AuthorTopic: Promised Lands (DF clone)  (Read 564 times)

Offline TRUEvector

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Promised Lands (DF clone)

on: May 15, 2018, 09:52:07 am
Hi everyone! My name is Ivan, a freelance artist from Belarus.

To begin with, I am a Dwarf Fortress fan, really like this game, but at the same time find it extremly frustrating and hard to get joy.
Since my first attempt at DF, I started to put down my own ideas about how a game of this kind should looks like. Not only visuals, but game mechanics and overall game-to-user interactions. Every aspect of the original DF to my mind is an awesome idea, yet completely broken.

So, I would like to share with you my little project, a sand-box game called Promised Lands (WIP name, though). As a DF clone, I want to make it completely free and open-based. There is a high possibility, that there could be no game at all as a result, so it would be a good practice for my pixel-skills. Sort of fun even better compared to just playing a game. And I hope for C&C that will help me improve my skills and the whole idea. You don't need to ask me if you would like to use any sprite in your DF modification.

Also, I need to mention, that I was hugely inspired by the SpaceFox tileset, which is my favorite. I should thank the creator of it, and a guy named Dibujor, their sprites are awesome.

Okay, let's start with our first (out of 4) ingame fractions - the Humans! Dwarfs, Elves and Orks&Goblins are to come, but Humans are the basic option for now, so we can test all the game mechanic. A very flexible race, that can handle any problem in the modern fantasy world. :)
Did I mention that the tile scale is 24x24 px?
And the pallette is nothing but a limited one, endesga-64, for test sake, don't want to get drown on shades early on.





« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 10:07:31 am by TRUEvector »

Offline TRUEvector

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Re: Promised Lands (DF clone)

Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 01:24:15 pm
We need some grounds. Let's start from green fresh grass. The whole idea of the tileset is to make them as clear and readable as possible, so not to hurt someone eyes.

Offline TRUEvector

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Re: Promised Lands (DF clone)

Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 09:35:06 am
 :-\ Hmm.. seems to me the grass is more like a noise, it doesn't serve the whole idea of to be readble... And doesn't match the style either.
Well, let's remake it one more time, at this time using some clear recogniseable clusters and few details, plus, let's get rid of those nasty single pixels, which are good only in your head.
There are 2 variants of the grass I get, and I really like both of them - one is fancy and the other one is clear and aesthetic. So I'll keep both to represent the grass blocks in early spring and the grass at the very peak of summer. I guess.
Also meet the cow, btw.






« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 12:22:48 pm by TRUEvector »

Offline eishiya

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Re: Promised Lands (DF clone)

Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 05:31:42 pm
I feel the obviously-blocky look in these is at odds with the organic, detailed shapes within the tiles and sprites.

I think it might look more cohesive to have more organic tile boundaries (but still with clearly dominating colours for easy tile identification). Something vaguely like this, but with more contrast. The main idea behind making it all tile nicely would be to use the same base green for all the tiles, but then have some tiles have many/large areas of their specific colours, so that each tile is dominated by one of your intended colours.
If you focus on making clumps of grass, it'll be easier to create these areas of colour and to make them match, and the tiles will look less noisy overall than if you focus on individual grass blades as you are.

Offline TRUEvector

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Re: Promised Lands (DF clone)

Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 01:00:30 pm
Well, this oddity is the point and main feature of my work, actually.
I might think you don't know what does the graphics in DF look like, do you? Sorry if you really do, but that would be strange  :)
The thing is that there is no need to make any organic view in tiles, it can even harm the whole idea. Because it's more important to see the block itself, than not to see it, because it's merged with other blocks around. You see, the game is meant to be played mostly in 200% scale, all the blocks should be clearly identified and easy to read as cells. So, I intend not to make a texture for tiles, rathen than put a symbol, a glyph, that represent the state of a block.
Maybe, my point will become more clear, when I show more things on the "screen".


Anyway, I like your comment and the example you show is just fantastic, I really should try that technique in my other project. Thank you for feedback.
And I should add that as I said I use limited pallette on purpose, but in long terms I will edit all the colours afterwards, so it will cooperate better.

Let's continue with some woods. And little rabbits.


« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 01:04:30 pm by TRUEvector »

Offline eishiya

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Re: Promised Lands (DF clone)

Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 02:23:05 pm
I have seen DF tiles, but I don't think they all have to be done the same way. Making nicer transitions does not mean erasing the grid and tile identities, you can have both, and still retain a symbol-oriented feel. The example link I sent is very organic and erases the grid, but you don't have to go that far. The important thing, from what I understand, is that the content of each tile and the grid location of each tile are clear. Blocky non-transitions are not in themselves the goal, they're just the simplest way to achieve those things.
The whole reason I'm suggesting nicer transitions is just that I feel there's a style clash though. There might be other ways to remedy that. For example, the rabbit is symbolic-looking enough that it looks fine with blocky tiles, it doesn't clash. Perhaps using that simpler, flatter style for everything else would be another way.

The tree rings look very noisy, I think you should avoid using the darker colours in the rings, keep them faint.
I quite like that big two-level trunk :D

Offline TRUEvector

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Re: Promised Lands (DF clone)

Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 12:59:25 pm
Well, I tried hard, but failed completely. I really don't quite understand how to make it in your way, and it makes me really sad.
I would ask you humbly, maybe you will take some of your time and spent it to make a simple sketch with the idea, how it could possibly look? I will be so gratefull to you for this help, Lana, please. 


But I rewise the trees a little and make some progress with it. I can't say I'm completely happy with tree tiles, but at least we get something to work with, eh?

And a GIF to show off level-mechanic.


And baby bunnies!

Offline eishiya

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Re: Promised Lands (DF clone)

Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 03:04:22 pm
Making me put my pixels where my mouth is, eh D:
Something like this is what I mean:

This is sloppily done with a lot of copypasta between tiles and fewer variants than you have, but I think it communicates the general idea. Overall blocky shapes that make the grid very clear, but without being outright straight lines.

The atmospheric perspective in the levels feels rather dark and the upper levels end up somewhat blending with the blue instead of standing out nicely. I think blending to a lighter (and perhaps more saturated?) blue would work better.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 03:07:19 pm by eishiya »

Offline TRUEvector

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Re: Promised Lands (DF clone)

Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 04:31:48 pm
Your grass looks awesome! Yeah, now I get it. And should totally think about it.  :y: It's so kind of you, thanks!
And even better you didn't polish them, so I can do some work by myself without bland copying.


As for the atmospheric perspective you are right again, I don't like it at all, but at least it's the best variant I have managed to do with limited time and pallette. Oh boy, this color working is so hard, I prefer more to work with forms.  :hehe:  Of course it needs to be revisited once (or maybe not once) again in the future.
Thanks for your help!
Here is a doge and a pup for you!  :-* ;D

Offline eishiya

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Re: Promised Lands (DF clone)

Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 08:19:30 pm
Them's good doges :D
Nitpick: The big doggo's front leg (the one that's on the ground) comes out at a weird angle, I think. Although the prt of the leg above the "elbow" does go backward, the skin stretched over it tends to smooth that over. I'd lighten the dark pixel at the top of it, something like this: