Proposal for Creature Creator Program (just looking for artists interested in participating - not re

Reedo

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This is not a request for ideas on how to make a creature creator.
This is a proposal to interested artists who would like to work on the project.


I would like to create a small image editor application that allows users to choose from a selection of body parts and construct a monster image; a standard "creature creator" application.

Writing the editor is an easy task.  I can do this readily in .Net and create an easy to use and highly functional program.  What I would need is art.

Would any of the artists in the community be interested in collaborating to create a plethora of small art assets all created at an agreed-upon scale and view point, using an agreed-upon color scheme?

One basic idea would be to use gray-scale images with transparency to make each of the various body parts.  The file name format could indicate a layer number that the image is meant to sit on (out of an agreed-upon number of possible character layers).  The editor could then use simple color blending to let the user pick a color for the body part and the layering and transparency would allow for seamless body-part stitching.

Of course that's all subject to better ideas, but hopefully it gives some insight into what I would like to create.

The character generator included with Ace does a great job of providing variety to game characters.  I'd like to do something similar for monsters.  With enough interest, we could do an advanced character generator as well.  Truly, the possibilities are only limited by the capabilities of the artists involved.

Any artists interested in participating?
 
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Shaz

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I've moved this thread to Resource Requests. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.


What makes a character generator easy is that all the people it creates are the same size, have two arms, two legs, a head, and generally everything is in the same place for each character.


With monsters, it's more difficult - are they two-legged or four, or are they slimy/slithering creatures? And if four-legged do they walk with all four legs on the ground? Do they have a head? Do they have more than one head? How many eyes? It's not as easy as splitting into male/female, which is the only choice for "different body shape" that you get with the character generator.


Not saying it can't be done or it's a bad idea - I'd love it if someone could do it. It's just going to be a mammoth task for anyone involved in developing it.
 
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Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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IMO, it seems better to just get people to work on a resource pack full of parts and upload it here, then just let the users open up his image editing software and mix and match there... that way, he can even mix up an unlimited number of parts etc. especially considering that monsters normally don't really follow up a certain "build"

for characters, you have only a specific place for each part which makes the generator easier to use than image editors (coz you'll probably place each part on the same location for each sprite, you would want to automate that)... but for monsters which will probably have different builds, it is easier to just use an image editor directly for that IMO...

now if you'll incorporate things such as unlimited layers, free placement of parts etc, I'd say: why waste your time in making the program when there's already a lot of free software that can do that?

So for me, we don't really need the editor itself, what we really need are the resources... and I hope people get involved in this...
 
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Traveling Bard

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It'd be an interesting concept to have a creature creator similar to the character builder. You place parts and it creates a sprite to match your battler. That would be pretty daunting to get right, but possible. Just have a matching sprite part to each battler part. Name them the same. Create functions that mirror what you do on the battler for the sprite. Flip/turn the parts, then place them on a creature's torso. Maybe if I finish my game I'll help code that. Would be fun :)  
 

Reedo

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@Shaz:

I thought about where to put this, but there was no obvious choice for this thread.  This is not actually a resource request; it is a proposal - I'm looking for artists willing to participate in a collaborative project; there is no specific request at this time.  The end result would be a utility that was offered to the community for free and would likely reside in the Resources forum.  Since that is the likely home for the project, that is where I started it.  Sorry if I made the wrong choice.

As for the proposal itself, I am well aware of what the program I'm proposing needs to do.  It is not really a "mammoth task" from a programming standpoint.  The interface will actually be fairly easy to build.  And even the art is not that huge of a problem once the team settles on some standards.  Its really just a matter of having the talent to be able to draw the various monster pieces with the correct look-and-feel (which is the part I cannot do alone).

@adiktuzmiko:

Actually the editor is required to make it easy. 

