Hi Wizards & Sorceresses,
I just finished to write an email to my man Luca with a big issue I’m fighting with, and I was ready to send it to him, when I just realized that would have been so much better to make it an article!
Once more I’m struggling with pixel texture for walls and my choice to not use classic tilesets. I’m regretting so often that choice that I’m always close to shift back and make a traditional tileset. Then aesthetics results come out and I’m so pleased that I embrace pain and joy of this unusual approach I choose. But as all the new path what could be done easily, takes me ages.
Almost two years ago, when I choose to avoid making tilesets it was an unhumble decision. I was a beginner in pixel art, I had no familiarity with tilesets, I just knew they were boring to me, even the most beautiful and creative among them. What I didn’t know was the reason why tilesets are extremely useful for a top down pixelous tactical RPG: they are simple, versatile and completely predictable.
Probably is that predictability that make them so boring to me, but, my Lord, I wish some of that bore right now!
Last year I start making natural rock textures as floors and walls for our test stage, the Fiery Pit. It was lotta work to provide a single assets working good for all the gameplay necessity in a single stage, but after some attempts and test on brightness & contrast calibration things started to work good. Now, I’m back to work on new stages’ textures, proud of the previous experience, but things are new, again.
I just finished a new floor and walls for the Whisper Ruins stage, and I’m happy with the result! Textures are so solid, vivid and readable, they give the right atmosphere and make clear the path you can walk or not. But those stripes… That’s the thickness of the walls, is useful to give the sense of depth of the obstacle and to emphasize the prospective, but the repetition make it looks like a glitch.
So I tried to eliminate the top bright area of the wall, to obtain a more subtle repetition and…
Flat. Sure, now the wall textures looks seamless, unified and without annoying repetition, but now the wall’s dimensions are not clear, and the missing of the thickness kills the prospective depth. So? Any solution?
Well, after I start writing to Luca, looking for a solution from him, I realized that maybe there was not even a problem. And my mind suggested me a new aphorism:
“There are no wrong assets. There are just wrong utilization”.
Why the natural mountains in the Fiery Pit worked perfectly? Because we deployed them into a cave system scenario. Why the walls with the striped thickness looks silly? Because I used them for the same purpose. That’s the error. That’s an asset we have to use in more open space, like the beginning of the Whisper Ruins, outdoor, in the cemetery, before you enter the decayed basilica. And the flat walls, with an add of some thickness in the ending tiles could be more useful in the underground catacombs, convey the sense of oppression.
Wizards of Unica is a tactical RPG with rogue-like elements and procedural generation. We will release a new alpha very soon, so stay tuned and contact us if you want to test it.
Thanks for your passion and support!
Daniele Lynx Lasalandra