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Goonstation Monthly Contest: November Edition!
I made some brass knuckles for gang 

[Image: hojas7X.png]
Not sure how good this will look as a sprite, but I felt compelled to make a sleeve for Walter Wanderley's bossa nova classic Rain Forest: 

[Image: LVpkMAQ.png]

[Image: sCCqosQ.png]
Almost forgot to submit them before month's end!

Album covers based on Macca's "Ram", ICP's Carnival of Carnage, and Spiritualized's Sweet Heart Sweet Light.
[Image: Cat.png]
[Image: clowntent_of_car.png]
[Image: sweet_fart_sweet_light.png]
oh wow it's the 29th already I forgot there were only 30 days in November

I'm thinking of submitting my own entries soon, but first I want to give props to all the entrants. Spriting's hard work, and I'm sure that some of you are privately worried your sprites aren't good enough for the game/contest. SaccharineChampion's talked to me a bit about that and so have a few other peeps whose names I'm a bit sad to have forgotten.

I just want to say that the very fact that you (that's plural) submitted despite this fear is something to be praised; maybe it's not Nobel Prize level praise, but like Mr. Rogers has always said, you don't have to do anything extraordinary to be loved. I also just want to say (and I hope this doesn't sound cynical, because all my other attempts to phrase this did) that because winning entries are randomly chosen rather than competitively selected based on artistic skill, that means even if you don't think your entry's up to snuff, it can still make it into SS13. Speaking of which, even if you aren't happy with your entry, I am! (And know some things that would make me even happier with them.)

With that out of the way, I've some more specific compliments and criticism for each person and their entries. Maybe not of much use with one and roughly a half days left in the contest, but you know what they say, better late than never. (Or in this case, better when the contest is almost closed than when it's going to close in a few hours or when it already has closed.)

Dunno what that shelterbee's deal is, but it looks kinda cute, in same the way gifs of anime characters blushing are kinda cute. Seems a little dark though, perhaps you could liven up the colors, especially the yellows? I have similar feelings about the pentagram/pentacle.

Thunderscore has a nice austerity to it, a good kind of minimalism. It's not a vague overly-simplistic sketch that doesn't really tell you much about the band or the piece and is only hiding behind the label of minimalism, but it's a clean, concise finished piece, as if the band knows that all people need to recognize it are two letters and a character.

The LGBT sleeves are all good. I think the color scheme should extend to the entire area of the record, but they look fine the way they are.

The AI sleeve looks fair as it is, but I think it could use a few more details. I can't quite make a design I myself am happy with, but try adding a grey border around the blue, so it looks like the display is sunken into the record/computer, and shortening the smile a tinsy bit.

Comparing it the actual album cover, the perspective seems a little off, and the colors on the clothes are a little too bright. That said, I'd have no clue how to transfer that kind of perspective onto to 24x25 pixels, so the choice in perspective is understandable. Besides, if I'm looking on it on its own, I can see what it's trying to accomplish; I can tell it's man wearing a top hat, scarf (or maybe it's a boa? A boa of tried fish meat?), and funny fish mask waving at the viewer. One thing perhaps worth doing: try shortening the width of the scarf thing. Something like this, perhaps.

I love how you really expanded upon the nuclear auth disk sprite, instead of merely resizing it. In particular, I admire how the notch to open the sleeve is the section where the floppy disk is read--how appropriate, even if it may be accidental. The little wavy lines are a little thin, but are otherwise quite nice.

Mmm, a fruitcake album, very fitting considering what next month is. Sure looks like fruitcake alright, and the note contrasts with the fruitcake enough that it doesn't confusingly blend into it. That particular green is a bit uncommon and lil strange-looking, but it fits the general festive theme well enough. You didn't have to make a record, but boy does it sure look delicious. (Future Questionable Idea incoming...)

The Pink Floyd album really looks like the real deal, and it definitely looks better now that the pure black is a matte dark grey. I admire the pixel letters, and the shortening of Pink Floyd into PK FD is a stroke of genius. Worthy sprite for one of the most famous albums of all time.

