Terrain Tiles

Discussion and contribution to game graphics and user interface.
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Posted relevant content can be used under GPL or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/) for the project. Thanks!
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Veneteaou
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Terrain Tiles

Post by Veneteaou » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:03 am

Got my plains tile finished. It's a bit large to host here, but I have it Here if anyone wants to check it out. It's not impressive really, but on a small scale it tiles and it's a close enough match of the Imp1 plains tile that the other terrain tiles from Imp1 are seamless on it. In fact, I'm thinking it will be a good idea for me to maintain the exact same colors present in each original tile as I go. The end result should be a very similar presentation/immersion/nostalgia that Imp1 gave.

I have a new graphics tablet coming to me in the next week or so, and then I can really dig in on the rest of the terrain. I'm open to other opinions, but I'm currently thinking that the priority order for artwork should go:

- Terrain (possibly excluding rivers and shoreline)
- Civilian units, raw materials, other stuff that will show up on the main screen
- Industry/Trade/Transport/Diplomacy/etc. screens
- Necessary cursors and leftover GUI artwork
- Military units and battle maps

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Trilarion
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Trilarion » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:51 pm

Thanks for the tile. I like it and I hope for a complete set of terrain tiles in this style. I support you in going after the exact original colors. Of course with 80x80 tiles we can go for more detail, I hope. I didn't like the forest much in the original game.

I agree with the priority list. I can probably help in making it more detailed (UI elements, army elements). The most important is the terrain of course because almost every project will always start with programming the map - as I am doing it currently and therefore it will be a nice showcase.

As a general advice: the highest value have complete sets of anything, might it be terrain or overlay tiles or army images or ... we always need complete sets if possible from the same artist for having a nice look.

And the most important thing: As with the music so I would also like to release all the graphics artwork under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 or in exceptional cases also another license compatible with open source. For legal reasons I have to ask and need a formal agreement from each artwork contributor for each contributed artwork. I am not sure if your agreement also covers your graphics contributions. So please tell me again, if all your artwork including future contributions (we don't want to do it for each image again :) ) can be used (you can withdraw your agreement at any time) under CC-BY-SA 3.0 and how you want to be refered to in the credits (real name, nickname, with/without email)! :)

P.S.: This month I will finish the first showcase, consisting of basic UI stuff and a simple map (no rivers, no beaches, rectangular borders). However with editor capable of editing the map.

Veneteaou
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Veneteaou » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:49 pm

The graphics that I draw can be released under CC-BY-SA 3.0 I'm not picky about those. I'm still looking for a suitable music license. As for credits, I would like to be listed as Eric "Veneteaou" Nelson if possible. Email is unnecessary since most people will probably hunt me down through the Imperialism community anyway if they wish to contact me.
As a general advice: the highest value have complete sets of anything, might it be terrain or overlay tiles or army images or ... we always need complete sets if possible from the same artist for having a nice look.
Agreed. I'm planning on working out the original sets (terrain, military, resources/goods, etc.) for us initially, and possibly returning to them in the future to expand upon them and hopefully provide the open source community with very complete asset packs to use.

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Trilarion
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Trilarion » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:35 pm

Thank you for your agreement. Btw. which programmes do you use? That information might also be interesting for other graphics artists.

Veneteaou
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Veneteaou » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:12 am

I'm currently using a variety of software:

- MS Paint
- MyPaint
- Gimp 2
- A Color Palette Generator
- Krita
- Texture Studio
- Blender
- Tiled
- Spriter

and the list is growing as I'm developing each tile experimenting with it's own creative process to see what works best. When I have full tilesets to distribute, I will write up a read me file explaining how the tiles were made and what they can do. If all goes according to plan, my biggest community gift will be creating a tutorial for taking a certain art style and emulating it with little-to-no artistic experience.

Trapets
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Trapets » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:40 pm

Some toughts about tiles:
I looked at Veneteaou's plain tile and tested it. Imho the tile must be little more smoother or containe more small brush strokes inside to be more noisier and uniform, there is quite a contrast with the pattern, maybe its not problem when building and other stuff is presented.
In Imp1 the tiles grid system was that way - every row was offset to others half of size ot the tile, does this mean that every tile must have two versions, for odd and even row?
Maybe one way to go is - for example, there are some area covered with same terrain tiles (almost flat color, dimensions 80x80 px, PNG) and above this is texture layer (dimensions 800x800 px, PNG), of course these texture layers must also line up smoothly with each other, but that way is the terrain more special and random.

Sry for bad English..

Veneteaou
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Veneteaou » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:35 pm

I looked at Veneteaou's plain tile and tested it. Imho the tile must be little more smoother or containe more small brush strokes inside to be more noisier and uniform, there is quite a contrast with the pattern, maybe its not problem when building and other stuff is presented.
I am aware that the Imperialism tiles had more noise; so far, I've not been able to create a plains tile with more noise that didn't suffer from being digitally created and manipulated (I'm not really experienced with this stuff). However, because these are digitally constructed, the plains tile sits in it's own layer, so it will be very easy for me to go back later and replace it should we decide it's unacceptable down the road.
In Imp1 the tiles grid system was that way - every row was offset to others half of size ot the tile, does this mean that every tile must have two versions, for odd and even row?
In some instances, yes we have to create two tiles if we want blending continuous terrain. I threw together a simple infographic a ways back for another project, explaining how mountain tiles were created: http://z3.ifrm.com/283/46/0/p460087/How ... s_Work.jpg although it isn't quite accurate because as you say the rows are offset. However, a simple messing around in Tiled leads me to believe that two continuous mountain tiles are created to both:

- Be continuous with themselves both directly horizontally and directly vertically; and
- Be continuous with the other in any of the 6 adjacent tiles where the rows are offset.

When I figure out how that was done, I will draw another infographic. In other cases, it looks like the tiles are being cut by the game in non-square shapes, or possibly very small squares. Just trying to recreate two grain fields side by side like they would appear in the game leaves me entirely baffled. However, as long as Trilarion can implement different layering techniques into the engine down the road, there is no reason why I/we can't work my way into the complexity of continuous terrains.

I'm painfully determined to figure out how Imp1 achieved their terrain.

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Trilarion
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Trilarion » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:27 pm

For a staggered layout (every second row is shifted by half a width) a continuous tile has to have the following properties:
  • left and right side are equal
  • upper left side is equal to lower right side
  • upper right side is equal to lower left side
I have just drawn a little sketch here and that works. We wouldn't need multiple tiles. However if we had multiple tiles for each terrain type we clearly could insert more variety and a nicer look.

In principle I can implement any kind of layering technique where artists provide graphics for. We could even draw a whole (geographical Europe) map (100x60 tiles a 80x80 = 8000x4800)... or overlay in a complicated pattern. And we can experiment with all ideas that we have. :)

I am currently implementing a simple tile map in staggered layout and when this is finished you can visually test changing tiles easily. More complex patterns can follow.

Veneteaou
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Veneteaou » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:07 am

The next tiles are up: Orchard and Cotton Field

I'm finding it difficult to make decisions on a large image (512x512 or so), that translates well when I downsize it around 128x128 or smaller. It doesn't mean my tiles look bad, only that I'm sluggishly having to create using trial-by-error. I'm also aware that the Cotton Field needs some work, I'm still looking for a method that gives me a sharp image of bland cotton fields.


Ven

Veneteaou
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Veneteaou » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:24 am

Added hills.

The quality of the image is damaged, due to me making a stupid error and having to convert to gif to transparently lay it back over the plains tile. It won't show at 128x128, but I have to redo them all eventually.

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