TMW-eA Art Perspective

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Wombat
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TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Wombat » 28 Oct 2010, 20:23

This is a request on feedback from players, contributors and developers on art perspective. After some review, much (if not most) art is not in the proper perspective. The guidelines haven't been followed since they were drafted except in some cases (most tilesets, some monsters, some items). Most monster art, all equipment and the player-set, is not in proper perspective.

At this point, it would be best to discuss if the 45 degree perspective is what can be demanded from our artists.

Does the varied perspective bother players? Should there be stricter guidelines on art, which would pretty much mean we'd have to completely remake TMW-eA? Should we accept that perspective varies from what seems to be a 20 degree to a 45 degree perspective and get more available art content? Some artists seem bothered, especially those more critical of what gets into the game, but from what I can tell, the history of TMW-eA is filled with artists that weren't bothered.

This discussion will influence all future art for the game and perhaps call for re-drafting our art guidelines to fit what is actually going on instead of what was desired, but rarely achieved.

If discussion favors a more pure approach to the existing guidelines, we'd need to make a list of all art that has failed to meet guidelines.

I favor re-drafting the guidelines so they fit how we actually operate, which would influence how criticism is given in our graphics development forum.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Reid » 28 Oct 2010, 20:28

Re-make of old art can be the following of the player-set extention?
I think that we can take the skipy werewolf as reference, it got a good perspective no? Or he is as the old stuff?
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by MerlinX420 » 28 Oct 2010, 21:31

Playerset: Forcing a 45% perspective would force use to replace the whole player-set and all the gear. Also at that angle it wouldn't leave much if ANY room for anything. You wouldn't even really see anything that the char is wearing. The current set IMO is good enough. I even think for taller creatures (aka Skeletons etc.) that following the player-set perspective works.

Monsters: The varied perspective isn't that bad. Smaller ones should follow the 45% guideline. Taller one would look odd at that angle when the player-set is 30%. As long as the monster wasn't absurdly out of perspective then I wouldn't even consider it an issue.

Tilesets: Nothing that I can think of off hand seems to out of perspective.

As someone stated in IRC "Most commercial games go with the "whatever looks good" random perspective due to tight deadlines"

If it's suitable for commercial efforts then why are we beating ourselves up over something that even the big game companies do?

Basically your talking about scrapping most if not all the art in the game. We don't have the art department to meet this demand. Imposing such strict guidelines would make the current artists go mad and most likely quit.

In no certain way do I see this as a feasible option for tmw-ea.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Arphetic » 28 Oct 2010, 21:43

As a player, it didnt bother me at all. Those that are bothered by it are those that developped an eye for it, probably cause they pixelled stuff that some consider better.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Crush » 28 Oct 2010, 21:48

I agree with MerlinX420.

When it isn't broken (broken as in "does look strange to the average player"), don't fix it. Rather use your time and energy on new content instead.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Len » 29 Oct 2010, 01:38

I favor re-drafting the guidelines so they fit how we actually operate, which would influence how criticism is given in our graphics development forum.
Its best to think of it more as a guideline (as most people have a hard time drawing in that perspective), with 45 degrees being the ideal. I wouldn't change them...
When it isn't broken (broken as in "does look strange to the average player"), don't fix it. Rather use your time and energy on new content instead.
Yes, but you need to think beyond your current player base. Believe it or not there is a lot of people who skip playing this game purely based on looks. Also its best to update the graphics now, while there is still a relatively small amount to fix (rather than expand and compound the problem).

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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Arphetic » 29 Oct 2010, 03:48

I wish there was an option to set your client back to the old graphics... If I select an MMORPG based on how it looks, I wouldn't have gotten to this game. No Zelda lookalike that interested me personally.

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And it's not just me, most people that I know that checked the game all thought the oldskool look was cool. I think (and I know many disagree) that the current guidelines might actually be too tight.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Len » 29 Oct 2010, 08:19

Arphetic wrote:I wish there was an option to set your client back to the old graphics... If I select an MMORPG based on how it looks, I wouldn't have gotten to this game. No Zelda lookalike that interested me personally.

