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April 9, 2004
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Omicron Zone by wenstrom Omicron Zone by wenstrom
This is my submission for the Pixel Art VG screenshot contest, on where we had to make a videogame mock-up screen from scratch.


As I want to make this mock-up as real as possible, I also thought about the story behind the game, combat mechanics (which is what you see here) and explain the elements of this screenshot that are not very clear. So, if you don't want to spend time reading a long chunk of text, just skip to the bottom of the description.

I opted for making a game that I dubbed "Omicron Zone" (which I wish I could make it true someday, but that's far from happening). Its genre is RPG with some strategy elements. The action happens in a near future, on where sophisticated machinery is being developed at enormous scales, but at the same time, energy resources are being depleted at similar scales. Scientists, on their continuous research of new energy sources discovered what could be a source of "infinite energy", which is located in a place dubbed "Omicron Zone", as this place doubles as a miniature "black hole". While important countries in the world are racing on finding ways to reach this energy source (some, though, by using their military strenght rather than scientific knowledge and diplomacy), a few independent individuals are also interested on it. One of them hired four mercenaries to do whatever is needed to reach this energy source. What they don't know, is that they're forcefully being dragged to an adventure of epic proportions.

Battle mechanics: combats are turn-based. The order of actions are determined by the character's speed status. Exceptions are robots. Some of them may have a higher speed stat than human party members, but they always move last, wheter it is moving through the battle scene or doing an action. Of course, that's to level the difficulty a little, as machines have a huge advantage over human troops in firepower and endurance. This, of course, doesn't count on combats on where all the units are mechanic. Also, you give the commands to a character per time, unlike other RPGs on where you give all the commands to your party and then wait for them to execute. Battle is won when all party members are either KO'ed/destroyed (in the case of mechanic units, they are out of combat merely by having their engine destroyed). Experience is shared between party members in equal fractions, no matter how many successful actions they accomplished.

-Explanation of screenshot elements:

Phase: we give the name of "phase" to the time that takes every unit in the battle field to perform a move. When all the units have already performed their respective actions, a new phase starts. The more phases it takes the player to defeat the enemy party, the less experience will receive at the end of the combat.

Time: this game includes a clock (which is not in real time, as 1 minute lasts for 30 seconds). It indicates the played what's the time, which is important for strategy elements. Fighting at nightime without the appropiate gear will reduce the accuracy of the attacks greatly. Depending of the player possesing night vision gear or not battling at night could be an advantage or a disadvantage respectively. Time doesn't affect indoor battle fields, unless they lack artificial illumination.

Weather: weather in the game influentiates in several aspects. There are several states of weather. They are: clear, sunny, rainy, foggy, storm, gale, sandstorm and blizzard. Clear affects nothing at all. Sunny may affect delicate machinery and other gear that overheat with ease, rendering them useless for a short time. Rainy affects visibility, agility and fire-based weaponry. Foggy reduces vision greatly and may affect delicate gear. Storm, in addition to the effects of "rainy" weather, will affect the performance of mechanic units. Gale will affect the accuracy of the attacks and will lower the agility of non-mechanic units. Sandstorm affects accuracy, critical hit chance and will damage delicate machinery and misc. gear, and blizzard will affect heat-based weaponry, will reduce visibility of non-mechanic units and could probably halt certain mechanic units for a short period of time. Obviously, weather doesn't affect indoor battle fields.

Unit commands:

Attack: uses weapon held in hand. Human units always can carry one weapon at a time. Mechanic units may have more than one. If that's so, an option to choose what weapon to use may appear. Some of the mechanic units' weapons have limited ammunition per battle, in order to even battle's difficulty.

Defend: will attempt to reduce damage and increase evade rate for a whole phase at the expense of not performing an offensive or supportive action.

Skill: each character will develop a certain amount of skills which depend mainly on their natural abilities. They will be, in general, much more effective than normal attack or supportive action, but at the expense of Skill Points (SP).

