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[Adonthell-artwork] Graphics questions

From: James Nash
Subject: [Adonthell-artwork] Graphics questions
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 13:13:40 +0000

Hi guys,

I've been browsing the wiki and docs because I'd like to get back into doing some game graphics.

Some of it looks a little out-of-date (I suppose updating and extending the documentation might be a good place for me to start) and since I've been mostly out of the loop for the past ...umm... years (sorry!) I have a few questions:

- Transparency and Translucency.
The docs ( Graphics:Conventions) begin by describing our old way of doing things: PNM gfx with magenta pixels that get rendered transparent by the engine and the additional option of setting a translucency (aka alpha) level for the whole image. However the top of the page says that images must be RGB or RGBA PNG (not PNM) images. Surely if we can have RGBA PNGs we have per-pixel alpha support so the old way of doing stuff is completely redundant. Is this assumption correct?

- Tiles
IIRC we were moving away from the tile-based engine and graphics could be any size we wanted. Is this the case? Are there any restrictions artists need to know about? (I mean engine restrictions here, not conventions like "doors in Adonthell must be at least X x Y pixels big")

- Map objects
I vaguely remember map objects could be composed of several PNG files and could have animated parts too. Is this correct or am I dreaming? :-P Any info detail on how these things work now would be great!

- The new pseudo-3D stuff
As far as I can tell from the 0.4 demo with NG, we now have the basic 3D world with 2D graphics thing working. This raises lots of questions...

- How do the 3D models of map objects work and how detailed are they? Are they basically cubes that define the bounding box of the object or something else?

- When designing a map can objects intersect? Could I take a house and build it into the slope of a hill for example?

        - Again any details would be useful.

- Tools.
Has there been any discussion and/or work on tools to create map objects, maps, etc.? I know developing these kind of things is tedious (since it usually involves GUI programming) and sort of distracts from work on the actual game engine however Dun Barethsol is quite an ambitious project in terms of the amount of graphics and maps it will need so having a robust and (reasonably) easy-to-use tool chain will really help in the long run.

                        - James

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