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Author Topic: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions  (Read 17597 times)

silvernocte

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #195 on: March 16, 2019, 07:17:35 pm »

I bet the screwpumps are going to confuse people...

Realistic looking screwpump  aka the archimedes screw:

Not gonna lie, screwpumps confuse me without any tilesets.
anyways, is there a way to make a separate sprite for it when it's pumping a liquid, so we could see water traveling up the screw when it's activated?
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Cruxador

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #196 on: March 16, 2019, 07:34:37 pm »

I bet the screwpumps are going to confuse people...
I would hope not. Besides being common tech, they're readily googlable.

Quote
The small boxes in the kennels are animal traps btw, cages look like this:

Oh. Well then, they don't look like what they're meant to be at all. Aside from the appearance, they also don't seem to support this use case. I'm not sure how widespread cage traps would have been in DF's time period, but they really aren't something I could see someone using to house critters in a kennel regardless, except if they had no other option. Of course, you could suppose that the kennels in DF are woefully underequipped based on what is required to build them, but that applies to all workshops; it's assumed to be an abstraction.

I bet the screwpumps are going to confuse people...

Realistic looking screwpump  aka the archimedes screw:

Not gonna lie, screwpumps confuse me without any tilesets.
anyways, is there a way to make a separate sprite for it when it's pumping a liquid, so we could see water traveling up the screw when it's activated?
The water is in the bottom part where you can't see it anyway. Otherwise it'd just fall out. That two frame animation looks pretty good to me, aside from being one more case where the mix of top down and side-on is going to really make things weird.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 07:36:35 pm by Cruxador »
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silvernocte

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #197 on: March 16, 2019, 07:46:13 pm »

Quote
The water is in the bottom part where you can't see it anyway. Otherwise it'd just fall out.
Fair enough. I've definitely seen water actually travel along the thread of the screw, but I'm used to seeing these things with an overpowered motor instead of a dwarf.
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funkydwarf

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #198 on: March 17, 2019, 02:11:36 am »

I think the first trade depot was very cool. I would think the dwarfs would want traders to feel as if they are in the fort of spectacular craftsdwarfs, and the trade depot is  a place to show it off. "Look at this tilework! Their swords must be amazing!" said the human trader.  WWDD?

Are the 4 cages in the middle actually representative of anything? Can they all go against the top or bottom row, or side, clumped together like a real kennel?


Flood gates block a tunnel top to bottom. Could they be an amazing feat of dwarven engineering (and more so pixel artist , lol)and be an iris door? 
https://cdn.thingiverse.com/renders/7d/47/b9/7a/7d/IMG_2100_1024x768_preview_featured.jpg

 Do an image search for iris door for tons of examples, some with as few as 5 or so blades. WWDD? (What would dwarfs do?)

Everything looks really great in general, both ramps look good, especially for quick mockups. Once you get to see how they are going to be implemented, and get to actually develop them, either version is going to polish up real nice.



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clinodev

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #199 on: March 17, 2019, 04:56:54 am »

The stockpiles with the little type designation icon in the corner make me unreasonably happy, cheers!

I hope that makes the final cut (and that someone steals the idea and puts it in Phoebus over the weekend! Come on guys!)
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Jiri Petru

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #200 on: March 17, 2019, 05:16:01 am »

Hi everyone, great work, you're making me very excited about the game. Some humble feedback:

In general, I think you have the tendency to make small things too oversized. Specific examples:
- Weapons lying on the ground. (Compare them to the size of wielded weapons.)
- Tiny items (Meph's crafts posted recently.)
- Meph's tree trunks (they are huuuge... the size of a bed.)
- The cats!

It seems like you always try to use the whole tile. It allows you to use more pixels, which allows you to make fancier graphics but I'm afraid it's a bit counterproductive. Let's take Meph's crafts or the weapon items. I'd say you're adding too much visual details to the game - while the crown graphics are fancy indeed, the actual in-game item is very unimportant and doesn't deserve so much focus. It really shouldn't be the size of a dwarf! You need to realise that by making unimportant things big you're stealing visual focus from more important things (creatures) which harms clarity. Items should be small and easy to ignore, almost merge to the background. If a dwarf walks through a stockpile, he/she should be clearly visible even in the corner of your eye. I'm afraid that with these huge items, dwarves would be drown in visual bloat and unnecessarily hard to spot.

