WIP [LaS] Light and Shadow - Art Discussion

SuperSnark

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Great work @SuperSnark!


This one is definitive my favorite :) It's really clean and simple, yet catches the essence of LaS. For my taste the complex one is a bit to cluttered/full. Can you try to increase the letter spacing a bit in order to make the logo a bit wider?

Yes.


I see this one as a good candidate for a module icon :) Can you probably save some space when just using LaS instead of the full title? Maybe the figure needs to be simplified a bit as well if we want to bake it into a - let's say - 32x32 pixel icon.

I think it's probably best to keep this on the simpler side. I think I was trying to incorporate too many concepts at once - the "shadow" element, the chess element, block towers, etc. But a logo doesn't really need to embody it's components so much as present a correct general "feel". I think the Wicked Queen font is strong enough graphically on it's own - and then we present it in the L&S color palate of red/black/white and the banner represents the conquest-based gameplay.
 

Skaldarnar

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That looks great, very nice! Let's settle for this one :thumbsup:

As I've already said, I'm aiming at a semi-realistic world currently (mainly because we have most of the generators already in place :D). I noticed that the flag's red tone is different from the red tone in the pine tree texture I recently made. I wonder if it makes sense to have an official color palette for LaS? That would help to keep block tiles, texture assets, and artworks in a consistent look-and-feel AND I think it supports the overall checkerboard look.

Maybe we can settle for a palette with 32 entries:

  • 8 colors for the Light (white, light grey, light red, ...)
  • 8 colors for the Shadow (black, dark grey, dark red, ...)
  • 16 general ambient colors (greens for grass and (neutral) foliage, brown for soils and (neutral) trunks, light yellow for sand, ...)
@SuperSnark - what do you think about it?
 

Cervator

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I've never totally thought about it a whole lot, but since L&S actually has three factions (White is semi-extinct) I don't actually know how a palette would split between red and black. Black certainly seems more shadowy and sinister, good candidate for shadow, but Red? In the Dragonlance universe Red is neutral, but our Red certainly doesn't seem passive or out to balance the world. All I know is my gut tells me maybe! :)

I suppose it still makes sense that White / Light is the faction to eschew power and fighting, ending up mostly dead in the progress. It is kind of an interesting and unusual match-up.

Over time I've leaned towards balancing everything equally, but we have an unavoidable imbalance since only two factions are (normally?) playable, biased toward Shadow
 

SuperSnark

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I named this thread "Light and Shadow" on a whim because that was the first piece of concept art I did for the idea. I never really intended it to stick as a title for the game, but it seems like it has. I'm definitely willing to consider another title if anyone has an idea.

Lore-wise, the White "pawn" that was one of the original three creations of this universe's god, was killed attempting to broker peace; although that doesn't necessarily mean that a white faction might not return at some point; perhaps seeking to renew peace - or perhaps for revenge.

In my original game concept; the goal was to allow players a nonviolent solution to end the game. By discovering the white scepter at the center of the game board; you could turn opposing faction members white; at which point they became docile and meditative. You could win the game by transformation, rather than destruction/killing. I'd ultimately like us to work toward that type of end-game scenario as an option for players. You can win by conquest (kill everything), strategy (capture key waypoints), or a peaceful alternative (transformation). Or maybe a combination of sorts.

Since chess is normally a white v red, or white v black scenario - I thought it would be nice for a change to just mix it up with red vs. black. There's no real good or evil; it's simply two opposing factions that accidentally killed off what was pure/holy in the world.

Color pallet-wise, I'd thought about shades of gray, blacks, shades of red (pinks), etc for the world. Kind of like the concept art I did near the beginning of this thread - where the two factions are battling. I'm not entirely sure if it would seem to0 weird, oppressive or boring if we did stick with just variants of white/red/black. Something about a blue sky and green trees has a calming effect on us and maybe it would be strange without it. But I was thinking, in the black faction, the skys would be gray and cloudy, and the red faction, the skys would be pink and rosy (like dawn). Toward the center, the darker gray clouds of the black faction would change to white, and the rosy pink of red, would become pale; until at the center you had a sky that might be a very pale pink, with light gray clouds and perhaps at the very center, a star-like radiant point of pure white.

