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The World Needs Tilesets

Posted: 10 Dec 2007, 17:28
by Dave
The purpose of this thread is to decide upon visual traits for tilesets. Please do not post actual progress for tilesets here. I'm going to attempt to arrange this by continent. We can start by focusing on one continent and expand as our progress dictates. If you have a question like, "Where's Tulimshar?!" ..please refer to the Geography section of the wiki, to calm yourself. ;) Just to warn everyone, some of the info provided below might not seem immediately relevant to the graphics, but keep in mind that we don't have exacting specifications or layouts for any of these locations yet. (City planning anyone? ;) )

Argaes, the Central Continent: (
As you can see by looking at its map, Argaes offers multiple types of terrain in a compact environment. It has the potential to contain 10-20 notable locations of varying size and purpose. The location overlay is only a preliminary concept and still has plenty of room for change. However changed or unchanged, it will supply us with a wide enough array of styles to keep us busy for a bit. ... ations.jpg

THE TRADE CITY is my proposition for a new starting location. This place can be designed to contain the basic resources to begin one's journey. This means that the surrounding areas will be geared mostly for characters of lower levels. Visually, I do not have a lot imagined for this place. It should be fairly modern for the setting; no castle or royalty in this city. It will probably contain an academy of pretty decent size. What is most important is the city's roots as a trading post. The heart of the city should still be a large open market, perhaps with booths, stands.. and even some people with wares spread out on rugs. Stone streets might be a nice touch.

THE FISHING VILLAGE is a fairly simple concept; it's a good place to fish and if there is any degree of skill to fishing, it's also a good place to hone that skill. You might be able to catch a boat from here to the small island to the east. It would look cool to have patches of reeds and other aquatic vegetation about, usually on the waters edge of course. We'll probably have a few streams and maybe throw a pond in there somewhere, just to make sure there are plenty of spots to fish right in the village area. Anyone who's been dying to draw a canoe or raft has a good opening here. :)

THE TRIBAL VILLAGE doesn't have much of a concept behind it yet. The tribal folk will undoubtedly have something to teach. I was considering that maybe there is a research team south of the tribal village, but it's just an idea to add contrast to the few locations that can be placed on this small island. Maybe instead of that, there are two tribes on the island with separate styles of housing. The terrain here could be jungle/savanna, with the possibility for a beach or two. Not to form a tribal cliche, but African landscapes might be good inspiration for this environment.

THE FARMING TOWN is the last area on the continent dedicated strictly to farming, after the agricultural disaster that created Sonbral's landscape. It's part of the Trade City (city-state situation) and isn't too far from the city limits, but it does stretch out pretty far. Because of this convenience factor, a few businesses have managed to prosper out here: a tavern that might double as an inn or restaurant, a general store and maybe a chemist. Getting from one farm-house to another means you'll be walking a bit, because of the fields of course. The quality of life for the farmers should be generally OK. They are an important part of life on the continent, so they should not be a neglected bunch. (probably no dilapidated homes)

THE WOODLAND VILLAGE could be Crush's woodland village, or something else entirely. Unlike the rest of the wooded area to the south, this place is within the Trade City(-state). People really want to live in some sort of harmony with nature here, but they still have little reservation about chopping down a few trees. This should be evident in their living situation; buildings surrounded by trees. The buildings could be wood with stone foundations.. the paths around here are probably rocky dirt.

THE LOGGING TOWN would be seen as an invasive community in the woodlands. I imagined this place being the focus of some hostility from woodland folk. This town began when people fled Sonbral's failing terrain. People that had worked to clear the forest there, moved west and ended up here. The town is fairly decentralized since it is spread across the ever changing work-site, which is situated on both sides of a river. There should always be evidence of active logging, like log-dams, with logs floating down streams, stacks and piles of logs etc. Search for "logging" on Google images for a good number of inspiring shots.

