Author Topic: About that first screenshot...  (Read 3431 times)

Offline x4000

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About that first screenshot...
« on: January 31, 2011, 05:31:20 PM »
Original: http://christophermpark.blogspot.com/2011/01/about-that-first-valley-without-wind.html

So I promised a first screenshot on Friday, didn't I?  How foolish of me.  Not only did the release of AI War 5.0 / Light of the Spire take longer than expected, but also we ran into some issues with the art that have set us back some.

It turns out that a purely tile-based approach for the background tiles simply wasn't workable, even at a large scale like 64px square, so we're having to implement something more dynamic and flexible on top of the existing tile-grid in order to make this work.  That means that there's been a number of new programming elements needed, and a lot of early art assets having to be redone.  The other side effect is that this will actually let us have an even better "serious painterly" look, while also keeping the framerate even higher.

I also came to realize that the first screenshot that had been envisioning was simply not including enough elements to really show off the game.  One of the best things about a procedural methodology is that we can include an incredible density of organic elements, to really make you feel like you're out in the woods, or in a field, or in the ruins of an office building.

There's a lot of art-technical challenges in that, though, and those are taking a bit longer than expected since I'm now shooting for something more dense and interesting.

Anyway, our new target is "sometime this week" for that first screenshot.  But that's still subject to change, as usual -- I want to have even our first screenshot be one that really blows people away and gets everyone even more excited.  We're getting close to that, but there are still a lot of balls in the air, so to speak.

More soon!  And yes, the images in this post are actually direct in-game images, so you can at least see a bit of what we're working on.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 10:00:37 PM by x4000 »
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Offline RogueThunder

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Re: About that first screenshot...
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2011, 08:21:34 PM »
XD...

A Valley Without A Screenshot

...

Okay joke over.


Gl with that btw. Sounds like ya are learning alot working on this one. Can only bode well for it, and your other titles after it.
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Offline x4000

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Re: About that first screenshot...
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2011, 08:57:15 PM »
Lots of progress today since writing that, actually. Still plenty more to do, but some definite strides in the art and music departments. It's definitely a learning experience, as we are once again straying far enough off the beaten path that there is not "just do it like that game, but slightly different" to be had. I always like that, but it makes the early scheule uncertain until we get fully into our patterns. The result should be well worth it.
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Offline x4000

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Re: About that first screenshot...
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 10:00:53 PM »
Updated the original post to include some more in-game images, at least. :)
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Offline Spikey00

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Re: About that first screenshot...
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 10:25:02 PM »
Surely it won't prove to be too huge of an obstacle for you, Chris. 

That's some lovely art, though.  Equal to or better than Tidalis, I would say!
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Offline x4000

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Re: About that first screenshot...
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2011, 10:48:51 PM »
Nothing too bad, no -- we're actually on a rip-roaring schedule, given that we've got less than two weeks into the project (and even that would be a pretty high estimate, as we had other stuff going on during both of those weeks), and we're almost to the point we're at.  Still lots to do, but it's coming along swimmingly, all things considered.

Knock on wood!


And thanks for the kind words on the art.  This time it's all me doing the art, as with Light of the Spire, so I'm pleased it's coming along so well.  Tidalis was all Phil, so it's completely different artists on these.  Though hopefully if AVWW does well in alpha and onward and we're a little less skint, we can have Phil back on that project, too!
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Offline Echo35

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Re: About that first screenshot...
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2011, 10:53:09 PM »
It turns out that a purely tile-based approach for the background tiles simply wasn't workable, even at a large scale like 64px square, so we're having to implement something more dynamic and flexible on top of the existing tile-grid in order to make this work.

My Dwarf Fortress set-up would like a word with you. :P

Offline x4000

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Re: About that first screenshot...
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2011, 10:56:54 PM »
It turns out that a purely tile-based approach for the background tiles simply wasn't workable, even at a large scale like 64px square, so we're having to implement something more dynamic and flexible on top of the existing tile-grid in order to make this work.

My Dwarf Fortress set-up would like a word with you. :P

Sorry, that was way too vague.  Certainly tile-based stuff can work amazingly well, and there are a bajillion games that demonstrate this.  However, they almost universally involve pixel art, which requires a very specific kind of hand-crafting using techniques I am only so-so at.  If you want to see my last stab at pixel art, you only have to look at AI War 1.0 and the 2008 version of Alden Ridge.  I'm not horrible at it by any stretch, but it also isn't going to come out looking like Chrono Trigger or something.  And, it's also bloody slow.

So, I've been going for this 3D-to-2D look, with painterly effects.  And THAT is completely unworkable in 64x64 tiles, given the rate of work I want/need to have out of my art pipeline, etc.
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Offline Echo35

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Re: About that first screenshot...
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2011, 11:00:34 PM »
It turns out that a purely tile-based approach for the background tiles simply wasn't workable, even at a large scale like 64px square, so we're having to implement something more dynamic and flexible on top of the existing tile-grid in order to make this work.

My Dwarf Fortress set-up would like a word with you. :P

Sorry, that was way too vague.  Certainly tile-based stuff can work amazingly well, and there are a bajillion games that demonstrate this.  However, they almost universally involve pixel art, which requires a very specific kind of hand-crafting using techniques I am only so-so at.  If you want to see my last stab at pixel art, you only have to look at AI War 1.0 and the 2008 version of Alden Ridge.  I'm not horrible at it by any stretch, but it also isn't going to come out looking like Chrono Trigger or something.  And, it's also bloody slow.

So, I've been going for this 3D-to-2D look, with painterly effects.  And THAT is completely unworkable in 64x64 tiles, given the rate of work I want/need to have out of my art pipeline, etc.

Fair enough. I LOVE Pixel Art, but it seems that it's surprisingly hard to do (I don't art, so I wouldn't know the details).

Offline x4000

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Re: About that first screenshot...
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2011, 11:10:09 PM »
I love pixel art, too, for the record.  But yeah: it's one of the most expensive types of art to do in bulk unless you have specialist artists for it.  And Phil is actually unnaturally good at pixel art, you should see some of the stuff on his site (well, and the stuff in The Zenith Remnant, until he started going to a hybrid of 3D and pixelart for that -- again, to save an enormous amount of time and actually finish the project).
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