Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Arachne
Pages: [1] 2

General Discussion / Pixel art tile set templates
« on: July 02, 2015, 08:56:02 pm »
Hey, everyone! ;D I posted this little guide at the TIGSource forums a little over a year ago (didn't realize it had been that long :o), and I've been told it's useful, so I'm sharing it here as well.

I thought I'd share some templates for creating pixel art tile sets, since that's something I always use when I make tiles. Also, I'll add some general advice when it comes to constructing sets with a ridiculous tile count. ::)

The tools

If you use a pixel editor such as Pro Motion, Pyxel Edit or GrafX2 to create your tiles, you can simply draw over the templates I've made, and all the identical tiles in the map will be updated as you draw.

You can also easily erase all instances of unneeded tiles. This can save a lot of time and effort, and allows for a more polished result. Otherwise, I would recommend using only the first three or four tile groups I've listed below.

The tiles are 16 by 16 pixels in size and have been drawn with a thick border for readability. This border style is going to add a lot of complexity (mainly sets 5, 8 and 11). In order to limit the tile count, you can try to replace tiles with their closest equivalent. However, this will also increase the amount of transitions between the remaining tiles. Another significant source of complexity is the addition of double slopes (2:1 and 1:2), which will add complexity to a game engine as well.

All the tile set templates are licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Set 1: Base tiles

This is a good starting point. I always start with the center tile to make sure it tiles well with itself before it's connected to the other tiles.

As you can see, the tiles are color coded to make it easier to gauge the amount of work you can save by flipping the tiles. If you don't want something too repetitive, you can still use the flipped tiles as a starting point for further modifications.

Set 2: Concave corners

By adding these, you can achieve a semi-diagonal impression by using stair step patterns. The resulting set is nice for top-down maps where you want transitions between multiple terrain types without having too many tiles in total.

Set 3: Thin structures

These are nice when you want more details in a smaller space, such as single-tile platforms for a platformer game. This rock tile set from Dinothawr uses only sets 1 and 3, but as seen in this screenshot, it's still possible to achieve structures from set 4, for instance, if you make sure all the transitions work with the existing tiles.

Set 4: Thin structures with corners

Many more combinations are possible now. This is a useful set for walls in a top-down roguelike, for instance.

The templates used so far
Tiles so far (29)

Set 5: More concave corners

Now we get to attach thinner structures to the base tiles. These are used in this ice tile set. Once you start adding this type of tiles, it'll no longer be possible to use the automapping feature in Tiled due to the complexity of the rules needed.

Set 6: Simple slopes

The simplest kind of slopes. These tiles are nice for making your levels look less blocky, although there's not much flexibility with just these four tiles.

Set 7: Simple slopes with added borders

I don't really find the single-block tiles that useful at this size, but they could be handy for a game where the tiles are larger relative to the resolution.

Set 8: Simple slopes with concave corners

How much complexity you'll add when you introduce these tiles will vary. You can try to use the perpendicular, concave corner tiles found in the previous sets. Otherwise, add diagonal variants as needed. Here's the finished rock tile set from the animated example further up, as an example of a sloped set.

The templates used so far
Tiles so far (89)

Set 9: Double slopes

Notice how this set consists of four times as many tiles as the simple slope set. This does not bode well. D:

Set 10: Double slopes with added borders

Even though this adds a lot of tiles, the amount of transitions to other tiles is fairly limited. You get some very thin platforms this way, which may not fit if you want a chunkier style.

Set 11: Double slopes with concave corners

Look at all this stuff! :wah: In this case, it'll be more difficult to reuse the corners from previously, so a lot more types are needed. With these tiles added, you can start making tile sets such as this complex rock tile set. I've made sure to reuse tiles as much as possible, so I'm not using nearly that many different tiles. Some of the tile count is from duplicate tiles. In practice, you'll want multiple versions of certain tile types for variation, so that inflates the tile count.

Tiles from sets 3 and 4 are used in the corresponding leaf set, but not for the rocks (except for the solitary block). Depending on your style, you can pick and choose between the types of tiles you add. There's no single solution there.

The full set of templates
All the tiles (197)

Note that this is not an exhaustive collection of tiles. You may still find some additional transitions I haven't covered. You can even add triple slopes if you won't mind the resulting tile count.