Item:will use an item that it's being held by a character. They could either be for supportive purpose (i.e: healing items) or attack items (i.e: explosives). Each character can carry a maximum of 9 items at the time of entering the battle field.

Status: will show information pertaining the unit the player is using at the moment. Useful to know how many health points (HP) and SP the unit has, for instance.

Miscellaneous:

HP: health points, or "HP" indicate the health of a unit. When it reaches zero, the unit will be knocked out of battle (or destroyed if it's a mechanic unit). Can be restored with items and certain skills.

SP: skill points, or "SP" are indispensable for performing skills. Every skill requires a minimum amount of SP. If this minimum is not met, then the skill cannot be performed. It can be restored by using items. Some characters can naturally, but slowly, regenerate SP during battle.

Hit %: this percentage indicates how successful the attack will be. The greater the percentage, the greater is the chance of dealing damage to enemy units. Many factors influence on this percentage, being them battle field illumination, weather, characters' stats and weapons used. Also, when using weapons that allow "aim attacks" (which allow the player to aim to certain parts of the enemy's body, like legs, arms, trunk, etc) the accuracy will be reduced if the target is quite well concealed (like a mechanic unit's CPU).

Counter %: this percentage indicates the probablity of an attacked unit to retort said attack performed by the enemy party. In the case of mechanic units with multiple weapons, it will counterattack with its weakest weapon (and in the case of mechanic units, due to their high firepower, their counterattack's accuracy will be halved, in order to balance battle difficulty). It is better to dispatch units with lower counterattack percentage in order to lower the amount of damage that will be dealt by the enemy party.

---

Specs: all done in Paint Shop Pro. Over 20 hours were used to complete it. Size is 320 x 240 and the colors used were 34, which fit into the contest's requirements.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2004-04-28
Being the grand winner of the Pixel Art: VG Screenshot contest was not an easy undertaking with all the excellent submissions that came through, but Omicron Zone by `wenstrom still stood out as one of the better concepts and designs. I'd love to get my hands on this gem, so, calling all programmers -- youíre in need! Check this out if you havenít already. ( Featured by halfliquid )
:iconraptorfarmer:
RaptorFarmer Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009
I wish I could see it :(

It's not showing up.
Reply
:iconthe-bug:
The-Bug Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2006
no working D:
Reply
:iconboffinbrain:
BoffinbraiN Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2006  Professional Interface Designer
As 3vil-Bunny says above, this file has been lost by dA, as have many other deviations posted in 2004. Could you please re-upload it?
Reply
:icon3vil-bunny:
3vil-Bunny Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2006
When I try to full-view this dA says that it can't find the file. Was it removed or is it something wrong just with mine full-view?
Reply
:iconnil32:
nil32 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2005
Great work! I like especially that blue box. Great shading
Reply
:iconchimpantalones:
Chimpantalones Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2005   Interface Designer
Damn, I'd play this for sure. :+fav:
Reply
:icondumka:
dumka Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2005
Hey very impressive,
do you started programm the game. If not maybe I can help you?!?!? Or you can help me,
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
I need some pixel art for my game can anyone help me?????
:popcorn:
It could be nice Flash game!
Reply
:icontekguy:
TekGuy Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2005   Digital Artist
I'm planning to program Omicron Zone for Tapwave Zodiac. I've only just signed up as a palm developer, and now I'm trying to find my way around Eclipse. How's that sound?
Reply
:icon13wishes:
13wishes Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2004  Professional Digital Artist
wow~!!!!! AMAZING! i like the idea and he concept~! good job~!
Reply
:icon313x4:
313x4 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2004   Interface Designer
waw amazing...quality awesome....:giggle:
Reply
:icontaintedecho:
TaintedEcho Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2004
I'm not surprised that you won with this. I'd buy it if it was made!
Reply
:iconr-amythest:
R-Amythest Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2004
Wow... if you ever did graphics for a Game Boy Advance game, I'd squeal in happiness and run around the house like a cheerleader on crack.
Reply
:iconlevon666:
Levon666 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2004   Photographer
You must be a gamer? If not you've really done your research! I think everything I could possible say has been said...nice effect on the road? lol What can I say, I like the details, they make up life :D


