Project Organization Thread

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Nickman
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Project Organization Thread

Post by Nickman »

NOTE! This thread is a compilation of many "general" sort of organization discussion threads. Therefore topics of conversation may sometimes change abruptly or overlap. Still, it is advisable for aspiring contributors to read through this thread before making suggestions or changes.
As you all have noticed the trunk now has capabilities to load 32bpp graphics.

Also, allot of 32bpp sprites have already been made by people, or are under construction.
The questions now are: what sprites have been done? Who made what?
And most important of all: WHERE ARE THEY!

Now, TrueBrain wants to make a site where all the currently available 8bpp sprites in the game are listed, together with user made 32bpp sprites.
That way there will be a central place on where to find the 32bpp sprites and users will be able to vote for their favorites, give comments and upload their own work.
Making that system isn't that hard, but we need guidelines to make it work, and that is where the hard part begins.

Which guidelines do there have to be to get sprites of good quality and fit in with each other?

Since you guys are the ones who know how to make the graphics, you will probably be the ones to know which guidelines should be set to keep things in order.
I'm talking about standardized materials, certain color pallets, width, height, zoom levels, ...

If you have a good insight in this, please post a list of what YOU think is important to have as a rule to get good quality sprites.

when we have a good list we can start making the system and who knows, we might get a full 32bpp sprite set to hand out with the main game in the near future ;).

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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by Wolf01 »

about "WHERE ARE THEY?", i'm doing a brickland replacement for toyland in 32bpp, is like a mars set if you want (i might need a grf to change the names of industries, cities and vehicles)
i must say only one thing: it might need some centuries to be finished

about the guidelines, i'm not the right person who can talk about it :P

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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by Noldo »

I hope the quidelines would say something about the license the graphics should be distributable under.

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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by Nickman »

Noldo wrote:I hope the quidelines would say something about the license the graphics should be distributable under.
That will be one of the main things.
Every image that gets uploaded to the website will give OTTD the right to use and distribute it with the game (with notice of creator of course ;)).

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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by mr_worf »

Which guidelines do there have to be to get sprites of good quality and fit in with each other?
As far as rail units are concerned they should all fit a particular 'to scale' rail gauge e.g. standard gauge.

I have designed a simple rail tile in blender that is exactly to scale (e.g. 1 blender unit = 1 meter) which people can use as a guide to 'sit' their object on when they are designing them, to get the right size and scale for the object they are developing.

If we strictly adhere to a scale theoretically there shouldnt be a problem of fitting at the end of the day. As far as quality is concerned a simple peer review would do it, a vote?

Im quite happy to make the to scale rail section available to everyone, if it would be of use.. :-)
Now, TrueBrain wants to make a site where all the currently available 8bpp sprites in the game are listed, together with user made 32bpp sprites.
This already exists on the wiki but it isnt being updated properly :cry: maybe we could have an audit?


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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by GeekToo »

There are some general rules in the artists sticky:

http://www.tt-forums.net/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=20879

I think esp. chapter 3 is interesting to keep things properly lighted and scaled. There's also a reference to the wiki where a standard lighting /camera material setup can be downloaded for Blender.

Though the 256 and 128 pixel wide sprite can not be used in trunk anymore, I believe the rule that a diagonal of a tile is 12,5 m still applies for 64px tiles too.

Template file for a 12.5 m x 12.5 m setup or 25x25 are available on the wiki also.

Note: I'm not trying to set the rules, just pointing to some info that has been used in the past. A little standardization is good I think, to keep the look of the game uniform.

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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by Ben_Robbins_ »

GeekToo: Various things in the artists sticky need updating, but I am waiting for a few things to be resolved before doing so.
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by ZxBiohazardZx »

i think we need a place to upload .blend files as they are finished, and i do not mean the renders, but the whole .blend file so everyone can download it, only author can change/update it, now all we have to do is find a FTP or another server to do so:P, im quite sure there must be a way:P

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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by TrueBrain »

ZxBiohazardZx wrote:i think we need a place to upload .blend files as they are finished, and i do not mean the renders, but the whole .blend file so everyone can download it, only author can change/update it, now all we have to do is find a FTP or another server to do so:P, im quite sure there must be a way:P
That for sure will be arranged if and when it is clear what people have to produce to make graphics that kind of look alike :)
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by Ben_Robbins_ »

People can obviously make what graphics they want, but when referring to the 32bpp project that has been going for a long time in the .blend thread, the original goals have been somewhat destroyed, as what is to happen in terms of zoom is no longer clear.

I was and still do wish to see the 32bpp project continue to make graphics at full zoom, but evidently some people wish to ignore zoom levels all together.

The reason it remains unclear, is because of the link, or lack of, between artists and programmers. We need to make graphics, that devs will enable, but devs shouldn't be expected to work to enable anything that isn't going to be produced.

I would like to stick to the original proposals/specs of this project and produce graphics to two additional inward zoom levels. Now I’m aware that it is a lot of work to enable zoom levels, but the key thing, from my perspective, is knowing 'if zooms will ever be enabled', or if 'that is never a possibility', and we are progressing blindly to nowhere.

If the choice comes down to artists, then I say the full zoom should be enabled, as having full zoom isn’t a problem for people that wish not to use it, but the same can not be said for if the zooms are not. If the choice comes down to dev's, then please state what you would wish the artists to be doing, and the spec/goals can be revised.

Other debates are how the graphics should look. Should they mimic the old, or just take the originals as a starting point, or something else?

