Tag Archive: art

Locksmith Puzzle

I was afraid that I wouldn’t have anything to show today, but I managed to scrap together something a few hours before this blog post. Here’s a new puzzle, based on a gigantic combination lock.

You have to choose four 1-digit numbers, where each number is different. For example, 8673 is a valid combination, but 4077 is not (the 7 is repeated). The order of the numbers does not matter. Choose the right ones, and the lock will open. Otherwise, just try again.

If I did the math right, there are 210 possible combinations, so pure trial and error would not be very feasible. Fortunately, you will be able to see the inner mechanisms of the lock change after you choose each number. With some logic, you’ll be able to figure out a pattern and therefore get the solution.

Originally, I was planning to have a very simple puzzle where all you had to do was memorize some values, but of course that wouldn’t be very interesting. This new version is more difficult than the 7 seals puzzle, but it should be doable.

It’s actually possible to figure out the solution just by looking at the screenshot I’ve given here. It seems like there are two solutions, but there’s actually only one since I’m evil and some of the mechanisms are fake. If you have no idea how to approach it, don’t worry about it. It will make a lot more sense when you start experimenting with the lock in the mod itself.

I guess that’s all I’ve got to say for this week. See you all next time.

Renovating Spritesheets

Okay, 2 pictures coming your way.

This is what the new area looks like after putting in the new pillars. I debated whether to keep the “domes” of the pillars or not, and well… they’re still here to stay, with a new look to boot.

Next, I’ll show you how the giant bee from the first area got transformed into a sort of megalithic beetle. Here you go:

This creature replaces the bee, since the original sprite had those compound eyes that look nothing like Pixel’s rendition of beetles and insects. I feel that this new sprite is more of what I want.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for image improvement. I don’t suppose I can stretch this post out any longer, but if you come next week you’ll be able to view more content. Cheers!

Needs More Olive Oil

GIR told me over IRC that the screenshots for floating cities look too saturated, so I’ve set out to fix that. I’m not very good at figuring out when bright or saturated colors cause eye-hurtiness, since I ran into this issue multiple times. To desaturate the tileset, bg, etc. of the new area, I’ll start off with something that’s not part of the new area at all: the HUD.

The new HUD (heads up display) uses a dark navy blue scheme to frame the health bar and exp bars. This fits in closely with the message boxes, which are now also navy blue. Therefore, the user interface gains some consistency that it didn’t have before. I’m not entirely satisfied with the darker HUD and message boxes, especially since I’m thinking about switching to grayish blue rather than navy blue, but I’ll stick with it for now until I attempt some better colors and/or find a better design.

What about the new area itself? I’ve tried simplifying the clouds into a two color background. Again, this is sort of a work in progress, but here’s what I’ve got:

In this background, I toned down the color of the sky to a lightweight purple. This clearly brings out why the HUD and the tiles for the area are just “too bright”, which is why I said I wasn’t satisfied with the new HUD yet.

More stuff to come? Yes. I’m also improving the look of the cylindrical pillars before fixing up the tiles. I inverted their shading scheme for a more realistic look.

During the week, I studied the art inside SNES games like Secret of Mana and how those game artists properly did their shading. Because of that, I changed the shading for these pillars significantly. The final result is a much more convincing metallic looking cylinder.

So that was 4 pictures related to the mod itself. Certainly a new record for me, or something. If you have good advice on how to add more olive oil to a mod, don’t forget to leave feedback. Enjoy your week everyone!

Ice Monsters

I’ve created these monsters quite some time ago (you can even see their sprites in my forum sig), but I haven’t talked about them at all. I think they’ll be a good way to fill some time while the CS+ craziness goes on.

First up are the ice roaches. The artwork for these critters is really simple – just a recoloring of Pixel’s unused gaudi sprites. Well, they were unused some number of years ago, but now you can actually see these new gaudis in CS+ Wind Fortress, I believe.

Why am I talking about CS+ so much? I must be going insane. Really insane. Surely I’m turning into the kind of mentally psychotic person that you don’t want your parents to see. Err… anyway let’s get moving with some more mod discussion.

I’ve given the ice roach some special behavior using that magical language known as assembly. He can now shoot projectiles at you (which are the same projectiles that those “jumping beans” shoot in the Witching Hour’s sandy desert region), and he flies with a vertical wobble, for a more organic-looking motion. Bouncing off the walls is also a plus.

Here’s a second monster, a much more interesting one in my opinion. The ice eye.

This guy can fly pretty well, and he also has a special weapon: bomblets. He’ll drop one of these small bombs every so often, which explode when they impact the floor, so be careful if you’re staying on the ground.

And those are the new enemies for the floating cities area. So that concludes my post. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next week, but surely I’ll think of something. Goodbye for now, and see you next Saturday.

High Altitude Cities

I’ve been doing some map-making, TSC scripting, and spriting this week (3 different things! How amazing…), so now I can so you some interesting screenshots.

The new area will focus on ‘platforms of civilization’ – which are basically miniature cities floating in the air through some magical or technological means. You’ll probably be using elevators and teleporters to move around, though I haven’t finalized the transportation yet.

The tileset for this area is similar to the one for Outer Wall, but changed in a number of ways. I’ve also created a background image that shows a bunch of pretty clouds. Click on the thumbnails to view the full size image.

At first I planned to base these clouds off of the ones you’d find in Guxt. Right now, they don’t resemble Pixel’s style of drawing clouds at all, but I guess that’s okay. Originality may be better.

There’ll be a minimum of two puzzles for the floating cities. The first one has to do with the 7 seals, and the second one I… uh… haven’t designed yet. Both puzzles will be easier than the first one you find in the mod, so neither should really be too difficult.

As you can see, Em will be featured in the new area. There’ll also be some monsters that I’ll talk about next week or so, so be sure to stick around.

Batch Files… and a Puzzle

I’ve been studying the ergonomics of modding, and I’ve realized that whenever I need to do some modding, I need to open a bunch of folders as well as some programs (CaveEditor, Noxid’s TSC Editor, OllyDbg, Doukutsu Assembler… just to name a few). None of these things are pinned onto my taskbar, and I feel that even if I were to pin them there, the taskbar would become too cluttered.

Even worse, sometimes I feel like modding, and then I remember how many programs/folders I have to open. Then I somehow get so lazy that I don’t bother to start modding! A bad turn of events… wouldn’t you agree?

There is a simple solution to avoiding this tedious but necessary task: have the operating system open everything for you. The idea is not terribly difficult: create a Windows batch file to open all the stuff necessary for modding. Here’s a nice little screenshot of a batch file basking in the glory of my desktop background:

@echo off
title It's Modding Time!
echo :D
explorer "<PUT STUFF HERE>"
explorer "<PUT STUFF HERE>"
explorer "<PUT STUFF HERE>"
explorer "<PUT STUFF HERE>"
explorer "<PUT STUFF HERE>"

Those are the contents of the batch file. For each <PUT STUFF HERE> thingy, just replace it with the full path to the folder or the full path to the .exe file you want to open. Now you can start modding with a single click instead of several clicks.

As for the Witching Hour itself, I’m making a pretty typical TSC-based puzzle and a map to go with it.
Here’s a picture (promotional banner?) that illustrates the puzzle:

Yeah… I’m making this puzzle and its new map without first creating the tileset for the new area. So everything in the new room looks like Mimiga Village right now. I’ll replace the tiles with custom ones later, so that’ll add more interest to the area.

Thanks for reading this week. I suppose I’ll give some more time if anyone still wants to take a stab at the riddle (from the previous blog post). Good luck.