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[WIP] New *huge* metaroom   
elthar

elthar
Russia  

 visit elthar's website: Iggdrasil
  11/5/2012  5

First of all - hello everyone, and let me introduce myself: my name is Nina, and a long time ago i made a bunch of ancient stuff for C2 and C3 and had a website where most of that stuff still can be downloaded (Iggdrasil). Aquatilis Caverna - if anyone remembers that metaroom, which was released ages ago :) - was based on one of my unfinished projects, so you see i haven't been around for a long, long time. Last week, Silvak contacted me about hosting one of my breeds, reminding me of Creatures and all the cool stuff that is still going on with it, and here i am, all of a sudden. i took a look around and saw some very cool projects, metaroom backgrounds drawn as doodles and paintings, so i thought: why not to make my own metaroom too, now that i have some skills?

I Photoshop things for live, so the metaroom's background is going to be made in pseudo-realistic style - no 3d graphics and cartoonish drawings, though it's going to have some fantasy elements appropriate for a world where norns would live. This new metaroom is outside of a ship, based on a planet where Shee might have been after they left the C3's ship. There will be 3 cliff "islands" - like a huge cliff broken in sections by some forces of nature - with forest, beach and sea areas. They will be connected with each other and supporting several levels for creatures to live on, i'm thinking 3-4 for dry land, and at least 1 or maybe more underwater.

The question is, maybe i'm making it too big? Please take a look at the preview below and tell me what you think. Here's what i've got so far, after tinkering with Photoshop for a couple of evenings:
preview, huge resolution!
it's 1:1, and i put a picture of an adult norn to compare sizes.

Now, would anyone want to help me code this thing into life? Because i never learned to compile C3 CAOS in my time, and it's kinda late to teach old dog new tricks :) Also, the metaroom is unnamed as of now, so any suggestions in that department would be good too.

If anyone is interested in this project, i think it would be kinda cool to make animals and plants in the same style, and maybe a norn breed too.

 
Rascii
Caves Dweller

Rascii
United States  
Administrator


 visit Rascii's website: Creatures Caves
  11/5/2012

Welcome back, elthar! I remember your website very well. :) I think the room looks awesome! It's nice to see some fresh, new ideas in a project that haven't been done before. Perhaps my computer has a high resolution or something, but the image doesn't seem too big to me.

I can't do much in terms of coding but if you need any website help, let me know. ;)


- Rascii
 
Liam

Liam
Australia  

 visit Liam's website: Spellhold Studios
  11/5/2012

Hey Nina!

If you need help putting the room together, I doubt I'd have time to code anything in the room, but I can map out the room and do CA etc if you'd like, just shoot me an email. :)


- Liam / K'aeloree

Spellhold Studios, a Baldur's Gate II, Neverwinter Nights and Oblivion Modding Community

 
Bearthing

Bearthing



  11/5/2012

Wow. Beautiful. And it's only half-way done!

That isn't too big at all -- I can't speak for everyone here, but that actually looks like just the right size for my personal norny needs. Sometimes Biodome, for example, is just too big and intimidating, and sometimes the Seaweed Tavern is too small (though, don't get me wrong -- I love both of those metarooms).

I can't wait to see it done! I have no skills to contribute, unfortunately, but I will stress test it in Docking Station (docked or undocked) if you'll need that later on.

As for names:
- Sphericus Strand?
- Spearhead Shore?
- Greygreen Glen?
- Silverstreak Sands?
- Can you tell I'm a fan of alliteration and bad RPGs?


Don't care; I'm a bear.
 
Malkin

Malkin
Australia  
Manager


 visit Malkin's website: Malkin's page at CWiki
  11/5/2012

I love how photo-realistic, yet dreamlike, it looks... Best of luck with the rendering!

My TCR Norns
 
Ghosthande
Prodigal Sock

Ghosthande
United States  
Manager


 visit Ghosthande's website: Breeders Beware
  11/5/2012

Deciduous Dale? Mossy Meadow? [ntongue]

I don't think I'd be able to contribute anything, but I really love the woodsy look of it. Very homey and pretty. Can't wait to see more of it!