Item sprites should only be as large as you need to in order to make them distinctive, and not a single pixel larger. Take the weapon items. You are already able to make weapons distinctive enough when wielded in hand, and there really isn't any reason to make the item sprites any larger than that just for adding more detail that's just a visual distraction.

Making small things oversized also makes you want to make big things even bigger - see the elephant debate. I understand that if a cat is almost the same size as an elephant, you want to differentiate them a bit. Instead of making the elephant bigger, make the cat (much) smaller.

===

As for the clothes debate:

While theoretically, showing the actual items that the dwarves wear seems cool, you have to realise that the in-game economy / clothing system is very primitive. IIRC, dwarves currently have only 3 different dyes, and everybody wears the same set of clothing. Showing realistic items would only have one effect: everybody would look the same, it would be a visual mess, and you would lose any ability to tell different dwarves apart. You can already test this in Stonesense - all dwarves are interchangeable, you can't see individuals.

Telling dwarves apart is critical! You need that for narrative purposes, to be able to create stories in your head. Anything that makes all dwarves look the same is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.

Even just using profession colors gives you much more variety that using the 3 dye colors that the game has. But forget about professions! Much more important are the unique profession sprites, like mayors, nobles, priest, guard captains. You really want these to stand out from the crows, not to merge with everyone else.

When, and only when, the game actually makes nobles wear fancier clothing, makes blacksmiths wear blacksmith tools, guard captains wear different-colour uniforms, makes priests wear priestly robes... only at this point it becomes useful to show the actual items worn. Until that time it would be actively harmful because it would just create a visual mess of non-distinctive individuals.

===

It all comes down to this: the purpose of graphics is to add clarity. Not to add fanciness.

===

And please allow me one wish: different tiles for different tree species! This would probably mean different bark and different leave sprites. Trees are so omnipresent that it would be a shame to have them all look the same.

Keep up the good work, I can't wait to play this!
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 05:26:00 am by Jiri Petru »
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utkonos

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #201 on: March 17, 2019, 05:17:15 am »

Hi!
Screwpump looks a bit jiggy for me. Maybe it would be better like that?

Meph

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #202 on: March 17, 2019, 07:01:07 am »

Quote
Oh. Well then, they don't look like what they're meant to be at all. Aside from the appearance, they also don't seem to support this use case. I'm not sure how widespread cage traps would have been in DF's time period, but they really aren't something I could see someone using to house critters in a kennel regardless, except if they had no other option. Of course, you could suppose that the kennels in DF are woefully underequipped based on what is required to build them, but that applies to all workshops; it's assumed to be an abstraction.
The tiles in the kennels are not cage traps but animal traps.

Quote
Flood gates block a tunnel top to bottom. Could they be an amazing feat of dwarven engineering (and more so pixel artist , lol)and be an iris door? 
https://cdn.thingiverse.com/renders/7d/47/b9/7a/7d/IMG_2100_1024x768_preview_featured.jpg
That could be a cool idea. I actually went with a round hatch for my first design, but somehow it always ended up like a floor hatch or sewer entry to me. As if the round opening would go straight up-down, instead of left-right.

Quote
The stockpiles with the little type designation icon in the corner make me unreasonably happy, cheers!

I hope that makes the final cut (and that someone steals the idea and puts it in Phoebus over the weekend! Come on guys!)
Just an idea so far. ;) The color change idea was also good. Both have one obvious weakness: Custom stockpiles and stockpiles that accept more than one type.

Quote
In general, I think you have the tendency to make small things too oversized. Specific examples:
- Weapons lying on the ground. (Compare them to the size of wielded weapons.)
- Tiny items (Meph's crafts posted recently.)
- Meph's tree trunks (they are huuuge... the size of a bed.)
- The cats!

