Nifflas' Support Forum

Level Editing Support => Knytt Stories Level Previews => Topic started by: egomassive on February 11, 2012, 19:52:26



Title: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 11, 2012, 19:52:26
Knytt are lazy, weak, and stupid which is just how they like to be. Exercise is gross. Learning is for nerds. Anyone who doesn't agree is exiled to distant lands where they wont offended the fashionable city Knytts. Juni, of course, lives in a tree trunk in a desert, but she awakens in the heart of a city. With no memory of how she got there or how she injured her leg, she sets out to find her way home. That wont be easy since she's already entangled in the grandest adventure of her life.

If you've been around for awhile you've probably already heard me talking about the Knytt Stories masterpiece I'm working on. Various side projects have kept me from working on it, but it's finally time to give it my full attention. And, it's finally time to let you see what it's all about. Although there are a few things I will keep secret until its release, I intend to work on this project openly, giving regular progress updates and posting screen shots of most areas.

The level itself will be my largest yet, 1000+ screens. My first project exceeded 700 screens, so you know I have it in me. Game play will involve a large game world with challenging dungeons spread throughout. Full advantage will be taken of the features in the KS mod I made, including the artifacts which were created with this level in mind. Like A Knytt in Time, I want to fill this world with the Knytt history we've created on this forum and in our levels. So, it may include stuff like tree trunk homes, a sheep with a chicken on his head, fact giving Toasts, and a Rrokked. So, I'll be messaging a lot of you for permission to use your stuff.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Widget on February 12, 2012, 03:36:12
Sounds fantastic. It'll be great to see a level making full use of all the collectibles you've put so much work into  :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on February 12, 2012, 10:30:36
Looks great! If you want to include anything of mine, you have my blessing now and I'll look forward to potentially being surprised to see it.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Salmoneous on February 12, 2012, 12:46:17
The level itself will be my largest yet, 1000+ screens.

NOOOOO  :O


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Al on February 12, 2012, 13:31:44
Wow those screens are so beautiful and well done. I won't ever be able to reach that level of creativity in my levels. I think my speciality is more challenging levels, altough i'd like it to be as pretty too. Great work!


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 12, 2012, 17:52:47
NOOOOO  :O

I know saying, "1000+," usually dooms a level, but I'm not a new level designer. I know what I'm getting myself into. *knocks on wood* Plus, I have set myself the goal of releasing The Tree of Knowledge before Knytt/WaDF which will be sometime this year.

@ Al: Every tileset will be made by me, and every one will be for public use after the level's completion. So, you and others will be able to achieve the same beauty. However, there is a thread (http://nifflas.lpchip.nl/index.php?board=61.0) for resources like tilesets, some of them are mine. You should have a look.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Al on February 12, 2012, 19:00:05
Well that's fantastic but what i'm sayin is that even with awesome tilesets i'm not really that good at creating well tought beautifull stuff. Tough tanks you are very kind


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: LPChip on February 13, 2012, 15:52:04
This level looks so awesome, and you labeled it as not a hard level. I'm actually looking forward to play this level. :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Salmoneous on February 13, 2012, 20:58:14
This level looks so awesome, and you labeled it as not a hard level. I'm actually looking forward to play this level. :)

ego you should make it hard. if you're going for 1000+ screens it would be great to have one or two real challenges  :P2


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on February 13, 2012, 23:18:52
Fantastic! Screens look like your best yet; really looking forward to this.

How far, do you think, are you into making this?
And what's a Rrokked?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on February 14, 2012, 03:11:28
And what's a Rrokked?

I can answer that for you! (http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=1459.0)

I only discovered this awesome level upon putting 'Rrokked' into Google, so thanks for mentioning it egomassive.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 14, 2012, 05:16:03
@ Salmoneous: There will be bonus sections that have almost nothing to do with the main story. They will be obvious mini games and they will be very tough. I can't go into more details because these parts I'm keeping secret. But otherwise, this is going to be a level for people of normal platforming skills.

@ Talps: It's hard to say how far along I am. I have about 40% of tilesets, 5% of the screens, 0% of cutscenes, 1% of custom objects, 90% of flow charts, 80% of the story. I've collected a bunch of music, but I don't know at this point how much of it will work. Screens are for me the easiest part, and I have the whole map planned out. The 1000+ screen number isn't the number to worry about if you want to see this level completed. It's the cutscene count that will hold up the project the most. I don't have my storyboard with me now, but I think there are 17 scenes.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Denis on February 15, 2012, 13:22:29
Wow. Will the level use the features of your mod? :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 15, 2012, 17:07:03
@ Denis: This quote was taken from the opening post:
...Full advantage will be taken of the features in the KS mod I made, including the artifacts which were created with this level in mind. ...
I expect to use every feature except golden creatures. In the first 10 minutes of gameplay I've already used advanced signs, custom characters, custom artifacts with artifact flag warps, keyboard objects, map spoofing, triggers, and shift/trigger combination animations.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Al on February 15, 2012, 17:22:35
@ Denis: This quote was taken from the opening post:
...Full advantage will be taken of the features in the KS mod I made, including the artifacts which were created with this level in mind. ...

Does that means the we can't play it without the mod?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Denis on February 15, 2012, 17:31:22
I believe yes.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Al on February 15, 2012, 18:16:05
If it is. It's really too bad, look soooo promising.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 15, 2012, 18:36:45
I need suggestions. In the opening post there's a picture of sewers with a body of water in front of layer 3. I've decided not to do that because it looks awkward where the water ends (on another screen.) I'd still like to have water falls in front, but now they look awkward. (See attachment.) I'm not sure what to do about it.

@ Al: Denis is correct. You'll need to use my mod to play this level. Moreover, my mod has features that can improve the experience for playing any level. Better install and selection menus help you start playing faster. A map system may help navigate levels better. The 200% zoom gives pixel perfect scaling for screens wider than 1200 px. So, you should use my mod to play every level (except for levels made for other mods.)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: LPChip on February 15, 2012, 18:43:18
let the falling water continue, as if its not part of the water below.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on February 15, 2012, 23:06:08
To me it looks fine. The water at the bottom could be slightly closer than the passage she's in. To me it makes the upper passage look more enclosed, as if it's really part of the background.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on February 16, 2012, 08:17:06
I'm a fan of the original look. Perhaps you could alter the level design to prevent the player from ever encountering a screen where the water at the bottom ends?

Another idea: introduce a second, more foregroundy brick tileset that bookends water when required.

Why are you scaling your images like that, by the way?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Denis on February 16, 2012, 12:07:56
Check out this custom object made especialy for Egomassive's mod (2:24).
You may use it in your level.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 17, 2012, 02:08:13
Thanks Denis. I'll consider it. You should post such things in the custom content (http://nifflas.lpchip.nl/index.php?board=61.0) thread, so people can discuss it without getting off topic.

I'm at around 60 screens now with 7 Custom Objects already. There will be twice as many COs by the time I'm finished polishing these screens. This has me worried that I'll hit the 255 CO limit long before I finish the level. I may have to add a second CO bank to the KS mod.

On the waterfall dilemma, I tried several things but wasn't satisfied with any of them. I pushed the walls in a little where the falls passed, no good. I bumped out the floor where the falls landed, no good. LPChip's suggestion wont work in this case because the falls are filling that basin, and when you cut the flow the basin empties. Sergio's bookend idea is sound, but solid tiles that sit closer to the player than the walls break the tunnel feeling more than the falls do by themselves. I guess if I want to be this picky then I shouldn't put falls in front of the foreground. I may try a hybrid of Sergio's first suggestion and not put the sides of the basin on the same screen as the falls.