Bio-region-wise - we could start with our existing Terasology graphics and simply run them through faction based shades; but otherwise keep the look.

Pale gray OR pale red grasses
Medium gray and black OR medium pink and red trees

As long as it doesn't look toooooo "Samey" ... I think if we can keep the colors and shades distinct enough for each major block (wood, stone, grass, sand etc) so that it doesn't all look like just one color, then it might work.

I do agree that we should pick a pantone and run with it, for consistency.
 

Skaldarnar

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I nearly forgot about the ancient white faction :eek: Shame on me!

My personal feeling is that your strict board game world is hugely different to what one might expect of Terasology - and therefore I have my trouble designing textures and co that perfectly fit the setting. Maybe what I have in mind will end up as another game mode one day if our visions diverge too much ... o_O

For now, I'm going to work off what's in my head - let's see how far we can get it :geek: I'm sure that a lot of the looks can be adapted by simply changing the texture assets and block tiles, while leaving the underlying game logic and generation as is. On remark regarding the "shades of xyz" for the world. It would be really nice to have a mechanism like the color grading for grass or leaves in place. @Immortius pointed me to the direction where the LUT for foliage is currently used (and how) - I'm going to have a look if/how we could use this to automatically apply a color gradient from black to red to the world's blocks.

Here's what I want to start off with:
  • World Generation: Symmetric and tiled world, player spawning in the very center of the world. Somehow mark the position of the two faction's bases.
  • Trees: Symmetric trees in four variants: green (neutral), red, black, white. I have in mind to generate the green trees in the middle of the map, and the faction-specific trees near to the respective base. My idea is that the factions conquer new terrain and turn the trees into their own variant.
  • Winning Condition: Instead of the simple mark for the faction's bases I plan to set a special block with health component. The initial task (for both sides) is to destroy the other faction's block. I want to have a UI element showing a health bar for both blocks in the top center of the screen.
I have some more ideas on how to use the environment, what role what keypoints might play, ... But probably I really should start simple :D
 

Josharias

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@glaz, here is what I ended up with for the yin-yang. For some reason the mesh has a glitchy spot. I didnt have enough time to diagnose the problem.

 

Cervator

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Bump for great justice! @Josharias all our hopes and dreams live or die with your testing of this one tweaked model. I just wanted to say: Good luck. We're all counting on you. We won't call you Shirley!
 

Josharias

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Hrm. the latest export didnt do very well either. Same visual artifact. Glasz, maybe it is the way I am separating out the yin from the yang (I am sure there is a good joke for this someplace...). Could you export just yin and send that in an obj file?
 

Cervator

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@glasz coolness! I tried to set it up inside WildAnimals cloning the setup for the deer and it looks right. I put it in a branch for reference: https://github.com/Terasology/WildAnimals/commit/c669132ecb2407c3b64c682e3a2346880c46c988

However, I get the following error on startup. Something wrong with the mesh?

Code:
21:32:25.381 [main] ERROR o.t.p.serializers.PrefabSerializer - Prefab contains unknown component 'CraftRecipe'
21:32:25.414 [main] ERROR o.terasology.engine.TerasologyEngine - Uncaught exception, attempting clean game shutdown
java.lang.IllegalStateException: Cannot create a skeleton with multiple root bones
   at org.terasology.rendering.assets.skeletalmesh.SkeletalMeshDataBuilder.build(SkeletalMeshDataBuilder.java:127) ~[classes/:na]
   at org.terasology.rendering.md5.MD5SkeletonLoader.load(MD5SkeletonLoader.java:108) ~[classes/:na]
 

Cervator

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Cervator

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Bump! Need to get L&S moving again :)

I finally moved the Dominog by @glasz and @SuperSnark to its final home in LASR.

@glasz do you have the original .blend file handy for safe keeping on GitHub? I can make MetaTerasology/LightAndShadowResources to get that version a home

An updated screenshot. I don't know how he got up there, but he's coming back down!

Terasology-160228221149-1152x720.jpg


(I suspect we have the model sized a little too large in-game, maybe allowing it to step up larger steps?)