I only wish games makers would return to such simple fun as you've created here...don't spoze you code games as well do ya ;)
Reply
:iconleeyiankun:
leeyiankun Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2004
Nice! >_^b
Reply
:iconanti-otaku:
Anti-Otaku Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2004
holy... my god!
Reply
:iconwalkingsoul:
walkingsoul Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2004
I am a lover of RPG's... I've tried creating my own a few times but I'm lazy, incompetant and I can't do any of the graphics very well...

From this I can tell your not lazy or incompetant and your graphics... Amazing

I love the idea of your game being this sort of rat race. You just know that the closer you get the harder things will become and as all these global powers (and your supposed weak four mercinaries) collide to probably create a massive explosion of action.

The battle field is intresting as is all the factors determining how the battle would work. You are creative... and that no one can deny.
Reply
:iconfreecom:
freecom Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2004
obviously you would win, i mean you have good sprites and environment and a good concept to go with it, whats not to like?
Reply
:icontekguy:
TekGuy Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2004   Digital Artist
You can't imagine how I've missed these graphics. Everything used to be simpler back then. Perhaps so were we...
Reply
:iconendless-wave:
endless-wave Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2004   Photographer
awesome awesome detailed work. now... find someone to make it! :P
Reply
:iconslythspwnyou:
SlythsPwnYou Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2004
Pixel art has always been interesting to me. The amount of detail in pixel art is amazing! I tried to do a small town once and it looked more like a blob with doors and windows. ^^; This is awesome!
:nod:
:+fav:
I'm not to good at commenting, if you couldn't tell that already. :giggle: Oh and congrats on the award and feature!
Reply
:iconrubbe:
rubbe Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2004  Hobbyist General Artist
You should work for a game company or something =D
Reply
:icontrappedchild:
TrappedChild Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
wow really amazing. I like the idea, even thought you had to create it for a contest.

I like how you created shadows of objects and also adding lighting to objects... I don't have anything bad to say about this deviation...
Reply
:iconi-04:
i-04 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2004
wow awesome.!! hard work? ;)
Reply
:iconvlemaic:
Vlemaic Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
Despite this it's a very good piece, especially for something created from scratch.
Reply
:iconitismoi:
Itismoi Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
you have a great game design mind.. no doubt..

but i think this game will not be popular to be frank.. gamers nowadays go for graphics more than gameplay.. so with that awesome battle mechanics and perhaps beeter graphics using other spftware, it might be one of the bestseller!!
Reply
:iconoblitter:
Oblitter Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2004   Interface Designer
woah.. :+fav: for sure.... :deviantwatch: as well
Reply
:iconanti-guy:
anti-guy Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2004
Awesome work. As a game designer, I give you extra mega props (!!!) for the level of detail you put into the gameplay mechanics.
Reply
:iconbijouxzane:
BijouxZane Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2004
congratulations on receiving the deviant art award. i haven't had achance to check your work out yet but i will. it truly amazes me of how much can be done with a computer. paint shop is awesome! for me, though, charcoal and some acid free paper ...is my ZEN....but i am definitely going to get more familiar with some computer programmes. be well. devin ra scott
Reply
:iconluvloz:
LuvLoz Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2004  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You really went all out here, didn't you? I love it though, it's so effective! The road is jsut awesome. I like all the little game details, especially highlighting the active player.
Reply
:iconslaxor86:
slaXor86 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2004
Oh my. That was... EXTREME!
Truly amazing.
Reply
:iconyou-dont-know-love:
you-dont-know-love Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2004   Photographer
Eek!
It's beautiful!
Nice work! It's amazing!
Reply
:iconalexanderfrost:
AlexanderFrost Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2004
This really reminds me of some of the games I used to play...talk about a nostalgic moment. Absolutely love it. :) If you ever get a team together to program this one, then I wish you the best of luck. It looks like it would be a lot of fun. I love games like that...heck, I love RPG's so much that I joined a company that makes them. Nothing's better than a good RPG! :D
Reply
:iconredeye-design:
RedEye-Design Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2004
your talent is shocking.
Reply
:icondoctorstrangelove:
DoctorStrangelove Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2004
Great job
Reply
:iconzoanoid:
zoanoid Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice job, congrats on winning the contest and the getting a well deserved Daily Deviation :)

