Author Topic: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress  (Read 42012 times)

Offline Uatu

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2012, 08:18:30 PM »
Yeesh - that does sound very complicated!  Long time ago, I played a game that kind of did something like that - Wizardry 7 was it?  I never cleared it, though - because the other parties always grabbed the stuff before I did :(

The NPC walls work really well - might be a good idea to use something like that, too.  It sure makes interaction more interesting...  I guess I can just turn my sprites into NPC walls (assuming NPCs always face forward, which may not be a good assumption).  But then encounters that do not use sprites will seem very uninteresting...
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Offline Dinonykos

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2012, 05:30:27 AM »
Yeesh - that does sound very complicated!  Long time ago, I played a game that kind of did something like that - Wizardry 7 was it?  I never cleared it, though - because the other parties always grabbed the stuff before I did :(

I am regularly looking for offers of Wizardry 7 and 8, but even used, they are really expensive if not in bad condition. Unfortunately, I missed both of them when they were added to issues of some computer game journals for a good price some years ago. On the other hand, I guess I won't have time currently to play through these games anyway - I prefer to put the time into DC designs... :)

The NPC walls work really well - might be a good idea to use something like that, too.  It sure makes interaction more interesting...  I guess I can just turn my sprites into NPC walls (assuming NPCs always face forward, which may not be a good assumption). 

I think it makes sense that the NPCs generally turn to the player, independent of their position (left/right/front), so most of my NPC walls use the same picture for all perspectives. However, I change minor details like eyes, mouth, hands, tails to add some movement effect. The interesting thing is to calculate the seize of the characters for each perspective... :)

For big characters or NPCs who cannot move, I draw different perspectives. Sometimes, I also use two walls - to simulate moving or in case the NPC shall appear right in the center of a square.

By the way, I draw the complete character in high resolution. I can thus use him/her for portraits/small pics, sprites and NPC walls.

But then encounters that do not use sprites will seem very uninteresting...

If the NPC is stationary, sprites would make less sense than NPC walls. To make conversations more lively, I switch between small pics of the talking characters and no pics (thus showing the NPC walls). Sometime, I throw in big pics - these are also good for hiding the party overview to the right if you want to imply that one of the party members is away for a minute. For important characters, I draw additional portraits (e.g. angry, happy).

Three scenes from the starting dialog of "Snow Tigress":

Here you have a small pig, a big pic (same base as the small pic), and NPC walls combined with a big sprite.

Of course, sprites are useful for moving characters. It also depends on your general philosophy using graphics. If you depicted only walls and doors, but e.g. no tables, chairs a.s.o., you would probably also not use NPC walls. If on the other hands you showed all kinds of furniture, plants, and other stationary objects, you should also show stationary NPCs in my opinion. The following animation shows a combination of sprites and NPC walls.


Note that the big NPC "Toratenno" is shown from different perspectives, while "Binjo" is always shown from the front as if turning to the player. The approaching and leaving helmettigers are sprites, and the last pic of the heavily armored tigers is a small pic based on the same drawing as the NPC wall.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 05:32:59 AM by Dinonykos »
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Offline Uatu

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2012, 08:40:05 AM »
Wizardry 7 had a very strange "feature" I think, where if you installed it too many times, it would stop working... or something like that.  Probably an "anti-piracy" feature, but I re-setup my PCs for other reasons, and then I couldn't play the game anymore :(

Perspective sizes for NPC walls - that is difficult for sure!  I have my own little formula for sprites, though, and right or wrong, I will just follow it forever now :D

Your examples here are wonderful as usual!  Very good seamless use of NPC walls, sprites, small pics, and big pics...  The furniture is also a big help as well.  I agree with your philosophy, but it does require a lot of effort to draw all of that...  especially the furniture :D  The carpet looks very nice as well (is that a wall?).  Toratenno looks great, from both front and back...