 
Laura
Lady Tea

Laura
United Kingdom  
Administrator


 visit Laura's website: CC Chat
  11/5/2012

I agree with everyone, judging by the preview this metaroom is going to look stunning when it's finished. I love how it looks so leafy and green, and it feels so peacefully atmospheric with the rays of sunlight shyly peeking through the trees, and the little streams I can just imagine hearing trickle by. I think any Norn would be right at home there! :)

I'm rubbish at thinking up names: Valley Rock, Mystic Woods, Greenwood Glade, Grassy Grove... Yeah, don't bother using any of those. :P


Join us in CC Chat and on Discord! 8)
 
silvak

silvak
United States  

 visit silvak's website: Crazy Shee's Lab
  11/5/2012

I love the concept! Pseudo-realistic would make it stand out along with the general layout.

When I read the description I immediately thought "Avalon". Sort of a whimsy, magical, green place on the cliffs. The art style would work well with it too.

Also I would not have a water level, it would mean more effort can be spent on the cliffs and greenery! And it would keep with the visual feel for the room.

Note the above is just my personal opinion. You are the artist.


www.CrazyShee.com - Updated: Daily!

Lost Content, help find it a home!

 
Jessica

Jessica
United States  

 visit Jessica's website: Discover Albia
  11/6/2012

I love this idea and concept, Nina! It's something we haven't seen too much of, and judging by the initial response, something that the community will definitely enjoy! Good luck with it: I really look forward to seeing how this metaroom comes alive. The woodsy feel to it is amazing: I think many Creatures will absolutely adore it!

Discover Albia

 
Pann
Small Birb

Pann
United States  

 visit Pann's website: Heck Yeah, Creatures!
  11/6/2012

I love it so far, it's so beautiful! I wish I could help, but I'll be here supporting all the way! Also I remember your site, I enjoyed visiting it a lot a few years ago.

Small bird who lives here sometimes, and wanders other times.

Got Creatures related content to share? Submit to Heck Yeah, Creatures!


 
SpringRain

SpringRain
Australia  


  11/6/2012

I love this metaroom concept. Avalon seems like a perfect name for it, then again, I did just finish a series of books about fairires and a world that featured that name so I'm a bit biased. Ha ha!

The size looks just right if you ask me, not too big/not too small. I also really like the overhanging tree at the top and the little hidey-caves sprinkled around.

I wonder if anyone else was thinking to put Treehuggers or Fairy Floss Norns in it? ^_^

 
elthar

elthar
Russia  

 visit elthar's website: Iggdrasil
  11/7/2012

thank you, everyone, for the positive responses, they are great encouragement for me to finish the project! :)

Liam, thanks a bunch! i barely remember how to use the room editor and where to get it now, so i'll need someone's help for mapping.

Avalon is the perfect name, indeed, now that i think about it - it fits perfectly, thanks Silvak :) also, don't worry, every part'll get the same amount of effort, no matter how large the metaroom is.

I'll be posting upgraded previews as the progress goes, today's here:
preview, large picture
i suspect that the previous picture might have been resized by the image hosting service i uploaded it to, i hope that won't happen this time.

as it goes, i think an underwater area will be in the far left corner, but i'm not 100% sure how to connect it to the surface. Or maybe it shouldn't be accessible at all, so that normal norns won't be tempted to drown and underwater creature won't die ashore?

also, i just thought, there should be lifts between the levels, right? that should be an agent, i guess, but i don't know how code one :/

 
Ghosthande
Prodigal Sock

Ghosthande
United States  
Manager


 visit Ghosthande's website: Breeders Beware
  11/7/2012

Wow, that looks wonderful.

I would advise you not to worry too much about lifts until you get to that stage. :) Depending on the complexity, lifts don't have to be very difficult to make, and there are other solutions (like doors or teleporters) that are even simpler; if you can't figure them out yourself I'm sure someone here will be happy to step in and help.



 
Laura
Lady Tea

Laura
United Kingdom  
Administrator


 visit Laura's website: CC Chat
  11/7/2012

Holy cow, that looks so magical, and sparkly, and heavenly almost. [nsurprised] It's as if it's a scene from another world, which I suppose it will be actually! I can't wait to see more elthar, I am literally on the edge of my seat. [ngrin] I also love the name Avalon; I think it'll be very fitting.

