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IceBlinkEngine.com • View topic - Fantasy Tileset

Fantasy Tileset

Discuss methods for creating maps for use with the IceBlink Toolset

Fantasy Tileset

Postby Pongo » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:16 pm

I haven't given up on the sci-fi project just yet - the ideas have been bouncing around in my head far too long to just let go that easy! But right now I'm going to have a go at a more straightforward fantasy module along the lines of the Raventhal. The module will use the same setting and be roughly around the same length etc (ie, it will be something I might actually finish before 2020, unlike the increasingly epic spacey one! :D) )

Anyway, my idea needs a city setting this time. I want to use the Iceblink mapmaker because its really easy and the Profantasy tool I've used elsewhere takes far too long for me, although the results are great. I've checked out tilesets online and none of them are quite right - they're either far too good (which would just make my tokens look out of place), lack consistency, or have confusing licencing requirements. It doesn't take much to confuse me to be fair, but lordy those licences are a lot of hard work.

So I'm going to have a go at building a tileset myself. I've started with tiles that could be used in a "docks" area. This is them in action:
test.jpg
test.jpg (360.86 KiB) Viewed 15243 times


Can anyone offer any advice with this please? Clearly the map doesn't make any sense, its just laid out this way to show the tiles. I'm particularly interested in anything I could do to improve quality of the tiles or provide a better perspective etc, bearing in mind my general lack of artistic skills. ;) I'll try to add some simple animations in the final version - eg, "glinting" water and chimney smoke etc.

My main annoyance at the minute is the shadows, which are all over the place. I can probably sort this out with a bit of patience with layers and GIMP, but if you have any tips they'd be gratefully received. Also, the file size seems big - I've dropped the quality quite a bit to upload it but its still 300k, which seems a bit on the high side?

There's no doubt stuff I haven't realised is wrong as well. ;) Feel free to shoot.
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Re: Fantasy Tileset

Postby slowdive » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:55 pm

I'll post more ideas and suggestions later when I have more time, but. ..
Have a look at what Dorateen did for Hearkenwold. He used simple tiles for walls, floors, windows, doors, etc. Unrealistic combination of perspectives, but it works well for me. The reception on his module has been very well so the graphics are good enough and I think have a great charm to them. Also, the simple tiles used in the raventhal have been received well.

There are no ambient animations in the new IB2 engine. Just combat animations.
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Re: Fantasy Tileset

Postby Pongo » Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:41 pm

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Re: Fantasy Tileset

Postby slowdive » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:25 pm

Also, if you use a "wm_" type map, they can be very large...I have a 64x64 in Lanterna2 and I used a 32x32 in The Raventhal. The "wm_" system uses only tiles and currently only two layers per tile (will be allowing maybe 5 in the IB2 engine and toolset). Creature and PC tokens are now just two frames (stacked vertically). An idle frame and an attack frame. The goal is to simplify the artwork process and focus more on the story building features and the combat system (I just finished a play through of Pool of Radiance and I want to improve the IB combat system to be even more like the GoldBox combat).
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Re: Fantasy Tileset

Postby Pongo » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:06 pm

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Re: Fantasy Tileset

Postby youngneil1 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:37 pm

Awesome, Phil! You did above a tiles yourself? Very impressive - lots of detail in the structures! Also, almost no tiling visible, very nice.

Iirc the IB Mapmaker will create a cohesive image of the tiles in the end. You could edit that image in Gimp and draw in shadows where you want them with some half transparent black pencil. It will of course not be perfect that way but then again it adds some irregularity against the clean look that often comes with tiles. The same way, more noise or little unique details could be added.

The wm_ maps are very powerful - super big size with up to 5 layers and a large amount of tiles available, they will be joy to tinker with. And they bring in an automatic minimap which is great to provide context and orientation.

Keep the input coming, looking forward to see more :) !
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Re: Fantasy Tileset

Postby Pongo » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:35 pm

Thanks Karl!
Yeah I was going to have a go at separating the layers, sending the layer with object to GIMP, and then adding drop shadows just yo that layer, before finally combining the layers again in the mapmaker. Which might have worked. Now I'm going shadow-free though - the world is a brighter and more cheerful place! Things are less recognisable, eg a house is pretty much a wall with a door, but I'm pretty much ready to move on from the maps bit and get building, which is great....
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Re: Fantasy Tileset

Postby youngneil1 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:39 pm

Your idea with the Gimp drop shadows on the objects only layer was nice though :D .

Still, I feel you. Going quickly forward with graphics has an immense value in itself, get things rolling to develop a driving momentum.

The game will play in player's head mostly, like a good book. A p&p gamemaster mostly uses rough sketches and yet that can leave a deeper impression than high end graphics. I would like my adventure a little to work like such pen & paper session (well minus the human interaction though, ah yes: and minus all the snacks, yamm :lol: ).
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