Author: Marzo Sette Torres Junior
Date: 10-26-08 03:02
@Andrea B Previtera: They are all good points, but all of which I had already considered. The people/animals/trees are indeed the most difficult to make -- except, maybe, for paperdolls. We would have to agree to disagree on the feasibility of the project; further down the road, it may even turn out that you are right, but it doesn't mean we should give up and kill the project now because it might die somewhere down the road.
[...]is a repository of *brand new hi res graphics*[...]That would free the graphics contributors from artistic constraints
The reasoning here is flawed; the only constraint that would be lifted would be the "must look reasonably like the original shape"; you would still have to use the same palette (or you would limit the usefulness of the library for U7/SI mods) and you would still have to use the same perspective (ditto, plus the engine is built to use this perspective).
Moreover, you would still have to create a huge amount of graphics for the library -- about as many as you need to make to convert the original games to high res in the first place. Think about it: every single point you make about the U7 high-res project applies to this high-res library as well. The amount of shapes, the need for them to look good, match well and be coherent with each other...
But building the high-res library has an additional downside: no one will *use* it until it is complete enough to build a game; and if it is complete enough to build a game, it very likely can be used (with some more work) to recreate U7... The U7 high-res project can at least garner community interest because it would be working on improving worlds that people know and love.
Now, if you meant building a library of graphics using the current resolutions, that would be an entirely different proposition. But given my experience with making graphics for Keyring mod, as well as many icons (most of which can't be found on the web), it would not be any less work than doing the high res graphics, as surprising as it may sound... designing low res graphics that looks good and conveys an idea (in this case, the idea being "this image represents X" for a given X) is a lot harder than designing a high res graphic that conveys that same idea. As an example, look at the (shameless self plug) Ultima icons I have in my website; designing the 16x16 icons took more time than designing the entirety of the other graphics, and they *still* don't look *that* good...
And people who don't play Ultima 7 with Exult still won't play it with a little bit better graphics because the gameplay is the same.
You don't know that; some might, some might not. Likewise, some that play with Exult may play with the new graphics, and some might not want to for "purity" reasons (however misguided). Besides, doing this project (or any other project) is for those that will like it and use it, not for those that won't.
About your suggestions: most of them are ideas for mods. If there are none to do the mods, they won't get used. Likewise, if the mod maker doesn't like the new graphics, or they don't fit what he wants, he won't use the graphics. Given that the library must be "generic" by necessity (why waste time making graphics that will only ever be needed once in a blue moon?), if a mod needs a graphic which is not in the library, the mod maker he will still have to make it himself.
This item, in particular, deserves a special reply:
Graphics like in Ultima Online, where you can see the armor the companions are currently wearing directly in-game.
I had discussed this once with Wizardry Dragon, and mentioned it en passant in another thread. With the current architecture of Exult, it is theoretically possible to do this. It would be easier (and a lot more practical, and far less boring) to make the entire U7 high-res graphics library, though. With some massive work on Exult, one would be able to do it more easily. I am not inclined to do it either way because of an important restriction: the limited size of the graphics limit what you can display.
Basically, the small resolution of the in-game graphics mean that boots and gloves would be mostly out of the question, as would gorgets and most belts. You would basically have body armor, leg armor, headgear, cape, shield and weapon, maybe a backpack. And you would still need all the graphics, and they would all need to match/align correctly and look good together -- particularly since not all characters have the same size. All in all, lots of work for rather small benefit.
By the way: I deleted both of the double posts.
Marzo Sette Torres Junior
aka Geometrodynamic Dragon
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way