You're unlikely to need every single tile from the more complex sets, so don't worry about having to make all the tiles you've selected right away. It's better to add them on a need-to-have basis.

The example tile sets can be found here.

Tile sheets with various selections of tiles:

First three sets
First four sets
First two sets and slopes (1:1)
First four sets and slopes (1:1)
First two sets and both slope types

Let me know if there's anything I can add or anything else I can do to make this more useful. :)

Pixel Art / [WIP] Forest assets and palettes
« on: February 22, 2015, 05:16:00 pm »
Hey, everyone! ;D

Here's a set of assets I've been working on for a while. I don't have any specific plans for it, so at the moment it's merely an experiment which will hopefully turn into something useful.

I wanted to make a set of non-tiling assets for a change. I ended up with tiles for the ground, but I made them much larger than my usual tiles to keep the tile count low and reduce the number of transitions. Drawing larger assets means more work, so I'm trying to make the most of them through palette swapping and layering. There are three layers at the moment. Eventually, I'd like to add another layer in the back (mountains or something) and another one in front (some greenery to break up the monotony of the rocks).

Middle layer

Back layer
The two layers in the back simply use color swapped versions of the main asset set.

Progress animations: medium broadleaf, small broadleaf, large broadleaf large spruce, rock tile.

I chose a simple workflow for the assets. The color count is low, and I've tried to keep the different ramps clearly separated in the assets so that I have more freedom when palette swapping. The later assets are a bit more polished.

I've made a set of six different palettes for the set so far. The palettes are each divided into six main ramps: leaf ramp, with two alternative ramps for color variation; bark ramp; apples and toadstools; small mushrooms and toadstool stalks; grass, which I've made a subset of the default leaf ramp; and rocks. In addition, there will be a sky ramp, but for now it's only a single color.

The front layer uses the most colors. In the middle layer, some of the palette entries have the same color in order to reduce contrast. The back layer uses only two colors, which may look out of place with a more detailed sky.

The snow palette differs a bit from the other palettes as I have some of the palette entries in the front layer also share a color in an attempt to hide the grass structure.

This is the initial palette. Relatively saturated, warm and sunny.

With rain added

Here I've used less saturation overall. Foggy atmosphere means less contrast, but I'm also trying to give the impression of wet, reflective surfaces by brightening the highlights. I think the middle layer works best, since I feel that the leaf highlights reflect the sky color more closely there than in the front layer.

The original assets were drawn against a neutral background color brighter than the assets themselves. Making the assets work with a darker background is tricky.

Here I added a separate ramp for the fir trees in the middle layer. I also changed the rock color to make it differ from the grass and leaves.

This is mostly just a desaturated fall palette. With less saturation in the front layer, it doesn't stand out from the middle layer as much anymore.

This was an experiment that worked better than I expected.

Initially, I was more focused on the creation of the assets themselves and how to create different moods with palette swapping. The set as it is right now doesn't feel as functional as it should. For instance, using the dark end of the leaf greens for the grass seems counterproductive in retrospect, as the grass should stand out as a collision element in a game. Also, the width of the grassy parts is inconsistent. In other words, I think it's time these assets got an overhaul, so any suggestions are welcome, both for the palettes and the assets themselves. ;D

Sylvan Remedies is my next puzzle game project. ;D I've managed to simplify the gameplay enough that it's suitable for a text-based Python prototype. To match the simple gameplay, I decided to go with NES restrictions since I haven't tried it before and also because I want to reduce the time I spend on graphics.

I probably won't have much time to work on it before I'm done with exams, but I should still be able to post minor updates until then.

Here's what I have so far. The herb sprites are items you can collect. It will probably be less crowded in-game, with slightly fewer animals per screen.

Each playthrough will feature nine distinct herbs, one for each of nine random herb names. The main challenge as I see it will be to create a collection of herbs that can match the names well enough. The names don't always suggest flowering plants, so I'll have to add some more variety. Here's an example of outputs to give you an idea:

Dryland firecress
Whorled ivy
Wild honeyroot
Prickly gooseweed
Wooly mugwort
Waxy wormgrass

I decided to make a custom NES palette to have more control of readability, while still keeping the color count low. So far I'm only using two of the tile palettes. I'll figure out how to use the remaining colors when I get around to making village tiles.

