Graphics field research

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Stuff on graphics, how other engines handle tiles/sprites etc.


How similar 2d projects handle graphics

Out of This World

Sudden Strike

No research done yet

Freedroid RPG

Open source, inspect their assets and observe how the use graphics:

  • Each transitional tiles is a separate object
  • Object shadows are separate sprites (regular pngs with alpha, the shadows are rather transparent)

VCMI Project

Heroes of Might and Magic 3 engine rewrite I bet these guys could share some insights on how they did stuff - on how HOMM3 handles its art assets.

Geneforge 5 (and other Spiderweb games)

  • tiles: each transitional tile between two different ground types is a separate sprite (no advanced sprite blending methods, like texture splatting)
  • characters: no special methods, a single character is made of a single sprite
  • sprites have simple, binary transparency

Eschalon: Book 1&2

  • dynamic light effects
    • night&day cycle
    • torches light the surroundings at night. Per-tile lighting, objects on a particular tile are also lighted (single-tile walls are needed for this)
  • characters are single sprites (with separate weapon sprites?)
  • full alpha support, no binary transparency
  • walls and ground are made from different layers. First you have the basic layer with ground and then another to place additional details, like rocks and flowers and similar. The approach is the same with walls. First you have basic walls, which are then enhanced with a new layer of details, like windows or torches or whatever you decide to put there. This makes for a very modular system with many possibilities to combine basic elements with details.

Fallout: Tactics

  • has some sort of tile lighting
  • full alpha support, no binary transparency

Diablo 2

Infinity engine games (Torment, BG2 etc.)

  • Pre-rendered backgrounds for environment
  • Character sprites made from multiple parts
  • Night&day cycle
  • sprites have simple, binary transparency

Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader

  • Hard to say about the environment. It looks very much like pre-rendered backgrounds, but could as well be made from ground + object sprites. Many of the objects repeat themselves and the ground also looks like it's blending different terrain types together. Some dungeon levels look like the walls are made from standard modules. The game also has many big, complete sprites to represent various things that couldn't be put together using module based approach, such things are buildings, ships and similar. In any case, the game features loads of graphical diversity.
  • Characters are actual 3d models, but with enough anti-aliasing that they appear very sprite-like

Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood

  • sprites have simple, binary transparency
  • characters are single sprites (with separate weapon sprites?)
  • pre-rendered backgrounds (very very nice graphics)

Handling terrain

These next games have an interesting approach to handling terrain:

The kind people of Widelands have provided documentation of such approach. Since Widelands is open source, the code could perhaps be used in FIFE, if we decide we really want to have cool terrain.

These also use some interesting terrain approach, but not sure if it's the same as the one above:

  • Age of Empires 2
  • The lost city of Malathedra

Visual references

These are visual references to inspire parpg graphics

Commandos 2

Commandos 3

Commandos 1

Age of Empires 2

Knights of Honor

Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood

Red Alert 2

Disciples 2

See: Disciples 2.

Cool Videos about 2d iso stuff

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