The main item on our agenda was to decide on the style of OpenClonk's graphics, who can do what, and how to improve communications.
The main problem we noticed is that buildings don't stand out from the background, but also that their looks are very random (shown by Matthi's post). This isn't trying to cast the blame on anybody. Zapper mentioned that a lot of art is still filler. We want to produce something final, in order to provide some sort of guidance to other artists--but it should also be nice to look at (thus attracting more people).
• As a general rule, we're going to try hand-painted textures. Matthi refers to Polycount Forum TF2 and Hand-Painted Wells. Torchlight 2, WoW and Zelda are some other examples for use of painted textures. Fungiform suggested using darker and less saturated colors for terrain, and lighter, more saturated colors for buildings to contrast. The UI should get even more saturated colors; that way it looks "unnatural".
The current graphics in black and white:
A lot of things blend into each other and are hard to distinguish.
• We want to keep the cobbled-together style of the buildings, but we also want to show function. Adding gears just to be clockpunk is right out. The windmill Fungiform sketched is an example how form and function can make a good match. As a bonus, this should also result in some templates (like wooden beams, wheels, etc.) for future artists to use.
• Proportions: Fungiform adds a clonk to every concept drawing. Maybe he can tell something more about this.
• Highlighting objects with engine support using ambient occlusion or edge highlighting. Here's an animated example:
• Keep the polygon count in mind (a bee doesn't need 400 triangles), but round objects should look round. Zapper says there's still a lot of room for improvement without impacting performance. Use sprites only where it's beneficial (e.g. for trees and foliage).
What we're going to do next:
We'll write a concept for the basic objects (probably using Google Docs). This means the flagpole (or any other object that marks borders and distributes energy), the furnace for metal extraction, sawmill (more efficient wood harvesting), windmill, and tool production. Maybe we'll also touch dynamite. People suggested that flints might be preferable because dynamite is "boring" (scare quotes used intentionally).
Once we're satisfied with it, we'll present it here and start a discussion. Afterwards, we'll work on the thread in its entirety.
What we need:
Some kind of playground, preferably on the forum. A separate area where each object can have its own thread. Newton, can you do something like this?
Fungiform: Concepts, sketches, maybe textures
Matthi: Concepts, sketches, maybe textures
Nachtfalter: Modeling, textures
Maybe we post the translation over at the graphics forum and continue our discussion in english...
> Some kind of playground, preferably on the forum. A separate area where each object can have its own thread. Newton, can you do something like this?
Sure, whatever you can work with. What do you have in mind exactly? Who shall have write access, and to whom shall the board be visible? And what shall be the name?
[Board: Object Development]
- [Sticky Thread: Overall Status]
- [Sub-board: Elevator]
-- [Sticky Thread: Status]
-- [Thread: Concept]
-- [Thread: Model]
-- [Thread: Texture]
Is something like that even possible? The idea is to group stuff together so newcomers can find out what needs to be done at a glance. Finished objects would get a "[Finished]" into their board title or something.
The nice thing about doing this in the forum would be that it's easy to spot new entrys and watchlist threads. Also I'm hesitant to introduce yet another platform for development, even if something like dropbox might seem more convienient at this point.
If you guys want a freely definable folder structure, then the wiki would suggest itself. (wiki.openclonk.org/w/Graphics_Object_Development, wiki.openclonk.org/w/Elevator, wiki.openclonk.org/w/Elevator_Model etc...).
>Who shall have write access, and to whom shall the board be visible?
Moi, Matthi, Fungiform, Andriel, Dragonclonk and all (active) OC-Devs.
Maybe it is possible to give some administration-permission in the subforum to organize ourselfs – if that is an option.
It looks like the Art Workshop is already more or less what you want. In this board, sketches and models are already posted. However I comprehend that immediate feedback from the community on every step of the progress is not always wished for. Furthermore, a private board will be handy for internal graphics discussions regarding organizational stuff, internal graphics development, etc. - stuff that would otherwise probably happen in chat, skype, etc.
The group of artists will have access to an invisible art organization board, named The Playground. Hopefully, the Art Workshop will still be used for most open art development and will be moderated by some of you.
I suggest that stuff like the overall progress, design concepts, palettes, templates info pages on finished objects go into ( / are linked in) the wiki while the discussion takes place in forum. I created wiki accounts for all of you.
But in the end, it is up to you if you want to use the wiki at all and how much you post in the public board.
Does this sound good?
>and will be moderated by some of you.
What do you have in mind?
>The group of artists will have access to an invisible art organization board
Invisible is the keyword!
>I suggest that stuff like the overall progress, design concepts, palettes, templates info pages on finished objects go into ( / are linked in) the wiki while the discussion takes place in forum.
Imo only finished stuff should be in the wiki, which is not what we wanted at this point.
> What do you have in mind?
You guys will decide that amongst yourselves in the playground.
If the board is invisible it looks like there is a closed group... which is kind of what we wanted to have limited discussion by people who are into the subject. Still everyone who also wants to WORK on stuff should be able to join.
Talking about Sub forums I can think of this:
Organized Information Forum (like Matthias proposed) no discussion, just updated status and wip
Brainstorming and idea generation Forum (of the kind: post all things come to mind for wood production(in visual way) or post all references you can find for stone) no discussion here just input
Discussion forum limited to art people (no idea how to specify who's in there)
>immediate feedback from the community on every step of the progress is not always wished for
I still don't really get why there have to be multiple invisible boards in an OpenClonk project.
Your proposal here seems more like a separation of concepts/ideas (in the playground) as opposed to finalised content, which may lead to negative reactions if some concepts are only discussed very late - why is this necessary in our (small) community, where feedback is often scarce? If you don't want feedback there a read-only board would be fine for that, but at least let us follow the discussions, which lead to the art presented in the open art board or included in the game.
The thing why we started the idea in the first place was that we need a structure in which two people can work on one thing and have a communication platform but without everyone joining the discussion.
That should be ok, otherwise I would have to work everything in the open too...
just to clarify.
Value: Brings structure into the picture. Only objects with sufficient value contrast can be distinguished. Good value balance ist most important. The game should be playable in black and white.
Saturation : Contrast in saturation e.g. to guide the eye. Central or important elements in building with higher saturation. Or: Clonk and UI/HUD with high saturation in order to make stand out.
Hue: : Actually free to choose. Can be used to code information and carry mood.
Maybe Dragonclonk and I can write up something about color.
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