I dunno what the album this is referencing is, so pardon me if I'm just completely wrong. It reminds me of those pseudo-3D images where the picture's broken up into three parts that give the illusion of perspective. As for the content, I see a sort of jungle with a mountain in the distance. It's quite visually appealing, at least.

The skull is absolutely superb. I think it's good enough that you can remove the grey and let it stand on its own, like The Punisher logo.

The corners are good, and the eye is nice, but it seems to lack a certain character. Like, it's not an "eye of knowledge" or "creepy eye of nightmares", it's just an eye. Again, it looks good, but seems uncompleted.

I can only recognize 8 out of 10 of the albums shown, but they're superbly faithful renditions. I particularly like how you recreated the chopped up pictures pieces that don't quite align together for the Ex-Military album. I also like how you converted the man in the Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album into a lil' SS13 man.

I also really adore the textwork specifically. While I can't really "read" the text on them, (save for the Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs one), the general shape is close enough to the real thing that I can recognize what it's trying to get at, sort of Chinese Room style. Very clever and very well-done. 

Bologna Prime
If there're any sleeves based on real life ones, I don't recognize them, but I can recognize that they're all good. There's a nice of variety of designs, from simple to complex, in all sorts of interesting colors. In particular, I like how some of them have SS13 elements that make them seem like a real part of the SS13 universe. Verisimilitude, you know.

The face on the mouse seems a little weird, but it looks alright.

I also like how you put the notch where the album opens in different places. It shows a good attention to detail. I especially like how the notch on the Martian one looks like its mouth.

The gun looks neat too, but the grey on the barrel seems a bit too close to the grey of the parts under it. Perhaps make the parts or the barrel darker?

Solid brass knuckles, can't wait to see what they look like when bloodied up. Is this your first time spriting? Looks pretty good if it is, you could be a prodigy.

I have a hard time making out the statue and toucan in the jungle image. In fact, it feels like the album image was resized from the original rather than recreated. Still, I think you have a good base. Try drawing out the statue and bird, and for the text, try adding some gaps to represent spaces, so it's more interesting than just a solid yellow line.

Really good job rendering the zigzag patterns on the sides of the Macca album, they're quite beautiful. The titular ram and the man tending to the animal are well-made. The little purple box for the album title looks kinda funky, but considering you have so little space to work with given all the other stuff, I'll give it a pass. Besides, I can still tell it's meant to be text. I'd also use a somewhat darker shade for the yellow, but the current one works.

Good job with the colors and harlequin clown head, but the chains on the ICP album don't really look like chains, but it's understandable given you're working at the <32x32 pixel art scale. When I was attempting to redraw the chains myself, I decided to use some artistic license and make them straight like so. It might not be an absolutely faithful rendition, but it still encapsulates the general "clownhead wearing a necklace with the band logo" theme. 
That said, your chains kinda work in its own way; to me they look like little legs on the clownhead, like a mutant clownwalker, which is suitable for a monster clown band.

Speaking of which, having POO instead of ICP is a good touch--and very fitting if the album happens to have one of those every-sound-is-poo-in-different-pitches songs.

The Sweet Heart Sweet Light album is beautifully Spartan, and it both nicely fits well with the other similarly minimalistic albums in this thread and stands out in a good way with the more finely detailed ones. The decision to use three questions marks instead of a Huh? is interesting; I think it's possible to write it out if you expand the green octagon (here's my attempt at it), but it's fine. You also didn't have to include the grey stuff on one of Gannet's album sprites, but it doesn't detract from the piece much. 

Concluding Thoughts
I wish all the entries made it into the game like the Spacemas tree sprite drive; while I critiqued most of them, I still want them all in the game. Darn shame we don't have nearly as many music pieces as we do album sprite entries.
Thanks a lot for the feedback, Studenterhue. I tried to quickly incorporate some of it, let me know if it looks better. I brightened both the bee and the pentacle. I also shortened the smile and returned a tiny bit of depth to the AI sleeve (originally I had a lot more shadowing and depth in the sprite but at that point it almost didn't look like a sleeve but more as an actual non-flat AI so I removed most of that). I agree that extending the colours to the whole LGBT records would probably look better but I'd probably have to redo them to make it actually look good and it seems like a lot of work.

