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Old September 1, 2010, 14:49   #32
Hajo
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I can't give a clear answer. Maybe I just don't know the right things, so I could not make the proper decisions.

Scaling bitmaps always comes with a quality loss. But I think that the idea basically would work. At least for monsters and items. Terrain and dungeon features like doors and stairs must be adapted, but most likely can be taken from existing isometric tile sets. David Gervais has made a pretty good one I think.

For me, personally, one of the "defining" points in roguelike display was the duality of symbol and color. The symbol defined the group or category which the thing in question belongs to, and the color identified the individual specifics of the thing inside the group.

I must admit when I restarted this project I have not checked the currently available tile sets. So maybe there is already everything there, and I just don't know it.

I was under the impression, though, that the tile sets give up the duality of symbol and color, and try to go for symbols that are individual identifiers. A fire dragon looks differently from a frost dragon, not only that it is red instead of blue, but they have just different pictures. And I was under the impression that in some cases the pictures are hard to tell apart. I might be pretty wrong in this assumption, since it's based on knowledge from about 10 years ago, and maybe even older.

The iso display code should support the "individual picture" approach, at least it did in the past, and even if currently not active it should be easy to restore the function. With that, it should be quite doable to take a sprite sheet, scale it to the right proportions, split it into the right input files for the iso view, write a proper pref file, and, done.

Right now the view is configured as a "text mode" display though. While the (traditional) graphical frontends use the attr+char values to form a 14 bit integer that is the tile number inside the set, the current iso code uses the lower four bits of attr as color, like the text mode displays do. The upper 3 bits of attr and the 7 from char form a 10 bit integer which is the tile number. Like having a "symbolic font" with 1024 glyphs.

The tile/glyph is then drawn in the color that the object has assigned in the pref files.

(The 8th bits from attr and char are not really usable, thus the odd 7 bit and 3+4 bit splits).

I want to keep the "symbol+color" duality. Even the idea to have abstract symbols. I just want a tiny change.

ASCII are non-symbolic abstractions, since their shape is not representing their meaning. I try to change that into symbolic abstraction, with shapes that have a meaning. But I want to keep a fairly abstract display with the shape telling the category of the thing, and the color telling the individual type within the category.

This is why I haven't tried to work with the old tiles. They are not abstract enough, and they are not suitable for the re-coloring approach. But overall this is just a matter of taste, and not a technological problem.
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