Undead Faction Tile Extravaganza!!! (Pic Heavy)

Coming in the next update to Undead Rising!!!

By on October 14, 2010 3:58:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

RavenX

Join Date 10/2008
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I'd just like to give a quick update with what's been going on with me and my mods and what some of the Dragonlance Team members have been up to lately. First off, here's a whole slew of tiles you'll all be seeing in the next update of Undead Rising!!!

Note: Some of these are finished, some aren't. Which one's aren't finished should be somewhat obvious but if you're not sure there's no harm in asking. Stay tuned after the pics for information...

Undead Elemental Shards:

Fire Shard

The Undead praying for more magical energy at their Fire Shard. Notice the Custom Skeleton props laid out on tombs.

Water Shard. Notice more custom props, the Ankhs on the pillars.

Air Shard:

Earth Shard:

Undead Housing (so far) :

The Undead don't exactly live in houses like the mortal races of Elemental. Instead they are magically generated from tombs, graveyards, and crypts. In game these structures work the same as houses do for the other races, they just look like parts of cemeteries for the sake of fitting a theme. There is No game-play changes what-so-ever here aside from looks and descriptions to fit the undead theme.

Small Run Down Grave-site (Undead Shack)

Undead Crypt (Undead Shanty)

Cemetery of the Fallen (Not sure what this will replace yet)

Again heavy use of custom props, skeletons, tombstones with pentagrams on them, and ankhs.

Undead City Structures:

Some of these may change or have different names and/or descriptions in game, but, rest assured there will be no game-play changes made. Simply the changing of names of some buildings with new descriptions to make them make sense to a undead faction as the undead have little use for many things the living races use, like money changers and markets.

Undead Bone Collector (Barter House)

Money Changer

War Council

Labor Pit

Undead Energy Collector (probably to replace Temple of Essence)

Some of the other Dragonlance Team Members are doing tiles as well, such as ImpInc who's working on a very excellent looking Undead Stable (because in the next version the Undead ride Nightmares ) and we've had other volunteers step forward as well such as everyone's favorite tile maker, the very talented Mr. John Hughs who sent me a killer looking Undead Windmill which will most likely replace the Grain Silo. I don't have a screen of it atm so I'll let him post a picture and Imp post their own pictures.

There are still plenty more tiles to go. If you're interested in helping out I'm open to others helping with tile creation though I'm rather hesitant to completely opening this to full community involvement such as what we did with the Elf Mod. Why? Well, honestly, I'm a picky S.o.B. sometimes and for the Undead I have a very specific image in my mind of how I want all their buildings and lands to look. Also there is a specific custom prop set that I have yet to put up for download which will be included in the next update of Undead Rising. I have some Guide-Lines as to certain things that must be added in Undead Tile Creation such as Fog, Heavy Use of Bones, Fallen Ground Type, and a few view settings I won't go into here for the sake of boring explanations.

My Involvement and Health:

As some of you may know I suffer from Crohn's Disses and lately my health has taken a down turn as some of you may have noticed I wasn't around much last week. I spent four days completely unable to get up out of bed for more than a few minutes at a time. Sadly this has affected all my modding efforts and not just my work on Undead Rising. I've also got more than the usual amount of Doctors appointments to get to in the coming weeks and quite a bit of family obligations coming up with the holidays approaching rapidly. If all holds up well with my health and my doctors keep me on the right amounts of meds my free time to work on modding should be back up to where it was soon though. Rest assured how-ever that even if you don't see me directly that I'm still working as are the team members and those special friends helping on the side like ImpInc and John Hughs.

Want To Help?:

If you'd like to take a crack at making a tile or two for the undead please PM me and I'll see about getting the custom prop set to you and I'll lay out my "Undead Guide-Lines" in full for those wishing to lend a hand.

All input and feedback is very welcome so feel free to comment on what you like or don't like.

Thanks and Happy Modding, RavenX

 

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October 14, 2010 4:31:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just wanted to say this looks incredible.  I usually avoid mods until later in a games life cycle so I haven't tried any mods for elemental yet, but after looking at these screenshots this one has made my list of mods for the future.

Keep up the good work and feel better soon (I did actually notice your absence in the forums).

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October 14, 2010 4:51:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Dhraconus,
Just wanted to say this looks incredible.  I usually avoid mods until later in a games life cycle so I haven't tried any mods for elemental yet, but after looking at these screenshots this one has made my list of mods for the future.

Keep up the good work and feel better soon (I did actually notice your absence in the forums).

Glad you enjoyed the pic preview my friend, and I appreciate the well wishes as well. It's good to know I'm missed thank you.


I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out Civfreak and Henry Morgan have helped out a lot here as well. The custom props were made by Civ and the Skeleton prop is the model made by Henry Morgan (aka Admiral100) for the Skeleton units made into a prop. That same skeleton model will be what eventually replaces the skeleton skin for making units once Stardock gives us a decent way to get animations onto our models with programs we actually have access to.

