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[Abandoned] Research & Conquer

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Re: [Vacation - valid untill Feb 2012] - Research & Conquer

Postby thenobodies80 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:56 am

TaCktiX, do you want this moved back intot the foundry system or you're just testing the ground? Just wondering, let me know if I have to move this back. ;)

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Re: [Vacation - valid untill Feb 2012] - Research & Conquer

Postby DiM on Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:09 am

Victor Sullivan wrote:Quite honestly, DiM, I really don't see much of a problem with the graphics :? I've always thought the graphics of this map looks nice and were very appropriate for the theme. The only thing I might suggest is to desaturate the blue of the river, as it contrasts with the rest of the map a lot, it seems to me.

-Sully


really? well, then i guess pretty much anything goes these days.
let's compare this map to other maps made 5-6 years ago and see how it ranks. look at middle east, canada, indochina, alexander's empire, australia, kotm, siege, 8 thoughts, great lakes, italy, d-day, aor magic, ccu and many more. these maps were made in 2006 and 2007 and look far BETTER than this one and we're supposed to be in 2012 now. did the foundry go backwards in the last 5 years? did photoshop start to dumb down it's tools? did we stop honing our skills?

and don't give me that "it's the look i'm aiming for" "artistic license" crap. the map is not poor because of the theme choice or because artsy part. the map is poor because technically speaking it's awful.
the pipes don't look like old rusted worn out pipes as you claim them to be. they look like yellow lines with an bit of bevel and a slight grain. they're so poorly executed and artificial i feel like screaming. but that's nothing compared to the background where you have a mess of brown yellow with some black spots that been grained and then blurred to hell and back. what exactly is it supposed to represent? cause sure enough that doesn't look like worn out brass.
and don't even get me started on the land portion of the map. oh boy that's a whole different category of mess.

there are only 3 things nice at this map from a graphical point of view.
1. the title (if you remove the blurry background)
2. the font (which fits the theme perfectly)
3. the mountains on the small map.
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Re: [Vacation - valid untill Feb 2012] - Research & Conquer

Postby natty dread on Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:25 am

Dim, you make some valid points here, but I can't help but think the way you present your views is not really optimal to encourage co-operation from the mapmaker...

Tacktix, if you want, we could brainstorm some ways to address some of the graphical issues of the map. I think, with a bit of attention to detail, the graphics of the map could be brought to a new level...
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Re: [Vacation - valid untill Feb 2012] - Research & Conquer

Postby DiM on Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:58 am

natty dread wrote:Dim, you make some valid points here, but I can't help but think the way you present your views is not really optimal to encourage co-operation from the mapmaker...


i expressed my opinion in a very detailed manner last summer. i gave feedback suggestions, i offered technical advice. i even made modifications to the current map and even came with a whole new graphic approach. i'd say it can't get any better than this. and yet everything was dismissed because:
1. the current image is what tacktix wants and anything else is wrong because it doesn't fit what he wants. (translation: he's too lazy to make anything better or he simply can't)
2. the map has support in its current form (translation: the fanboys of the map are the support)

as a result he vacationed the map hoping 6 months later he'll be luckier and pass this through the foundry. i'm guessing he'll probably bin this again for another 6 months. i dont undestand tacktix' tactics but he surely can't imagine that while the map gfx quality stands still the foundry will drop its standards to accept it. somehow he imagines in 2012 his poor 2008 work will be accepted.

natty dread wrote:Tacktix, if you want, we could brainstorm some ways to address some of the graphical issues of the map. I think, with a bit of attention to detail, the graphics of the map could be brought to a new level...


no matter how much you polish a turd it will still be one. the map needs to keep the basic layout but get completely new clothes. the theme is ok, the direction is good, the layout of the graphics is great, all it needs is proper artwork.
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Re: [Vacation - valid untill Feb 2012] - Research & Conquer

Postby koontz1973 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:28 pm

TaCktiX, glad to see you give his another try. It left the foundry just as I was coming into it.

DiM wrote:no matter how much you polish a turd it will still be one.


It's not that bad DiM. You are right it is poor but no way near a turd. Lets lighten this up a bit.
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A few things that can make this a lot better-
Main playing area.
River colour - needs to be more than a flat blue, a variation of colour to show shallow/deep water.
Bridges - to big, they can be made a lot smaller, darker and with a wood grain.
Territ lines - just redo them all. some look as if they fall short and you just copied and pasted the rest on. Some of the names and glow go over them as well.
Mountains - look really detailed and nice, the rest of the map looks plain and ordinary.
Title.
Completely agree with DiMs points. Try to get the backing to look more like the workings of a watch. Lots of cogs and levers. This should give you lots of depth and a nice backdrop for your title.
"Only the most advanced shall survive" - really? Does the map need this? IMHO, scrap it or make it a lot smaller.
Boxes and pipes
Pipes - look flat, ugly and not pipe like. Look at DiMs steamworks for a good pipe.
The pipes need connections, holds to make them appear attached to a wall/ceiling.
Boxes - lose the insides. You cannot really see it on the large with the numbers and the small one would be harder to see the nice dials. Give them a nice background but lose the detail. It only serves to confuse.
The backing for the boxes and pipes, you can carry down the same backing for the title. Give a really industrial look as if you are looking into a factory making all of these lovely weapons.
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Re: - Research & Conquer