@ Sergiocornaga: I'm scaling because I'm being over-protective of my tilesets.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on February 17, 2012, 04:42:59
If you decide to revert to water that overlaps the foreground, I wonder if using a custom object to show the brick walls, partially translucent below the water surface, would help make the area where the water ends look more normal?

I'm scaling because I'm being over-protective of my tilesets.

That was my hypothesis. I have my doubts that anyone would go to the trouble of chopping up your screenshots to use for tilesets (especially since they'll be accessible in their original format when the level is released) but you're free to be cautious.

P.S. you should update your website with The Dying Core.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: LPChip on February 17, 2012, 09:10:32
Can you create a tile in the tileset that acts like a bucket that stands out, so the water falls in there, and then redirects it to the background? Similar as to how the water comes out in the first place? Perhaps in the ceiling above the water, so it is redirected to the background there. Like the waterfall falls in a cup there, and then it starts at the background again.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Ultigonio on February 18, 2012, 07:59:40
Haha! I like how unintentionally close I came with my guess for the acronym. :P
But alright! It's good to see you working on something new.  I really want to get back to Pouring, and since I've got a week off, I might just do that.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 18, 2012, 08:27:36
I went and looked up everyone's guesses at the meaning of TToK.
Twelve Tales of Knytt
The Town of Knyttville!
The Tower of K!
Tiny Talk of Kyntt!
The Tower of Kings!
The Tragedy of Khazakhstan!
Toasted Tuba on Ketchup!
Television, Tractors or Kindling!
The Theory of Knowledge?
You're right about being close, Ultigonio. However, I was close to renaming it Television, Tractors or Kindling!. :P

In more serious news, while taking the suggestion to update my neglected blog, I pondered the latest waterfall ideas. The bucket idea led me to floor grates, but the fact that they'd have to be COs led me back to pushing the walls back a bit. The last time I tested the idea I was sloppy and heavy handed since I was only trying to test the idea. This time I was much more subtle and precise. I think it looks pretty good now. (See attachment in full scale so it wont lose any subtlety.) I think I've managed to make it look as though the water passes through, but Juni can't.

On a related note, do you guys think the algae revealed when the water level changes is too saturated? I'm starting to think so.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on February 18, 2012, 12:47:40
Still wish it was Toasted Tuba.

It looks good now, and yeah, i think the algae comes across a bit strong. Dunno if you should make it paler or patchier...


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: LPChip on February 18, 2012, 13:10:47
Algae usually cover partially. They often like to fill the gaps first. Example of little algae: http://www.luxan.eu/54/groene-aanslag-algen/

When algae are present for a much longer time due to water, they usually start to form one big coat. Because of that, you won't be seeing the groves of the bricks anymore. Instead it'll be a green noise based area with really tiny details showing of what used to be (due to elevation). So in your example you would see a little bit of the pillars, but not the bricks in the back.

As for the water grates, I'd suggest putting a little bit of algae there too as shown in first link's image. Water flows through, so algae will flow with it and some will get stuck, forming a small area. Think of it as fungus when some food got out of date and you expose it to air for an hour.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 28, 2012, 00:13:49
I guess I'll need to put more thought into the algae. What LPChip suggests would be more accurate, but a natural look will be more difficult to achieve. Repeating patterns are what I'm worried about. However, I'm moving on to a new area for the moment. I'll come back to the sewers later.

Currently I'm working on the city. It's a mega-city in neo-classical style, very white and very tall. I have posted a screen shot of it before, but I'm now almost completely dissatisfied with how it looked then. My biggest hurdles are figuring out how to manage distant buildings, and how to build a convincing and fun vertical playing field. If any one has some 2D video game examples I could use for technical inspiration please share them.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: lilmanjs16 on February 28, 2012, 23:33:15
Is this the same level you posted about needing music for it? also, this level looks very good and I can't wait to see it be finished :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 29, 2012, 01:21:56
@ lilmanjs16: Yes, long long ago I tried to gather musicians to work with me on this. I think you even posted a link to some songs you had made, but not being a fan of drone I was probably too critical and never heard from you again, sorry. Razor Man made an incomplete track, but otherwise the whole endeavor was pretty discouraging which is probably the main reason I set this level aside. I had thought at the time that for the game and the music to work like they were made for each other, they would have to be made together. Since that time, I successfully collaborated with Ultigonio for The Dying Core which has taught me that if I make the level first the musician will have more direction.

Long story short, I'm making the level first. Then, I'm setting it to music. I plan to seek out artists who have made music close to what I'm looking for and ask them compose for The Tree of Knowledge.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: lilmanjs16 on February 29, 2012, 22:51:44
@ lilmanjs16: Yes, long long ago I tried to gather musicians to work with me on this. I think you even posted a link to some songs you had made, but not being a fan of drone I was probably too critical and never heard from you again, sorry. Razor Man made an incomplete track, but otherwise the whole endeavor was pretty discouraging which is probably the main reason I set this level aside. I had thought at the time that for the game and the music to work like they were made for each other, they would have to be made together. Since that time, I successfully collaborated with Ultigonio for The Dying Core which has taught me that if I make the level first the musician will have more direction.

Long story short, I'm making the level first. Then, I'm setting it to music. I plan to seek out artists who have made music close to what I'm looking for and ask them compose for The Tree of Knowledge.
That sounds like a very good idea man! hope it works out for you.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: yohji on March 04, 2012, 22:54:07
I love the screenshots and it's great to hear you're working on this right now. This reminds me, I still haven't played the final version of Shipwrecked...  O_o


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on May 14, 2012, 21:23:31
The preview pics are ravishingly beautiful... but I would expect no less. :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: GrayFace on May 20, 2012, 10:29:17
Despite all comments I don't understand what's the deal with waterfalls in severs. To me the screen-shot meant to illustrate wierdness looks totally fine, only the water is too green-ish.
Screenshots look wonderful!

Long story short, I'm making the level first. Then, I'm setting it to music. I plan to seek out artists who have made music close to what I'm looking for and ask them compose for The Tree of Knowledge.
Here's a great place with free music: http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on May 20, 2012, 11:22:02
Long story short, I'm making the level first. Then, I'm setting it to music. I plan to seek out artists who have made music close to what I'm looking for and ask them compose for The Tree of Knowledge.
Here's a great place with free music: http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/
Great, yes, but extremely overused. I support egomassive's plan to seek out original music.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on May 20, 2012, 22:10:21
Oddly enough, incompetech.com has never made it into my resources list. My plan is to approach someone who freely releases their music on the web. Just as this community is full of charitable level designers, other communities are full of charitable musicians. A level this pretty shouldn't have much trouble swaying their help.

Progress report: Ha ha. Mostly I've been building a level editor to streamline the level design process. That's been going well, but I have to set it aside for the summer. This means that I can focus all my Knytt attention on this, except that I kinda just vowed to push a community level towards completion. This is not to say, I haven't worked on this at all. In fact, I've been reworking the city tilesets. Parallax is a hard thing to do well in KS. With a vast city scape sprawling beyond the foreground, I've struggled quite a bit with how to manage it. I think I've finally come to a method I can be happy with. I've also made some OCO's to fill in the sewers area.

In other news, I've entered this level in to an epic level competition on these forums. I joined mainly for the extra source of encouragement. I may hay to withdraw if my epicness discourages other competitors. :P


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on July 15, 2012, 23:04:36
Progress Report: Ha ha ha. I jinxed myself saying I could focus only on this. I've mostly been making cutscenes for a round-robin level. This weekend for this level, I have been trying to tackle a problematic bridge (See attachments 1 and 2.) I can't make anything I'm happy with. The city's main architectural style is interlocking concrete blocks with simple lines and hints of Roman influence. My first attempt is too terrible to show. My second try has the arch. I feel it looks too week and it uses too many tiles. I was happy with the third incarnation with angled columns until I showed it to my sister and she said it was stupid. Your ideas are welcome, because I'm fresh out.