Join us in CC Chat and on Discord! 8)
 
elthar

elthar
Russia  

 visit elthar's website: Iggdrasil
  11/11/2012

another upgrade:

preview #3

as you can see, the work is not finished yet, but i'm getting close now.

Also, i think i found a perfect soundtrack for the room: Elements: Water by Altus, check it out:
http://altusmusic.ca/elements-water/
The music is distributed for free by its author, and most tracks from the album are fitting with the Avalon thing, at least as how i imagine it.
So, i wonder, is there a way to make Creatures 3 run specific music files when it's running a particular metaroom? Do they have to be converted from mp3 to something else?

 
silvak

silvak
United States  

 visit silvak's website: Crazy Shee's Lab
  11/11/2012

I'm listening to the the sound track now.......it definitely goes with the theme. From what I was reading of Liam's Metaroom Creation Tutorial it seems possible to have certain music playing in certain rooms when installed or at least while you're in that room.

Ok, I'm OCD about certain things and with the background there is just one part that's bothering me.......in the center below the natural arch and above the bridge to the left of the water fall........you can see the sky through the trees and there just isn't any way I can convince my brain it's possible with the giant valley "behind" it.

Other than that, it's looking spectacular!


www.CrazyShee.com - Updated: Daily!

Lost Content, help find it a home!

 
Grendel_Man
Sanely Insane

Grendel_Man
United States  
Manager


 visit Grendel_Man's website: The Realm
  11/11/2012

Agreed with the music fitting the room rather well. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a way to get the songs in their entirety into the game without either chopping them up into several second-long bits or greatly reducing their quality; MNG files don't work the same way as MP3 and WAV files do, and the game engine won't play WAV files that are above a certain size.

On that note, the room's coming along rather beautifully. About the only nitpick I have is the pond in the upper right - the left side of the pond is designed such that, when the room finally gets mapped out, baby creatures down there could (and most likely will) run up that wall and get stuck with no way to get down.


Note: The underscore in my username is supposed to be a space - it's "Grendel Man," not "Grendel_Man."
~ The Realm ~
Grendel Man's Creatures Blog


 
elthar

elthar
Russia  

 visit elthar's website: Iggdrasil
  11/11/2012

Silvak, yeah, i see what you mean, will have to fix those trees

Grendel_Man by "baby creatures" do you mean that animals/fish/whatever will get out of that pond with no way back, or that norns'll get stuck?
would it help if i make the wall steeper?

 
Grendel_Man
Sanely Insane

Grendel_Man
United States  
Manager


 visit Grendel_Man's website: The Realm
  11/11/2012

By "baby creatures" I was referring to norns, grendels, and ettins. Fish and whatnot are "critters."

This picture shows what I mean by "stuck baby creature."

Either way, making the wall steeper will help, but it needs to be steep enough to make sure norns can't climb it at all - which usually means "completely straight up and down."


Note: The underscore in my username is supposed to be a space - it's "Grendel Man," not "Grendel_Man."
~ The Realm ~
Grendel Man's Creatures Blog


 
Ghosthande
Prodigal Sock

Ghosthande
United States  
Manager


 visit Ghosthande's website: Breeders Beware
  11/11/2012

Grendel Man is correct, both about the necessity of gentle slopes (which affects all Creatures to some degree), and the limitations to the music. The largest individual sound file I've gotten it to use is still only 265 KB in size, and has a length of about 12 seconds.


 
elthar

elthar
Russia  

 visit elthar's website: Iggdrasil
  11/11/2012

It's a shame there's no way to insert the music into the room, i guess, i'll just have to recommend it in the room's "readme" for a better experience.

okay, progress since morning:

preview #4

no trees with visible sky, pond wall made a bit steeper and an underwater area is outlined at least(i know that sandy bottom is in a wrong perspective, will fix that later)

what is bugging me right now is that cliff between the underwater area and where water in normal perspective ends - at the beach area.
the cliff is supposed to be higher than the beach area so water level to the left from it is higher too. so the cliff itself is supposed to be going all the way from background to foreground, from far away close into the "camera", but right now it looks kinda... weird :/

still want that underwater area for one of my old norn breeds, though

p.s. just a fun fact: passed 150 layers mark in Photoshop today :)
if i hadn't merged half of them in those areas i consider finished, the PSD file would've been about half a GB now.
No wonder Cyberlife had to build C1 world in real life, without those beefed-up computers we have now lol

 
silvak

silvak
United States  

 visit silvak's website: Crazy Shee's Lab
  11/11/2012

Thank you for indulging me.

