AuthorTopic: Here goes an autotiled sci-fi room  (Read 723 times)

Offline Vinik

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Here goes an autotiled sci-fi room

on: February 14, 2018, 08:08:32 pm
Ok, iso autotiling check, procedural rooms check, it is time to step out of "programmer art" now, and would really appreciate any input or tips on it. I hope the scaling with the character is ok. I am in dire need of references on good sci-fi dungeons for inspiration, as I need to fill stuff with pannels, screws, ventilation slits, randomize floor tiles.


This is still crude, I have to clean up some outlining errors on the tiling, but it gives the idea on how the more sci-fi rooms are going to look like, although I have a number of alternative wall designs. This is how the autotiling is laid:


Offline eishiya

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Re: Here goes an autotiled sci-fi room

Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 08:56:58 pm
The scale looks fine, though I do hope you'll prevent characters from disappearing entirely behind walls xP
I don't like the high contrast between the lightest part of the wall and the blue, it's distracting me from the characters. I think a more subdued difference between the two wall colours would be less distracting. The highlights on the floor are also a bit distracting, I think some fainter highlights would be better, perhaps you could use the fainter colour from the sides and not have the highlights get brighter towards the middle.

Setting up auto-tiling for this sounds like a nightmare!

I don't have any references off the top of my head, but in general, I recommend drawing inspiration from other media and real life. Don't forget to consider the story of your game, as well. The history of the location is what determines its appearance.

Offline Vinik

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Re: Here goes an autotiled sci-fi room

Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 04:38:27 am
Thanks for the feedback :) I reduced contrast while trying to keep the same palette. The many sides and angles already made me add much more colors than I wanted. I started with only 16 colors at first, with only 4 shades per ramp like gameboy, but the isometric stuff asked for a lot more mid-tones.


Regarding not obscuring the character, currently everything is drawn at 50% transparency when the character is immediately behind an element, but I don't like the result, I'll think of some other trick. As for the auto-tiling, it isn't that complex after you wrap your mind around it. It is the same common bit-wise 16-piece autotiling we all know and love from rpg tilesets, but with overlap. The data map align those column-like rectangular tiles according to their projection on the ground, spaced according to the grid cells, but as the height of the  tiles is larger than the cell dimensions, they are set to be draw beyond their grid slot, and overlapped with depth according to y position.

Thank you for the feedback  ;D

Offline eishiya

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Re: Here goes an autotiled sci-fi room

Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 02:08:21 pm
The lower contrast looks better!
I wouldn't worry so much about the exact palette at this stage, since these are placeholders. The actual colours you'll want for specific walls will differ. You will have details and other features to help you show the planes of the walls, and you'll probably have less of a need to distinguish things like bevels from the vertical and horizontal planes, since not all of those distinctions are important on every kind of tile or in every environment.

With the overlapping, you could just make it so that characters can't walk behind the walls. Make it so that characters are always walking closer to the far wall, so their head and upper body always sticks out. It might not be "realistic" but many games do this and it works quite well. It works especially well if rather than just having nonsense blocked elements immediately behind the wall, the player can start walking behind the wall, but is gently pushed upward even as they only press left or right. This is seamless if the game employs this kind of smooth collision resolution in general, where characters round their way around obstacles automatically. Not ideal for an action game, but great in games where precisely controlled movement isn't needed.

Level design nitpick: When making horizontal hallways, don't let the top of the south wall line up with the bottom of the north wall, as tangents like that create ambiguity. Either have the floor visible, or let the south wall overlap the north wall:

Here, the overlap still creates a tangent because of how the top bevel lines up with the bottom part. More overlap makes it more unambiguous, but this makes a very narrow hallway:

So, I think you'd be better off having the hallways wide. This has the benefit of also having a visible floor in them, which will make it very clear to players that the area is navigable.

Offline Vinik

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Re: Here goes an autotiled sci-fi room

Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 09:24:15 pm
Understood. For instance, here the horizontal doorways are two cells wide, but the vertical ones are five cells wide, and everything seems right indeed.

I am just beginning to naively texture stuff and randomize floor tiles to get a feeling of it, but there is along way ahead. It is getting completely different from what I am used to do, which is a more cartoony style even if the themes are serious. I am actually watching SW episode I (for sci-fi walls reference only, please). I hope the dungeons end up not looking like high-school lockers sometime soon lol. I think maybe the walls are too tall to give a proper squashed/topdown rpg vibe.

Thank you a lot eishiya for all the help! I'll get back when I have some serious effort to show.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 09:38:55 pm by Vinik »