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Topic: Building growth - new tribes are giants

PkK
Joined: 2012-01-06, 12:19
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Posted at: 2020-12-29, 22:23

I noticed that buildings are created bigger over time.

Most of the buildings of the older tribes were fitting in size. But the newer the building, the bigger it is. Thus the newest tribes, by the size of their buildings, are giants.

I first noticed this with the Frisians. Yes, they already got scaled down a bit since, but their buildings till look too big compared to Empire and Barbarians. And now the same is happening with the Amazons.

Just compare the Colosseum, one of the biggest buildings of the Empire tribe (and also based on a historically really big building) to some Frisian woodcutter's house or some Amazon Patrol post.


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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2020-12-29, 23:09

The style differences between my units (fri & amz) and the classical tribes (bar, emp. atl) were mentioned several times before. As a metaphor, you could say that Widelands is a book to which many people contribute by writing passages of it by hand. The main contributors of the past had happened to have similar handwritings so the style is by and large consistent (there are inconsistencies there as well, but you only see most of them when you look very hard) – but my handwriting is quite different from theirs so the inconsistencies are noticeable. The only way around this would be that I would stop contributing art and all frisian and amazon units would have to be redesigned from scratch by someone whose handwriting happens to be similar to that of the other modellers. The reason why I'm using handwritings as a metaphor is that I can no more change my modelling style than I can change my handwriting. Sure, I could try to imitate someone else's writing or style, but then it would look like a bad copy rather than original artwork, and this would be even worse than original art with a differing style. If someone came along who would take on this task and whose style fits in well, I would not object – I know that my Blender skills as well as my general artistic prowess are modest, and for me contributing code is much more fun than designing art anyway. But given the rather small number of active artists and the large amount of far more important graphics-related TODOs, the chances of this happening are marginal.


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hessenfarmer
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Joined: 2014-12-11, 23:16
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Posted at: 2020-12-30, 01:35

And at least I am appreciating much that you volunteered to model the amazons because otherwise we would not have been able to implement them.


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-12-30, 15:52

wouldn't it be possible to just scale the model down?


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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2020-12-30, 16:05

king_of_nowhere wrote:

wouldn't it be possible to just scale the model down?

They are already a bit downscaled – any more and the proportions would look bad and too much detail would be lost face-sad.png


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PkK
Joined: 2012-01-06, 12:19
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Posted at: 2020-12-30, 20:56

Nordfriese wrote:

The style differences between my units (fri & amz) and the classical tribes (bar, emp. atl) were mentioned several times before. As a metaphor, you could say that Widelands is a book to which many people contribute by writing passages of it by hand. The main contributors of the past had happened to have similar handwritings so the style is by and large consistent (there are inconsistencies there as well, but you only see most of them when you look very hard) – but my handwriting is quite different from theirs so the inconsistencies are noticeable. The only way around this would be that I would stop contributing art and all frisian and amazon units would have to be redesigned from scratch by someone whose handwriting happens to be similar to that of the other modellers. The reason why I'm using handwritings as a metaphor is that I can no more change my modelling style than I can change my handwriting. Sure, I could try to imitate someone else's writing or style, but then it would look like a bad copy rather than original artwork, and this would be even worse than original art with a differing style. If someone came along who would take on this task and whose style fits in well, I would not object – I know that my Blender skills as well as my general artistic prowess are modest, and for me contributing code is much more fun than designing art anyway. But given the rather small number of active artists and the large amount of far more important graphics-related TODOs, the chances of this happening are marginal.

IMO style differences are less of a problem than scale differences. Buildings of different tribes will be somewhat different styles anyway (i.e. due to the tribes themselves having different building style (in the sense of architectural styles). But scale differences are a different matter. Just looking at the second-smallest Empire and Amazon military buildings (and the low fence / wall in front of them), the latter is twice the scale of the former.


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PkK
Joined: 2012-01-06, 12:19
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Posted at: 2020-12-30, 20:59

Nordfriese wrote:

king_of_nowhere wrote:

wouldn't it be possible to just scale the model down?

They are already a bit downscaled – any more and the proportions would look bad and too much detail would be lost face-sad.png

Would we really loose that much detail?

Another idea: Could we afford to "downscale" them so the size fits, then increase the default zoom setting to make up for it - after all people have bigger screens today that they had when the Empire and Barbarian tribes were introduced.

Is the art 2D sprites or do we have geometric models for all / most buildings that could be scaled at runtime without quality loss (apart from screen resolution)?


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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2020-12-30, 21:12

It's not so much the scale that looks inconsistent, it's the proportions. The classical tribes' buildings have a relation between the height and the lateral dimensions which seems really weird to me and which I can not replicate. You could say that width and depth are the important units for the classical tribes, and height is the important unit for mine. That's why further downscaling would a) look bad and b) the proportions would still be off because then the width and depth would look just as badly off as the height does now.

Another idea: Could we afford to "downscale" them so the size fits, then increase the default zoom setting to make up for it - after all people have bigger screens today that they had when the Empire and Barbarian tribes were introduced.

Some people do. I usually play at 1024×768 and other devs use an 800×600 screen. Getting Widelands ready for large screens is a big project which is not actively worked on, and we must keep in mind that not everyone has big screens. Changing default zoom levels is not the answer – especially considering poor scaling quality for many models (see below).

Is the art 2D sprites or do we have geometric models for all / most buildings that could be scaled at runtime without quality loss (apart from screen resolution)?

The graphics source files are 3D models, but the graphicers provide 2D renders and only those are shipped with the game. Widelands can not, and will never be able to, handle 3D assets. For some units we have mipmaps, which means that the images are provided for multiple scales (namely 1×, 2×, 4×, and ½×); for other scales or if no mipmap is available the image is scaled at runtime with quality loss. (That's why some units are rendered at high quality when zoomed in while others get fuzzy or pixelated – only the frisian and amazon units and a small number of others have mipmaps for higher scales).


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2021-01-01, 20:46

the problem, though, is that many frisian buildings are blocking view of nodes behind them. it gets quite annoying, not being able to see many of your flags and roads.

if it was just for the art, i wouldn't ever complain.


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2021-01-02, 18:08

king_of_nowhere wrote:

the problem, though, is that many frisian buildings are blocking view of nodes behind them. it gets quite annoying, not being able to see many of your flags and roads.

if it was just for the art, i wouldn't ever complain.

In principle I would agree about the visibility. However as we implemented the u short cut to make buildings transparent this is mitigated I believe. this funtion is useful for the legacy tribes as well in my opinion


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