Saturday, 3 August 2019

Plan for graphics tiles

Since I got my new computer and Blender 2.80 has been released I have an idea to recreate game object tiles in 3D. It may sound like a bad idea, but I think it's not that difficult. Items will probably be the easiest, because there are lots of parts that can be modified and copied (like handles and blades of weapons etc.). Besides not many people know that I am a 3D artist/animator myself, I just didn't get jobs from that area but have been mainly working in office environment for years.

I haven't tried this before, but I know there are some things to consider. First you need to match some kind of grid with items so when you render let's say 512x512 with 32x32 tiles the items are in their own "tiles" and don't bleed to others. Then again it's quite easy to fix if that happens by moving or scaling that object. The second problem is I guess the scale, because 32x32 tiles can only have certain amount of detail. This in fact can make the whole process easier, because you don't need a lot of detail and items need large, possibly even cartoonish parts in them.

The great thing about 3D is that it's easy to rotate and scale objects if you need to change their perspective (viewed from top in the actual game) or colors (materials). And on top of that you can create matching shadows and lighting for all items in a matter of seconds. Well, the downside is that modelling is kind of difficult and slow, although I'm pretty good at it.

It would be nice to have new graphics put in the game as soon as they are made, but it requires some changes. I need to change the .wst format to a regular image format and then copy new tiles over old ones when they are made. Some object graphics can be put into one image to have less image files to handle. The new system has to be programmed for all tiles, but copying tiles from .wst to image is not a big problem, it just means I have to succeed in this 3D idea. But I think it's the right way to proceed, because drawing tiles in 2D is even harder.