P.S. Stardock, PLEASE give us a plug-in we can use with BLENDER as it's what a Lot of your Modder Base is using because it's Free. My Team members don't have Maya and I'm pretty sure they don't have the time to learn it if they did. Civ has made great leaps and bounds in the last few weeks and some stuff in the preliminary modders pack helped (like the Sov skeleton/mesh) but without these things working in Blender our work is incredibly slowed down.

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October 14, 2010 5:39:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

These are looking great, keep it up! Glad you're back on your feet

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October 14, 2010 8:41:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Civfreak,
These are looking great, keep it up! Glad you're back on your feet

Thanks, brother . All the credit for the tiles looking good though has to go to the props you and Admiral made. Without those they'd just be your average semi-spooky looking tiles. The custom tombstones and skeletons really add that specific "Undead Flavor".

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October 14, 2010 8:53:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow, that's really nice.  Good work.

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October 14, 2010 9:03:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Raven, I haven't seen a few of these.  Very good... especially the shard tiles.  I also like the war council. 

 

I don't know anyone named Civ, he seems like trouble if you ask me.   

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October 14, 2010 9:59:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It looks really good, you're really capturing that undead feeling.

A recommendation is to consider the GPU drain of the tiles from the start. When we did the Elves mod, we had to go back and "optimize" all the tiles we had done, so that the tiles wouldn't require a better computer than the standard tiles. On a more personal note, I also think it's important not to place too many pedestrians. When you scroll in and out, if the game has to load/unload about a thousand pedestrians, the scrolling becomes much less fluid.

 

Question: How would you feel about opening up the tile making to the public, in the style of a community project?

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October 14, 2010 10:18:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome look visuals.  I'm more of a light and, not darkness, player.  Well having seen these, perhaps you will entice be to take a stroll on the dark side? 

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October 14, 2010 10:35:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
On a more personal note, I also think it's important not to place too many pedestrians. When you scroll in and out, if the game has to load/unload about a thousand pedestrians, the scrolling becomes much less fluid.

Indeed. I don't plan on having any more or any less pedestrians than what you'd normally see in a close up view of the tiles. I notice some tiles for the Fallen ( I always play a fallen faction) have more peds than others. Some have as many as 10 or so while others have one or two to none at all. The same will apply here and over-all the tiles without many peds or no peds at all should balance out the relatively few tiles that have small crowds sitting around like the War Council.

Quoting Heavenfall,
Question: How would you feel about opening up the tile making to the public, in the style of a community project?

I covered that in my OP here:

Quoting ,
If you're interested in helping out I'm open to others helping with tile creation though I'm rather hesitant to completely opening this to full community involvement such as what we did with the Elf Mod. Why? Well, honestly, I'm a picky S.o.B. sometimes and for the Undead I have a very specific image in my mind of how I want all their buildings and lands to look. Also there is a specific custom prop set that I have yet to put up for download which will be included in the next update of Undead Rising. I have some Guide-Lines as to certain things that must be added in Undead Tile Creation such as Fog, Heavy Use of Bones, Fallen Ground Type, and a few view settings I won't go into here for the sake of boring explanations.

I have a very specific look and feel I'm going for. Any of the tile makers helping so far understand that the tiles they turn in may be tweaked or adjusted or fine tuned by me doing some finishing touches. Also, I would hate for someone to go through the trouble of making a tile or even a bunch of tiles just for me to turn around and tell them something like "While I think that's a great tile, it's not really the look I'm going for.". I don't like letting people down or making them feel like their work wasn't good enough for what I wanted. To avoid that it's better for me to do the majority of them my-self and to hand pick the tiles made by others and to even hand pick the people making them to ensure they're willing to work with me on the specific look and feel I'm trying to capture. As I say above, I can be a real picky S.o.B. at times, especially when it comes to work or a project that's got my name on it and that I'm in charge of designing.

Back in my UO days I had to do a lot of "Quality Assurance" on other GM's and Seer's ideas when they were assigned to help me on aspects of the Necromancers and Paladins. Back then it was my job to tell people either A) "That's perfect, that's exactly what we're going for" or B ) "That's not quite right. This spell can't work that way as it's too close to this other classes ability.". If something got past me that my project manager didn't like I was the one who caught shit for it and I was the one who's job would be in jeopardy if it happened to often. This project/Mod isn't a "job" of course and I'm not being paid for it, but, a lot of my old habits from working in the industry cary over to how I handle projects like this and my attitude doing a project and managing a project can regress to the attitude I had when on the job. I don't want to feel like I'm forcing my opinions or work ethic on anyone either for something that they'd be doing for fun and for free. I also don't want to have to reject anyone or hurt anyone's feelings because I act like a obsessive compulsive perfectionist sometimes.