Edit: After hearing your thoughts, I tried making tall blocky arches, but they weren't working for me. So I said, "let's make a great arch and not care about the tile count." This is what happened (See 3rd attachment.) I think it's a winner. It requires so many tiles it will need to go on it's own tileset though. This will make the level designing more difficult, but it will allow me to give a similar treatment to the distant bridges. Thanks for the input.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on July 15, 2012, 23:42:55
I'm not greatly against either set of pictures, though I guess I can at least understand the objections.  I guess my suggestion would be to simplify and go with something like what you have in the back ground, but on a larger scale because it's closer to the viewer.  When you said roman influence, I was thinking lots of arches, and perhaps you could make the pillars you have thus far a bit larger and perhaps rounder, taking up three tiles from left to right in order to fill out the space and make the bridge look strong enough.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on July 16, 2012, 00:39:34
If you're going to do an arch  think it needs to have a higher curve and be quite a bit thicker to look feasible. The second one looks ok to me, though.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on July 16, 2012, 03:26:29
Oh, duh, just realized the look you were shooting for.  I guess then my suggestion would be stepped arches, kind of like tetris pieces.  This would let you make a minimum of tiles for a maximum of variation.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on July 16, 2012, 23:16:59
I added a new version of the bridge. I inserted it above to make comparisons easier. :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on July 16, 2012, 23:25:20
I had a few suggestions I was going to sketch up for this, but your most recent version is pretty much perfect.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Raicuparta on July 16, 2012, 23:34:48
I think you should use both the second and the third version, depending on whether you want to make it solid or not.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on July 17, 2012, 01:16:48
Like. 

Do kinda agree with Raicuparta.  The second one as its appeal.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Healy on July 17, 2012, 05:03:40
All of those bridges have their charms, but the third one looks the nicest.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on July 17, 2012, 22:20:53
I think you should use both the second and the third version, depending on whether you want to make it solid or not.
A fine idea. These bridges are for a large city and some variety wouldn't hurt.

I've put some further work into city tiles, and I'm happy with the progress. For the entire game I have a plan to use 2 tilesets for each area. A base tileset holds all the basic elements of an area. The filler set holds additional pieces for greater variety. The best part about this is I don't have to make compromises when transitioning between areas. I simply use the base tileset from each area. The city I envision demands a great deal of inner variety, so It's a little more challenging to layout tilesets. The tactic I'm using is to put the foreground and middle-distant tiles of the city's main architectural style on the base (as seen in the bridge examples.) The base also includes the most distant buildings and city amenities like lamp posts. Then, there will be multiple filler sets which include foreground and middle-distant buildings of varying styles.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on July 23, 2012, 12:01:58
I keep having to do that same thing for my tilesets and areas.  It is exceedingly hard to get a great variety out of one tileset.  You don't get as many surprises.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Salmoneous on July 28, 2012, 11:18:00
Have you tried black outlining (or a darker tone) on the bridge pillars and arch?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on July 28, 2012, 11:43:35
I won't outline background stuff in black. It might look better as a static image, but being part of a game I feel it's most important to know what's solid and what isn't instantly. In the case of these bridges you normally wont interact with the support structure. But, I may want to stick something under a bridge so I'm keeping that option open.

Since we're talking about the city I'll post a tileset update. In this image you'll see the new gradient, the distant buildings, a few foreground objects, and the old middle-distant buildings have been toned down. I realized the mid-distant tiles were too busy when I started adding foreground objects. I think this version looks a ten times better. This is still a work in progress, I haven't made the mid-distant bridge arches yet.

Edit: I've made mid-distant arches, so I thought I'd update the picture.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on July 28, 2012, 15:06:21
Looking very nice.  Yeah, the buildings look a lot better.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Widget on July 28, 2012, 15:50:08
It's looking fantastic. I think it's a really good idea to use the outlines to show which objects are solid aswell; really clear without being intrusive.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on July 29, 2012, 16:46:14
Slight rabbit trail, I had an art teacher in college that would through a fit if we outlined in black, so it is very hard for me to use the black outlines.  But I do see their function.  :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on July 30, 2012, 07:22:59
Actually, I've pondered borders quite a bit while working on this level --read several articles which I can't find anymore or I'd give links. I noticed early on that I was putting bold, black borders on all the hard surfaces; while putting more subtle border on soft ones. I'm afraid the combination will be jarring, but I plan to worry about it later. C) By later I mean, when the level design is complete.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on July 31, 2012, 00:51:46
I experimented with semi-transparent boarders in the past, and that has some appeal.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Widget on July 31, 2012, 01:22:47
Going by the screenshots you've posted so far, the different borders don't seem jarring to me and I'm sure they'll be even less likely to be so while playing the level. While I understand the point of Headgrinder's art teacher's opinion, that was in relation to with traditional artwork; a game has different priorities, including a clear distinction between solid objects and purely decorative.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on July 31, 2012, 11:45:28
And that clear distinction is very important, and I'm not trying to tell anyone how they should make their tileset.  But I do think there is something to be said for working towards alternatives, even if you have to shrug and say, "well, I didn't find one this time." :/  :D


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Widget on July 31, 2012, 22:21:16
Oh, of course. I certainly didn't mean to criticise or belittle your tone or input. I was only offering an opinion on the effect and I'm sorry if it came out too negative.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on July 31, 2012, 22:48:19
Oh, sorry.  I didn't mean to sound combative either.  Curse you impersonal text format! 


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Raicuparta on August 01, 2012, 01:13:46
You guys are too nice.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on January 26, 2013, 00:19:00
How goes this not that your editor is finished?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on January 26, 2013, 01:58:45
Though I have worked on it recently, by no means will this be done by February for the epic level competition. I have been game making everyday. This can include anything from drawing KS tilesets to building an isometric engine in C++. Lately the engine is winning most of my attention. Before that, Endless Winter stole a good portion of TToK's time. Rest assured, just like Endless Winter, KS+, and KS Level Editor + this project will be finished and it will be worth the wait.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on January 26, 2013, 04:06:39
XD


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 09, 2013, 06:39:26
I put in some hours on TToK this week. The work has been somewhat unproductive though. Way back when I started TToK I used an anti-aliased approach to the graphics. Later the graphics became more and more hard pixeled. I have now been going over the old graphics and hardening them. It's going quickly, but I feel like I'm backtracking when I should be pushing ahead. I really need to stop being such a perfectionist.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Widget on February 09, 2013, 18:41:27
I'd suggest not beating yourself up over "backtracking" with your level. Your attention to detail always pays off in a big way and, if it means the wait is longer, then so be it. Don't try to fight your style or force yourself to work at "maximum efficiency" on your projects; it'd be a real shame if it became too much of a chore due to your efforts to make the most of what time you can spare for it.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on February 09, 2013, 23:52:35
I'm seriously unsure there is enough of a difference between those two to justify any work whatsoever.  The 2nd looks a bit better, less fuzzed, but in the grand scheme of things I think you could either ignore that completely, or push ahead and then look at details like that in beta testing. 


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Widget on February 10, 2013, 00:59:43
It wasn't being reworked to improve the look (well, not only or even mainly for that reason). It was to bring it into line with the style of the newer graphics.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on February 10, 2013, 01:08:44
The example image only shows some of the ridiculously fine details I'm agonizing over. I plan to do the tree trunks in a completely different way which means the more screens I make beforehand, then the more screens I'll be redoing later. Either way, I'll be tweaking tilesets and adjusting screens up till the end. That's inevitable.