Worth mentioning is that the Dominog in LASR won't move on its own, although it'll go through the idle (default) anim once. In WildAnimals Pathfinding is a direct dependency and I tested it there. You need the full Light & Shadow active (which has Pathfinding as a dependency) or have to activate Pathfinding manually for it to work. I think.
 

Anthodeus

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After having read most I could find, I have a bit of a lore-wise question.. or a few :

- Why do we, as a player, have to belong to either faction? Even if the answer to that is avoided, and say we do belong to one of the factions, who are we? Are we the creation of one of the kings? Or maybe a creation of this world's God to help the less fortunate king create balance? (even so, it's a bit awkward, since our mission is to crush the other king; If we help one side, the other will win, and I don't see how the God would prefer that). Only explanation I could find for belonging to a faction and having the setting described is that we're the ultimate creation of the chosen king, which is why they have less power than the other. We are a war machine bent on destroying the opposing faction. And in that case, the last thing we'll want to do is to find the white scepter and bring peace in the world. So many questions here :)

- The world was the normal green lush terra (hehe) (it being grayscale before creation doesn't make too much sense imo) before the kings started to claim territories and create pawns. It would be understandable that not the whole world is covered in color. Maybe just a certain area of the map is affected by the effects of the reds and blacks, while there should be some white (maybe a small chapel, or at least some sort of place of worship he'd build for the God) that remained there since neither the reds nor the blacks ever wanted white dead, and they wouldn't steal his territory because of their grief, and to remember him. This might be what we find as the center of the maze, and what is buried under the yin-yang. No faction dares use the scepter for neither good nor evil, so why would we? This is why I'd consider that the warring factions motif is more approachable than cleansing the world. On the other hand, If we were a steampunky space explorer that crash landed on the planet in a pod, and our main vessel broke into pieces and formed craters or metal, pipes and other debris, we would have a reason to
1. Explore the world (more than 1 reason - magic, technology and understanding the world)
2. To be at war with both factions, since they considered to be attacked when the debris fell on they kingdoms, and they actively send search parties from which you have to hide or fight (risking making them send bigger groups)
3. Eventually find the white scepter and bring peace, since you are the equivalent of a being sent by the God to purge the land of the corrupted powers.
4. To create diplomatic relations with the kings by going to their courts (after the guards disarm you of course), and doing missions for them, earning trust and possibly betraying them? (too much AI stuff here xD)
5. Just muck about and do whatever you want as long as you can survive.

- Are the world beasts created by the kings? I haven't seen any sort of info on this, but it does sound like either faction should have inhabiting creatures that are malicious/hostile towards everything ( created in fits of rage and anger ), reason why they would be tinted black and red, as they are anyway; And then come the cute creatures, the ones that are harmless, or even friendly, created by white because that's how he wanted the world to be. (which fits well with the Dominog - which I personally think should have red spots on one side, or maybe a red ear and some red spots, for the sake of white considering both opposing factions his allies). I know I've seen a lot of creature cards, most evil and such, but they just "existed". Would be nice to have some lore about them :twilightsmile:

- As for the title of Light and Shadow, I still consider it valid from the perspective that both of these factions are "Shadow", while the light has been extinguished. You have the option to find the light and bring it forth, or fight alongside the shadow, or even become the shadow yourself.

- Now comes the really weird part : If you get all three scepters, you could have the option to use any individually to colour the world as you want, changing terrain and tagging areas to your liking, making your own game, having minions kill each other for your own fun. But, if you combine all the scepters, you get a scepter of purification, which when used, cleanses the whole world of the Light and Shadow taints, and transforms the land in what it once was, thus letting you continue in your own survival game.
 

SuperSnark

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After having read most I could find, I have a bit of a lore-wise question.. or a few :

- Why do we, as a player, have to belong to either faction? Even if the answer to that is avoided, and say we do belong to one of the factions, who are we? Are we the creation of one of the kings? Or maybe a creation of this world's God to help the less fortunate king create balance? (even so, it's a bit awkward, since our mission is to crush the other king; If we help one side, the other will win, and I don't see how the God would prefer that). Only explanation I could find for belonging to a faction and having the setting described is that we're the ultimate creation of the chosen king, which is why they have less power than the other. We are a war machine bent on destroying the opposing faction. And in that case, the last thing we'll want to do is to find the white scepter and bring peace in the world. So many questions here :)

Hi Anthodeus! Thanks so much for your interest. I enjoyed reading your comments.