It seems like you always try to use the whole tile. It allows you to use more pixels, which allows you to make fancier graphics but I'm afraid it's a bit counterproductive. Let's take Meph's crafts or the weapon items. I'd say you're adding too much visual details to the game - while the crown graphics are fancy indeed, the actual in-game item is very unimportant and doesn't deserve so much focus. It really shouldn't be the size of a dwarf! You need to realise that by making unimportant things big you're stealing visual focus from more important things (creatures) which harms clarity. Items should be small and easy to ignore, almost merge to the background. If a dwarf walks through a stockpile, he/she should be clearly visible even in the corner of your eye. I'm afraid that with these huge items, dwarves would be drown in visual bloat and unnecessarily hard to spot.

Item sprites should only be as large as you need to in order to make them distinctive, and not a single pixel larger. Take the weapon items. You are already able to make weapons distinctive enough when wielded in hand, and there really isn't any reason to make the item sprites any larger than that just for adding more detail – that's just a visual distraction.

Making small things oversized also makes you want to make big things even bigger - see the elephant debate. I understand that if a cat is almost the same size as an elephant, you want to differentiate them a bit. Instead of making the elephant bigger, make the cat (much) smaller.
I whole heartily agree. I sneakily asked 4 months ago about that on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/dwarffortress/comments/9u0g5b/working_on_improving_the_meph_tileset_your/ My own opinion is that things should stick to their relative size as much as possible, Mike prefers the largest, clearest images to be available. Both have their merit. Our internal discussion often goes like "Mike draws a perfect, wonderful bar/block sprite." "Meph shrinks them down and stacks them, yelling incoherently about stack size and how dwarves can't lift a bar that is as large as them." "Mike facepalms".  ;)

Quote
While theoretically, showing the actual items that the dwarves wear seems cool, you have to realise that the in-game economy / clothing system is very primitive. IIRC, dwarves currently have only 3 different dyes, and everybody wears the same set of clothing. Showing realistic items would only have one effect: everybody would look the same, it would be a visual mess, and you would lose any ability to tell different dwarves apart. You can already test this in Stonesense - all dwarves are interchangeable, you can't see individuals.
True, and one of the main reasons I'm against it too. They mostly just wear identical items in either brown (leather) or white (pretty much everything else, from pigtail fiber, sheep yarn to silk).

Quote
Telling dwarves apart is critical! You need that for narrative purposes, to be able to create stories in your head. Anything that makes all dwarves look the same is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.

Even just using profession colors gives you much more variety that using the 3 dye colors that the game has. But forget about professions! Much more important are the unique profession sprites, like mayors, nobles, priest, guard captains. You really want these to stand out from the crows, not to merge with everyone else.
Again agreed. But fear not! We will probably end up with a really nice compromise, because again, Mike and me have different opinions. So he'll stand up for everyone who thinks that professions are not important, while I'll stand up for everyone who thinks they are. :D I hope in the end we get a bit of both.

Quote
And please allow me one wish: different tiles for different tree species! This would probably mean different bark and different leave sprites. Trees are so omnipresent that it would be a shame to have them all look the same.
Is planned. While not officially on any list atm, it's firmly in my head to do that. At least a couple of barks, leaves and especially leaf vs needle vs saguaro/cactus.

Screwpump looks a bit jiggy for me. Maybe it would be better like that?
That's better. 1px fewer to the side, I guess?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 07:24:10 am by Meph »
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Isabelle82

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #203 on: March 17, 2019, 08:48:37 am »

Regarding the clothes a compromise really sounds good  :)

I myself am more Mike's opinion, and find clothes should be visible. However, I understand the argument because of the jobs. Maybe there would also be the option to switch visible clothing on or off.

I think everyone could be satisfied with that. However, this is of course a question of the possible.

Anyway, I congratulate for the good work on the tileset.
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Meph

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #204 on: March 17, 2019, 09:04:14 am »

We'll see once we have a test version running and actually see it ingame.

