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2011/03/09

Flare Art

Here's a list of art I'd like to see in Flare soon.

Grassland Tileset

A good grassland tileset will, of course, have excellent grass -- this is way harder than it looks. Have a look at my first attempt at grass and water tiles. It's not bad, but it's too noisy when tiled on an entire screen. It needs to be muted to fit as a non-distracting background. Also, that translucent grass sticking above the tile doesn't work well when removing the alpha layer. The final grassland tileset should avoid these issues.

The grassland tileset should contain grass-water transitions and grass-cliff transitions. It should probably also contain dirt roads, wood or stone fences to border the roads, wood road signs, and wood footbridges. The set could have various shrubs, weeds, lone trees, odd rock structures. Maybe some forgotten and unexplained monuments -- a carved statue, a circle of stones, abandoned campsites, and more. It might need a few special "exit" tiles -- a cave opening that leads to a Cave Tileset level, a thicket of trees that leads to a Forest Tileset level, etc. Perhaps this Broken Tower could be used as a Dungeon entrance.

Forest Tileset

The forest tileset might be the most challenging to get correct. I want a thick, mystical forest. The player should get the sense that he is traveling in the shaded underbrush. Thick trees and brambles form "walls". The walls can't be made by just combining lots of trees. Trees can't also be too tall and obstruct view. Diablo 2 Act 3 did something sorta like this, but I want to go for a more "deep in the woods" feel (rather than simply traveling along the river or treeline). I'll probably need the help of a great concept artist to get this tileset going.

I might want this tileset to be more fantasy-oriented than the others so far. There should be huge gnarled roots, weird glowing plant/fungal life. It should feel like a fey place of elves, fairies, dryads, centaurs, etc.

This Temple Entrance could have a place in this tileset.

Village Tileset

I made this Medieval Building Tileset. I'll probably re-render them for Flare using different lights. Some of the Grassland tileset can probably be reused here (e.g. grass and dirt paths). There can be a few unique buildings added. Maybe a series of shop signs. Because of the way the engine works (small maps connected by teleport/transition points), the village should probably be surrounded by a wall, fence, natural cliffs, or something of that nature.

Lots of small bits to bring a village to life will be needed here. I think it's best if the village is designed by a concept artist first. That way the village looks less like a random assembly of tiles and more like a planned, living town.

And more...

Those tilesets -- dungeon, cave, grasslands, forest, village -- would be a solid start to building a world. I already have music ready for those. Many more tilesets can be added in the future. Here's some ideas:

  • Natural outdoor tilesets
    • Desert
    • Mountain
    • Swamp
    • Jungle
    • Pine Forest
    • Tundra
    • Beach
  • Fantasy outdoor tilesets
    • Crumbling Bridge Highways
    • Ziggurat
    • Good-guys Castle
    • Bad-guys Fortress
    • Magical Destruction/Fallout
  • Fantasy indoor tilesets
    • Inn, Shop, Home, Tavern
    • Temple
    • Elemental Cavern
    • Evil Fortress
    • Crypts
    • Wizard School/Tower

Of course, most everything in that list is a fantasy trope. Reminder: I'm mainly building an engine at this point. I'm much more curious to see unique, imaginative tilesets.

Enemies

Current Flare has zombies, skeletons, antlions, goblins, and minotaurs. Here are my other must-have creatures, which have been in the Bestiary list since before Flare v0.01 was released.

Dragonman

Maybe I liked Dragonlance too much growing up, but I want heavily-armored draconic humanoids in my game. Originally these were going to be the main foes of my game, but I've kinda backed off that concept. In fact, it may be more appropriate to drop Dragonmen and use the concept to make a faction of heavily-armored humans instead. So the inspiration here is: Dragonlance's Draconians, Borderlands' Crimson Lance, Fallout's Brotherhood of Steel, etc.

Elemental

I want Archon-style elemental creatures in the game. Fire and Ice variants at least. If I end up going the Western Element route, add Earth and Wind options. If I go the Eastern Element route, add Earth/Metal/Wood. Most likely I'll just start with Fire and Ice though. These creatures might make heavy use of particle effects, so they might require full alpha layer art.

Wyvern

Wyverns can double as bat-like creatures or as dragon whelps with only a few minor changes. I like this Wyvern concept by Benalene. The wyverns would be pretty small in-game. They would be the first flying creatures in game, ignoring any low-obstacles during movement.

OGA Asset Creatures

There are a handful of creatures that can be made using mostly OGA assets. There probably are many more; this is just a quick perusal.