Also, now that I've made KS+ I can free up a ton of space on the dirt tunnels sets. That will allow me to do a lot more with those screens.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on March 29, 2013, 05:37:14
Time for a long overdue progress report on some long overdue progress: I was inspired long ago to make my temples with a look inspired by Dungeon by Evangelos (http://www.knyttlevels.com/levels/Evangelos%20-%20Dungeon.knytt.bin). I started making them, and things were humming along nicely until I realized I couldn't use most of the enemies in the game with it. The collision areas don't line up with the tile grid, so any thing that walks on the ground or walls will be in them. If I go this way I'll be limited to fliers and bouncers and little else. On the other hand, I could have some interesting jumping and climbing challenges with the non-standard tile sizes. I'm not sure what to do yet.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Fubaka on March 29, 2013, 06:09:42
I'd say do the latter, and save the walking enemies for another segment of the level.  We likes interesting parkour, yes we do!  :nuts:


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on March 30, 2013, 06:15:22
I've discovered I can have the best of both worlds in my temple tilesets. By sliding everything down a bit I can have enemies that walk on the ground without losing the look and feel I want.

Before KS+ was conceived, I was going to have temples that required you to find 7 items within. Once these items were brought back to the entrance the temple would activate allowing access to the boss room. So, each temple would have two states, first to explore in relative safety, second to navigate dangerous enemies and face a boss. Though the rooms would be the same, the paths through the temple would change dramatically. Now that I've made KS+, the idea remains the same except I'll use artifacts for the 7 objects instead of complex flag usage. I still haven't got a clue how I'm going to make the bosses.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on March 30, 2013, 12:29:24
I'm glad you were able to find such a smart, simple solution.

Also, I wasn't digging the lack of detail in the previous screenshot, but I really like the changes you've made for the next one.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on March 31, 2013, 00:27:25
Thanks, the last two images are both works in progress. So far I've only shown the foundations and the shading. These things occupy about 2/3 of the tileset, so they're not as simple as they look. Each temple will reuse these in their own flavor helping to unify them visually. Now, I'm adding decorations and objects. These are the graphical jewels of the temples and will really set them apart from each other.

Spoiler: About the image (click to show/hide)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Dj Gopher on March 31, 2013, 04:42:23
The hardened versions look unbelievably better.
I remember initially thinking that while the graphics were great, they were a little non-knytt-esque. It's looking great now :)

Looking forward


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on April 20, 2013, 12:04:24
Progress Report: The first temple is coming along nicely. Most of the work I've been doing has been graphical, but I have about 30 of the estimated 120 screens it will require. The temple's size will only be around 50 screens out of that total.

Spoiler: TMI (click to show/hide)

Edit: Nearly finished with the first temple. All that's left is the boss chamber. I have an idea for a boss fight, but I'm afraid it's pretty lame. Oh well, the first temple should be easy right? It will need so many COs! I hope I don't run out of them, before I complete the level.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on May 01, 2013, 17:29:54
I need suggestions. I've completed the first temple, and the boss turned out rather well. In the last stages of the battle I added a blue bouncer to the mix, but I can't figure out how to remove him from the field between stages. You never know where he's going to be at screen change. There's a quick animation between each stage of the battle to set up the next part. I've tried flashing the whole screen white, and shooting the bouncer with a beam but neither were convincing. I sure hope I can figure this out, because he adds just the right amount of intensity and I don't want to remove him.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: pfrangip on May 01, 2013, 21:12:14
I think I can picture what you are talking about in my head, and it sounds like a white flash would work... so long as there's a reason for it.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on May 02, 2013, 06:54:09
That was the problem with them, there was no reason for a flash and the beam didn't fit the temple at all. I've tried making it shoot off the screen in an exaggerated blur. It's weird for a bouncer to inexplicably do that, but it's better than simply vanishing. I'll probably stick with this if we can't think of something better. (Sorry, for the lack of visuals. I want to keep as much of the boss battles a secret as I can. Here's the blurred blue bouncer...)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Polana on May 02, 2013, 13:05:01
What about a black "flash" ? Or in the background colour ?
I think, that black screen between different stages of battle might add some "movie" feeling. Something like cut and montage.
Anyway, when I read about how much are you thinking about things in your level, I am looking forward to it more and more.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: pfrangip on May 02, 2013, 13:16:41

That was the problem with them, there was no reason for a flash and the beam didn't fit the temple at all. I've tried making it shoot off the screen in an exaggerated blur. It's weird for a bouncer to inexplicably do that, but it's better than simply vanishing. I'll probably stick with this if we can't think of something better. (Sorry, for the lack of visuals. I want to keep as much of the boss battles a secret as I can. Here's the blurred blue bouncer...)

Hmmmm... well I'll brainstorm ideas, some may work others may be stupid or be completely undoable in engine but here goes:

-open up a trap door that he falls through.
-have some rocks or a pillar fall on him
-have whatever the boss is get angry at him at kill him using whatever it is he does
-have the bouncer get angrier and angrier and more bloated as time goes on (not sure if you can change enemies faces and looks and colors in KS+) before he explodes/pops/flies away
-have some spikes on the ceiling or wall and have him get impaled on them
-if he is teleporting around, have him accidentally teleport into a wall/water/fire/spikes



Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on May 02, 2013, 16:14:10
Maybe tie it into a visual change that happens alongside the battle, like theatrical lighting changes as the stages progress? Torches on the wall that blow out and light up in sequence, with the bouncer disappearing in the darkness, something like that?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: pfrangip on May 02, 2013, 16:51:52
That was the problem with them, there was no reason for a flash and the beam didn't fit the temple at all. I've tried making it shoot off the screen in an exaggerated blur. It's weird for a bouncer to inexplicably do that, but it's better than simply vanishing. I'll probably stick with this if we can't think of something better. (Sorry, for the lack of visuals. I want to keep as much of the boss battles a secret as I can. Here's the blurred blue bouncer...)

Another idea: I'm not sure if there are any hazards in this screen (water, fire, spikes) but if there are and you decide to go the kill the bouncer router, you could have him disappear in a puff of smoke with the same sound that Juni makes when she dies.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: bulbapuck on May 02, 2013, 18:12:39
I'm not 100% sure about what you mean. But if it is supposed to vanish in the heat of battle you could just have it be killed in the way pfrangip descibes, just like Juni. However, I feel there doesn't need to be a reason for it's demise.

Think about it. In most platformers when you've defeated a certain stage of a boss battle, the enemies you're fighting at the same time just die for no good reason. As a player, you don't think much of this because you're in the middle of a heated battle, but it still feels rewarding. It feels powerful somehow.

A good example of a game that does this is OoT.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on May 02, 2013, 18:36:15
The trap door, the torches, and the smoke puffs are all very useful suggestions! Most of your ideas wont work in this case, but they may prove useful when I design the other bosses.

Good point Bulbapuck. I may be over-thinking things a bit --better than under-thinking them.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on July 12, 2013, 10:20:13
So, ego, how goes this?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on July 12, 2013, 17:03:16
So, ego, how goes this?
Funny you should ask. I was just working on it, and I came here to ask a question.

I need a deity or a pantheon of gods that represent the virtues of stupidity and laziness. Other potential virtues are consumerism and an aversion to natural foods, especially fruit. I keep picturing a fat, happy effigy but a similar appearance to Buddha would be offensive in my opinion. If anyone has a good idea, I'd be glad to hear it. There will be statuary and images throughout the game world, and a particular fountain has been a large roadblock in my development.