The monster I added is the sprite rendition of this one.

Player character concept. I'm least happy with her sprite, so maybe I can come up with something better later on.

Pixel Art / [WIP] Dinothawr
« on: June 21, 2012, 01:06:18 pm »
Hey, guys! ;D I'm done with school for a little while, but I'm moving to another city to continue my studies. In the meantime, I'm making a puzzle game with a friend of mine. The engine is close to finished (mainly just needs a level select screen, I think), so most of the remaining work is puzzle design. I've added most of the graphics we need, but it was thrown together in a few days, and I'd like to hear some suggestions for improvements.

The color restrictions are 5 bits per color channel (color values are multiples of 8 ) and 1 bit alpha.

Title screen so far. Our hero is a dinosaur who wants to save his frozen friends by thawing them over lava.

Here's a screenshot showing the different tile types. The main elements are rocks (stationary), ice blocks (pushable), frozen dino blocks (pushable), top of glacier (floor), water layer (slippery) and lava (goal tile). The floor and slippery tiles need polishing and need to look more like ice and water, I think.




Thawing dino and cheering.

Things I still want to add are a pushing animation and more tile variations (especially for floor and level border).

What do you think of it so far? :D

Pixel Art / RPG bases D:
« on: June 08, 2009, 03:00:21 pm »
I've been trying to make some RPG bases in a realistic style, but I can't seem to get them to look right. Instead, they look stiff and awkward. I tried to move the woman's right leg (our left) more to the center, but I think it'll take more than that to make her look balanced.

They're meant to be displayed against darker backgrounds, but I might tone down the AA against the outlines a bit.

Here's a mockup showing the perspective I'm going for. I plan to redraw Alden's robe, and I have trouble with shoes. Well, feet in general, and especially at this size. :'(

I've written more about the project at TIGSource.

Pixel Art / [WIP] Trioculi
« on: August 16, 2008, 10:56:55 pm »
I didn't really mean to start working on yet another piece, but I needed a break from the devil and then I got inspired by something Lackey drew (second from the right). :D

And it turned into this. Medieval fishermen and those things. I might need some help with the perspective on this one, since I don't really feel that I know what I'm doing. I'm pretty happy with it, so I hope I'll manage to finish it. I can't recall having pixelled sky or sea before, so that'll be interesting.


Pixel Art / [WIP] Devil hunted
« on: August 07, 2008, 07:09:51 am »
I sort of got distracted from my previous piece by this week's PJ challenge, which just happened to be something similar.


I know the wings look a bit flimsy. How's the anatomy? :crazy:


Pixel Art / [WIP] Hive queen
« on: July 30, 2008, 12:39:49 am »

Yes, more eyeballs. Based on an old drawing of mine.

I need to make the palette a bit more interesting, and I'm struggling a bit with the anatomy and volumetrics. What do you think about it so far?

Pixel Art / Sal collects eyeballs
« on: June 27, 2008, 11:40:10 pm »
I haven't had much motivation to finish larger pieces lately, so I wanted to draw something simpler. I thought a mockup would be a good idea, and I've been curious about the C64 restrictions for games. Ptoing has given me some help with those, and my boyfriend named the main character Sally. :D

I don't really have any real ideas for this yet, so I thought I'd draw a larger and more detailed version of Sal.

Still C64 colors. I'm having a bit of trouble with her dress, so I'm still working on the folds and stuff.

Here are some of the sprites and tiles. The main character is two sprites overlaid. I'll put together a mockup later and explain the restrictions as far as I've understood them. It's a lot to keep track of, and I'll have to experiment a bit to figure out which colors to choose for global colors (pink and brown, currently) and background color and where to use sprites and where to use tiles and all that.

Mushroom walk animation.

Any input is welcome. ;D

Edit: Final(?) version:

Pixel Art / [WIP] EGA Space shooter mockup
« on: March 22, 2008, 03:12:47 pm »
I haven't been pixelling much lately, but I did some doodling and came up with this mockup. :)

The battery is a power-up which upgrades your current weapon. I think I might need to draw a new explosion as I'm not sure it works that well here.

The player ship with different armor combinations.

Progress animation for the big enemy ship.

Pages: [1] 2