Visually the water on the left looks higher than the water on the right. So the cliff between them looks.....odd. If you still really want an underwater area, you could bring the surface of the water down to where the beach water surface is. Then draw your water line and add a complete water level across the bottom. That way you still get the visual lines where they are supposed to be and still have your underwater area.


www.CrazyShee.com - Updated: Daily!

Lost Content, help find it a home!

 
Steelfoot

Steelfoot



  11/11/2012  1

This looks absolutely amazing, but there's one issue I have with the whole thing that's mostly just my problem. XP I'm kind of a geology nerd, and I love looking at mountains and streams and exposed rock faces to see how a given formation came to be. I also have a desk covered in samples of semiprecious stones and minerals, but that's another story for later!

Because of the images sampled together to produce the area, the stone looks very... strange to me. Cracks suddenly fade, stone faces suddenly transition into another entirely incompatible rock, and fresh rock faces are paired with weathered patches. This would be a nightmare to get "right," because of the huge number of different rocks that simply do not go together that need to be transitioned "properly." However, a simple thing to say would be that the metaroom was assembled by the Shee from many different rock formations and types, fusing them together as they went along. It still looks weird to me, but it's much better to say that's how it happened!

Other than that, I can't really comment on the plants, other than to say they're pretty awesome! There's an odd haze around the tree in the top right, but there's plenty of time for touch-ups and stuff. As it looks right now, this may be the first metaroom I install! :3

 
Ghosthande
Prodigal Sock

Ghosthande
United States  
Manager


 visit Ghosthande's website: Breeders Beware
  11/11/2012

I agree that some of the transitions seem a little odd... not only do rock formations blur into each other in weird ways, but there are also blurry, gradual transition lines between solid objects and their backgrounds, eg. rocks and sand in the lower left, the ocean arch right above it, or some of the trees. But these do seem like they would be last-minute touch-ups, and ignoring that, it looks awesome so far. :)


 
elthar

elthar
Russia  

 visit elthar's website: Iggdrasil
  11/12/2012

Would you guys mind taking screenshots of the weird-looking places where you think it needs retouching? Because, i'm aware of some of them (the weird tree thing), but staring at the image for several days now, got used to it by now and are probably missing more weird stuff

Silvak, to add an underwater level across the bottom of the room i'll have to draw the water line somewhere around the line where picture ends right now - to expand it down even further.
Now, all the water shows not only reflections of a stone cliff, but also underlying sand on the bottom of the water. Only there would be no sandy bottom, but some other underwater stuff, i dunno, more cliffs, etc. I'm afraid if it'll look even more odd than the weird cliff right now?

Steelfoot, i know what you mean, but that's what one gets after blending in half a hundred pictures of completely different cliffs and stones, no way to fix that except to render the thing in 3d


 
silvak

silvak
United States  

 visit silvak's website: Crazy Shee's Lab
  11/12/2012

It was the only way I could think to make the cliff less odd looking.

www.CrazyShee.com - Updated: Daily!

Lost Content, help find it a home!

 
vampir-maniac

vampir-maniac
South Africa  

 visit vampir-maniac's website: Ordered Chaos Blog
  11/13/2012

Unfortunately I agree with the whole weird transition thing. I found the second piece from the right with the waterfall quite odd so I just did a bit of editing to the image:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gbbm5n37qu5fdji/edit.jpg

I only realized now I should have done it on the original image to make things a bit easier for you but I also don't want to feel like I'm intruding or something xD I don't know if it looks better but its just a starting point :)


Cute pixel art
DeviantArt Account

 
vampir-maniac

vampir-maniac
South Africa  

 visit vampir-maniac's website: Ordered Chaos Blog
  11/13/2012

What I'm trying to get at is that maybe the waterfall can be made to look like its in between the two rock faces? Instead of the rock on the left that seemingly comes out of nowhere. And then a bit of copying/pasting, smudging and blending here and there would make the transitions ease in more :). Looking forward to it!

