Saturday, April 17, 2010

City Design

Was working on some "tiles" for the city the other night, trying to get a feel for what the background would look like. I caught myself checking out old screenshots of Rampage to see how they may have handled their buildings. I thought I was being pretty clever by adding some perspective to the angle of the structures, but then saw they did it a couple decade before I did.

Think I've locked down my sidewalk tiles and added a few variations to spice it up a bit. I still might go in and stretch them out a bit because I want a little more distance into the background. I then moved on to a base structure for the buildings. I want to add different elements to them order to create different buildings. The whole thing looked pretty flat so I ended up laying a texture over the whole thing. It was then that I realized that I might not be able to compose a building out of tiny textures because the "seems" between the tiles would look pretty obvious when the camera pulls out. I was watching a video on and saw a pretty ugly water texture that literally looked like patchwork. I'm hoping to avoid that, but we'll see what happens once I have a few built up.

So I had my grey building built up but it still looked pretty flat to me. So I started thinking more about the games overall color pallette. I originally had an idea of swapping the player character's shadow and light areas based on the direction he was facing. After discussing it with some people on the XNA forums, I agreed that it might suck up more processing power and be a bigger pain than its worth.

Still liking the idea of a light source, I decided to add a warm directional light to the city that would produce bluish shadows. Right now I have my photoshop layers set up with the light on its own layer. I'm hoping to be able to quickly produce different color building tiles by altering the grey base structure.

That's when I ran into my newest problem, namely my creativity when it come to architecture, how to draw an interesting building. So last night I hit a few book stores and went through some bargain bins to try and find some photo reference. I guess I could have just checked google, but I wasn't finding anything I liked. Luckily, I was able to find a couple of books I liked, which I'm looking forward to referencing as I build the pieces.

At this stage of the game, I'm still learning the ins and outs of XNA. I'm hoping to start prototyping the basic movement in the game soon. I'll probably end up thumbnailing the characters basic movements (no animation) and importing it into the game just to see how it plays. I may be getting ahead of myself, but I'm starting to get a little nervous that all of my "grand ideas" might not work as well as I hope. We'll have to see.

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