THE JUNGLE CITY is the heart of the city-state of Zartam; a name which could actually refer to the city itself. Contrast to the above-mentioned "woodland village".. this place should seem more in tune with nature. There should be a lack of man-made structures. Instead people have learned to live inside the vegetation. This can be anything from a tree (dead or alive) to a hole in the ground, to my favorite example.. a mushroom.. though mushrooms might be even more abundant in swampy areas than here, there should still be a few. I like to imagine bridges stretched high between the trees, to offer a multi-leveled layout. Climbing up to those bridges might be done with something as simple as rope ladders, to something more elaborate, like a tree with a spiral staircase (internally or externally).. I'm thinking probably dirt paths with rocks scattered about in a natural manner. Taller grasses where there is grass at all.. and lots of vegetation with patches of wild flowers. It is a jungle, so it's obvious where real-life inspiration could be derived. Since the style of life in the area is slightly.. "druidic" .. it might be a good idea to come up with some edible plants to scatter about, for gathering. Nuts and berries.. you name it.

THE "SWAMP DEMON" VILLAGE might be the home to another group of Demons. Reasons for living here? Maybe they are tired of putting up with the logging war in the woodlands. Maybe this swamp used to BE woodlands and was disturbed by Sonbral's change in climate. Maybe it's more than one reason. Whatever the case, people live out here.. There might be a FEW small homes or buildings.. maybe on stilts even.. but many of the inhabitants still attempt to live in harmony with nature, much as their cousins in the jungle.. and so, they live in hollowed trees and mushrooms. The swamp should have a stinking fog look about it.

THE DESERT CITY OF SONBRAL is home mostly to warriors and should NOT look like a carbon copy of Tulimshar. I think it would look really hardcore to have houses made from stacked stones, instead of bricks and hardened mud. It'd also be acceptable for people here to live in tents. I would like our deserts to have distinction from one another, perhaps even having a slightly different color of sand and dirt. This desert used to be a forest, where Tonori (where Tulimshar is) was more of a jungle. PLEASE read more about this environment (the dustbowl) in the article for Argaes.

*There are a couple of areas that I have not yet expressed much thought about, but I'm out of time at the moment. I'll give more input about the southern edge of the continent (mining town, thieves checkpoint/hideout, abandoned town, carnival, etc) later. Despite this lack of info, please don't let that stop you from brainstorming them. Also, try to remember that there should be plenty of room to add and subtract, so if you have a really bitchin' idea for a location, please don't be afraid to share it.

**The terrain itself is loosely described in the article's "Environment" section and at least for now, is fairly open to artist interpretation. Put simply, if you want to begin working on an outdoor/terrain tileset, take a stab, start a thread and we can begin critiquing it as a group.

This will be gradually edited to reflect priority. I apologize in advance for the lack of concept imagery, but I'm still not moved in to my new place yet and haven't had a lot of time (or materials) to draw much of anything. I'm hoping you guys will be able to pick up where I've been forced to leave off. Thanks for participating. 8)

Posted: 10 Dec 2007, 17:57
by Crush
Trade city:
Maybe a settlement of Timber framing houses?

Fishing village:
A harbor town with white stone buildings?

Tribal village:
Modanungs savannah village tileset?

Farming town:
Same tilesets as woodland village?

Logging town:
Maybe houses made of logs instead of planks?

Jungle city:
This will be a tough one. Maybe we can use some of the gaeas hearth concepts from here, just less dark:

Swamp Demon Village:
Before designing the look we should first design the cultural aspects.

Not really sure about this.

Posted: 10 Dec 2007, 18:23
by Jaxad0127
Trade city:
More Tudor style.

Fishing village:
Second Crush.

Farming town:
Same as Trade city.

Carved out of rock.

Posted: 10 Dec 2007, 18:27
by Crush
Define "Tudor style".

Posted: 10 Dec 2007, 18:32
by Jaxad0127

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 03:00
by Crush
I think it is necessary to plan what to do first so we can set priorities correctly.

When we use Hurnscald (the woodland village) and its surrounding as the first step of the development of the Argaes continent I would suggest to start the building of the continent with the northern area from southwest to northeast.

Here is a suggestion how the area could be divided into map files:

The next step in the development would now be that the mappers map the maps north, norteast and east of map 18 while the artists create the tiles for the trade city. When the artists aren't finished on time (not unlikely considering that I needed almost a year to finish the woodland village) the mappers could use the time to create maps further north until they reached the north coast.