Progress report: RL has gotten busier, but not so much that I can't work on this. Since last update I've finished the first temple, and I've played through it over a hundred times. It's really good! I rewrote the story from beginning to end. I was happy with it before, but now it's truly epic! This week I've been obsessively tweaking the city's gradients and tilesets. I've come to a point where I'm ready to draw new graphics. A diety for the fountain I mentioned earlier would be a big help.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on July 13, 2013, 00:02:41
Well, there's Aergia (http://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Aergia.html) (about whom little is known) but I imagine you might want to devise an original deity. You could avoid Buddha connotations by modelling body type on that one overweight Knytt sprite.

Something else to consider: an animal-headed pantheon that reflects the values you want (ideas: sloth, pig, koala, hippo, bear, cat, panda, anteater, dog, rat, hummingbird).


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on July 13, 2013, 02:31:45
You could avoid Buddha connotations by modelling body type on that one overweight Knytt sprite.
Aren't the gold and stone gods from Gaia based on him? I'm not sure what they represented, but maybe I could re-purpose them as twin gods --slow, stupid, Stone god and greedy, gluttonous, Gold god. The duality should prevent connections with Buddha.

Something else to consider: an animal-headed pantheon that reflects the values you want (ideas: sloth, pig, koala, hippo, bear, cat, panda, anteater, dog, rat, hummingbird).
A good idea. I'm not sure what creature I'd use though. I'd rather it was something more familiar to the Knytt universe. Maybe a quick jaunt through Knytt will reveal a lazy oaf. But, I'm liking the stone/gold gods at the moment.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Purple Ink on July 13, 2013, 06:35:14
I'd rather it was something more familiar to the Knytt universe. Maybe a quick jaunt through Knytt will reveal a lazy oaf. But, I'm liking the stone/gold gods at the moment.

That little ape-like critter eating fruit(?) off the tree from the original Knytt comes to mind. Something for gluttony perhaps?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on July 13, 2013, 12:28:53
I was thinking through Knytt monsters for something greedy (maybe that giant mouth trap that just appears as teeth until it pops out of the ground?) but then I thought of a Toast god and my mind froze with awe at the idea.

I can imagine you doing something with toasts similar to what Valve did with turrets in Portal 2 (but with less singing).


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on July 13, 2013, 14:29:16
Purple Ink's idea is a problem because fruit is taboo. Otherwise he would be a good representation of gluttony. That guy would more likely be seen as a nuisance by this Knytt society.

Toasts definitely have the lazy part down, but I'm afraid they're too knowledgeable. Then again, their knowledge has always been trivial. Hmm... At any rate, they already have an important role to play which is in conflict with them being worshiped.

Progress report: I've added a set of building tiles that use hexagonal bricks. It reminded me of a honey comb, and I thought, "Hey, what a great analogy these will make between skyscrapers and bee hives!" I'll post a pic once I've finished them.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on September 10, 2013, 11:58:38
Looking forward to this, ego.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: juhj on September 10, 2013, 14:29:13
I'd love to play it.
Do you need beta testers?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on September 10, 2013, 22:30:30
I'd love to play it.
Do you need beta testers?
Yes, someday in the future I will need testers, but not now.

Looking forward to this, ego.
Thanks for the support. I was just drawing trees for this last night. I must admit that I've stopped my daily game making effort. I need to restart that.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Healy on September 11, 2013, 01:55:14
Do you still need help thinking of that sloth/gluttony god you mentioned earlier? Because I think Talps was onto something with the green eater idea. It works very well with gluttony and doesn't require too much of stretch to associate it with sloth, either. Plus if you need to emphasize its artificiality you could always make robot or animatronic versions.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on September 11, 2013, 11:37:40
Wow, I have no idea what you just said, but it sounds awesome.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on September 11, 2013, 22:55:55
Do you still need help thinking of that sloth/gluttony god you mentioned earlier? Because I think Talps was onto something with the green eater idea. ...
I've decided to hi-jack the Stone, Gold pantheon from Gaia. Also, the green eater already has a story role as a green eater.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on September 14, 2013, 09:18:23
I know this isn't much of an update since you've already seen this tileset, but now the trees are pixelated. I love them so much, I had to share immediately. You can compare these to the trees in the opening post. Oh yeah, there's a cabin too.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: juhj on September 14, 2013, 11:01:06
Nice cabin and trees. They give a sense of atmosphere as if your really in a forest with a cosy log cabin.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on September 14, 2013, 12:47:48
I love that wide shaft of sunlight in the background.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: juhj on September 14, 2013, 12:54:39
Yea, that too.  :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on September 15, 2013, 05:18:38
The trees are definitely improved!  Very good cabin.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on October 01, 2013, 01:19:27
I've a long way to go on this, but here's the concept I'm experimenting with for rocky caves. The problem with this set is the collision tiles use 70% of the tileset.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on October 01, 2013, 09:03:31
Large, textureless areas are a bit dull, though it might not be a problem once the caves are filled with critters. Obviously a second complimentary set might be required to overcome your collision problem. You've made such sets for everyone else; now make one for yourself! :P


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on October 01, 2013, 23:08:15
... Obviously a second complimentary set might be required to overcome your collision problem. You've made such sets for everyone else; now make one for yourself! :P
I'm making secondary sets for every main set. Main sets should have everything needed to design a screen allowing smooth transitions between main regions. Once inside a region, secondary sets add additional details. The problem I'm having with the rocky cave set is there's no room for distant backgrounds, decor, etc. Also, The shading isn't good enough. I'm afraid good shading will take a lot more room.

Anyway, I've added more detail, changed the colors, and switched to the dark borders seen in most areas of the level.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on October 02, 2013, 12:23:07
That background gradient definitely needs changing now! I'd suggest something a lot greyer. Maybe do a variety of gradients which work in distant background style details that can be seen through gaps in the tiles.

You could use custom objects instead of tiles for some details. Try to justify it to yourself by having subtly glowing crystals, or huge fossils, stuff like that.

A 24x24 texture or pattern over the tiles might make it look less flat (though it could also be completely at odds with what you want). Some potential inspiration here (http://scutanddestroy.wordpress.com/tag/texture/).

Of course, these suggestions largely depend on you having spare room for such custom assets, which for all I know might not be the case.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on October 02, 2013, 23:02:03
There will be subtle textures, but they will be close to flat. The dirt in the forest shows the approach I'll use. I'm trying to work distance tiles into the set, but I'm still unsure how I'll make them. To create room in the main set, I'm moving less vital pieces to the secondary sets. For example, the slope is 4:1 and I have corner pieces for every step of the slope for every direction. That comes to 32 corners! They all don't need to be in the main set.

With secondary sets I want to add a variety of decorations. I've been considering glowing crystals as a light source. I also want to make calcium formations, mud, pools, plants, dwellings, etc.. There may be several secondary sets allowing vast differences between sections of the cave system.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on October 02, 2013, 23:36:14
What year are you planning on releasing this level? :/


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on October 03, 2013, 11:42:46
Looking beautiful as ever ego.  I do like the switch to a white outline in the first pic, though I can see why you abandoned it.  It would be a great theme for a whole level though.  Complex shade sets are hard to make.  I've ended up including a 10 tile shading set (or highlight set) in many of my tilesets as, while it isn't perfect, I can make almost any shadow with it. 


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on October 03, 2013, 22:40:37
What year are you planning on releasing this level? :/
Last year, before the release of KU. That's still the plan. I have finished probably a third of the whole project. I'm being a super perfectionist with everything, and development was interrupted by KS+, Level Editor +, Shipwrecked, The Dying Core, Endless Winter, A Long Walk, and bouts of disinterest among other things. I have promised myself that I will not take on any other Knytt related projects until TToK is finished. This time of year always makes me want to work on Survival Horror (working title) though.