It is also great that you can use the same originals as sprites, small pics, etc....  I can sometimes do this to some extent, but sometimes it seems unnatural and then I just go and make a new frame/picture instead...  (There are some new sprites I have done that I've not put on my site yet, maybe a bit later I will show you...)
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Offline Dinonykos

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2012, 05:20:32 PM »
The carpet looks very nice as well (is that a wall?). 
Yes - I used the same approach for grass and water, too...
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Offline manikus

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2012, 02:49:12 PM »
Very cool, Dinonykos. :) I wrote a much longer response when I was last at the library, but our router problems must have eaten it. Oh well. ;)

I continue to be impressed that you are the cutting edge innovator for Dungeon Craft, and doubly so for the fact that you put your money where your mouth is, so to speak, by releasing designs for the enjoyment of all. :D :D :D

Offline Uatu

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2012, 08:06:56 PM »
Wow - very hard to wrap my head around floor walls, I am pretty much limited to just using walls as walls :D  (I tried otherwise a little, didn't work so well!)
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Offline Dinonykos

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #36 on: July 06, 2012, 08:25:23 AM »
Uatu, if you provided me with a certain floor (e.g. grass or water) as you would do for a background, I could surely make a "floor wall" out of it. Should be even easier with your art, since you do not use outlines... What causes some problems are floors like your undersea and natural cave floors, since they become much brighter to the center of the picture. For a "floor wall", the backdrop may become darker/lighter vertically, but not horizontally.
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Offline manikus

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #37 on: July 06, 2012, 02:44:36 PM »
Hmm, I think Uatu's undersea and cave floors could be done as florr walls...but that means I am probably doing something different when I create mine.
I have a template I made (different from your wonderful template Dinonykos because I use a square viewport). I can overlay a backdrop several times on this template - over the various cogent parts, cut away what I don't need and end up with a floor that blends seamlessly into the backdrop. I use my method because in designs thus far, I've used them almost exclusively as ceiling walls to mask over 2-story walls showing up in a buildings interior. :)
But, admittedly, my floors are limited to only certain areas of the viewport, because the hyperwall format, amazing as it is, is still limited.

Dinonykos, perhaps you would like to provide a link to your wonderful floor/wall template? :D

Offline steve_mcdee

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2012, 12:20:49 AM »
In what circumstances would a designer be better off using a "floor wall" rather than a backdrop?

Offline manikus

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #39 on: July 07, 2012, 02:34:37 PM »
In what circumstances would a designer be better off using a "floor wall" rather than a backdrop?

Good question, Steve. I will give my answer, but please not that this is just my opinion, and I know that on some aspects of this issue, Dinonykos and I differ.

I would say that the times to use it are when you want to block something out - in my earlier example I mentioned that I used the ceiling part to block out 2nd story walls from showing the 2nd story in building interiors. That's probably the only time I'll use them.

BUT...

If you have a stream or river and a foot bridge going over it - that is at least 7 backdrops for the river, and probably six or nine more for the foot bridge. Depending on how you use the path, you may be able to do this with anywhere from 3 walls replacing the foot bridge backdrops, up to six walls that would replace all the special backdrops.
In this scenario, I find it easier to use the backdrops, but Dinonykos finds it easier to use soem of all of the walls I suggested. it's roughly the same amount of art created - just in different files and formatted differently.

Offline SilentThief

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2012, 04:24:31 PM »
wasn't watching this until just today, but had another thought for floor-walls would be a pit. I was trying to make a pit sprite, but I realize that it would work better as a wall. Then, if your players manage to find the switch to close the pit, then the "wall" can be removed and reveal an open path.

ST the pitiful

Offline manikus

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2012, 05:03:10 PM »
You should visit Dinonykos' web site - he has several examples of pits. :D

Offline steve_mcdee

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2012, 02:41:39 AM »
Thanks Eric. Yes, covering the second story with a ceiling is a good idea. Now that you mention it, I do remember you saying that. It would be great to have a zone option to trim the tops of all walls when viewed from squares within that zone. I shall add it to the feature wish list thread.

Offline manikus

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2012, 02:28:07 PM »
I thought about this a little more over the weekend while I was waiting for renders to finish. :) I think the wall option is probably easier for small designs or designs that will only use the special graphics in a few cells, but I think the backdrop method is easier for bigger things, like a long stretch of river that borders a city.

And of course, you can mix the two for some cool looks. :) I use backdrops for rivers, but floor walls for the bridges across them. :D

Offline Dinonykos

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Re: PREVIEW: Helmetlands: Snow Tigress
« Reply #44 on: August 15, 2012, 04:38:04 PM »
I had almost no time to work on this during July, but I made significant progress during the weekend. I have also decided that there may be combats... Thus, I had to make new icons...

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