When we proceed like that the trade city has priority right now. Maybe we can use irucards concrete wall tileset for the trade city or at least parts of it: ... =512&h=512

@jaxad: When I google for tudor style architecture most of the pictures I find show timber frame buildings. Could you maybe provide some more reference pictures than that one on wikipedia to show how exactly you picture the architecture of the city?

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 04:04
by zipon
Its nice to see that there is beginning to come some concept over the world :)

as you know Crush im almost done, only need the last map out of 5
so shell i start to make the next map when im don or shell i wait a little.

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 04:27
by yosuhara
Crush: I think we should finally use Pajarico's concepts.. architectural elements, NPC's ....

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 04:37
by Crush
zipon wrote:Its nice to see that there is beginning to come some concept over the world :)

as you know Crush im almost done, only need the last map out of 5
so shell i start to make the next map when im don or shell i wait a little.
You should maybe wait a bit until we talked about how the maps between Hurnscald and the yet unnamed trade city are supposed to look like (plains? light forests? farmland?).
yosuhara wrote:Crush: I think we should finally use Pajarico's concepts.. architectural elements, NPC's ....
Are there any specific artworks by Pajarico that you have in mind?

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 04:41
by Jaxad0127
Crush, what I'm really thinking of is more like this:

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 04:48
by Crush
Picture from the article:
These houses are exactly what I had in mind. Just in 24bit color without the terrible bayer dithering.

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 11:49
by Jaxad0127
Crush wrote:These houses are exactly what I had in mind. Just in 24bit color without the terrible bayer dithering.
Me too. I just realized thats what you said originally.

Because it's still a very new settlement (from what I gather on the wiki) so mostly tents with some permanent buildings (mostly government and shops) and a wall in progress.

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 17:26
by AxlTrozz
We need to stablish the size of the quadrant on Crush's suggested portions of the map (north-northeast), so we can start working with that,

I would say
* size (of the maps)
* elevation (type of topography)
* type of plants and animals
* ground type
* any magic or history affecting the area (for instance, the floor is blue due to a magic spell that make the thing (boxes, carts or any trade product) almost float in the air, so they can load and unload big ships every day without much effort, or something like that.
* more detail about the cities (what kind of trade ? is it a big city? have contact with water but just in the south side of the map ? have any connection with the north side sea ? etc)

And any other detail that could contribute to get a nice idea, so we can start creating proposals

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 21:07
by Dave
"Tudor"; I like this suggestion.
AxlTrozz wrote:* size (of the maps)
* elevation (type of topography)
* type of plants and animals
*Map size is currently being discussed.
*Elevation is tricky, since it's a 2d environment. It's hard to fit something like a sloping hillside in to a tileset, so those sort of things tend to be left out of my descriptions.
..however, in the article for Argaes, I wrote:The northern edge of the continent consists mostly of plains, with sparse forest-class woodlands. The northeast is made up of a series of beaches, while the northwest coast tends to have more cliffs and rocky outcroppings.
I suppose this could be describing an increase in height when you get near the northern coast, but that's not to say that it couldn't be very flat until you get there.
*I haven't had a lot of time to think about plant-life.. and animals don't really impact very much upon a tileset.
*I know I didn't include a color-key with the map to indicate ground type, but I guess I figured it spoke for itself. :oops: The trade city is on plain-type terrain.. where it starts to blend in to the desert landscape in the east, that's savanna. Everything else should be fairly obvious.
*I have not written much (if anything) in terms of magical area effects such as those you've described, but personally I don't feel the need. If that sort of stuff becomes widely desired, it can be added later.
*I had not imagined the trade city stretching all the way to the north coast, if that's what you're asking, though I suppose technically, it could. Originally, the sea around the continent was written as almost completely impassable. At some point, I changed it to something more like "frequently stormy" or "unpredictably turbulent waters"..
*There will be more detail about these cities soon, I just haven't had much time to work on that stuff in the past month. There would probably be an article for the trade city, had I been able to think up a name. Pretty soon, I'm just going to name it "Trade City".. ;)

I'm awfully sorry that I haven't had any time for this, since I started this thread. :( :cry: I'll try to work on the wiki a bit more tonight, if I get back in time.

Posted: 13 Dec 2007, 21:24
by Crush
A megacity that spans from one side of the coast to the other? Nah, I think it is enough to limit it to one map.