Also all of the sprites here are very good, I love them, much better than mine. I'd comment on specific posts but it's late and I'm tired. Maybe tomorrow.
Yes, pali6, I'd say these do look better now. bee

The shelterbee looks better now; I think you managed to avoid making it too dark even for the matte and being too bright and garish. Kinda looks like it has three or four wings now though, and I swear it's not my eyes. Maybe try making the left wing a little taller (heh). To illustrate what I'm talking about, here's my attempt at heightening it.

The pentacle sure looks a lot more spooky now that it's in a brighter color. I didn't notice these before, but I see you also brightened the scratch marks--sinister, and a very nice touch.

It's alright if you're not in the mood to redo the LGBT records.

The new AI sleeve is an improvement. I still think it needs something, but I still don't know what it is, but if it were added into the game right now, I'd be fine with it. I'll explain...

(11-29-2019, 03:01 PM)pali6 Wrote: ….at that point it almost didn't look like a sleeve but more as an actual non-flat AI so I removed most of that...

I felt the same way when I was trying to draw an AI sleeve myself basing off of your design. No matter what I tried to add to it, it still ended up looking like it was copy and pasted from an actual AI sprite, which wasn't what I wanted. In fact, the version I was most satisfied with just had the AI's face, with just the blue and no grey.
Thank you for the feedback, it was enjoyable seeing your thoughts on both my own and others' compositions!
Re:Huh? vs ???, I figured the tradeoff of making Huh? fit in exchange for simplicity of the ??? wasn't my jam. I wasn't aware the grey bits were unnecessary, that's good to know - I only left it off the others because they didn't have pure white parts.
I'm honestly not sure if I like it more or less without the grey - it feels a bit too clean without, but maybe that's just because I'm too used to it being with the grey.

I like the straight chains on the clown album more than my own curved ones - I feel like part of the issue with the curved ones is seeming a little bit too angular, too.

The text was by far the hardest bit of Cat (I figure it's hard to distinguish unless you know what you're looking for or stare at it awhile, but I replaced the ram with a cat, using a greyscale version of the ingame sprite as a model.), I blame the sides for taking up so much of the composition!

Thanks again for the feedback!
(11-29-2019, 05:02 PM)saccharineChampion Wrote: Re:Huh? vs ???, I figured the tradeoff of making Huh? fit in exchange for simplicity of the ??? wasn't my jam.
This is kinda what meant when I said putting ??? instead of Huh? was "interesting". It's good to fit the Huh? in, but the ??? has its own appeal, you know?

(11-29-2019, 05:02 PM)saccharineChampion Wrote: The text was by far the hardest bit of Cat (I figure it's hard to distinguish unless you know what you're looking for or stare at it awhile, but I replaced the ram with a cat, using a greyscale version of the ingame sprite as a model.), I blame the sides for taking up so much of the composition!

Heh, I didn't notice it was a cat until after I made my post, when I realized the tail seemed a little too long for a sheep. I find it kinda hilarious, imagining someone treating a cat like a farm animal.

And the thing about the sides is true. If you completely axe the sides--which I wouldn't recommend, because they're beautiful and help it stand out against the other entries--you'd have enough space for a fairly squished "RAM". If you were going with just "CAT", you'd have to chop off less.

Also, I didn't comment on this before, and it has nothing to do with the contest, but I've noticed you have some interesting image links for your entries. My favorite is the one with "Sweet Fart Sweet Light".

Time for my own entries.

[Image: Hl7G0Fr.png]
For all those tracks to drift through space to. Very happy with how this turned out; if I had to submit only one thing for the contest, I'd pick this one. Useless fact: the sleeve uses a rejected design I made for the figurine bag suggestion thread.

[Image: RJJsg55.png]
And for all those honky, farty, and generally clown-y tracks too. I'm kinda happy with the musical staff background, but for some reason, I've never been quite satisfied with the colors of the note and border. Still, latter's in clown suit colors, so there's that.

