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Old April 7, 2020, 05:25   #1
MicroChasm
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Sil-Q Tileset

I have been working on a tileset for Sil-Q for the past few months, and Quirk has been very patient in helping me put it together. I wanted to share some preview images with everyone. Let me know if you have thoughts on it!

Here is link to some screenshots:
Sil-Q Screenshots

I have two goals for this tileset: readability and accuracy.

By readability I mean that I want the tiles to be clean, clear, and recognizable even in your peripheral vision. No two tiles should look too similar, and they shouldn't bleed or blend into one another when adjacent. If you are quickly attacking through a group of orcs and Orcobal appears in the corner of the screen, you should see him immediately.

By accurate, I mean that the tiles should reflect both the Tolkien lore that they are based on, as well as reflect the experience of playing Sil-Q. For example, more difficult monsters are larger (more or less), and monsters with draining attacks are all purple to signify this attack type. Special monsters are more intricate and slightly brighter. This isn't meant to be a general tileset for Angband games; it is specifically a tileset for Sil. I reserve the right for artistic liberty of course.

None of the tiles should be considered to be final. I have made a tile for just about everything, but I am consistently tweaking, reworking, or redoing them.

I am open to critiques and criticism. Some of you have been playing Sil for a lot longer than me, or have different artistic sensibilities, and I'd like to hear what you have to say.

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Old April 7, 2020, 08:54   #2
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Cool stuff, thanks. Looking forward to giving it a try.
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Old April 10, 2020, 10:28   #3
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I like the color scheme! I'm having some trouble figuring out what the player character is looking at in the lower left though. A leather armor, a tangletorn (?) and 4.. wolves? The perspective seems a little bit off.

Also the orcs seem generally as tall as and bulkier than the player sprite, which doesn't seem quite right to me. I always imagined Tolkien's orcs to be more similar to "modern" fantasy goblins (which is also a synonym for them in Bilbo and other sources). The Uruks are described as taller (almost the height of a man) and more powerful, but those don't appear until the late second age iirc.

Last edited by Infinitum; April 10, 2020 at 10:45.
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Old April 10, 2020, 10:31   #4
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looks great. Is `stairs down` are from DCSS? (it's fun, as it's CC0; I use stuff from there too in my tileset)

please could you share some technical details? what the size of this tileset? which licence?
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Old April 11, 2020, 00:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinitum View Post
I like the color scheme! I'm having some trouble figuring out what the player character is looking at in the lower left though. A leather armor, a tangletorn (?) and 4.. wolves? The perspective seems a little bit off.

Also the orcs seem generally as tall as and bulkier than the player sprite, which doesn't seem quite right to me. I always imagined Tolkien's orcs to be more similar to "modern" fantasy goblins (which is also a synonym for them in Bilbo and other sources). The Uruks are described as taller (almost the height of a man) and more powerful, but those don't appear until the late second age iirc.
I appreciate the feedback, and I'm glad you like the color scheme. The player is looking at studded leather armor, a grimhawk, and four wolves. There are some tanglethorns above them.

The studded leather armor is an early sprite I made... I will reconsider it if it is not clear. I've never loved it but I haven't figured out how to improve it yet. I wasn't happy with my wolves either, so I redid them right before posting. They are better than before for sure! Overall I am fairly happy with them, but I do think that some tweaking of the shading will make them more clear.

I think you are right about the orcs, especially the ones you meet early in the dungeon. I like this suggestion.
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Old April 11, 2020, 01:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangar View Post
looks great. Is `stairs down` are from DCSS? (it's fun, as it's CC0; I use stuff from there too in my tileset)

please could you share some technical details? what the size of this tileset? which license?
Sharp eye! The stairs are very very close to the Crawl stairs. I'd started with another design, but my stairs were difficult to tell apart at first and I felt that the Crawl stairs are very clear.

The tiles are 16px by 16px. I've been interested in tile art for a while but this is my first attempt at making a tileset, and anything larger than 16x16 felt a little intimidating. Constraints inspire creativity anyway, right?

If you want more details, I'm making the tiles in Photoshop, which I feel has worked well. I'm trying to limit the palette, so no more than five shades of any particular color on a tile. Also, a lot of reusing colors between monsters.

I'd like the tiles to be free and available for anyone to use. I guess the question is whether I want to ask for attribution or not. I'm more or less aware of the creative commons licenses, but I'd like to hear your opinions if you want to share.
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Old April 11, 2020, 08:52   #7
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Cool

Do you plan to resize it to 32 later on? It's always possible to downscale tileset in game settings...
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Old April 12, 2020, 06:07   #8
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I don't plan to upscale the tileset at the moment. It's an interesting point, I think that I will experiment with up-rezing and seeing how I feel about refining the tiles from there. At the moment, I like the limitations of 16x16 px.
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Old April 13, 2020, 21:23   #9
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Hey, folks!

Great job on the tileset, MicroChasm!

I do share some of the criticism of the other fella, though - some of the tiles seem a bit unfocused, for lack of a better word (but perhaps this is just the result of not being used to the tileset).

In any case, I wanted to ask: will this be Sil-Q exclusive or available to vanilla Sil as well?

Cheers!
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Old April 14, 2020, 06:20   #10
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I will have to ponder how to focus the tiles more-- it may be a lack of contrast, or just refining their forms more. It may be that I should let them go for a couple of weeks and come back with fresh eyes. I am very acclimated to the tiles right now.

The question of getting the tiles to work with vanilla Sil is a little complicated. I'm fairly new to Sil if I'm being honest. Do a lot of people still play vanilla?

Sil wasn't developed with tiles in mind, and many things were changed in Sil from NPPAngband. These changes created issues that need to be resolved in order for the tiles to work.

There are two parts to the current tile implementation (other than actually making the art): changes to .prf files, and changes to source code. I am changing the .prf files, which determine how objects (monsters/items/etc) are routed to tile locations, and Quirk is changing the source code. I can't speak much for Quirk's part, other than I know that he is working on fixing a crash bug with tiles on Linux. Also, artifacts and special items are handled differently than regular items and need additional back-end work to route them to a tile.

You could technically just replace a few files here and there in your vanilla Sil installation and the tileset would mostly work. In fact I tested it today to answer your question. There will be a few issues related to differences between vanilla and Sil-Q though. New tiles would have to be made along with slight modifications to the .prf files to accommodate those differences. This would be very achievable. However, without changes to the Sil source code, the tile implementation wouldn’t be complete.

Hopefully that answers your question.
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