 

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October 14, 2010 10:37:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ElanaAhova,
Awesome look visuals.  I'm more of a light and, not darkness, player.  Well having seen these, perhaps you will entice be to take a stroll on the dark side? 

Yes...Mwhahaha. Step into the shadows m'lady, for here in the comforting darkness we may transform thee into a Goddess of the Night.

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October 14, 2010 10:58:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This looks awesome Raven!

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October 15, 2010 6:39:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

RavenX is way to loose with his praise, at least on my behalf.

I do have some pic's to offer up. I would like to note though this Tile was done after I first read of Rx's "Undead Mod" idea. I have to confess to being blown away to see the already brilliant work he has engaged in.

Here is the/my first Undead Tile, without even knowing it, An Undead Lair.

P.S. There were no Skeleton's available back then and the pics were taken on a Saturday. LOL!

 

 

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October 15, 2010 7:31:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

All the tiles I have seen on this thread look awesome. Nice work!

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October 16, 2010 4:31:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

These kind of tiles is what the vanilla game lacked so terribly... Really nice work. I'm eager to see the new undead version

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October 17, 2010 11:17:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A little update. Man is he picky... muahahhah

 

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October 17, 2010 11:44:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting John_Hughes,
A little update. Man is he picky... muahahhah

 



Reduced 60%

Original 598 x 730

Awesome work, John. Simply amazing my friend. The bones are a nice touch. I especially love the hanging skeletons.

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October 18, 2010 12:12:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow John Hughes, that looks amazing. I wish I had that much creativity. Makes mine look like a child did it.

 

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October 18, 2010 6:34:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks both of you. It is fun making them. Well back to the Editor...

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October 19, 2010 8:59:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Next up. Name TBD. First thought. Undead_Battle_Arena.

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October 19, 2010 11:12:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A lot of the tiles here have "hard lines", like the fire and air shrines, versus other with "soft lines," like the water shrine, whose edges blend into the surrounding environment.  I know this is a work in progress and some tiles aren't done yet, and it looks awesome already, but I hope you are tending toward the soft lines for everything because they look less contrived--less like they were forced into a tile-based game.

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October 20, 2010 10:58:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Fearzone,
A lot of the tiles here have "hard lines", like the fire and air shrines, versus other with "soft lines," like the water shrine, whose edges blend into the surrounding environment.  I know this is a work in progress and some tiles aren't done yet, and it looks awesome already, but I hope you are tending toward the soft lines for everything because they look less contrived--less like they were forced into a tile-based game.

That should not be as evident when Tiles are placed on a Map that uses the Fallen/Undead terrain type as a default. These Pics are placed on a Randomly generated Custom Map with the default terrain so they show hard lines between terrain types.

Some structures have to have "hard" lines as they are rectangular or square in nature. Some ground filler can break up those "hard" lines but won't change the overall Tile to a soft look and feel regardless.

In case I misunderstood:

Do you mean that having objects/props that overflowing the actual tile boundaries is what provides one look "soft" versus the other "hard"?

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October 20, 2010 11:24:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think (at least the way I took it) he's talking about the decals. I noticed that myself when doing the Dr Who mod. I ended up "softening" one side so that when you have your city down, it isn't so sharp. As in, if you leave it with the full cobblestone, it will have perfect 90 degree angles all over the place, and look weird, becuase it's too perfect. I hope I explained myself well enough.

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October 20, 2010 11:37:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes I thought that as well. Like I mentioned though, and your example would show that, a global terrain base of cobblestones would blend them all together seamlessly, thus you would have neither "Hard" or "Soft" edges either way.

One major issue is that once created there is no way to assure that certain Tiles get placed appropriately within the City borders. So "Soft" or "Hard" only the player has placement control.

There is of course possible mitigation options but no solid "they all fit perfectly" together, unless they are all Decal'd the same and then the Terrain type matches up, but that sorta defeats the purpose of having differing tiles have "special" or "Unique" looks, if you know what I mean.

Let me see if I can get a couple pics to show the dilemma based on a random game map.

 

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October 20, 2010 11:52:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, it's a problem. Especially on desert terrain. The fallen terrain doesnt always show up too well over it, and the cobblestone looks a bit weird. Really though, it's the walls that have to be changed. Thats what annoyed me the most about it. The internal tiles, you're right, it's all up to the player. Here's a shot of a city after I tweaked the wall tiles with a modified cobblestone decal so the corners arent quite as hard.

 

You can see the gaps in there. Granted, some of the tiles don't have the decal, but it doesnt make much sense to have a cobblestone farm. If you use the default cobblestone, it's a square, and looks weird in the corners...if you use the other cobblestone, you'll get lines between each improvement, even if they're next to each other. 

 

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October 20, 2010 12:16:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One of the suggestions in the "requests for changes in modding" thread is that we should be able to assign what gets placed on those empty tiles within the city. Hopefully they'll listen.

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