Wednesday 28 May 2008

DDD 32: Introducing new graveyard

32. 31 December 2007

This year's last Dungeon modification contains making of layer 5 content. I started to make it as its own creation, but soon I realized I could use some of the old gravestones and such in this new edition. I am highly satisfied with noticing this, as I could add the crying angel back to the tileset. The new graveyard looks good, even though it is not finished. I have to shadow the trees better than I did before, and I should look can I get some leaves hanging from the trees. Additionally there has to be stones of different sizes everywhere so that the whole picture would not look like a flat painting (which it is of course :) This new graveyard is also more efficient (less green, more stuff) and contributes more to the Dungeon atmosphere and to the background idea which I am planning. The old one had too distant trees to put together with the great wall.

As a real surprise I noticed that I am not satisfied with the background grass green shade. It puzzles me as I just a while ago edited the color of this background to a better one. From the old screenshots I can see, that I changed the shade, but now this change seems to have reverted itself. The differentiation is visible when when one changes the colors to 8 bit mode. The background grass looks much better then. I must start modifying the palette, no one plays Jazz Jackrabbit 2 with 8 bit colours anymore.

28 May 2008 note: this diary entry introduces for the first time the Fortress of Forgotten Souls unfinished background structure with the castle walls in layer 6. Ultimately I abandoned this design because of I couldn't make the wall work. It did not look good at any point. Additionally a constant wall in the background wouldn't have done anything good for the big picture of the Fortress tileset as I have all the time planned that players should be allowed to exit the great decaying castles of Fortress of Forgotten Souls. A wall in the background layer would have destroyed that feeling for sure. More notes about the wall will ensue and you will read about the thinking that led to the wall abandonment.

Monday 26 May 2008

DDD 31: Dirt ground starts to work

31. 30 December 2007

I accidentially made a better hook than I made yesterday. The new circle is now a hook, and the earlier hook got demoted to a generic chain. I added vegetation to come out of the pillars and quickly it started to look good and not many tiles were wasted for that. Now there is more possibilities to mesh sand and grass lands. I will search for more ideas from the concept drawings in the coming days.

In the evening I made some essential mask tiles for the dirt ground and finally the flawed layer 4 foreground bricks were fixed (no annoying lines visible). One big change is that I dumped the current graveyard background picture, which I thought was good, especially the crying angel. It is not good enough and I've been thinking of changing it for a long time. The 26. screenshot shows that I am proceeding with the way of the first concept drawing. Layer 5 with big trees, rocks and tombstones. Layer 6 has a walls of a castle and layer 6 distant trees and maybe that faraway castle :)

I am now satisfied with the dirt ground even when I first thought it was missing something instrumental. Somehow all the puzzle pieces are now in order and the whole thing works. The simple texture is there in a small, but important role. Now I add the eye candy and everything really starts to work for itself!

Friday 23 May 2008

DDD 30: Chain works

30. 29 December 2007

Chain works. I did a vertical chain for the foreground layers and the big chains endings, if somebody would like to use things like that. The vertical chains must have something more, even though they work even now as eye candy and hook events. I wouldn't like those to be layer 4 stuff, but there is little to be done about that. Maybe some invisible (masked) tiles will fix this.

23 May 2008 note: All those "Dungeon Development Diary Entries" look boring. Good names from now on. I also consider to change the earlier names to different ones.

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Dungeon development diary entry 29

29. 28 December 2007

I did no eye candy after all. I noticed I still miss dirt ground essential tiles. So I ended up creating dirt land connections for vines and poles and spikes for grass and sand. I also had to better pillar connectivity with the dirt land. Even though lots of eye candy is yet to be made, the dirt ground works now really fine. Unlike I planned in the concepts, this dirt land doesn't feel like a wilderness between castles. Maybe when I get into the eye candy drawing this feeling will improve. I also thought that it would be idiotic to prevent the players from getting inside the inner dark dirt ground. And now when I have come to this conclusion, it is idiotic for not to create dark dirt ground floor tiles. If I don't do them, the dark dirt ground can be used only in the bottom of levels, and that just won't do.