Anyone can guess what this should be?
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Isabelle82

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #205 on: March 17, 2019, 09:16:40 am »

I would say looks like a water wheel  :)
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Oab

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #206 on: March 17, 2019, 09:48:04 am »

Quote
If you consider things from a factual perspective and look at the actual design of the game, professions are not only not very important, they're very nearly meaningless. There is no such thing as a profession in-game, dwarves are just colored by highest skill (or a few specific gestalt cases) because that was most convenient when dwarves were first added to the dwarf game many years ago, probably closer to two decades than to one, and since then it has never had opportunity to be changed until now. It's important only in the sense that there's a tradition among spriters to account for it, since it's the only element that was available to account for. But it isn't actually very meaningful in its own right; not only is the information conveyed of limited importance (thus suggesting that the value is not higher than other opportunities that could be derived from color) but it implies itself to be of higher importance than it is, which means it could lead players unfamiliar with the game to assume that their master cheesemaker and accomplished weaponsmith is useful, because how important is cheese? In this very much non-rare situation, the value of showing profession prominently can even be negative. How, then, can it outweigh the value of giving people what they pay for, and using graphics to represent what's going on in the game as accurately as is feasible? It's sacrificing a primary goal of the tileset in favor of something of arguably negative utility.

And I know I'm repeating myself here, but it bears repeating. This graphical overhaul should be seen as an opportunity to significantly improve how the game is presented, not just to make incremental upgrades to the methods which the very premise of this endeavor holds as inadequate.

I have to agree with you, but I think all were going to get is incremental upgrades for now.
An overhaul that brings tile set support to modern day standards would most likely require a lot of under the hood work, and I imagine we would still have issues with CPU usage in the end. Mifki would be the best person to ask how feasible any of this actually is outside Toady himself.

Hi everyone, great work, you're making me very excited about the game. Some humble feedback:

In general, I think you have the tendency to make small things too oversized. Specific examples:
- Weapons lying on the ground. (Compare them to the size of wielded weapons.)
- Tiny items (Meph's crafts posted recently.)
- Meph's tree trunks (they are huuuge... the size of a bed.)
- The cats!

===

As for the clothes debate:

While theoretically, showing the actual items that the dwarves wear seems cool, you have to realise that the in-game economy / clothing system is very primitive. IIRC, dwarves currently have only 3 different dyes, and everybody wears the same set of clothing. Showing realistic items would only have one effect: everybody would look the same, it would be a visual mess, and you would lose any ability to tell different dwarves apart. You can already test this in Stonesense - all dwarves are interchangeable, you can't see individuals.

I agree with your assessment about over sized items. I noticed the weapon on ground versus the ones wielded and thought the same thing.

I also think that Mike/Mephs art styles are compatible with lower res items without any sacrifice to visual clarity or quality.

When making smaller item sprites it may not be a bad idea to create them with 8x8 and 8x16 restrictions. This would make the overall visual be more consistent.

Naturally you want to create the nicest looking sprites possible so its easy to be overzealous with detail

Concerning clothing; clothing isn't on the table at this time from my understanding. Hair, beards, armors, weapons, and shields will be though.

With the large number of skin tones, hair, and beard variety being in the game every dwarf and other entities using this should theoretically look unique. It really just depends on how many Meph and Mike decide to add.

Profession based sprites aren't nearly as important with this approach, but it would be nice to see unique bodies and tools for the assigned profession.

By the way Meph do you have a list of all the beard and hair styles per gender/entity? I can't seem to find it anywhere.


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snow dwarf

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #207 on: March 17, 2019, 10:55:17 am »

PTW
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Meph

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #208 on: March 17, 2019, 11:56:52 am »

By the way Meph do you have a list of all the beard and hair styles per gender/entity?

Sure. The types are head hair, sideburns, moustaches and the beard. Lengths are clean-shaven, stubble, (very) short, medium, (very) long. And styles are braided, double-braided, unkempt, neat combed and ponytail (ponytail only for head hair, rest for everything)

So it's 4 types * 5-8 lengths * 4-5 styles = 80-160 sprites.
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Hapchazzard

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Re: Steam DF tileset - Mayday/Meph - Discussion and Suggestions
« Reply #209 on: March 17, 2019, 12:13:20 pm »

By the way Meph do you have a list of all the beard and hair styles per gender/entity?

Sure. The types are head hair, sideburns, moustaches and the beard. Lengths are clean-shaven, stubble, (very) short, medium, (very) long. And styles are braided, double-braided, unkempt, neat combed and ponytail (ponytail only for head hair, rest for everything)

So it's 4 types * 5-8 lengths * 4-5 styles = 80-160 sprites.

Wow, that's a lot of beards! Should help with differentiating the dwarfs! Will skin tone also be a variable?
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