Image

And it's not just me, most people that I know that checked the game all thought the oldskool look was cool. I think (and I know many disagree) that the current guidelines might actually be too tight.
Trust me that Zelda games guidelines are much tighter than ours...:wink:
Also the old graphics for TMW were much more consistent than they are now
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Rotonen » 29 Oct 2010, 09:40

We randomly switched over to 32x32 tiles from 16x16 tiles a few developer meetings (yes, we did have some back in the days!) after I had originally fought for 32x32 tiles to be used in the first place. We already had a lot of content in 16x16 tiles and a good momentum going forward. This decision essentially destroyed both our contributorbase and reputation as a pixel art project for years to come. Later came new tilesets which self-set guidelines and pushed themselves autonomously and now we have a set of everything for TMW-eA which does not mostly fit with each other for a multitude of historical burden.

It is fixable. One just has to decide what to set as the standard there and make everything fit and make all new contribution fit. Wombat is starting that process here and for that I tip my hat off to him.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Crush » 29 Oct 2010, 09:47

Arphetic wrote:I wish there was an option to set your client back to the old graphics...
In fact there is.

There are various mechanism which allow you to replace any graphic client-sided, like using your own local data directory (Command line option -d) or using customdata zips.

Maybe someone would like to take some of our ancient graphics, which can still be found on our old SVN repository on sourceforge, and create a nostalgia customdata zip from them.
http://themanaworld.svn.sourceforge.net ... d/tmwdata/
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Len » 29 Oct 2010, 11:47

Crush wrote:
Arphetic wrote:I wish there was an option to set your client back to the old graphics...
In fact there is.

There are various mechanism which allow you to replace any graphic client-sided, like using your own local data directory (Command line option -d) or using customdata zips.

Maybe someone would like to take some of our ancient graphics, which can still be found on our old SVN repository on sourceforge, and create a nostalgia customdata zip from them.
http://themanaworld.svn.sourceforge.net ... d/tmwdata/
They could even take it a step further by creating there own server and use that to continue to develop those graphics/world.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Wombat » 01 Nov 2010, 13:38

More art related guideline revision thoughts:

Brought up on IRC, the use of Inkscape or other similar program to smooth the texture of tilesets: Use it or lose it?
I have no strong opinion on this, though there is somewhat of a clash in art style. Should we go with the more traditional pixel art method for tilesets, go with the smoother texture using Inkscape or find a happy medium?

I feel this isn't a big issue as long as any tileset blending (i.e. mixing tilesets with different art styles) doesn't happen where it just doesn't look right, but I wanted opinions. This affects future tileset art guidelines.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Crush » 01 Nov 2010, 14:30

What exactly do you mean with "smooth texture"? I think what you want to say is very different from what these words mean to a pixel artist.

Inkscape is a good tool for prototyping complex shapes, but it is not useful for creating the finished graphics for any pixel-oriented engine, no matter what the style.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Wombat » 01 Nov 2010, 15:08

I am a pixel artist, you mean to say from someone that knows the descriptive jargon of pixel art? Can't say I'm formally trained, learned my understanding of pixel art from making art for the game.

Several tilesets were put to question, including ones you've made Crush, that challenge the consistency of prior tilesets and I wanted to discuss the future of tileset creation and what we are aiming for with our tileset art. This present discussion has paused the Crypt tileset release since this conversation was brought up. As stated before, I don't have a strong opinion and opt for what looks good with how art exist within TMW-eA. However, I'd like to make sure we understand what kind of consistency we are aiming for with our present guidelines so when we talk to our artists, they know what standards to conform to, which would make it more possible to blend tilesets, should that make sense for the environment being created.
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Re: TMW-eA Art Perspective

Post by Matt » 01 Nov 2010, 16:14

Len wrote:
Crush wrote:
Arphetic wrote:I wish there was an option to set your client back to the old graphics...
In fact there is.

There are various mechanism which allow you to replace any graphic client-sided, like using your own local data directory (Command line option -d) or using customdata zips.

Maybe someone would like to take some of our ancient graphics, which can still be found on our old SVN repository on sourceforge, and create a nostalgia customdata zip from them.
http://themanaworld.svn.sourceforge.net ... d/tmwdata/
They could even take it a step further by creating there own server and use that to continue to develop those graphics/world.
A 16x16 TMW fork. That is a new one :)
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