Postby Industrial Helix on Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:31 pm

Sorry, Isaid I'd move it last night but I forgot. So here it is now.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby DiM on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:05 am

why is this stickied?
it should get stripped of the graphics badge not stickied here like it's ready for final forge.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby thenobodies80 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:53 pm

It has passed some time....i think that the map should be reversed back to standard topic (although i think that it was just left when the topic was moved from the vacation status) and the graphics analyzed again to ensure that no improvements are needed. If the graphics CAs think that the current status is not par to the foundry standard, they have my approval for remove the graphics stamp and ask for the necessary changes.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby TaCktiX on Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:59 pm

I'm going to ask right now that the graphics stamp be revoked. The level of stuff I'm being asked is not indicative of "tweaks" at this point.

Main playing area.
River colour - needs to be more than a flat blue, a variation of colour to show shallow/deep water.

Always thought the river was too small to have any sort of gradient to it, but I'll look into adding a subtle one.
Bridges - to big, they can be made a lot smaller, darker and with a wood grain.

At the size you want them to be, the difference between a wood grain and a dark brown with minor noise would be impossible to tell apart. I too am fine with them being smaller for the simple fact that I consider them the weakest part of the map.
Territ lines - just redo them all. some look as if they fall short and you just copied and pasted the rest on. Some of the names and glow go over them as well.

Do-able. I deliberately crafted every territory line purely from the pen tool due to the low overhead of completely scrapping them and starting over. The present thickness is fine then?
Mountains - look really detailed and nice, the rest of the map looks plain and ordinary.

Hand-drawn some three years ago. Still have the original sheet too. ;)
Title.
Completely agree with DiMs points. Try to get the backing to look more like the workings of a watch. Lots of cogs and levers. This should give you lots of depth and a nice backdrop for your title.

This I can do, but it'll take some work. The important part is that I can actually see this in my mind's eye, which is something I was lacking with other suggestions.
"Only the most advanced shall survive" - really? Does the map need this? IMHO, scrap it or make it a lot smaller.

It was filler to make the territory area more square, as well as fully "box it in." I'll scrap it and keep a flat bar going along the top and use the extra space to de-compress N and NE homelands.
Boxes and pipes
Pipes - look flat, ugly and not pipe like. Look at DiMs steamworks for a good pipe.

I consider DiM's pipes total overkill. They work for his Steamworks but likely wouldn't work for R&C. Is there any way the current ones can be tweaked to look better?
The pipes need connections, holds to make them appear attached to a wall/ceiling.

That can be done. Perhaps a clasp of some variety at even intervals on the outside.
Boxes - lose the insides. You cannot really see it on the large with the numbers and the small one would be harder to see the nice dials. Give them a nice background but lose the detail. It only serves to confuse.

I do and don't agree with you here. Yes it's an aesthetic detail that will likely be missed in the average game, but the numbers aren't going to be messed up by their presence. That, and what theme-serving background would work anyway?
The backing for the boxes and pipes, you can carry down the same backing for the title. Give a really industrial look as if you are looking into a factory making all of these lovely weapons.

Do-able.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby natty dread on Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:44 pm

TaCktiX wrote:I deliberately crafted every territory line purely from the pen tool due to the low overhead of completely scrapping them and starting over. The present thickness is fine then?


Personally, I would make them slightly thinner.

TaCktiX wrote:I consider DiM's pipes total overkill. They work for his Steamworks but likely wouldn't work for R&C. Is there any way the current ones can be tweaked to look better?


Give them more texture, make them more rounded. Try adding some valves and stuff.

As for the legend background and the land area, I have some suggestions for both, but they're more visual in nature, so I'll have to show them with images... it'll have to wait until tomorrow though.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby TaCktiX on Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:12 pm

The lines are already 2 px. I likely can do a subtle blur to make them 1.5 px in size, because 1 px looks HORRIBLE.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby natty dread on Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:15 pm

Can't you adjust the lines with subpixel accuracy? Is it only in full pixel steps? :-s
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby TaCktiX on Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:07 pm

With the pen tool only pixels, but if I make them 2 px then do a uniform blur or the like on the edges it'll seem 1.5.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:26 pm

The present thickness is fine then?

