Maps: Simple VS. Complex

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Faye Valentine, Jun 6, 2019.

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Simple vs Complex. Let's go!

  1. Simplicity, of course.

    58.8%
  2. Complexity, forever.

    41.2%
  1. Faye Valentine

    Faye Valentine The Mapgician Veteran

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    Yeah I agree. Lighting is so important besides "covering errors". For example, colour palettes can make or break the feeling of a scene. Shadows, ambient occlusion, all that stuff. It's very nice to have it. And even simple stuff like what you say, the flickering neon signs, it's a plus. Every detail counts. RTP by its own doesn't stand out.
     
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  2. Ksi

    Ksi ~RTP Princess~ Moderator

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    RTP by itself stands out just fine if you know how to make use of it. Good level design is always going to be a good thing. It's shitty RTP use that you're talkinga bout.

    So, no, I'm saying lazy devs often use them to cover actual mapping issues and hide their bad practices and they shouldn't. It isn't necessary at all. Ever.

    It can, however, enhance a great map and make it even better, and that's how lighting should be used - not to hide, but to enhance.

    THIS:
    upload_2019-6-23_5-57-4.png

    will ALWAYS be preferable to THIS:
    upload_2019-6-23_5-57-31.png

    One has no lighting effects but very good mapping. One has shitty mapping but is covering that up with heavy handed lighting effects. The bad mapping is still there, and that map is objectively terrible and I would ream the dev out for something like this if I played a game that did it like that. Always. Because trying to hide your laziness is pathetic.

    Besides, being lazy in this way is bound to reflect on the rest of the game. I'd fully expect the bottom game to be full of default battle system and items, or just be another boring 'horror' walk sim. It doesn't bring any interest to the map at all. It looks like someone just went "fudge it" and decided to hide all their bad ability with shitty overlays to add 'spooky'. Nope. Bad game design.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  3. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    The second one is also an example of how to NOT do lighting in general. It's hard to tell since the player isn't present, but the only time that level of darkness is acceptable is if the player has a personal light source capable of properly illuminating the environment with a reduced radius.

    As for the first image...well it would look nice, but that tree wall autotile is absolutely ruining it. That particular tile just isn't usable without some sort of edit due to how bad it looks. :/
     
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  4. Faye Valentine

    Faye Valentine The Mapgician Veteran

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    Err yeah what the user above said, plus that lighting is so, sooo very bad done. And of course it's a cover, the thing is almost pitch black, mate. Lighting doesn't means obscure maps.

    Edit: also the first map doesn't stand out for its own. it's yet another rtp map. nothing special, i'm sorry

    Edit 2: forgot to add, if my point isn't clear yet, that a map can only stand for its own with no lighting if it uses custom resources (custom pixelart, or like drawn scenarios and stuff)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  5. Ksi

    Ksi ~RTP Princess~ Moderator

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    I disagree with the both of you and think you just don't want to concede the point. Most RM games use the lighting I showed - they use KHAS lighting defaults, they throw horrible black over a map or light pouring down from the sky in a nonsensical array of sunbeams and they look terrible and lazy.

    I have literally played thousands of RM titles in the 20+ years I've been in the community (not even an overestimation). There are very few games that do lighting any kind of justice.

    Very.
    Few.


    Methinks you just expect that everyone who picks up lighting to hide the terrible maps they make is going to do it at all well. If they're making horrible maps, they're making horrible lighting effects too. It's a symptom of the laziness inherent in using horrible maps in the first place.

    But please, do show me some lighted maps that do it well that use 'simple' mapping. I love pointing out mapping issues to those whose eyes don't work.
     
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  6. Faye Valentine

    Faye Valentine The Mapgician Veteran

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    That's because most RM games are horrible, mate. Because a lot of reasons. A lot.

    Lighting in RM games tend to be bad for the same reason overcluttering and super complex maps are considered any good.

