What would be your initial impression of an RPG that had graphics like this?
I think it's a decent, functional style as a whole, but the big thing that's missing is variety and detail of character faces.
I wonder if it might also be overall too cartoonish for some players, and feel tonally dissonant if your game has serious themes.
Yeah but I recommend using REXPaint if you're not aware of it because I've found the results look the best in that program and its fairly hassle free to migrate it into your game engine, at present I've been exporting BBCode and having it show up looking pretty awesome. I run REXPaint through proton works great in Linux.Is it enough for good graphics?
Not really. Storing them as separate sprites in a space-efficient format and/or compressing them on disk, then composing the final image out of these segments is fine.When creating a first-person, 2D, textured maze (in the style of Wizardry 6/7), would it be a bad idea to store each segment of the screen as individual sprites, which would be placed together to create the entire view?
Couldn't you draw an entire image, like this, and then cut it into little pieces, as in storing each highlighted segment here as its own image file, then swap them in and out as needed? You'd think that this would save space, because otherwise you'd need to store several variations of the view to account for all the possible variations. This would be pretty much exactly the same method you'd use to draw a wireframe maze, except that you're loading in images instead of manually drawing in lines. I feel like I'm missing something important here, though.
Unless I can think of any other problems on the way, I think I'm gonna go ahead and implement it the way I've described. I don't plan on having any 3D-style effects or any flair besides the kind you can see in Wizardry 6 or Ultima 5. In Gardens of Imagination, the blobber development book I was recommended a few months ago, the author recommends splitting the display into 3 segments: left, right, and forward. Kind of like this:Drawing an entire image and cutting it like this would work as a solution to a non-existing problem that causes more problems later down the line -- what if you wanted to have a 3D-style effect (e.g. objects drawn from different angles) on walls, which could bleed into other images if you stored it this way?
I've just been using the windows+G key to bring up the built in windows recorder and it seems to work ok. might as well try that and see how you like it. it's free and built inCan someone recommend some free tools for taking footage of your game? I currently use OBS studio but it's kind of a pain to use and won't work when my game is full screen.
I'd use this method especially if its coloured tiles because you can swap out individual tiles. You will however have wasted pixels in your tile map atlas due to irregular shapes.
i'm still using win7, so that doesn't seem to be an option.I've just been using the windows+G key to bring up the built in windows recorder and it seems to work ok. might as well try that and see how you like it. it's free and built inCan someone recommend some free tools for taking footage of your game? I currently use OBS studio but it's kind of a pain to use and won't work when my game is full screen.
Depends how far you want to go, but this has quite a lot of options.Would it be a good idea to create my own method for generating a texture/sprite atlas, or should I just use some pre-existing software? It seems like making your own is a big pain in the ass, but maybe it'd be better to do regardless.
You seem like you've already committed to this approach and Paradox are the king of map games, but they've had ~20 years of raking in money to spend on maps, so their maps are very shiny. What do other people use to make theirs, that you could use, that does the same basic job but don't look like 70% of the game budget/time went on the map?Integrated Viktor Chlumksy's multichannel signed distance fields library into the engine. Basically, it's a font atlas generator, plus he was kind enough to provide a fragment shader that takes the msdf textures and renders them as text. The advantage of a signed distance fields vs plain bitmaps is that they retain sharpness when zooming in, so you can have varying sizes of text without needing multiple atlases to keep them all crisp. SDFs do have a few visual aberrations, but msdfs basically fix those. There are more advanced font rendering techniques, like the Slug library, but that allegedly costs a lot of money, while MSDFgen is free. It did take some tinkering and adjusting to get the plane and uv coordinates correct, but now it works. Kind of. There are some screenshots attached, with zones assigned a random colour and numbered label for testing purposes.
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You can see the problems.
1. Line-of-best-fit using tile centres works ok with some shapes, not with others. Sometimes the text isn't centred in the map shape it's supposed to label; sometimes it's partially or even entirely outside the object. Something like Paradox does, where they use a sequence of lines to determine the overall largest curve they can fit inside a polygon, would be better. But some parts of the description I've read (from one of their developers) are a bit unclear in their meaning, perhaps because I'm not a math guy. Of course, there's probably some value adjustments I could do to my label baseline generation function that might help, but at the end of the day the Paradox method is much better.
2. Signed distance fields look great when zoomed in (that is of course the weakness that plain bitmap text faces) but not so great when zoomed out. Fragment shader tuning may help (adjusting a certain value in it shifts between texts looking reddish and occluded, or plain black and transparent but with some loss of shape when zoomed out , and I'll mess around with that more at some point, but there are issues there. Some sort of culling mechanic for very small labels might work (so they just don't show up until zoomed in enough that they'd be readable), but I'm not sure how I'd implement that; perhaps having a bunch of layers for labelling and add labels into them with the selection being based on their overall span, and then exclude small-span layers from the rendering list when zoomed out.
Ultimately, I'm probably going to leave the labels as is for the time being; they aren't good for a release state but they're serviceable enough for development, and I've spent long enough on rendering and want to move to a different part of the program for now; specifically I want to begin filling in the mechanics of pop simulation, starting with basic staffing of agricultural operations. Although before I do that I need to do some research on soil.
You could try and take the individual edge province tiles (treating each province as a vert in a polygon) and find the centroid of their shape. Just a possible solution because it appears you're not getting true centre from this method.Line-of-best-fit using tile centres works ok with some shapes, not with others. Sometimes the text isn't centred in the map shape it's supposed to label
This sounds like a decent approach to getting the text centred a better and I may try it out as an interim means of getting better label placement.You could try and take the individual edge province tiles (treating each province as a vert in a polygon) and find the centroid of their shape. Just a possible solution because it appears you're not getting true centre from this method.Line-of-best-fit using tile centres works ok with some shapes, not with others. Sometimes the text isn't centred in the map shape it's supposed to label