Try to make them thinner, which ever way you can.
I consider DiM's pipes total overkill. They work for his Steamworks but likely wouldn't work for R&C. Is there any way the current ones can be tweaked to look better?

I know DiMs pipes are overkill but they suit his map very well. If you look at his bends in the pipes though, you will see a connection holding the two straight pieces together. This gives them a reality your do not. Every bend needs to have a connection. Every long piece needs to get something to hold it to a wall.
Hand-drawn some three years ago. Still have the original sheet too. ;)

The mountains do look really nice, try to give the rest of the playing area the same level of detail or get rid of them and redraw the mountains. Really nice mountains on a plain background with a single blue river. The river is easy to do, select, shrink by 1 and darken, repeat. This will give you a nice gradient from the edge to the centre with the thicker areas getting more shades. Have a play around. With the bridges, bung on a wood grain, the difference between a wood grain and noise at the level should be noticeable.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby RedBaron0 on Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:35 am

They're all right I'm afraid, the map look decent, but not up to par. The outer edges for the techs have way more detail than the actual playing surface. (Except the mountains.) While the research areas are more detailed, they are also very uniform. dials, switches, gauges, as well as common pipe connectors, as just previously mentioned will do a world of good.

Adding some relief to the playing surface will do some good. The mine cart, which is basically a trapezoid can be improved upon, add a pickax or shovel, or ditch the cart, and do a standard crossed tools icon. And yeah the bridges need to be upgraded. A stone arched bridge would be nice. You could also ditch the river impassible for a forest, with gaps in between instead of bridges.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby natty dread on Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:40 am

koontz1973 wrote:The river is easy to do, select, shrink by 1 and darken, repeat.


Why would you ever make a simple thing that complicated... :-s

How about: shrink by X, feather by (X*2), darken selection.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby Gillipig on Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:39 am

Make it a lava river, give it that mordor feel :)!
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby natty dread on Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:00 am

Ok, here's my suggestion for the land area texture. The colour may look better a bit less saturated, but otherwise I think something like this would work.

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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby koontz1973 on Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:38 am

natty dread wrote:
koontz1973 wrote:The river is easy to do, select, shrink by 1 and darken, repeat.


Why would you ever make a simple thing that complicated... :-s

How about: shrink by X, feather by (X*2), darken selection.

Because your way is good for a river that has an even width. This river does not. i bulges in places so naturally they would be darker still.

But a good idea for the land though. That should give it some nice natural features but remember to run the rivers around the hilly areas though.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby natty dread on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:53 am

koontz1973 wrote:Because your way is good for a river that has an even width.


Bs. My way would be identical to the way you suggested. Think about it for a while...
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby -=- Tanarri -=- on Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:05 pm

natty dread wrote:Ok, here's my suggestion for the land area texture. The colour may look better a bit less saturated, but otherwise I think something like this would work.


I think something like this image would work well for the land area to give it some texture. I tried a while back to find something similar but that's the best one I've seen yet.

I've been trying to keep up with the thread so that I can post my thoughts, but my time's been pretty limited lately. I'm still very much looking forward to seeing this map in play. I do like a number of the suggestions that have been made for graphical enhancements, including the clasps for pipes and some updates for the river.

I'm not sure if Oliver got the notes that I left before the vacation on the XML, but if not, someone should make sure that someone goes back a few pages and gets them, since I seem to recall there being a major point or two that I listed that should be fixed.

Keep up the great work TaCKtiX! :)
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby natty dread on Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:08 pm

-=- Tanarri -=- wrote:I think something like this image would work well for the land area to give it some texture. I tried a while back to find something similar but that's the best one I've seen yet.


Well, thanks. :)
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby TaCktiX on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:44 pm

I've done a lot of thinking about this map and my ability to do the necessary improvements over the past several days. I can't do it. My drive to do anything in Photoshop or on this site is essentially negative at this point. I go to work every day and get paid to do that, and I enjoy it. I do not get paid anything to be on this site and I'm not enjoying it at this point. So I am terminating my involvement with Research & Conquer at this point.

However, I still want to see the map reach play one day for the simple fact that Oliver had a great idea and it's one that deserves to see the light of day. I have given Industrial Helix the link to all of my source PSDs. Whoever is willing to take it forward can contact him for them.

As for me, I'm done. Once my final game on CC is concluded, I will not be logging back in. I wish I could say it was fun, but the past year has been anything but.
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Re: Research & Conquer

Postby natty dread on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:46 pm

Well, it's a shame to hear that. I hope you get your drive and passion for CC back some day...
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Re: Research & Conquer [Development Suspended]

Postby isaiah40 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:30 pm

I have now stolen these files, and I am now in charge!!! Muhahahahahahaha!!!! :twisted:
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