    And you keep going with the "hide terrible mapping" thing. Just drop it. It's not about that, mate. For me lighting means a whole change for a scene, not just the classical "put sunbeams to make ur map look gorgeous" that RM games do so often.

    edit: by the way, if you like ur maps without any lighting that's just okay, like, that's actually very okay. No one says otherwise. It's ur artistic decision for ur game. But don't bash lighting lol

    edit2: alright i made these very quickly. map shown is one of those default maps u can load by default in MV. okay so because u showcased a night map i made a quick night lighting, first one is without any use of actual lighting, therefore using tint screen command because welps no other option right? unless u wanna change the actual tileset to match a nightly palette. the second is the one with lighting fx applied. now keep in mind beforehand that all shadows here are of course messed up--these belong to the tiles themselves and the autoshadow feature of RM, as well as me not putting any casted shadows to the objects (like trees and stuff). however it does show how can lighting make a map have atmosphere.

    also, this can be much much better but yeah i rushed this so whatevs, here goes:

    image 1: [​IMG]

    image 2: [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  7. Ksi

    Ksi ~RTP Princess~ Moderator

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    ...sorry but that lighting is terrible. It blurs the map, throws weird filters over it for no reason and brings nothing to it (a tint would work just as well to give the night-time look). It does nothing to enhance the map and makes it look terrible. The lack of shadows is not a problem.

    The only good thing about that lighting are the lamps and even then they're blurred and make no real sense when it comes to lighting the area at all.

    It doesn't make up for the errors in the map, either, nor the horrible map design. Sorry, but it's a very bad example if you're trying to prove your point.


    If you're going to use lighting, at least use it to enhance the map - something I've been saying all along. For example:
    upload_2019-6-23_13-37-57.png
    or
    upload_2019-6-23_13-41-2.png
    or
    upload_2019-6-23_13-41-44.png


    ...it's almost like I know what I'm talking about or something...


    Lighting effects - not necessary, but useful when used in conjunction with good maps to add ambiance and atmosphere to areas.
    Good mapping - 100% necessary at all times.
    RTP - doesn't need lighting to make it stand out. Edits though? Useful to give it identity.

    It doesn't matter what resources you use, bad map design is bad map design and no amount of lighting will make it a better map. It's just a bandaid fix that lazy devs use to hide the faults of their mapping.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  8. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    You realize I'm not actually disagreeing with you, right? I just wanted to point out in the first post's examples (the second set of lighting examples are all good)
    • Map 1's tree autotile takes away from what would otherwise be a good map because it is satan incarnate. Now that I look at it a second time though, the water seems off somehow. Specifically, based on the coloring, my mind keeps trying to tell me that there isn't a bottom to that river--like the piece of land is floating in the sky or something.
    • Map 2's lighting is the poster child not just for using lighting to mask mediocre mapping, but also for how not to use lighting in general. The only time I'd ever suggest using such extreme lighting is in caves where the player is supposed to use a torch and have a limited field of vision.
    Uh, I think you might be getting a bit judgmental, here. Different people have different skillsets, and that'd be like me (a competent JS coder) accusing anyone who uses overly-complicated common event and variable juggling of being lazy, just because I could do the same thing with only a few lines of code. See, I know that not everyone has a mind for code, just like I know that not everyone has a mind for art.

    So to sum it up, I agree with you that lighting often is used as a bandaid for bad maps, but I also agree with Faye in that, try as one might, the RTP just isn't very good by itself and at the very least, it requires a bit of editing. The first image shows trees with flowers, which is an example of what I mean because that doesn't exist in the default RTP. Among the things that require editing are also the aforementioned tree wall autotile--specifically, that black area along the sides just cannot be allowed to exist. Many of the colors are also pretty washed out as well.
     
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  9. Faye Valentine

    Faye Valentine The Mapgician Veteran

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    I could reply once again but It doesn't seem like we will come to a mutual agreement on something so continuing this discussion on lighting is pretty much nonsense, reason as to why I won't followup. If anyone wants to talk about anything else regarding this thread, I'm all for reading other povs.

    And lightings are only meant to enhance the maps, lol.

    By the way, you could say lighting in the pic i showed its bad but someone else won't, in the same way i can say first pic u showed is not any good, rather weird in fact. second is simple but very okay i like it and third is the best one from there yet the map is whatever, so yeah.

    And just for the record, ur opinion seems to be *very* biased.
     
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