[Art] Community Art for "Carthage" Milestone

Discussion in 'Civ3 Future Development' started by Quintillus, Mar 23, 2022.

  1. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Moderator Supporter

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    One of our goals for Carthage is to start shipping with some of our own art assets, or in other words to make progress towards being able to run independently of a Civ3 install. To do that, we'll need some help from the artist community here.

    Longer term, we want to support more modern art formats as well, but we're still building out support for Civ3's formats. Thus, in the shorter term, we'd like to keep the initial integrated artwork in the legacy formats.

    What are we looking to integrate? The first items will likely be:
    • Unit(s). Right now we are using Warrior, Chariot, Catapult, Worker, and Settler graphics, but really, any Ancient Age unit would be useful.
    • Terrain graphics. Base terrain, overlay terrain, etc.
    • City graphics.
    However, anything that is currently in C7 is fair game - interface graphics are another good example.

    We'd also like to follow the model of having the creator of the graphics specifically state, "this can be used for C7." If you'd like to give a blanket-OK to what you've uploaded to CFC, that's also okay.

    I'll tag @Kyriakos as having specifically expressed interest in this before, but I know he isn't the only artist who's visited this sub-forum.
     
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  2. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Creator

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    Sure. What kind of gfx will you need?
    Maybe a few of my latest city-set style can be used (there are 12 sets in total, and a full 5 ancient and 5 medieval sets).

    upload_2022-3-23_20-10-51.png

    upload_2022-3-23_20-11-16.png
     
  3. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Moderator Supporter

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    Eventually, we're hoping to fully replace Civ3's graphics. But for now, a few early units, preferably with sound and animation; terrain graphics (base, such as wOOO.pcx, or overlay, such as mtn_rivers.pcx); and city graphics are early priorities. Which means your city sets are great candidates.

    In Babylon, we're only using one city set for all civs (Mediterranean, IIRC), but we'll likely expand it to support multiple culture groups soon. Long-term (probably post-Carthage), I think it would be nice to be able to specify city graphics by-civilization as a more specific option than by-culture-group... but that depends on the enthusiasm from the community for both that and competing ideas.
     
  4. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Creator

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    I am fine with any already available (for civ3) sets of mine being used (you just have to ask, since I'd not wish to have conflicting styles, ie older sets of mine there).

    If new sets are needed, I can make a few. It'd be really great if there is some kind of crowdfunding, since times are rather hand financially here too ^_^
     
  5. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    Concerning cities when still using Civ 3 categories here: The bad mistake of the Firaxis city graphics in the ancient and medieval era, that the bigger cities there are not shown with city walls, should be avoided. Bigger ancient and medieval cities (city size 2 and 3 in Civ 3) should be shown with city walls according to history.
     
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  6. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Creator

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    Only will work if the new game has a "walled city" for all sizes file, like Civ2 did.
    If it does, it won't be that difficult to make those.
     
  7. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Retired Moderator

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    Of course you can use any of my graphics. I should think there'd be something useful at least among the settlers and workers.
     
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  8. nick0515

    nick0515 C7 Fanatic

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    I'd like to second this. Please allow cities of all sizes/eras to have a walled graphic if it's not too hard at some point in the development.

    If you can't find anyone with an existing full terrain set that they are willing for you to use I'd be happy to consider trying to make something. And if no one with more skill/time volunteers. Would the terrain files need to be in the exact same format as regular civ 3 or some other format? I'm starting work again on my unfinished terrain set which uses graphics from 0.a.d which I believe has an open copyright licence from memory.

    But there may be better options. Ares' terrain?
     
  9. nick0515

    nick0515 C7 Fanatic

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    It's a shame many unit creators are not still on the forums to ask though some here might have alternative ways to contact them? Especially all those who have released large unit packs. Balam-Agab for one! Some big creators were last on the forums in 2021 so I'd hope they will be back at some point!
     
  10. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Creator

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    For the record, I agree with the idea to have walled graphics for all sizes, and not just size#1.
    I also think that (for practical reasons) the number of different sizes should remain the same (=3), at least for now ;)

    To be pedantic, however, it is not very realistic to maintain a walled city when it increases in size - they'd have to increase the size of the walls too. While this can be remedied somewhat by making the wall improvement cost progressively more as the city increases in size (both to maintain, and to build from nothing), it won't present the time or effort needed to actually enlarge the walls.
    Of course a solution there would be to give the player the ability to choose if they want to enlarge the walls of an already walled smaller size once it moves to the next level, or not (if they choose "no", the larger size has no walls; if they chose "yes", the larger size has no walls until the turns it takes for the walls to be enlarged).

