I couldn't resist from adding this second entry to the blog. Then I am going in for the studies (I wish...?)!
This picture here is the first Castle of Cadavers illustration there is, and the second JJ2 tileset illustration I have ever made. More about this later on. The most important part of this mess was already released in the JJ2 community forums, but here I present the thing in its full glory :P
Some interesting facts surround this creation. It was drawn in December 2006 in the Defense Forces of Finland (http://www.mil.fi/english/) during my nine-month military service (Blade is a military police man, stand aside!!). The Cadaver part (which, by the way looks much like I'd like to replicate it in digital manner) introduces several types of things you can expect to see in the future set. Chains, some more chains with skeletons, more or less broken bricks, vegetation everywhere to add ancient feel and dark background layers, that are in this drawing:
- Nightsky and moon in the layer 8 (warp background is probably not returning to this set)
- Far away cemetary hills with leafless trees and old tombstones in layer 7
- Dark fortress walls in layer 6
- I'd like to reserve layer 5 for layer-4 related tricks, but if not, we will see more tombstones and cranky trees
The tower you see in the "layer 4" area will be difficult for me to replicate with the computer. I would very much like to make it like the big trees in Agama's outstanding tileset classic Swamp of The Sleeping Jaguar (http://www.jazz2online.com/J2Ov2/user/profile.php?userID=294). This would allow level makers to build exactly as high towers as they wish to. To add variation, some of the bricks from the walls will be missing and have a dark spot in the place. A feel of decaying is achieved with this.
The intended atmosphere will be a mixture of grim and playful. This is, despite of everything, easily done: although the tileset palette will be dark and landscapes with all the tombs won't appear so cheerful, all the skeletons around will be cartoonish. To emphasize the style, there could also be something like the crazy gazes from the windows like in this Cadaver illustration you see here in this entry.
You could be wondering, why did Blade choose this rotten, decaying, disintegrating pile of brick dust to be his next project. There are many castle tilesets made before this, even the original 'Castle'. Does the JJ2 community really need another one? Many great -unique- tileset ideas remain unused. Do I waste my time? I would say that if I pick an idea for a tileset, I have something of my own to say. About the tileset idea thinking process: I simply come up with some nice ideas, and pick the most appealing idea. This doesn't mean I will not get back to my earlier ideas. In fact, right now I have so good ideas for tilesets, I KNOW I will be back for them. Let me list them for you:
- Seven Chasms of Abomination. It's a spectacular underground cave with subterranean lakes and stuff. Ground will be created a bit like in the original 'Hell' tileset.
- Tellus Rising. Moon tileset! No space stations, just like Buzz and Neil left it ;)
- Aztec Reprise. Aztec tileset lifted up to a new glory.
- Winter War. Snowy forest with destroyed military hardware everywhere...
Don't get too excited pals, Castle of Cadavers first :) The Cadaver tileset illustration gets its backbone from several different directions. These clues will be essential when making Cadaver tileset reality. The ideas in this illustration are taken from the original Jazz Jackrabbit 2 tilesets 'Castle' and the The Secret Files 'Haunted House'. The Donald Duck artist Don Rosa influences me as well, as it has been for many years. For example, the tileset Desert wouldn't have been created without one particular Don Rosa Donald Duck (Three Caballeros) series. Through some twisted way of fate, the tower in my illustration gets its base idea from the Moomin house! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moomins). The TV-Show 'Muumit' was around for every single year of my childhood, and haunts me to this day :) Also a mention about Disguise's Corrupted Sanctuary. After seeing this great piece of work I though for the first time of doing a castle tileset of my own.
A word about the other stuff in the paper. The text "Tai R.I.C. = Rest In Chaos = Soukkari tykkäis = No rest for the wicked" (Translated "Or R.I.C. = Rest In Chaos = Soukkari would like it = ...) is a homage to my conscript friend. Soudunsaari was a hard cooked death metal listener and his playlist featured songs like "Dead Human Collection" by Cannibal Corpse and "Drilling For Brains" by Mortician. These were so grotesque names that I found them actually amusing. To pay homage to my friend, you might find texts like this in the tileset if searched properly...
As well, I drew the baby and the text to this paper. It says "Me before the military. The Defence Forces made me a man". That's a parodic observation about the days in the military. Even 20 year old men can be enormously childish under the circumstances in that organisation.
...And that's Soudunsaari who claims that Jose Barroso is evil :D