Before I design the next temple I want to get feedback on the first one. Check back soon for a public beta of that section.

I've ended up including a 10 tile shading set (or highlight set) in many of my tilesets as, while it isn't perfect, I can make almost any shadow with it.
I'll take a look at the shading in your sets. It may give me inspiration. If you look at the sewer and temple screens I've released, you'll see some pretty slick shadows.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on October 04, 2013, 12:17:31
I couldn't figure out which pics you're referring to, but I can see they are all VERY soft.  Mine are more utilitarian and just get the job done. 

I just noticed there is some questions you ask I never read.  I'd like to send you a few sketch ideas for your "vice gods" if you would like them.  They will be rough and done on my lunch break, but I'd find it entertaining to do so.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on October 04, 2013, 15:56:16
Slight delay on the Temple beta; I need to make the sound effects. There's only 2 of them but I'm missing an essential stone-on-stone thud. I'll have to mine freesound.org later, because I'm off to repair my RL roof.

I just noticed there is some questions you ask I never read.  I'd like to send you a few sketch ideas for your "vice gods" if you would like them.  They will be rough and done on my lunch break, but I'd find it entertaining to do so.
I would like to see what you have in mind, but I've already drawn the gods (see image.) I still need to animate the fountain water, and the backgrounds are just stand-ins added for the screen shot, but you can clearly see the Stone god resting after a days labor and the Gold god cherishing the bounties of the land.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on October 04, 2013, 16:35:44
Dang, egomassive, those statues came out better than I ever could have imagined. I'm more excited for this level than ever. Tempted to give you your 101st star, but I will wait until later, since you-know-what seems to be on the cusp of completion and I'd hate for it to be dated before it even gets released.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on October 05, 2013, 03:40:35
Ah!  Nice!  I had something a little more cartoony I think.  Lets see... I'm having trouble with one of the images, of the gluttony god, but here is the lazy god sketches:

Edit: Ah, now I got the gluttony sketches too:


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on October 05, 2013, 07:28:29
I've put together a beta of the Earth temple (http://egomassive.com/2013/10/ttok-earth-temple-beta/) over at my website. I'd like some feedback on how fun it is (or isn't). There are some tiny spoilers at the end, so if you have the patience of a tortoise you should wait for the final product.

@Headgrinder: I love the idea of pouring something into the mouth of the gluttonous god's image. I'll have to use that somewhere. *gives star*


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: juhj on October 05, 2013, 10:35:54
It's awesome the things that you can do with KS+. It was incredibly refined, no mistakes at all. Well done ego, well done.  8D
I want to give a star, but not before whatever project Talps and some other guys are working on for your 100th star anniversary is finished.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on October 05, 2013, 12:13:24
I like the dungeon structure and would be happy to see more dungeons following the same formula. This dungeon is incredibly polished, with the boss battle probably being the highlight. But I also found it slightly bland at times, due to some combination of the low difficulty level, lack of power-ups available, short music files, and relatively commonplace temple aesthetic. Not that I would suggest altering it drastically... it is the first dungeon, after all. Strive to make subsequent dungeons a little more unique and interesting and there should be no problem.

Your use of custom objects is extremely economical. The way you dealt with the blue bouncer flash is impressive, though I'm not sure the blue bouncer really needed to appear a second time given that the last phase is so similar to the penultimate one.

I liked the giant snails a lot.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on October 05, 2013, 12:26:28
That was really good. They must be tiny spoilers 'cus I didn't see anything story-related.

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on October 05, 2013, 17:58:28
:O Somebody broke the 100 star barrier. I guess you guys don't have to hold back anymore. :P



Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Polana on October 05, 2013, 18:34:21
I played it three times in a row and I don't feel bored by all that running around, screen transitions worked properly for me.
I am amazed by how well planned your level is - first time maze and then challenge, both brilliant. Those cobras and the rest of the level reminds me a lot The Realms of the Pharaoh, but this ones is better. I guess I can give you a :hiddenstar: now.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Headgrinder on October 05, 2013, 19:53:47
I'm still super busy with RL stuff, but playing through this briefly,
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)
  I'll try to get time to play it again soon and perhaps figure if I'm doing it wrong.  Likely I am.  :crazy:


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Firecat on October 05, 2013, 21:07:04
Spoiler: Headgrinder (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on October 05, 2013, 23:38:23
I was ok with the maze; I liked the solution with the sloped screen transitions; none of the jumps were too hard. There was one artefact I struggled to find  and I could moan about it, but ultimately a maze ought to not be so easy that you can do it without thinking about it. I think it worked pretty well.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on October 06, 2013, 14:04:55
Are we really suppose to be able to jump over the pink spike walkers?

In most cases I believe they're supposed to be impossible to jump over, but they sure don't look it. My suggestion for this would be to give them custom sprites with spikes that extend a few pixels higher than they do currently. I realise the collision mask would be unchanged, but I still think this could work.

There was one artefact I struggled to find

Same here, but in the end I found it pretty easily by looking at the map, noticing the dungeon was rectangular, and heading for the gap in the block. From a gameplay perspective, doing this worked really well... which is why I feel like the room layout shouldn't be altered, as has been suggested.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on October 07, 2013, 04:22:12
There was one artefact I struggled to find
Same here, but in the end I found it pretty easily by looking at the map, noticing the dungeon was rectangular, and heading for the gap in the block. From a gameplay perspective, doing this worked really well... which is why I feel like the room layout shouldn't be altered, as has been suggested.
I'm thinking well placed decorations may alleviate some of the confusion. It will help distinguish similar looking screens from one another.

That's a good argument for simple shaped temples. The map-radar power is treated as a bonus power in this level, meaning a player may never collect it. Still, making a temple in the shape of a skull is an appealing idea.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Chrysophylax on October 19, 2013, 10:46:34
I just finished the beta. I didn't find the maze too hard (despite not realising I had a map available), none of the jumps were too hard (the snake bouncers over the water were normal at most and everything else was easy) and I really, REALLY liked the main mechanic of the dungeon. You get one  :hiddenstar: for making the level itself, which was great, and will get a second :hiddenstar: (as soon as the forum will let me) for making the drop-through floors. They are perfect and I really hope they show up in other areas. Amongst the ideas you didn't use:

 
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)


The level wasn't as hard as I usually like them, but the beta would be one of my favourite levels if it were released as is. I can't wait for the full thing! Given how excellent it was, I have only four minor complaints and two more major complaints.

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

All in all, a very promising start to what looks likely to be one of the best KS levels ever.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on October 19, 2013, 17:22:49


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on December 05, 2013, 20:07:13
Due to unfortunate news about Advena (http://nifflas.lpchip.nl/index.php?topic=5740.msg65980#msg65980) and overall forum sluggishness, I've decided to release a screen-shot of a custom character I'm working on. I'm having a long weekend which I'm using to make some progress.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Polana on December 07, 2013, 11:46:45
This is so cute...both cat and house they're in.
Does this mean that Juni will be running around with living animal on her head for a while ?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on December 08, 2013, 03:16:08
This is so cute...both cat and house they're in.
Does this mean that Juni will be running around with living animal on her head for a while ?
Yes, there will be several sections where an animal rides upon Juni's head. I hadn't realized how much Cave Story influences me until after I drew Juni with a cat hat. :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on December 08, 2013, 14:07:57
Hmm, I don't remember that in Cave Story... But then I never got all the way to the end so maybe I missed something.

