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MC2 Graphics Discussion

1y
#1
I wanted to open a discussion regarding the graphics for My Colony 2.

Graphics were always the slowest part of the development for the original My Colony, as I am certainly no artist. I did on occasion receive graphics assets from various community members, but issues arise with that. Everybody using different drawing programs, has different skill levels, or graphics styles, etc. There really needs to be some standardization.

MC2 graphics will need to be 3d objects instead of flat .png or .svg files. I am currently debating between using full Blender 3d models, or going with a pixelated Voxel based look, creating the graphics using a basic drawing application I recently released called Voxel Paint (https://www.apewebapps.com/voxel-paint/)

There are pros and cons to both, which is what I want to discuss here. I would like to get the graphics format nailed down fairly early, since that is generally the slowest part of development, and if anybody wants to help contribute 3d models to the game I would be forever grateful (as would the community, I'm sure)!

Here are my initial thoughts. 3d models made up in Blender would look better. A lot better. Although it doesn't really bother me, I am not particularly in love with the pixelated look. My Colony has never been all about the graphics of course, but you can absolutely make better, more realistic looking models using Blender.

That said, it's also a lot more work, and probably reduces the number of people who can effectively help out on the project, and also increases the time required to pump out graphics. I guess it really comes down to what we all view as more important, the graphic quality vs other elements of the game. You can also certainly make a pixelated game look good, as I said before there are a lot of popular games out there with a pixelated look.

Anyway, I am open for all feedback on this issue before making a decision. This is one of the first things I would like to nail down, as a lot of the design of the game will depend on it, and it would be nice to already have some content ready to go for engine design and testing.

I am personally leaning slightly towards the voxel based solution, but it's not a hard lean. I like the ease and speed of output, and being the developer of the application I can add things or tailor it to the game's needs. I am just as fine going the other route too though.

So let me know what you all think on the matter. Whatever is decided, I would like to lay down some standards for the graphics right at the beginning, so that everybody who is willing to help with graphics will be on the same page and that everything created is actually usable in-game!
Owner of Ape Apps
1y
#2
One question, if the building is a voxel model, do 1 tile in MC2 = 10×10 voxels?

I would like to have a reference of how large the canvas should be, so can have some properly scaled voxel building models. :p


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1y
#3
GeneralWadaling said:One question, if the building is a voxel model, do 1 tile in MC2 = 10×10 voxels?

I would like to have a reference of how large the canvas should be, so can have some properly scaled voxel building models. :p


Yes, if we went with the Voxel model, that was actually my exact thought. 10x10 in Voxel Paint would represent 1 in-game tile in MC2. Nice easy round number.

The canvas size in Voxel Paint would need to be set accordingly, to some multiple of 10, as the loader would center the model based on the 0,0 position in the grid, which is always in the middle of the Voxel Paint grid.
Owner of Ape Apps
1y
#4
What a potential voxel-based Lander could look like at 10x10 resolution, just a rough mockup, definitely not a final product.



Clearly a blender model would look better. The downside is that I believe development time would be greatly extended going the Blender route as it is a lot more involved. There also might be more of a performance impact with more detailed models, when you start getting into larger sized cities.
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1y
#5
I guess you also have to consider the fact that the lander and other models would also be "zoomed out" quite a bit while in-game, like you always wouldn't be looking at a closeup of the model. In addition, there will probably also be lighting effects and shadows applied to the models in-game, improving the look somewhat.
Owner of Ape Apps
1y
#6
Here is a Ore Refinery model... Though not sure if it is good :P
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1y
#7
BTW, if there are objects that can apply other colours, what will be the colour code assigned to?
(For instance the banners on consulates and capitols)
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1y
#8
Here is an example of a loader I threw together that takes a Voxel Paint file and compiles it into a single 3d mesh that can be placed on a Scroll3d grid. I used the lander I drew and the refinery from @GeneralWadaling to demonstrate, as well as a simple tower object I threw together to test heights and placements.

https://www.apewebapps.com/vpp-loader-test/beta/

As for altering/custom colors, My Colony classic uses Fuchsia color for this, hex #ff00cc
I suppose this same principle could be applied to MC2.
Owner of Ape Apps
1y
#9
Are we supposed to be unable to scroll in that test app? I can rotate (x, y, and z) and zoom but not translate the plane.
My Colony Discord Server - https://discord.gg/dvJSKBB
1y
#10
Yeah @KlingonDragon I did not add a way to switch the camera mode, I was mainly just trying to test the ability to import .vpp files and merge them into a single geometry
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Ape Apps, LLC is an independent software development company founded in 2010 by Brandon Stecklein. Over the years, Ape Apps has published over 400 apps and games across various platforms. You can get in touch with Brandon on Twitter or by leaving a post on his wall @bastecklein
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