[Image: mq4LEPU.png]
Here's an album some coder at /tg/station seems to really like: The Protomen (2005) by, well, the Protomen, a rock opera about a robot who fights for hope. I'm happy with how the CRT scanlines, shining light, and cityscape turned out, even though the last one took a few tries. The album art has a cool logo for the band, which I distilled into a P and an m flanking a t shaped like a glittering star of hope.

[Image: 5pNYxa2.png]
From one of my favorite bands, the Megas, this time going under the name The Belmonts for their Castlevania-themed The Belmonts EP. The art has a cool magenta-cyan-yellow outline effect on the creature, neither of which I could quite replicate (notice the poses are different, and mine is only in one color), so here's some red winged figure who looks like they should be on the Hanged Man tarot card. On the other hand, I'm happy with the text work.

[Image: cWSyaL5.png]
Another EP from the Megas/the Belmonts. This time it's Skulls, whose Vampire Killer track I've quoted probably way too many times in-game.  Another case of artistic license on my part too; note how there's no cool calligraphy or lighting effects, the wing looks different, the blood drip on the winged vampire girl is much cleaner, said vampire girl is holding the skull mask instead of levitating it, and said skull mask isn't cast this cool shadow effect thing on said girl. Speaking of which, I used/resized a few SS13 sprites for this entry, which was weirdly fun.

[Image: DL736tW.png]
Finally, here's a picture of what they might look like in-game, using Manta's Communications Office because I don't have a good picture of the debris field radio ship yet. Perhaps too bright, but maybe the lighting will soften things a little. 

For the curious, some WIP images, all in one image because of the 10 image limit. 
[Image: apkZv7X.png]
Oops I forgot about this until the very last day but I have done sprites:

Two original album covers based off of ss13 stuff:

[Image: br4yNiS.png]  [Image: vyMhjqH.png]

Some gang things that have been used:

[Image: zBa7u4S.png]
So, while the contest is still open (?), it's time for me to procrastinate on, like, a lot of stuff, by offering more criticism & compliments. Flaborized is the only one to have submitted an entry since my last post here, so I'll talk about the record sleeves and gang stuff separately.

Record Sleeves
I looked at the first sleeve, and for a second, I thought the left side was some hellish landscape, while the right side was a serene field with a monolith. (Thinking something roughly like 2600's Autumn 2019 issue cover.) Then I looked again and realized it was just a mop, a mess, and a janitor in galoshes. And because it includes only those three elements, plus some text, I think it really captures the Zen janitor mindset, the feeling that the only things in the world are messes and one's will to clean them.

So, anyways, the mop and bloodstain look nice, and I like the way the shading on the galoshes adds a bit of perspective, but the light grey splotches on the janitor jumpsuit look like stains to me. I don't know if the light grey's too bright or if the grey around it is too dark, but I'm leaning towards the former.

Now, the flash on the second sleeve is real good. Not only does it look pretty close to the real thing, but I love how the bulb is bigger than normal and how the flash is angled a certain way specifically to call attention to that. Together, they really emphasize the "flash" aspect of a flash.

I love how the text does a similar thing; just as a flash is a bright light that's really intense at the beginning, but then becomes dimmer, the letters are really big at the beginning, but then become smaller--good touch. However, I've mixed feelings about the dot in the exclamation point that extends into a white line; I get it has similar purpose to  the shrinking letters, but I dunno, it just looks really weird to me. Personally, it looked weirder when I tried to remove it, for it looked as if the flash was impinging upon the text, so maybe keep it?

In fact, the fact that these two pieces have a sort of "feel" or "mood" is real good and helps it stand out--it's a whole another level of art that's different from representing things. (Dunno if it's below beyond or above beyond representation, but this debate's been going on for like centuries, especially so in 20th, and there're probably like hundreds of people who have way better answers on it than me.)

Gang Items
Ever since it was released, I always thought the blade of the throwing knife looked like a gem, and after a brief attempt at editing it, I think it's because the blade is a little too short.  Everything else about it is fine though.