The custom character looks great; it'll be a lot of fun looking at that and giggling to myself.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Widget on December 08, 2013, 14:41:31
Hmm, I don't remember that in Cave Story... But then I never got all the way to the end so maybe I missed something.
Spoiler: Re: Talps (Off-topic) (click to show/hide)

Due to unfortunate news about Advena (http://nifflas.lpchip.nl/index.php?topic=5740.msg65980#msg65980) and overall forum sluggishness, I've decided to release a screen-shot of a custom character I'm working on. I'm having a long weekend which I'm using to make some progress.

The custom character looks great; it'll be a lot of fun looking at that and giggling to myself.
It's a fantastic piece of spriting. I'm once again dumbfounded at the detail you've managed to get in such a small image. I struggle to even resize an icon without obliterating all the fine detail, to say nothing of the messes I've made of RM2k sprites trying to effect a simple recolour; and those are twice Juni's size :oops:


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: oskop on December 25, 2013, 19:17:41
looks v. nice! when will it be out?


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on December 27, 2013, 01:22:47
looks v. nice! when will it be out?
I can't predict. I've a long way to go and very little time to work on it at the moment.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: seattalite on April 10, 2014, 21:26:45
Loved it, ego! Very well designed - good game play. Add some more story and splash/cut screens. I like a long game with a quest for Juni to get the rest of the keys - maybe on different planets - locales as well as each additional gemstone (power-up). I had fun playing it. You can always tell when you're in the hands of an experience map/game designer who has actually thought out the gameplay in advance.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on August 28, 2014, 06:49:49
Thanks Seattalite. Glad you enjoyed it.

I've had a bit of a breakthrough. In a level called The Tree of Knowledge you'd expect to find an epic tree or two. Well the design of this feature has been a major designer's block for me. I've finally found an approach I'm very happy with.  It's too much of a spoiler to show such a key piece of scenery, but it matches the updated forest trees I've shown before.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on August 28, 2014, 09:33:29
Today is a good day :) Great to here you're working on this; I was thinking of posting here a few days ago but felt I couldn't really fault you for silence and procrastinating what with my own record.


Hmm... 'Dragon Myth' and 'The Tree of Knowledge'...

Race? :P (Kidding.)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Chrysophylax on September 01, 2014, 19:48:59
I've had a bit of a breakthrough.

 :D :D :D

Today is a good day

Today is a good day for pie! (Today is always a good day for pie.) And also for Knytt Stories!


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on September 05, 2014, 15:40:06
Screenshot time! This city park was so hard to make! I think there's room for improvement, but not sure how. Advice, criticisms, and praise are all welcome. :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on September 05, 2014, 16:18:15
Nice, I was hoping for a screenshot when I saw this thread had updated! As for improvements, maybe you could add a fountain... maybe with a couple of statues... maybe one is gold... heh.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on September 06, 2014, 21:39:29
Yeah, some more features in the park would be good, I think. Paths, water, maybe some trees... Try varying shades of natural colours.

But it looks great! :)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: the Jack on September 08, 2014, 00:29:28
I'm agog at those architectural details! Gorgeous.

A fountain and/or statue would be good, yeah. Or a carousel if you feel ambitious.   ;)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on September 08, 2014, 14:50:42
There's stuff in the park! (Jack you can see the fountain Sergio is referring to on page 8 of this thread. Looking back on that picture I actually like those stand-in trees.) My concern was if it looked right. There's something about the screen of trees that feels off to me, but I don't know what. Some closer trees may help. I'll try it.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on September 08, 2014, 22:20:10
Maybe the fact it's trees in the background and bushes in the foreground? But it could just be a different part of the park, different design and landscaping.

The only other thing that occurred to me is that it's unusual to see bare soil in a park, but with the way you've designed it an alternative wouldn't really be feasible, and it stopped bothering me once I'd resolved that.

I like the fountain from page 8 but it could be more... dynamic. If the stone god was sleeping (think images of Homer sleeping in 'The Simpsons', made to look really lazy and gross, dropping things from his hands right off of the shrine, drool down his face, even - nay, especially - dressed only in underwear) and the gold god was seriously obese (more than a fat belly, but fat arms, fat legs, fat face, fat neck) and actively depicted stuffing his face with food (gross, messy overeating) it would make the themes more obvious and give it much more impact, funnier and weirder and cooler. Hyperbole is a great communicator, and very entertaining.

But it would probably a lot harder to draw, if nothing else.


I was also thinking that rubbish left lying around the fountain would emphasise its themes as well (eat like a glutton and discard without effort) but then, could there be rubbish scattered throughout the whole park? This could even be an offering to the gods!


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on September 09, 2014, 10:37:13
If the gods looked gross, it would be a hard religion to sell. My previous descriptions of the gods has evolved somewhat. To put it briefly, they're like two faces of capitalism for common knyttfolk, rest and wealth. They represent a balance between working for personal wealth and relaxing. The problem is there's a gigantic city at the heart of the game world, and a civilization that doesn't do work couldn't have built it.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on September 09, 2014, 11:22:36
Until recent times obesity was considered a sign of status and wealth and was envied. Gluttony and slovenliness would be a somewhat alluring contrast to real-world values of temperance and self-discipline. And hyperbole works in comedy.

But ah well, just ideas. And if you're changing your plans, too, that's cool. I like the ideas you're putting together. It'll be great to finally play this!


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Kira on September 21, 2014, 14:55:32
Cool !!! Egomassive new story, that's a good news !


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on June 18, 2015, 20:31:49
I've been knocking the dust off this project this week. I've added 6 new screens and 2 COs so far. I even added a feature to the KSLE+ so I could scroll 100 screens at a time (hold Shift+Control and use arrow keys.) I also added a feature to KS+ specifically for this level. XD

Talps was saying how the Hologram is just too powerful against many enemies and hard to make puzzles for. In this level I have a lot planned after the hologram is collected, maybe a third of the level. The hologram must be tamed. So, I added a mode that only allows the hologram to be launched on special spots. These spots are invisible squares that rely on level designers to indicate the presence of.

The best news is that I've been excited to work on this! I finally made some COs that have been holding me back. Everyday I feel eager to make more progress. There are no new tilesets this time so I have nothing new to show you, but here's something old most of you haven't seen:


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on June 18, 2015, 22:49:38
Great to hear you're working on this! I'm still really hoping to see this, 'Dragon Myth' and 'The Empty Planet' finished. Your graphics for TTOK (what was it, 'Tractors, something Or Kindling'?) are lovely and show how well you've developed over time.

I like your hologram solution; may make for some interesting puzzles (my answer was to have it 'break' and stop working as soon as I could justifiably do so :P).

I hope the drive lasts and you keep finding the fun in designing. I've gotten bogged down rewriting old cutscenes; obsessing over the little details, eh. Time for you to catch up (not that I'm racing or anything :shifty:).


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: bulbapuck on June 18, 2015, 22:59:09
I can't believe I had forgotten about this, I am excited again!  C)p


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Ultigonio on June 19, 2015, 21:11:45
All of that sounds great!  Especially loving the sound of that new feature.  I'm hoping I'll be able to get my "spark" back for Deep Freeze so I can start working on it at a more brisk pace.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on June 26, 2015, 07:06:08
I made 27 new screens since my last post not including duplicates. I did a bit of tileset work too. I'm working on an underground tunnel system presently. When traveling though it the first time you won't have many abilities, and I'm having a lot of fun designing a network for different power levels. Here is a shot of a pretty screen which gives away nothing. ;)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: scwizard on June 28, 2015, 11:40:13
Just played the earth temple test.

I think it could be more clear that blue eyes = bouncy thing. I'm pretty sure there's a way to show that by having Juni land on a bouncy thing when she falls or similar.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on June 30, 2015, 02:29:01
Just played the earth temple test.

