. Tongue

I agree that they are easier to keep track of, but I personally just keep sprites organized in separate folders. But I don't understand how 
using them is any easier? As someone that uses Game maker, ripping sprites and animating them can be a real hassle if you need to do it a lot.
Game makers sprite sheet viewer does not let you even zoom in, so if you are ripping multiple frames from a sheet it can be a little hard to see 
where the borders are at and you may end up cutting part of the sprites off. Where if someone just provides a Zip file, I can open up the frames in bulk
super quickly and be on to the next thing.

Quote:Side note: I'd bet money on there being far more people that browse the site recreationally than actually utilize the resources in some way. The site works as a really cool gallery, an ideal video game museum of sorts.

I won't argue with that considering I don't really know. I would love to see a poll on this. Big Grin
Reply
Thanked by:
#6
Yeah, trust me: most people are here just to look.

And well, not sure how similar it is to Game Maker but I used to use The Games Factory, Multimedia Fusion and TGF2 - but I can't imagine why you'd want to view the sheets in the program itself. Just open it in paint, select the frame you want, slap it where you need it in the program.

Most of these programs also have 'hotspots' (or something similarly named) which you use to set the animation 'lock' point. This makes the whole thing about sheets being an inconvenience for animation purposes completely mute as you don't need the exact frame size.

Basically, zip files really suck. Like, I'm surprised tSR even allowed them for sprites to begin with as as soon as something is zipped - I don't bother. I get it if it's something with a stupidly large amount of sprites, but personally I'd rather just have a stupidly large sprite sheet...
[Image: randomimage.cgi]
Reply
Thanked by: Ton
#7
As someone who sometimes uses sprites from this site in Super Mario World ROM hacks, I prefer sprite sheets. That's cause the tools we have for ripping graphics in that community (the BG Ripper, Lunar Magic's tile ripper and SNES GFX) all work better with single images with multiple sprites or frames on them.

And while there are some tools that do work better with multiple files (I think Super Mario Bros X is another one here), a lot of game modding/ROM hacking apps and game development tools work best with single sprite sheets as well. Add how people viewing the sprites likely don't want to download them and view frames one by one, and well... I think the current format is the better choice here.
Reply
Thanked by:
#8
(02-25-2017, 07:55 PM)Goemar Wrote: And well, not sure how similar it is to Game Maker but I used to use The Games Factory, Multimedia Fusion and TGF2 - but I can't imagine why you'd want to view the sheets in the program itself. Just open it in paint, select the frame you want, slap it where you need it in the program.

I have done it that way but then you have to get rid of the background color, which is easy but annoying. I use Game Makers sheet viewer because it allows you to grab multiple frames at once and automatically remove background color. 

Also The Games Factory huh? I will have to check that out.

Quote:Most of these programs also have 'hotspots' (or something similarly named) which you use to set the animation 'lock' point. This makes the whole thing about sheets being an inconvenience for animation purposes completely mute as you don't need the exact frame size.

Getting multiple frames ready is much easier and faster in a zip in my opinion because you more often than not can just batch open several frames. 
A lot of programs allow you to grab multiple frames at once but that does not always help if the sprites on the sheet are not spaced right.

Quote:Basically, zip files really suck. Like, I'm surprised tSR even allowed them for sprites to begin with as as soon as something is zipped - I don't bother. I get it if it's something with a stupidly large amount of sprites, but personally I'd rather just have a stupidly large sprite sheet...

I won't put you down if you feel that way but I have used sprite sheets for years and never liked them, they just slow everything down in my experience.
I personally do not avoid either type though.
Reply
Thanked by:
#9
I 100% agree that using sprite sheets is a pain for gamedev/animation. But for literally every other purpose, sprites sheets are perfectly fine (and often preferred). And seeing as most of them are copyrighted, any kind of use would be for fangames or the like which means it's not really a big deal. As others have said, TSR (and the other sites) is and always has been more of a gallery and rips are generally for archival purposes, rather than as a collection of resources (despite the name) for fangame developers.

From a ripper's perspective, it can also be an issue to extract the sprites into individual frames, aligned within the same bounding box dimensions. In some games this is reliable and easy (such as Game Maker games), but for others, especially those that need to be hard ripped, it's nigh impossible. The ripper would need to go through every individual frame and align them to make sure they animate right. It's much easier to just put them on a sheet, line them up as nicely as possible, and let it be.

Quote:But hey, then I have to do it myself!!! How is that any better??

It's better because you actually want them in that format. The majority of users just want to check out the sprites for reference, interest, or just to admire them. Relatively speaking, someone needing a sheet to be in that kind of format is very rare.
If every single submission was required to be easy to use for gamedev/animation, submissions would be more tedious and less fun, resulting in fewer rippers, a lower frequency of submissions, and fewer submissions altogether. And all that just in case somebody wanted to use them in a game or video.


