AuthorTopic: Tiles  (Read 5366 times)

Offline Atnas

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Tiles

on: August 10, 2009, 03:18:28 pm
Hello!

I'm working with a few other people on an exploration platformer. So far I've done some tiles. If anyone's curious, these are made in photoshop with the pencil tool on various levels of opacity, adhering to a 32x32 grid. It's in the realm of pixel art, but not quite enough to post on the pixel art board.



I'm aware of the more blatant tiling issues, those are due to the WIP nature of this. I'm uncertain about how many levels of dirt there should be before it fades to a solid color. Fading away to a solid color means it's quicker to produce tiles, as well as to tile the game itself. I'd like to know how I could optimize and consolidate the tiles to cover more instances for the sake of economy.

Metroid tends to fade away their rock tiles instantly, and not bother with the dirt underneath. I kind of like some dirt, as I think it helps immerse the player into the environment more, as opposed to, OH HELLO I AM A WALL, AND I AM A FLOOR. It's also possible to hide things in the dirt like fossils which will further hint that the environment isn't just an obstacle course. We also have a tiny eco system going on, which further solidifies the reason to avoid the sterility of insta-black.

Offline Doppleganger

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Re: Tiles

Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 04:20:30 pm
I would suggest approximating a final seamless texture before rendering the tiling tiles too much. Otherwise you're going to be struggling to get them to tile and will spend a lot more time rendering the tiles and re-rendering the tiles in order to get a seamless pattern.

As for the tiles themselves, they're alright. I think that you could afford to adjust the sizes, shapes, and textures of the light-colored rocks that make up the walking ground. Right now the ground is a bit mundane and could use for some variability.

Here's a quick 3 minute suggestion on how to make the rocks slightly more interesting.

Offline Atnas

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Re: Tiles

Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 02:11:48 am
Thanks for the great critique Doppleganger! Sorry for the late response, I have the bad habit of working on a lot of things at once. I set a deadline today, for tonight, so here I am.

Seamless tile made. Actually two. A few underground rocks/bones/eggs.

Here's the latest:


Thoughts: Horizontal rocks are too dense, too skinny. Skeletons too awkward to be repeated, but that is actually a good thing. Can they warn player of a future encounter? Should I make a fossil of another creature with some sort of injury to reveal a natural weakness? Assuming it is alive somewhere and didn't suffer the fate of its brethren. The ground tiles don't fade out at all. Alpha transparency not currently supported, so no cheap fade layer. Could be problematic if the ground takes up a lot of the screen.

After I finalize the tiles and clean their edges, the plan is to work on plants and larger rocks, the background, then move on to the next area.

Programmer art "paintover" :/

Offline Dr D

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Re: Tiles

Reply #3 on: August 23, 2009, 02:42:43 am
I think before you decide to pixel more random things, you should decide what you need first, and then pixel according to it?

I don't necessarily agree with integrating something into the storyline or gameplay or such that the player themself sees, but the character doesn't. Not only is it bad for role playing, but it just doesn't make much sense, imo. The character wouldn't actually see it, so realistically, he wouldn't know. I'd just find it much more appealing if this something was visible or made known to him, rather than only to the player, even if the character doesn't at all interact with it.

But, that's just my opinion, I guess. If that doesn't make sense, let me know.

I also don't know how much sense it would make for a species to be existing and having a fossil of that same species buried under dozens of feet of hard rock. I imagine said species would have adapted or grown immune to whatever weakness they had that were killing them off before. But I am no paleontologist, let me tell you that...

Something organic is much needed in what seems to be a plain, dry, environment so far, another element, something that is alive would really make it seem alive. Just remember to use some interesting colors. Make those plants contrast the bare, lifeless ground tiles. (No offense intended.) And don't be afraid to go crazy with them, and experiment. If it's anything like I'm picturing it in my head, you could do something great, here.

Sorry if I sound harsh, I just might have a bias against these typical dry landscapes, a little something inside of me always dies when the next area in the game is a desert. (I'll always prefer the soothing green and blue of a tropical rainforest, for example.)

But all that aside, what you have so far looks bad by no means, technically well-made, and aesthetically pleasing too. I really like those dark underground rocks for some reason.
I also love that little red guys concept art, he looks like he'd go great with the tiles. Lots of character.

As for the tiling, outside areas should definitely have some visible ground underneath the actual floor, as for caves, I'd probably say none. Not much of a reason really, but with the outside tiles, it brings interest, I think, instead of having a large black area across the screen. With caves, it'll give the player more of an enclosed feeling, and provides nice contrast with the outside tiling method, open-endedness should you choose to go that route.

Offline Atnas

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Re: Tiles

Reply #4 on: August 23, 2009, 05:14:29 pm
Thanks for the valuable input, Dr. D. Actually a lot of the things you bring up could have been avoided if I was more open about the project... But it's meant to be kinda hush-hush until we finish a significant amount of the game, so I apologize for brevity, though I'll take the liberty to explain things directly related to the visual elements I post. Besides, the images will reveal more than text ever will. :>

On random: Well, I kinda needed stuff to fill the void and keep the earth from looking sparse. It's not that random. Things get covered with earth as time passes and decompose. Rocks and bones do not. I can't have shiny stuff under the ground like gems or weapons, I also want it to look as if intelligence was not present, so that the ruins are all the more mysterious.

On seeing underground: Tricorders.

On evolution: There is a techy place in the game world which may have acted as a sort of "Noah's Arc". But we aren't certain if we're going to add that so it's an idea at this point.

On vegetation: Plants are actually going to be rather common, it's just that they're on the same priority as sprites. Wildlife and vegetation will change, but the terrain will not. So the order of things has been Static -> Variable visual elements. So don't die inside yet!

In fact, to hopefully assuage any doubts and get a feel for the flora, I produced a test plant.

The plant here will retract into the earth when shot, allowing for earth-bound critters to feast...

The planned areas include the rocky surface, the lush dark caves, an unnatural oasis of thick jungle, and the ruins of a high tech underground fortress.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 05:29:08 pm by Atnas »

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Tiles

Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 01:59:36 am
Yo there!

Someone else who doesn't want to try and copy the cavestory style!? Way to go! Aside from that, while the terrain and plants look good, the main character is lacking that kind of polish. He seems to be slightly unfinished. Plus, he doesn't look like he's standing right to me. Also, is he part insect? Or does he just have a neat looking helmet? The mandibles kind of suggest that. He also appears to be twisting in odd places. But, that's just me. I had another thread awhile back about a concept game called 'Catch as Cat Can'. I got some very good critique about tiles especially on page 2 which is here:

http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=7962.msg93681#msg93681

I would especially pay attention to Ben2theedge's and Mathias's posts. Both I think, should help with your tile problem I believe.