Using a standard image editor would not be very easy.  Even if you already understand layers and blending and know how to use them, you would still have the whole asset management problem to deal with.  You'd have to manually open all the source files and keep track of them.  If a source file was a sprite sheet you'd have to use your selection tool to manually copy selections from the sheet, which means getting those selection sizes and locations correct every time.  It is not fun, which is why compositing tools are created.

Layers take on a different concept in a compositing tool.  You can still have graphic layers in the traditional sense, but they will be organized into composite layers, and the composite layers have a fixed rule-set which runs against them.  For instance, there might be composite layers for Body, Head, Tail, ForwardAppendage, RearAppendage, ForwardWing, and RearWing.  In this way, any image added to RearAppendage will be placed under the Body layer and have a darkening blend applied.  There could then be any number of traditional layers within that composite layer, but they would all still be under anything on the Body layer and would all receive the darkening blend.

So while we provide some of the same features as a standard image editor, we also automate much of the functionality so that the user doesn't have to understand how to do that kind of stuff in an image editor.  Its also much faster even for someone who does know how to do it.

@Traveling Bard:

I'm not sure that I understand the reference to "battler part" and "sprite part"...

What I'm proposing is a simple monster creator.  Once you are done compositing your monster out of pieces, you save a flat bitmap image which can then be added to the game's resources and used as a monster image when creating monsters in the database.  I wasn't planning anything fancier than that at this time.

However, if this project garners enough support then I might consider creating a script for custom enemy animations which could support a "monster sprite sheet" created using an expanded version of this creature editor.  Then the enemies could "wiggle while they wait" and potentially do things like put their head down and open their mouth to attack (bite).  If that's what you meant, it is a great idea!

@Everyone

So just to be clear, the idea here is to create a monster editor not unlike many other character and creature creator programs.  This program, however, would have all-original, royalty-free, RPG Maker-style image assets to work with and its output would be specifically formatted to work with the Ace editor.

I already have a pretty solid idea of what needs to be done and how to do it.  There are a few fine details about the image and compositing formats which would be worked out with the art team.  But for the programming itself, I have a lot of experience with .Net and am comfortable with building the features required by this editor application.

Artists can feel free to contact me via PM if they have any questions and don't want to post to this thread.  Otherwise, please post here if you are interested in participating or have ideas/suggestions/comments about the project.
 
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muramasa

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Vectorized artwork, repositioning and layer features, and voilà. Actually, what am I saying? All you need is to make these parts on Illustrator, or Inkscape! And then do something like Celiannas face maker. Then save it as rasterized image, and there you have it, a creature creator.

Salut,

OZ
 

Reedo

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Vectorized artwork, repositioning and layer features, and voilà. Actually, what am I saying? All you need is to make these parts on Illustrator, or Inkscape! And then do something like Celiannas face maker. Then save it as rasterized image, and there you have it, a creature creator.

Salut,

OZ
Yeah that's pretty much the idea.

But as stated, a dedicated editor would offer a number of usability enhancements over using an image editor (raster or vector).  Especially for people who don't have Illustrator or know how to use such a program.
 

muramasa

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Yeah, it offers commodities and interface simplicity, instead of Ai's clutterish environment where all you need from that 2Gb program is one-two things. Also making an actual program lets you make the necessary extensions to your liking, like support for animation generation from keyframes, and exporting that animation either as sepparate frames, or as a strip.

Actually I like the idea a lot,

Orochii Zouveleki
 

ShadowFox

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I too like that idea. I'm not an artist but i would use that program or others like it for sure. though would it be used to create characters or battlers?

(Just need to double check)
 
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Shade Sorcerer

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I would definitely use this, if it gets made. I'm not an artist though, and therefore cannot really help.  :(
 

Pugh95Bear

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I too like that idea. I'm not an artist but i would use that program or others like it for sure. though would it be used to create characters or battlers?
(Just need to double check)
Basic RTP battlers, and later a possible Spritesheet idea could be implemented. That's what I gathered.
 

ShinGamix

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If you need any help or anything pm me and I will lend my hand to the cause when I can spare the time.
 

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