Now, one suggestion I have that could be a potential solution is having both. Something like an option on a sheet's page to submit a ZIP with the frames in an easily usable format. Sheets should be prioritized, but if there are people willing to align and organise them into a ZIP (or if the sprites are just extracted like that), then it cuts out some work for anybody who ends up wanting to use them. For example, my Nuclear Throne submissions are sheets, but when extracted the frames are all individual images, in order, organised in folders by animation. It'd super easy for me to just upload a ZIP of that for anybody who wants to use them, but still have the sheet for those who just want to view.
This would also allow content creators who did have to extract sheets into a usable format to save the work for any future people in their position.

Anybody think this is a good/bad idea? Dazz and Petie, is this possible/wanted?
[Image: dilbert.gif]
Sprites ~ Sounds
You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. -Mary Pickford
Reply
Thanked by: Inthegrave
#10
(02-26-2017, 01:52 AM)puggsoy Wrote: Now, one suggestion I have that could be a potential solution is having both. Something like an option on a sheet's page to submit a ZIP with the frames in an easily usable format. Sheets should be prioritized, but if there are people willing to align and organise them into a ZIP (or if the sprites are just extracted like that), then it cuts out some work for anybody who ends up wanting to use them. For example, my Nuclear Throne submissions are sheets, but when extracted the frames are all individual images, in order, organised in folders by animation. It'd super easy for me to just upload a ZIP of that for anybody who wants to use them, but still have the sheet for those who just want to view.
This would also allow content creators who did have to extract sheets into a usable format to save the work for any future people in their position.

That is what I was thinking, I was half tempted to go and add a zip option on some random sprite sheets because I thought it would 
be more helpful for people. But I didn't do that because I was sure it would be declined by site staff.

Surely there is a use for both formats? I would be willing to build zips in my spare time for different sprite sheets.
Reply
Thanked by:
#11
I'm not Dazz/Petie, but I feel like that would at least roughly double the space all submissions on the site would use, and I remember Dazz having concerns with ripping a game that took up too much space in the database by itself.

I think it'd be great, but might be way too much of a load on the server to be feasible.

Obviously, they'll have to respond to this though. Tongue
[Image: sweet-capn-cakes-deltarune.gif]
Reply
Thanked by: puggsoy, Inthegrave, Petie, Shade
#12
I only submit zip files when they're more convenient than making a sheet, like with art galleries and PC games where the graphics already come sorted out.
[Image: lhjFt57.gif][Image: sX7JK6W.gif][Image: 4BB3IOO.gif][Image: qHY3ZCP.gif][Image: oCiv6RT.gif][Image: RNSMdiR.gif][Image: gx5wm3G.gif][Image: ld7rSgS.gif]
Reply
Thanked by:
#13
(02-26-2017, 09:32 AM)Mighty Jetters Wrote: I'm not Dazz/Petie, but I feel like that would at least roughly double the space all submissions on the site would use

This is pretty much the main concern.

The proposal is definitely possible but it would be a massive undertaking to add the additional content to all of the sheets that are currently missing it. Additionally, I'd be willing to bed that a negligible number of visitors to the site actually utilize the resources for anything other than admiration/reference so the effort required to implement this and get it up to date would realistically be wasted as the benefit would be extremely small. And, as Mighty Jetters mentioned, there is indeed the issue that we would basically double the footprint of the site and while we currently have more than enough space, it certainly isn't infinite.
Reply
Thanked by: Inthegrave, Garamonde
#14
(02-26-2017, 04:37 PM)Petie Wrote:
(02-26-2017, 09:32 AM)Mighty Jetters Wrote: I'm not Dazz/Petie, but I feel like that would at least roughly double the space all submissions on the site would use

This is pretty much the main concern.

The proposal is definitely possible but it would be a massive undertaking to add the additional content to all of the sheets that are currently missing it. Additionally, I'd be willing to bed that a negligible number of visitors to the site actually utilize the resources for anything other than admiration/reference so the effort required to implement this and get it up to date would realistically be wasted as the benefit would be extremely small. And, as Mighty Jetters mentioned, there is indeed the issue that we would basically double the footprint of the site and while we currently have more than enough space, it certainly isn't infinite.

Am I allowed to add a alternative to different sheets? I would like to do it in my free time and I don't expect anyone to help me with it, 
but if the issue of space is a concern then I won't.

Just let me know if it is alright or not. Smile
Reply
Thanked by:
#15
It depends on what you mean by alternative. If you're referring to just resubmitting the same content in zip form then no, we don't want duplicate content across the site.
Reply
Thanked by:


Forum Jump: