Malevolent Castle

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jonadab
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Malevolent Castle

Post by jonadab »

Okay, with the new castle graphics going in, there was talk of other castles. The developers are already working on certain ones (e.g., for orcs), but there was also talk of the need for a dark castle suitable for undead. which AFAIK no one has seriously worked on. This thread is devoted to that.

A couple of people had attempted to just do color adjustments to Pekka's castle artwork, but that wasn't cutting it. Among other things, that castle wasn't designed to be dark, so the shading comes out wrong, and also people seemed to think a dark castle should be more "angular" (Pekka's is quite rounded in places).

I've done one concept sketch, attached, to get the ball rolling.
The proportions and shapes are based on Pekka's elements, here:
http://exong.net/wesnoth-attach/files/c ... ts_230.png

Obviously this is not in final condition, and there are whole parts missing (floor, keep, ...), but it should be enough to get discussion started. If anyone wants to make tweaks to it, the .xcf with the layers in tact is available upon request, but I suspect at this point that this is just a sketch, and that someone else will end up painting the thing ultimately anyway, so I'm just posting the merged .png here for now.

Among other things: is it angular in the right way?

Someone had said something about an eerie glow, but I'm not sure where to put that -- around the keep, maybe? Dunno.

What do people think about the iron pikes instead of walls? Should some of them be angled? Bent? Twisted? Can that be depicted at that size (the smallest size, which is the size they would actually be in game)? Should they be joined together with some kind of horizontal crossbars (diagonal?) or chains (drooping?), to form a fence? Does jet black really look all that much like iron? What coloring would? Should there be fewer pikes, further apart perhaps? Another row of pikes, maybe coming out of the ground at a 45-degree angle in front of the others, as if to protect against cavalry? (I don't know if my artistic skill is up to that kind of foreshortening...) Should the keep have stone walls?

How about the lack of any windows? _Should_ it have windows? Should the eerie glow emmanate from the windows?

Once we come up with something here that satisfies most of us to the extent that we can't come up with any more improvements to make to it, we can take the result over to the other forum and let the devs shoot it down ;-)

update: more up-to-date version: Image.
Attachments
First concept sketch for a dark castle.
First concept sketch for a dark castle.
castle_elements_evil.png (73.45 KiB) Viewed 3830 times
Last edited by jonadab on April 4th, 2006, 3:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Sapient
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Post by Sapient »

Well, it does sort of remind me of a cemetary. Gargoyles atop the pillars might be nice. And the pillars could have a little slime on their extremities? If we're not going the Cirith Ungol route, I'd like to see a cross between Dracula's mansion and Labyrinth. I also think malevolent castles should appear off-balanced, to represent dischord.


Image
http://img-fan.theonering.net/middleear ... koslow.jpg
Last edited by Sapient on March 5th, 2006, 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by toms »

Coool!!

Make something like that, the concept is awesome.
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Post by WTL »

What about going in a different direction with it and making the undead castle pearly white bones? Large ribs sticking out of the ground to make a wall, towers made out of spines with assorted skulls adorning the top, etc etc.

I've never done tile work, but I'll try my hand at this anywho.
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Post by Cuyo Quiz »

Pale pearly may work, but doing it all of bones i think it would be strech it a little bit too much. Maybe bone decorations on a pale, foggy castle. Also, it would be hard to convey the feeling of bone-made in that size i think.

Yours is looking great jonadab. Of course, proper light source/shadows can be added later.
I think horizontal bars, one near ground and one near top would be good, and a variation with a decorated door. If you could add some sort of symbol, like the snake on the necromancer's staff for the Keep, or maybe even the eerie glowing/mist-producing watchtower for diferentation, i think you have your tile.
Love the spikes, keep them please, makes it look more defensive, maybe some dirt/spots on the towers?, i'm not sure.
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jonadab
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Post by jonadab »

Sapient wrote:Gargoyles atop the pillars might be nice.
I don't know if I can draw gargoyles, but I know I *certainly* cannot draw them to be recognizeable at that small size. Bear in mind, the little tiny size in the middle of that image is about the size things will actually be in the game. Maybe somebody could draw gargoyles on the top corners of the towers at that size, but each gargoyle would be about 8x8 pixels, which is really pushing the limits of representation.

Unless you meant to put a single gargoyle atop each tower, facing out? That would be a little weird in the scale department, and it would mean different versions of the tower for the six different corners of the hex. Does the game engine support that?
Sapient wrote:And the pillars could have a little slime on their extremities?
That has potential, though.
Sapient wrote:I also think malevolent castles should appear off-balanced, to represent dischord.
Off-balance like leaning towers, or off-balance like not centered, or off-balance like some of the iron pikes bent/leaning/twisted, or in some other way?
WTL wrote:What about going in a different direction with it and making the undead castle pearly white bones?
Perhaps. I think I'd have to see a sketch of this to decide if it's an idea I like.
Cuyo Quiz wrote:Pale pearly may work, but doing it all of bones i think it would be strech it a little bit too much. Maybe bone decorations on a pale, foggy castle. Also, it would be hard to convey the feeling of bone-made in that size i think.
I think there are enough pixels to portray the idea of bone, especially with giant ribs sticking out of the ground for the walls. However, bone decorations on an otherwise stone castle might also work, and it might work on either a dark or light castle. Again, I think I'd have to see it to decide what I like. Which was the point of this thread, incidentally -- let's look at some possible designs and see if we can settle on something.
Cuyo Quiz wrote:Of course, proper light source/shadows can be added later.
Yeah, I wasn't going to take it to that level until after a round or three of feedback on the overall design.
Cuyo Quiz wrote:I think horizontal bars, one near ground and one near top would be good, and a variation with a decorated door.
A decorated door variation, for the front side only, that does sound right.
Cuyo Quiz wrote:If you could add some sort of symbol, like the snake on the necromancer's staff for the Keep
Where, exactly?
Cuyo Quiz wrote:or maybe even the eerie glowing/mist-producing watchtower for diferentation
An extra-tall watchtower for the keep might work, and yeah, the eerie glow (a la Jackson's depiction of Minas Morgul) is something someone had already mentioned (might've been frame, don't recall for sure), so I was figuring we'd want to have a look at doing something with that.
Cuyo Quiz wrote:Love the spikes, keep them please, makes it look more defensive
Yeah, but should they all be straight upright like they are, or should some of them maybe be angled, bent, or whatnot? That was something I wasn't sure about.
Cuyo Quiz wrote:maybe some dirt/spots on the towers?
Perhaps. What color? A lighter grey? Brownish? The reddish brown of dried blood springs to mind, but that arguably violates NBIW and anyway might not contrast all that well against the dark tower walls. One advantage of a pale castle is that it would be easier to stain, if desired.
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Post by Alks »

It's ok for now. I'm against making it too dysharmonic at this point, they first have to be legible and clear. It's Wesnoth - not HoMM.
Solid, dark castle would be excellent addition. If there are to be gargoyles, decorations, etc. - ok, but let's implement basic undead castle first. And make it castle, not a HoMM Cemetery.

BTW, I'm more than interested in these sketches.
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Post by Redeth »

Wouldn't something like this be nice? :o

I mean, this is just an example, a cheap FX that took me 5 minutes to make, but I'm thinking about other little details that could be added... like crows or tiny bats continuosly flying around the malevolent castle towers, or maybe a dead tree being sweeped by the wind near the main gate (or as a part of it).

Is this possible? Desirable? Plain stupid? :P
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windowglow.gif
windowglow.gif (2.75 KiB) Viewed 3672 times
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jonadab
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Post by jonadab »

Alks wrote:BTW, I'm more than interested in these sketches.
Should I attach the .xcf with the layers, or is the .png version enough?
Redeth wrote:Wouldn't something like this be nice?
Something along those lines, maybe, but not that exactly. I had considered a glowing window effect, and yellow/orange/red was my first thought, but upon further consideration I rejected it as too warm and cheery for undead. It makes me think of a fire in the hearth, and that just doesn't fit the stereotype for undead.

I'm now arguing with myself the merits of greenish glow versus bluish glow, and will have to see both, and probably a couple of other colours as well, before I can reach any conclusions. I'm also not at all sure how bright it should be. I'm experimenting, and will probably at some point this week post a comparison of several versions.

On a side note, GIF format does Very Bad Things to the anti-aliasing on those iron pikes. (It didn't matter here, because the windows were the point and they weren't impacted by that, but I couldn't help but notice anyhow.) It's the indexing, I'm sure, wiping out the alpha channel entirely.
Redeth wrote:I'm thinking about other little details that could be added... like crows or tiny bats continuosly flying around the malevolent castle towers, or maybe a dead tree being sweeped by the wind near the main gate (or as a part of it).
Animations are, I think, probably not where we want to go for terrain graphics. Too many players would be annoyed by the extraneous distracting motion. Gargoyles and such would be okay if they could be drawn convincingly, but I don't think I can draw a convincing gargoyle in 8 pixels each direction. Feel free to prove me wrong by drawing just that, though.
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Post by WTL »

Not being one to follow the mold (or check the board in the 7 hours it took me... wait 8 hours now, to make this), I made this (HAHA). I don't know how to change it to a png. This library computer doesn't seem to have any sort of Graphics Converter. Although these photochop ones seem to let me download Wesnoth, so maybe I can get GC in the future.

Oh, and if theres any questioning about the level of the anti-aliasing, (Now Bragging) its because I did the anti-aliasing by hand, since I couldn't figure out how to make the computer do it.

Anyways, how's this float your boat as a JPG?
Attachments
Modeled it off Pekko (is that his name?) Its an eeeeevil tower. Convex South East.
Modeled it off Pekko (is that his name?) Its an eeeeevil tower. Convex South East.
darlcastle-convex-se.jpg (24.42 KiB) Viewed 3601 times
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Post by Cuyo Quiz »

About the symbol: i think it would be good for the front of the Keep. Two possible places, one would be on the front itself, sealing the "door", and the other the towers at the sides of the "door", this could be either at all the height or at the top of said towers. I am more fond of the "front seal" alternative.

About spikes: They should be straight like they are now. If they bent, i think it may look repetitive, unless variations are added.

About dirt/spots: Although dried blood could really give it an evil feel, the NBiW may get in the way, and make it look like blood could be hard on the scale. For a dark tower, it can either be lighter grey or greenish moss, my mind going for the grey option, and for a pale tower, there is the option to play with many colors as the contrast would be easier to achieve.

Seeing the JPG, i feel the horizontal spikes may be a good idea for this.
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Post by WTL »

Tried again (reworked from scratch more or less.) The tower and wall aren't finished, but I think they are better shaped this time. A little less flamboyant. And I did the SE Convex and SE Concave (they're the easiest) this time. How does this look for evil castles?

Also attached is the concept for the evil castle (spooky). The original idea was to have it kind of like the ground wanted to hold it down, and suffocate the abomination that had been raised... I couldn't quite manage the effect in photoshop, so it didn't make it in. Although I'm sure there are people out there who could...

*cough*hint*cough*

...The superimposed face on the tower is moaning in horror, something I tried to pull off with the last tower by attatching a super-imposed skeleton head on it, which I thought looked very nice.

The other thing is my hand at a bone castle dealy, with the drake head mounted on a pedestle with its bones and spine wrapped around it <insert undead better than drake joke here>. Thought bones would kind of fit with the whole undead theme.

Oh, and theres no blood anywhere. As tempting as it was.
Attachments
Concept for very naughty castles. Not castle anthrax.
Concept for very naughty castles. Not castle anthrax.
Evilcastle-concept.jpg (64.73 KiB) Viewed 3452 times
Two parts of an evil castle. Eeevil castle. Wooooooooooo
Two parts of an evil castle. Eeevil castle. Wooooooooooo
ebilcastle-display.jpg (26.04 KiB) Viewed 3470 times
Last edited by WTL on March 7th, 2006, 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Fynmiir »

I like it. It is foreboding and has a feel of darkness. Yes, very evil.
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Post by turin »

There was actually a graveyard-thingy made be Neoriceisgood several months ago, and it looked rather similar to what you've done. Much more graveyard-y, though.

Anyway, I think it would be best if you didn't go the graveyard route, and instead made it appear like an actual castle. You know, have walls and stuff instead of just metal spikes in the ground. ;)
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Post by Sapient »

I think if you want to acheive a really distorted looking castle, you might have to use a different slice-up (like Eleazar did with his Chasm pieces).

I'll try experimenting with this a little, but I don't have the Perl-fu scripts working yet.
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