I think it could be more clear that blue eyes = bouncy thing. I'm pretty sure there's a way to show that by having Juni land on a bouncy thing when she falls or similar.
Thank you for the feedback. I consider changing that every time I play through it. When formal beta-testing has been conducted I'll make a decision. The color blue is significant, and players should be well aware of that by the time they get to the temple. That doesn't mean it can't be better though.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: SC on July 24, 2015, 02:08:03
Sweet! So happy to find that work is being done on this level again! Can't wait for the (eventual) final release!


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on July 31, 2015, 07:41:12
It's taken me 3 weeks to make this tileset. Ooff! I'm really happy with the results. The ground tiles are a pixelated re-working of the Volcanic Island tileset from A Knytt in Time. Much of the decoration in this set is greatly inspired by the work of the Andersson brothers, particularly Fredrik's Rough Sea Landscape. Those guys were so good at this sort of thing.

The pink foliage is solid and the bridge is a pass-through platform. As usual, constructive criticism is welcome.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: sergiocornaga on July 31, 2015, 08:57:01
Looks gorgeous. I really like the little red tipped plants, the miniature versions of the trees used in the distance, and the subtle rock texture.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: pfrangip on July 31, 2015, 20:42:08
It's taken me 3 weeks to make this tileset. Ooff! I'm really happy with the results. The ground tiles are a pixelated re-working of the Volcanic Island tileset from A Knytt in Time. Much of the decoration in this set is greatly inspired by the work of the Andersson brothers, particularly Fredrik's Rough Sea Landscape. Those guys were so good at this sort of thing.

The pink foliage is solid and the bridge is a pass-through platform. As usual, constructive criticism is welcome.

Good gravy that is an excellent tile-set! Gorgeous, three layers with miniatures of each other. The straight lines and flat trees I like, because it just screams "Pixely Knytt World" while still being exceptionally eye-pleasing. Along with the other screenshots from Page 1, the tilesets look like they're just going to give this world a layer of visual depth we haven't seen in a KS level in a long time.

Psh, "Constructive critiscism" my heiny. :shocked: What can I even find wrong? I guess, uh, there's not a lot of details to break up the large regions of granite in the foreground.



Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Fubaka on July 31, 2015, 22:02:18
I always liked the simpler tilesets. I'll presume your 3 weeks included a lot of on-and-off-ness?

Glad to see you're still pecking away at this mountain.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on August 01, 2015, 16:24:42
Screenshot looks great, though I'd say the foreground rock looks rather flat, especially inside the cave.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: CWolvie on August 03, 2015, 18:11:19
Treetops look better if they're round, but it's just my opinion.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: SC on August 03, 2015, 21:26:35
I LOVE the shading on the trees/leaves. It reminds me of the folder icons from Windows 98, somehow. And the background rocks look great, too. They have a really simplistic style to them.

And yes, I would agree with Talps in saying that the foreground rocks do look a bit flat. Maybe use the same shading method used on the leaves/trees, but with a bit more depth?

(I also feel that the grass on the foreground rocks maybe needs some work as well.)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on May 13, 2016, 13:27:36
Ahem. The forum's been pretty quiet this week, and I've been torn away from TToK to work on another Nifforum related project, so I thought I'd show off an area of the game never before seen. My lack of updates in this topic are largely due to the fact that I've been using tilesets I've already shown or I've been making areas I don't want to reveal. Progress has been very slow but steady.

This cave system is meant to have many cracks where sunlight can stream in and so there are strange plants. I was in the process of drawing the plants when I got distracted from this project. There will be many more huddled around the rays of light in the future. With the large plant here I wanted to create a jump-through platform, but at the same time give it natural lines. I'm pretty sure I accomplished that.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Purple Ink on June 27, 2016, 18:07:27
Wow, really love the depth of the image. Nice colours as well. I also like how alien the plant looks. Great work.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: ZaratUshtrA.2.0 on December 29, 2016, 20:04:08
Excellent cave ) Level WIP ? Or not..? :oops:


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on December 30, 2016, 06:13:20
Excellent cave ) Level WIP ? Or not..? :oops:

Not at the moment sadly. I admit I was distracted by another game community which I made some stuff for and then there was Christmas. More than all that, when I make stuff for this corner of the internet I work on a side project. You can see some details about it on my personal website (http://egomassive.com/2016/09/new-project-hiddenstar/). Incedentally, I've played some free indie games lately and been reminded how bad most of them are or when they're great they're usually disappointingly short. It's given me renewed faith in how worthwhile of a project "The Tree of Knowledge" is.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: ZaratUshtrA.2.0 on December 30, 2016, 16:59:16
Excellent cave ) Level WIP ? Or not..? :oops:

Not at the moment sadly. I admit I was distracted by another game community which I made some stuff for and then there was Christmas. More than all that, when I make stuff for this corner of the internet I work on a side project. You can see some details about it on my personal website (http://egomassive.com/2016/09/new-project-hiddenstar/). Incedentally, I've played some free indie games lately and been reminded how bad most of them are or when they're great they're usually disappointingly short. It's given me renewed faith in how worthwhile of a project "The Tree of Knowledge" is.

Thanks for the answer ) Yep, sadly, of course.. But anyway, I will wait for news) And level )))


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on April 16, 2017, 22:54:27
In case anyone is wondering, this project has been THE project I've been working on lately. I'm determined to make this year the year it comes out. I've been working on it for so so long that I mostly keep it to myself when I make progress, but I've just successfully worked on it every day of the Lenten season. And considering how quiet this forum has been lately, I thought I'd post a screenshot as an Easter surprise for anyone who might check on the forum.
(http://egomassive.com/2017/TToK09.png)
It's a rocky beach. I borrowed the tree from Through the Swamp, but it was based on graphics made for this level. I must admit that I love the look of TtS so much that it's been hard to stay true to this level's look.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: SC on April 17, 2017, 07:49:35
YEEESSSSSSSSS. So glad to see another update on this level!! Can't wait until it drops!


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: ixMarcel on April 17, 2017, 10:21:42
That screenshot looks lovely!


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on April 17, 2017, 11:48:29
Aw man, working on KS every day for Lent? Wish I'd thought of that. It'd be really great to see this level released; hope you keep it up.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Ultigonio on April 18, 2017, 02:26:34
Great to hear you're so motivated!  I recently took to working on a separate project and I definitely found forcing myself to a daily schedule to be strongly productive, so it's great to hear you've been able to make time for such a plan.


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: egomassive on May 24, 2017, 22:23:23
Here's a little diary of a single element I spent an insane amount of time perfecting. I decided to give those skeletal characters by Johnny Chthonic a cameo, and I decided my rendition needed an axe. Boy did I struggle with that axe. Since only the final version is making it into the game I thought I'd share my attempts here.

(http://egomassive.com/nifflas/Chthonic.png)
Note: Axes are triple scale. Appears in a scene lit from the lower left.

The first one on the left wasn't primitive enough and it read background decoration to me. The blade kills if you walk into it. The middle attempt was certainly primitive, but I went overboard on the realism and the brutishness. Surly Johnny's monsters are stronger than they look, but this thing probably outweighs it's wielder 2 to 1. And that brings us to the final form. Light, primitive, huge, and utterly appropriate for my Chthonite (which has a little more detail than the original one depicted.)


Title: Re: The Tree of Knowledge [challenge/normal/large]
Post by: Talps on May 25, 2017, 17:42:28
I loved those creatures and I look forward to seeing them in the game. Your art is brilliant here, and I agree with your assessments.

Very happy that this is still rolling along!