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Topic: Attempting world-specific new roads

Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-08-26, 10:11

Since Nasenbaer's latest code has now made its way into Tino's windows package, and the road tiles are now accessible, I have started to work on this.

This thread is for collecting some preliminary ideas, and discussing their chances to make it into the game.
Also, I few questions arose, where I need help from the programers.
Please contribute and express your preferences!


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
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Posted at: 2011-08-26, 10:20

Here are some thoughts to discuss, maybe, and also some questions that I have.

  • creating a simple, opaque texture, will result in the roads using this texture throughout the world. This is as I expected. However, I would like better to have the roads' looks change also with the underlying terrain. Earthen colored roads on mountain terrain look a bit out of place. So I have done some tests with transparency to let the original terrain shine through. It does not work. Could it be that the code does not support any transparency? Or should I just forget about this idea, because nobody really cares and I am again too perfectionistic?

  • Nasenbaer has made some initial modifications to the road terrain tiles already. From that you can see, that he likes the idea of some plants on less frequently used roads, and less plants on busier roads. Nice idea and logical, too. But it made me think about other possible ways to show this difference.

    1 Busy roads could simply use a different (darker) color and texture.
    2 Busy roads could be wider.   
    3 Busy roads could be paved with stone slabs.   
    4 Busy roads could have a lining at their sides.   
    5 Any combination from the above.
    

1) is only depending on the graphics. 2) is probably only code dependant. 3) is graphics (see attached picture),4) would likely imply both, code changes and graphics.5) well, it depends face-smile.png

Any other ideas?

  • How exactly are the roads created from the roadt_normal.png and the roadt_busy.png?
    The tiles have a size of 60x60 pixels. Obviously the roads are just stripes cut from this texture. But when you apply a defined and recognisable texture to the tiles, it looks like in some cases, they are not just cut, but seem to be stretched to fit the landscape. In that case the pattern gets distorted. On slopes only full slabs seem to appear. This effect is actually quite helpful, since it reminds of stairs. But if not understood, it may prevent other solutions.
    Can anybody help to shed some light about what methods are used in the forming of roads from the texture?
    Related is the problem that the roads' borders are 100% sharp. It would look a lot nicer, I think, if they were smoothed somewhat. Maybe this again should better be done with code, but if I can understand how the stripes are cut, I may be able to modify the tile in a way that it shows a smoothing effect.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Personal_Joke
Joined: 2011-08-10, 14:39
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Posted at: 2011-08-26, 14:44

I quite like the look of those paved roads


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Astuur
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Posted at: 2011-08-26, 19:39

Personal_Joke wrote: I quite like the look of those paved roads

Thanks, but not so much on the mountains, right? face-smile.png


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Personal_Joke
Joined: 2011-08-10, 14:39
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Pry about Widelands
Location: New Zealand
Posted at: 2011-08-27, 01:19

Hehe yea, they're a bit out of place there face-smile.png

Edited: 2011-08-27, 01:19

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Astuur
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Posted at: 2011-09-15, 19:32

Dear programmers, I'm a bit stuck here. Could one of you please comment on the feasability of the code depending concepts


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Nasenbaer
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Joined: 2009-02-21, 18:17
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Posted at: 2011-09-15, 22:29

actually i can only guess at the moment (no time to look through the code :-/ ) - but I believe the road texture is handled the same as the terrain textures, only difference is, that it is only drawn on the line between the two nodes and not on the whole area. Making it blend out on the ground via artistic changes is therefore nearly impossible. Fact is:

  • Normal and busy roads have the same size, just different textures.
  • Transparency is deactivated, so all textures with transparent parts will look strange.

Perhpas it's time for a wishlist item on the bug tracker for road improvements?


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Astuur
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Posted at: 2011-09-16, 08:03

Thank you Nasenbaer!
This helps a bit. Without it, I would not even know what to request in the bug tracker face-smile.png
Maybe, given time, you could check that code and say a few words about chances to improve.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
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Posted at: 2011-10-07, 19:42

I have been experimenting a bit more with this.

The graphic file roadt_normal.png is 60 x 60 pixels, but in fact only 2 stripes are cut from it and used.

Transparency of any kind is not supported, as Nasenbaer said.
Using this as roadt_normal.png a screenshot gives the followling look.

As you can see, all horizontal road patterns are taken from the horizontal stripe, which is reapeated and always displayed from left to right. All other roads are taken from the 45° stripe, used from top to bottom and reapeated. This one is also mirrored for the NE -> SW direction. All the rest of the 60 x 60 pattern files is ignored.
The horizontal roads are only 4 pixels wide. The oblique roads are 6 to 7 pixels

So what do we do with it?
Without changing the code, our options are few. We can place all sorts of colors, of course, but an adaption to the underlying ground texture is not possble. That would require some sort of transparency, or different cases for the road creation on differen terrain. Lining the road is easily possible as you can see, but it wil not look very good. The roads are too narrow for that, and without transparency there can be no blending effects. Patterns are possible, but need some thought due to the "wrap around" (this is where the red immediately neighbors the green in the picture, (oblique roads), or red and yellow (horizontal roads))

All in all the job of finding better road textures will again probably be one of finding an acceptable compromize, unless a programmer wants to improve the situation.

My suggestions for improvement would be:
1) enable transparency
2) widen the road to 6 pixels for horizontal and 9 pixels for oblique roads.
3) avoid the overlapping use of those pixels that belong to both stripes.

Those three things would open up a chance for a terrain specific look and a more variable road border. Both seemes possible but I cannot be sure how it will look. Anybody willing to look into the code and tell us if there is a chance for such a change?

Afterwards a decision must be made, which course to steer.

Edited: 2011-10-09, 11:39

Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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chuckw
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Joined: 2010-03-15, 16:23
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Posted at: 2011-10-09, 00:12

Thanks for your research in this matter, Wolf.
Wider roads sound inviting. I'm just a little concerned about the buildings I've been designing that reach to the very edge of the space allowed. I should probably plan now for a wider right-of-way around the buildings.


I see little people.

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