So there are still some essential tiles to do before the turn shifts to eye candy. Now I really know this all is going to get really crammed up. I fear that I can't sacrifice space for layer 4 trees. They would be cool, but the eternal space issue prevails. What can I do with the layers 5-7 drawings? I see no space for them either :S

In the evening I added some tiles to Dungeon. Now I have the inner dirt ground floor tiles, and it is possible to wander inside the ground (some maskwork and voilá). It looks like it's important to do heavily cornered work in there, otherwise everything looks dull. Maybe some eye candy could improve that section as well. Although I know there can't be vine and pole tiles for the insides, but something has to be added.

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Dungeon development diary entry 28

28. 27 December 2007

At last back in the Dungeon creation business. The simplicity of the dirt ground has been bothering me now for a long time, and now it seems that the solution is to add pixels here and there. The result would look like sand. Maybe not the most beautiful one but it seems to work just fine. Next I should be drawing many kinds of props so that the player's attention is in them, not the ground itself.

I added today a possibility to add background dark bricks and pillars to the dirt ground. Right now connecting pillars to dirt ground generates a continuity problem in the pillar bricks. I will see that closer later or not. The problem doesn't bother me that much.

I can't make any more essential or heavily masked tiles for Dungeon anymore. Everything must do something with the eye candy unless I want my remaining space to be wasted. I have left something like 230 tiles of free space and that is way too low in comparison to the amount of eye candy I initially planned to create.

20 May 2008 note: I planned this entry to look into Desert, but I did not have the material I need for that article on my current computer. The Desert and the other tileset entries are back soon enough...

Monday 19 May 2008

Dungeon development diary entry 27

27. 19 December 2007

No progress in the tileset in while, unfortunately. I've been working with the Christmas time calendar and certain real life events and parties took my concentration away from Dungeon pretty effectively. In addition a game named GTA: San Andreas was too good to be resisted. But now at the brink of my two week Christmas vacation I believe that there will be lots of progress in the tileset creation. At least I don't have much to do for the Christmas time calendar anymore.

A few weeks earlier invented the name for Dungeon. It just came to my mind in a far away place called Leppävaara. "Fortress of Forgotten Glory" was what I had in mind. Unfortunately I can't say really if that is the original idea, most probably is. I didn't write the original invention anywhere. Stupid me :) But now as I was writing this entry, I came up with "Dungeon of Forgotten Souls". This could be it, depending on how I plan to finish the tileset.

As I was accidentially listening to Rhapsody's "Heroes Of The Lost Valley" I started to think that would I here have the idea for the next tileset after Dungeon? It made me think of Don Rosa's Donald Duck adventure "
Escape from Forbidden Valley". A green valley with mountains around. Exotic animals, plants, trees and a colourful sky. Would be great to create.

A late addition: How about my old thoughts from the time when Dungeon was competing with these? I can't forget the idea of "Winter War". The cave tileset "Seven Depths" would be something different also (when I differentiate it from Damn tilesets)

Saturday 17 May 2008

Dungeon development diary entry 26

26. 20 November 2007

Many improvements are made with the dirt ground and now it works pretty seamlessly. I only miss the diagonal grounds, which have to be there before the finishing. Some problems remain. The the dirt ground looks too simple (That reminds me of Islands In The Sapphire Sea but as even more simplified) and the too symmetric placement of stones. The background layer graveyard finally got a better shade of green. Candy Chateau colors, begone!

17 May 2008 note: This entry ends second round of the development of Fortress of Forgotten Souls. The first was a short period in August and this second lasted about a month in October and November. Next time I would continue creating Fortress would be in the end of December. There were real life situations hindering, although nothing unpleasant. Only in the delay of Fortress of Forgotten Souls. This blog of course returns before one month is passed :)

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Dungeon development diary entry 25

25. 19 November 2007

Amusingly, my good feelings turned fast to negative feelings. The first dirt ground lawns looked pretty when I first made them, but the next three started to look very repetitive. Luckily my problem gets fixed when I change the places of stones on the lawn. So far I have only the basic land and decision must be made how extensive will the dirt ground theme be. And once again, I start to think about the space issues. This is quite the roller coaster!

The screenshot today shows crudely how I plan to proceed with my tileset. First will come the dirt walls, and I have to think, will I add dirt ceilings. Oh darn, there must be ceilings. But when all the utmost necessary tiles are done, I must concentrate on eye candy and the background layer stuff. Quite surprisingly at that point I have a finished tileset!

P.S.: Phew, I already forgot the sand land :S What will I do with that, I would very much like to add it to Dungeon...