First off, the shading you've done on this pic is of great quality! The whole image has a rough edge to it. This is mainly because you used a lot of dithering and grey colors, which I like.

Secondly, the number of details and objects in this image is just about right for a videogame. I could already see myself playing it and making a way through the street, killing any bad guy on the way to the big villaint :D

Thirdly, the coloring is done really well. The brick wall is cool as it gets lighter the further it goes up. The lampposts look very nice and really 'metallicish'. They are probably my favourite part in this piece.


As for the story: Nice concept! You should work for a game company and design games ;)
The weather idea is really cool. The phases are also nice, and kinda reminds me of this game I came across on the web once. The whole idea you put behind this game is very well thought out and would definatelly make for an interesting game that I'd sure as hell would wanna play!

Conclusion: Great pixelart with a great story, worthy of my :+fav:
Reply
:iconstiffy-:
stiffy- Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2004
I like this piece alot! It's imaginative (is that even a word)?.
Keep it up!
Reply
:iconkeiroshin:
Keiroshin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2004
great pixel art. i think that'd make a great game XD
Reply
:iconimproser:
improser Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2004
hay algo que no entiendo... eso es para un engine? lo estas haciendo vos al engine... o... dshfjalf?=
Reply
:iconlinkryan:
LinkRyan Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2004
I like the detail you gave to the scenery. And this just gave me some idea for a short game or something.
Reply
:iconfreakyus:
freakyus Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2004
thats awesome! :wow:
Reply
:iconsuxor-dk:
suxor-dk Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2004
How odd... More fighting == Less experience :S
Reply
:iconwenstrom:
wenstrom Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2004   Digital Artist
Actually, it's not that odd. It helps to increase the difficulty of the game, despiste that it is unrealistic. Take it as "the better you perform, the bigger the reward". There was a game for the Super Nintendo called "Breath of Fire" which had this particular feature. It made things a little more challenging indeed, especially with bosses, which were the ones that gave the most EXP points and took the most time to defeat.
Reply
:iconbattlescar:
battlescar Featured By Owner May 7, 2004  Hobbyist General Artist
ahh thats so cool. i'd play it XD
Reply
:iconalness:
alness Featured By Owner May 3, 2004
sweet congratsnesss on the feature :)
Reply
:iconjedipherous:
jedipherous Featured By Owner May 2, 2004
details on characters are great! the robot looks really cool

however, perhaps more details on road, objects. add stickers/spraypaint to the newspaper things. add potholes or missing parts of the lines in the road

seems like this is an apocolyptic type scene. and i have no idea if i spelled that right, lol.

good stuff, however...now to comment on that badass avatar of yours!
Reply
:iconceagon:
ceagon Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2004
verrry nicely thought out! i'd like to see what i could do with a whole graphics set. im a C++ programmer -- but i think i'd rather see a game like this as online... maybe even programmed in flash... for income you could use subscriptions, but people dont usually get into those easily... so i dunno. msg me sometime if you have any graphics i can mess around with ^.^ i'd appreciate it. and a VERY gj on the image!!!!!
Reply
:icondemongaara:
DemonGaara Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2004   Photographer
sweet!
Reply
:icondavidr-xv:
DavidR-XV Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2004  Professional General Artist
aaahhh!!!!!! this looks awesome, must. . .. play. . .. it. .
Reply
:icondrcrazy:
drcrazy Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2004
i feel i should comment, but nothing i say should do it justice. Not only a detailed piece of pixel art, but a fantastic idea for a a game as well.
Reply
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