Personally I would say, that people can make what they want, but for an official set, I think we should be sticking as close to the originals as possible, but make things plausible, and scale elements of things, such as doorways and windows, but keep the overall size of things to the original sizes. If we start to stray away from the original style, then there are endless debates as to what things should look like, and the only justification is voting, while if we stick to the originals, then it would hopefully be enjoyed by most, as it keeps the feel of the game they like. This would inshore new graphics are not made based only on the opinions of a few that comment/work on them in the forum.
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by TrueBrain »

I totally agree with Ben_Robbins_ , in almost all things he said in his posts. To clear up the point of view from the devs:

Zoom-in isn't currently possible, because of some limitations and design-errors in the original TT. I did several attempts to allow them, but there was always a pixel-row error, which we just can't have. Anyway, this problem will be solved sooner or later. As we are happy with anything the artists gives us, it becomes rather simple:

If the artists want and can create zoom-in levels, it won't be long before they will be loadable in OpenTTD.

It has to be added that currently OpenTTD only supports normal-zoom level images. It won't be long before you can define the sprite per zoom level.

Anyway, to summarize it: we leave it to the artists what should be done :)
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by Psistorm »

Ive been watching the progress of 32bpp as well, and I agree partly with TrueLight.

Since the additional 2 zoom levels arent included yet, but may be in the future, we could focus on developing 64px sprites (I think that was the TTD tile size?). the models are still there, however, so rendering a bigger tilesize would be no problem.

what I would really point out though, and what might be a problem to some extent:
the whole 32bpp graphics is still very "behind", so to say. I do see some quite nice progress in the blender thread, though apart from that, it is very often that one artist makes ONE model, and even then from some rather exotic country, like a czech bus (no offense of course!), then seems to disappear again. I can well understand many people would like to see some of their own vehicles - so to say - in game as 32bpp - but we should not forget that too many efforts in too many different directions will yield nothing in the end. we could either have 10 sprites for each country of the world, OR a complete TTD replacement set. this is something that artists here in general might keep in mind when designing vehicles. there really is nothing wrong with making vehicles, but unless one follows through and really gets together a grf of their own, it might be more valuable if people claimed replacement graphics instead, since they will ultimately make their way into a grf when completed.

I believe what should be done - as a suggestion - is to exchange the current blender thread with several, which specifically are dedicated to replacing various aspects of the TTD graphics. and since several artists are involved, it would be wise to set down strict guidelines regarding lighting, material use and lighting, to ensure a consistent look. every game development company works like this, and since this replacement project is essentially the same, it would be the way to go in my eyes. I can speak from first hand experience here, having worked on a game project myself the last two years, and being about to (hopefully) join a gamedev company within the next months :)

just my 2 cents, really though :)

edit: after re-reading this, I found I mightve mentioned a few things which are already underway. my excuses <.<

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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by Jupix »

Psistorm wrote: I believe what should be done - as a suggestion - is to exchange the current blender thread with several, which specifically are dedicated to replacing various aspects of the TTD graphics. and since several artists are involved, it would be wise to set down strict guidelines regarding lighting, material use and lighting, to ensure a consistent look.
This definitely should be done, and so should an official database for the resulting 32bpp graphics. I still don't understand why this has not been done yet. All we would need is 2 columns of images, one for the 8bpp sprite and one for the respective 32bpp sprite, plus tools for updating the database. Even I could write the code for this, though I understand there has been some effort already to bring this to life. How's the project currently doing?

Edit: after reading the topic in its entirety ( :lol:, sorry!)... what we need is standards for the 32bpp sprites. Correct?
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by TrueBrain »

Jupix wrote:
Edit: after reading the topic in its entirety ( :lol:, sorry!)... what we need is standards for the 32bpp sprites. Correct?
Yes. Thank you for reading the topic before replying. Always useful.

(2 replies in a row of people who did not read the topic, but just pressed Reply and started typing... come on people: READ BEFORE REPLY! Then maybe this topic is going somewhere...)

Anyway, someone should update the wiki pages to reflect the current 32bpp stuff, not something that someone once wanted ;)
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by Jupix »

TrueLight wrote: Anyway, someone should update the wiki pages to reflect the current 32bpp stuff, not something that someone once wanted ;)
You need to be a little clearer on "32bpp stuff"...

If you mean the sprites that are buried in the blender thread, I don't think we should be using the wiki for that.

Then again if you mean the standards I mentioned earlier, obviously they're supposed to go in the wiki...
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by TrueBrain »

Jupix wrote:
TrueLight wrote: Anyway, someone should update the wiki pages to reflect the current 32bpp stuff, not something that someone once wanted ;)
You need to be a little clearer on "32bpp stuff"...

If you mean the sprites that are buried in the blender thread, I don't think we should be using the wiki for that.

Then again if you mean the standards I mentioned earlier, obviously they're supposed to go in the wiki...
Exactly that :)
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by DaleStan »

Exactly which? The sprites or the standards?
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by TrueBrain »

DaleStan wrote:Exactly which? The sprites or the standards?
Sjeehh.. euh... let me look up the definition of 'exactly' and how it would be put in context here... oh yeah: both!
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by athanasios »

I am sure DaleStan made a rhetorical question because he wants to say something about one of the two. :lol:
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Re: Organizing 32bpp sprites

Post by Jupix »

I began updating the graphics dev articles at the wiki today. My aim is to make the documents more compact and more accessible (hopefully even easier on the eyes). For an example, look at this diff.

Now, this article needs serious proofreading and updating: http://wiki.openttd.org/index.php/32bit ... evelopment

I'm hesitant to touch it right now, as it would be pointless for me to start reorganizing old/obsolete information. So if anyone could verify the contents of the article and perhaps even add up-to-date information, that would be great.

My vision for that article (or perhaps a new article, containing only the standards) is to create a very compact package of the essentials (one screenful at the most), so that its a sort of a cheatsheet you can look at while modeling.

I also thought about redoing the exhibition page with a table layout but decided against it until we make a final decision on whether finished graphics will end up in the wiki or a separate 32bit graphics repo.
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