Cute pixel art
DeviantArt Account

 
silvak

silvak
United States  

 visit silvak's website: Crazy Shee's Lab
  11/13/2012

Comparing the two, the original and the edited one, I like the original better. While some of the transitions can be nit-picked, they aren't noticeable from a distance, unlike the smudging.

www.CrazyShee.com - Updated: Daily!

Lost Content, help find it a home!

 
vampir-maniac

vampir-maniac
South Africa  

 visit vampir-maniac's website: Ordered Chaos Blog
  11/14/2012

silvak wrote:
Comparing the two, the original and the edited one, I like the original better. While some of the transitions can be nit-picked, they aren't noticeable from a distance, unlike the smudging.



I suppose, but like I said, its just a starting point. If it were my own and I'd spend proper time on it I wouldnt let the smudging be so obvious.


Cute pixel art
DeviantArt Account

 
elthar

elthar
Russia  

 visit elthar's website: Iggdrasil
  11/15/2012

silvak wrote:
Comparing the two, the original and the edited one, I like the original better. While some of the transitions can be nit-picked, they aren't noticeable from a distance, unlike the smudging.

vampir-maniac wrote:
I suppose, but like I said, its just a starting point. If it were my own and I'd spend proper time on it I wouldnt let the smudging be so obvious.

Sorry, i see what you want to accomplish, but you are suggesting to use a wrong tool in a wrong way. If that's not obvious from its name, the smudge tool's purpose is to mix and melt a certain piece into a featureless state, like an artist would do by smudging distinct chalk lines of different hue into a soft gradient. So it can't be made not obvious, unless you're gonna smudge a big area of scarce detailing and uniform colouring.

What you are looking at is made with masks, where images are put one on top of the other and then pieces are painted transparent so that they appear transitioning into each other. That's why some transitions are looking blurry, or show a haze - they are leftover signatures i missed, pixels 50% transparent.

If you just could, i dunno, circle those weird pieces in red or something? i'd be grateful. Coz you uploaded a smaller picture, and when i enlarge it to get a clearer view of what exactly was smudged, it get all blurry :/

 
vampir-maniac

vampir-maniac
South Africa  

 visit vampir-maniac's website: Ordered Chaos Blog
  11/15/2012

Lol yeah I apologize because I'm a traditional artist and have not been working with photoshop etc a lot so if I'd make anything digital I'd just digitally paint it and not manipulate photos. I mean I'd smudge it and paint over it with my own detail to make it look real. I was not sure of your level in photomanipulation so guess I landed up making a fool out of myself by oversimplifying things >.<" Oh well, I'm a noob to this community.

Anyway, here's the pic with the areas circled.

It's that waterfall that sticks out the most to me because like I said, you can't really see what it's running over and the rock face to its left just seems to randomly appear...the other areas just need a smoother transition.


Cute pixel art
DeviantArt Account

 
Malkin

Malkin
Australia  
Manager


 visit Malkin's website: Malkin's page at CWiki
  11/16/2012

Elthar, is this all made in Photoshop, or have you used Terragen or 123D Design?

My TCR Norns
 
generalflame

generalflame
United States  


  11/16/2012  1

For what it's worth (which, let's face it, is probably not much), I say you make this however you want Nina. Those transitions spots actually make total sense to me just the way they are, like they are different kinds of rocking that are in front of each other rather than one large wall of rock. I also actually like that the water is at two different levels. Frankly, as long as you're happy with your work, it doesn't matter all that much what little nitpicks anyone has. Plus, once this room is filled with plants and birds and butterflies and toys and creatures, all anyone will think is "What a lovely metaroom."
 
vampir-maniac

vampir-maniac
South Africa  

 visit vampir-maniac's website: Ordered Chaos Blog
  11/17/2012

Well nobody is dictating what she should do because its her metaroom and any fan made content is awesome. But elthar did ask for our opinion and its always good to help each other to improve. I by no means mean to sound like a critic :/ it can be interpreted in many ways so its her choice really.

Cute pixel art
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