    @Civinator @nick0515 et al.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
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  11. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    It is very simple to include walls in the city graphics of era 1 and era 2 cities:

    Ancient Citywalls.jpg

    The increased defense value of size 2 and 3 cities in Civ 3 still includes the appearance of city walls in those cities, while size 1 towns still must be updated with city walls to receive that defense bonus:

    Defensive Bonuses.jpg
     
  12. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Creator

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    I think it is far better to have walled cities like in civ2 (both walled and unwalled versions of all sizes).
    Besides, historically cities had their walls razed to the ground, as part of peace negotiations (so that they would honor the peace - at least until they sneakily rebuilt the walls ;) )
    Sparta famously (as a statement) had no walls. Until the very end, when it did out of weakness.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2022
  13. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Archivist, redux Supporter

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    :confused: I thought that one of our goals was to make a game fully "plug-compatible" with all existing artwork.
     
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  14. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Emperor

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    Why not both?
     
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  15. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Archivist, redux Supporter

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    Then it's 2 different games, is it not? - &, if not, then "community user" input becomes all but moot for the non-compatible, and design dev /testing takes much longer.
     
  16. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Emperor

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    No. Putting graphics on screen is being done at a much higher level in C7 than in Civ3. In fact we're having to bend over backwards to import Civ3 graphics because the language we're using has no libraries to decode it; our language came out after .pcx and .flc became obsolete. Using modern formats doesn't change our code; it just bypasses the Civ3 import code. But we already solved that part.

    Civ3 used 256-color palette formats for images and animations but composted them into 24-bit color for the screen. Our step one is to turn the old formats into 32-bit RGBA (full transparency) images in memory before we start using them.

    Grabbing image formats that are already 32-bit RGBA and using them instead is trivial. Image resolution is irrelevant, too, but I'm not sure my dev peers are on board with that idea yet. Godot and OpenGL can easily take RGBA image data of any size and plop it in a screen area of any size, and with full transparency we don't have to blend shadows, smoke, and transparency on-the-fly like Civ3 does.

    Take a look at Friday Night Funkin' . The original graphics are newspaper-comic-like in nature, but I've seen user mods all the way from '8-bit' adaptations to toon-shaded stuff. I'm sure they could go full photorealistic if they really wanted to. The graphics libraries just handle it; you don't need to re-code.

    As it is now, it should be trivial to allow one or more of .png, .webp, or .jpeg images, and allowing for different tile/unit/etc resolutions should be a relatively simple thing. Replacing animated units will take some decision-making I think, but it shouldn't be much more difficult after decisions are made. (Sprite strips? Vertical or horizontal? Existing animation format? video codec?)

    That said, I personally have some more radical ideas that *do* involve different code. But I haven't been particularly active lately, and if I do get around to doing it, I'll do it in a separate project and let the other C7 folks decide if it's something they want to integrate.
     
  17. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel Carthago Creanda Est

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    Yes, but we can't redistribute Firaxis graphics, so if and when we have a standalone game we'll have to use all our own graphics anyway. You will always have the option of importing from a local copy of Civ3.
     
  18. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Archivist, redux Supporter

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    All user created game elements at CFC are deemed to be in the "Public Domain," per CivFanatics rules (and which were presumable checked with counsel.)

    Recall that my only concern was that the Header for Units had been changed for copyright purposes; this does not seem to be the case.
     
  19. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Moderator Supporter

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    It will be. My expectations for the progression are:

    1. Uses Firaxis artwork. This is where we are now. It looks good, but requires a local Civ install.
    2. Uses community-created artwork in the existing Civ3 formats. This is what I think we should make progress towards (but likely not finish) for Carthage. It requires no additional coding for the time being, and when completed will allow running C7 independent from a Civ3 install.
    3. Allow the use of newer formats, with features such as what Puppeteer described in post #16. This will require some additional coding, and we can add features incrementally across several milestones. But even when you can use newer formats, you can use older ones as well.

    (2) and (3) could overlap depending on the course of events... but my short-term goal is to be start integrating community art assets, and getting the artist community involved, with what we already have.

    I believe you are right about CFC-hosted game elements being Public Domain, but it's always nice to check and receive permission when possible, and I hope that approach also leads to more active engagement.
     
  20. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Archivist, redux Supporter

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