What you're seeing over this 297+ thread is the origination of an idea for a culture and world and the subsequent scaling back of that idea to fit the simplest gameplay scenario. My original vision for this world was quite ambitious and I wanted to offer players choice in how they interacted with and ultimately "won" the game. So the white scepter concept was originally a way to win in a non-violent, pacifistic style that would require more puzzle solving. By sort of stripping the enemies of color (turning them to white), you defactionize them.

At the same time, players could pick a faction and win via traditional means - killing all enemies or capturing waypoints.

So that was the original concept. As time progressed I tried to find simpler and simpler ways that developers could implement a base Light and Shadow world that we could later grow into my original, large scale project. So the "kill the other faction's king" was the distilled version of this concept in simplest form.

The current state of L&S is really more tech demo. We are trying to work out AI issues that are fundamental to further developing this idea. Without AI, we're dead in the water and this particular project has stagnated as a result.

In terms of look and feel: Ideally, I'd love to have a massive gameboard based on my orginal map, built in shades of grays and reds and whites that contained "biomes" like the map I originally created. And the various critter cards I created (mibble, chog, etc.) would represent the various ambient critters that populated the world.

Also, the original idea for the player was that you are a chessman, but are not associated to a faction and are therefore unique. You essentially have wandered into a new land from a distant one (one chess piece that fell onto a new chessboard). And you can determine whether you want to join a faction or operate independently. As far as the player model, you'll notice I created a "player" chess piece that looks like a swashbuckler to visually distinguish yourself from the others.

I probably missed a few of your points / questions. If you'd like me to address any specific ones, please let me know.

Thanks!
 

Anthodeus

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Hey @SuperSnark !

I wanted to say that I realized your ideas were simplified over time, seeing how debates as to which the more important tasks are and what might be useful points to bring forwards; pretty much all the MoSCoW discussions were expecting less and less of development, but it was understandable :fluttersquee:

From what I catch out of what you said, we just want this to be a sort of "minigame" with a limited map (that probably doesn't even continue into the rest of the world) - something like what's in the video from SethBling that Cervator posted a while ago, but a bit more open. Besides this, this would be just the work towards a first playable, so no need to think about making it multiplayer just yet, right?

By not strictly abiding to the lore, I can see how and why you want the particular layouts (you had more designs (and game modes as well, so I'm not sure which one your referred to :p ). I'm not all that into terrain generation, but I know there are at least 2 people interested in it (although from what I recall both of them came for GSoC, so it all depends if they really wanna do this). I'd be ignorant if I'd say it sounds easy to do, because I don't know what it involves yet, but I wanna keep on the technical side of things. Regarding the technical side of things, I read some tasks that were open, and asked a bit on IRC, and some of them are technically done (there was one for towers controlled by power sources #591, and the transmission of power already exists in another module, but I don't think we have multiblock structures yet. I'll be looking into how to make the AI, but until then I have to tread through lots of errors from trying to solve other stuff to get used to code :twilightsmile:

I did see our Indiana Jones / Muskateer / Pirate Captain chess piece :pinkiehappy:, which looks really nice btw; but as you said, we're a chess piece from another chess board, and that means we'd have a role on that chess boards as well. I'm not sure what the swashbuckler piece was on that board, that's why I was thinking it didn't really belong to this world (I'd like to know how you imagine that other board as well :fluttersquee:). I also get the fact that the palette has to match that of the world for artsy reasons, so not gonna comment on the player piece having the same style as this board :p .

With this concept being limited as it is currently by the lack of implementation, I think most of the points in my other post will have to wait until we'll start thinking about taking the idea of L&S open world, lore and everything.
 
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SuperSnark

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I'll be looking into how to make the AI, but until then I have to tread through lots of errors from trying to solve other stuff to get used to code :twilightsmile:

This alone would be absolutely fantastic. Not just for L&S of course, but for all of Terasology. Nothing brings a world to life quite like NPCs and critters roaming around. Best of luck wading through the code!
 
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