Ratstick and nunchucks look fine, they definitely succeed at looking like a bat with barbed wire/spikes around it and two blunt-ish rods attached together via a chain, which looks a bit thick, but it works. (Helps that unlike with SaccharineChampion's ICP album, there's a lot more space for more chain links, so that it can look more like a real chain.)  Not much else I can say about them, aside from maybe add some shading on some of the links to help them stand out.

The faux c-saber looks....familiar--and in a good way. I like how it's a somewhat different design from the c-saber, but not too different, and I love how its blade is slimmer than the c-saber's to reflect how the faux version has lower damage than the real thing. All this differentiation is good; it fits the faux c-saber's "c-saber, but not quite as powerful" role.

I have similar thoughts about the discount katana. I admire how the shading on the blade and hilt are not as drastic as they are on the real katana sprite and how both the sword and its sheath are smaller than the real steel. Similar to the faux c-saber, these really help cement the thing's "katana, but weaker" status.

Speaking of the sheath, I like how it looks on its own, but what's with the sword in sheath sprite? The area around the pommel of the sword while it's in the sheath looks a fair bit different from the area around pommel when it's unsheathed.

As a general note, I like the overall feel of these items. They look like decent, average-grade weapons that you might find in a legitimate shop, rather than shiny mall ninja knickknacks or high-tech spy gear, which suits their general status as "good as or better than what you might get on the station, but not has good as the ones traitors can get" weapons for gang members.
Thanks so much everyone for participating! I hope you all enjoyed spriting your cool album covers and/or gang equipment. I'll definitely add all the album covers in this month; let me know if you wanna make any edits to yours before they're put in! 

Thank you so much Studenterhue for the extensive feedback on everyone's art. It was really nice reading all your thoughtful comments; can you be any cooler? spider (the bumblespider is shaking its head no)

As for stickers, I assigned everyone a number based on the order in which I saw their submission (two if they made a separate post with feedback for someone else), and then generated a set using Thankfully it didn't pick the same person twice! 

1, 2 Pali 
3 Sart
4 Valterak
5, 6 Wisecrack 
7, 8 Tewf 
9 Crazyabe
10 Schwick 
11 Bologna
12 Gerblederp
13 Monolith
14 Sacc
15, 16 Studenterhue 
17 Flab

[Image: LmMwGWD.png]

So, the lucky sticker (and exclusive medal) winners of this month are Pali6, Wisecrack34, Tewf, Monolithburger, and Studenterhue! Please message Gannets with your address and which sticker you'd like - you can see all the available ones here! Everyone else will also be receiving the contest participation medal (if you haven't already). 

Thanks again for being part of November's contest! See you (very) soon! space goose
I already have my Gannets stickers both from a previous monthly contest and from me ordering some. I'd rather see someone else get this one. Could you reroll my number and let whoever it lands on have the sticker instead? smile
(12-04-2019, 12:53 AM)pali6 Wrote: I already have my Gannets stickers both from a previous monthly contest and from me ordering some. I'd rather see someone else get this one. Could you reroll my number and let whoever it lands on have the sticker instead? smile

Sure, sounds good!

Again using, and removing those who have already won...

[Image: Q6y7GDX.png]

Gerblederp, please message Gannets with your address and which sticker you'd like! Dr. Acula
I apologize for posting once again in this thread but I realized that a sprite I made for unrelated reasons would also work as a record sleeve after tweaking it a tiny bit:

[Image: 1cJ7Uec.png]
Alright, after a very long wait (sorry!), everyone's record sleeves are finally in. Right now the radio station sleeves randomly draw from the pool of November contest sleeve submissions. If you submitted a sleeve and an accompanying record, however, your art is still in limbo. Please message or DM me with suggestions for your work! Otherwise I'll just try to find some thematically appropriate music and put your sleeve + record somewhere in the debris field or something like that. Thanks again everyone, it's really nice seeing all your very good art Sleeping bee

(edit: And even if you just did sleeves and not sets of sleeves + records, if you want something special or in particular for your art, please let me know and we can do that!)

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