Post-build Monitoring, and Zom Zom's Art

Hey Folks!

So far, it looks like 0.984 is an improvement over 0.983. There are still some issues being reported, but overall, it seems like it might be good enough for an official build. I'll have to see how serious/common some of the reported bugs are, and if they're passable, maybe I'll promote the build after the weekend.

Most of the day was spent catching up on forum stuff, and monitoring feedback on 0.984. However, I did manage to get some artwork done:

IMAGE( Zom Zom's!

Zom Zom's now has its own hex art! I've been meaning to do this for a while, and figured today was a good day for it, as I was getting started on new encounter stuff. I have a new location I want to work on, too, so I'll probably do a hex for that Monday.

I'm also considering doing hex art for the strange forest and the Isotope Mine. One could argue that they're hard to see, so they don't need special art. But I have a feeling most players miss them because they aren't towns. Having unique art might get some more eyes on those encounters (and therefore, make more lore and choices available to more players).

That's about it for this week. Just a heads-up, I'll be out of town this weekend, so my replies might be delayed. I should be back on Sunday, and plan on working as usual on Monday. Have a good weekend, all. And see you next week!


AdamP's picture

Hey there! Nice job on the new piece. How do you go about making tiles like this? This looks really nice but I can't imagine doing this by hand pixel by pixel! Regardless, this looks nice and fits well. Just for fun I tried to duplicate your building in blender. Certainly it’s not the same quality as yours. I’m not an artist but I am interested in the style. (Just for fun too, I have no need of a tile like this) IMAGE(


Jerimee's picture

Same question here: How do you go about making tiles like this?

Adam, thanks for posting your tile; I should check out Blender.

Malacodor's picture

Don't forget Allegan Fairgrounds.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

aesop's picture

I'd get behind having hex art for the mysterious forest, isotope mine and fairground encounters. Honestly I'd missed those encounters for quite a while until I was spoiled. Even now the only way most players are likely to find them is by memorizing their location (x tiles north, x tiles west from start, etc.) so absent spoilers and meta behavior I'm sure the majority of players are missing them.

Zom Zom's is better by comparison because of the "hum of generators" notification of its presence. If you decide not to implement hex art for the above encounters, some similar notification of their presence without outright identifying them on the overland screen might give them more exposure. At least they'd encourage players to explore by telling them there's something of interest in the area.

Example: In proximity to encounter player gets notification screen that they can see a ferris wheel in the distance, the flora is becoming thicker and bizarre, etc.

ManJones's picture

(For isotope mines) As you are wandering an open field you heard a loud mechanical road in the distance, gunshots then the blood curdling screams of dieing men. It seems to be originating from a distant hill.

aesop's picture

I like it.

ManJones's picture

Thanks I was originally going to say it for both the mines and forest but thought why would a giant enfield horror make a mechanical roar?

matsy's picture

Nice Art! Hope to see some more!

dcfedor's picture

Thanks guys! And I agree, some of those encounters are downright neglected by players. They need more marketing :)

@AdamP, nice work! Reminds me of my first experiments in 3D Studio. Back when I was in university, I tried to do as much as possible in 3D. It made a lot of sense, because one could draw once and then do all the rotations and lighting from the same model.

I've tried Blender a few times, and it seems really powerful. The UI was different, though, so it was a bit like starting over for me :)

However, for NEO Scavenger, I tend to paint pixels directly in Photoshop (CS4). My main reason for this is the fine-tuned control over pixels. I typically have the above image 2x-8x larger than we see here when I'm painting, so I can easily "see the grid."

All the map artwork is done so \ lines are a slope of -1 (1 pixel down for every pixel right), and all / lines are slope 0.25 (0.25 pixels up for each pixel right, or 1 per 4). I paint the rough shapes (flat green fence, brown walls, tan roof, brown dirt, etc.) using a mouse with a 100% opacity pencil tool, 1 pixel diameter.

Later, I use a 2x2 pixel pencil tool with a Wacom pad and stylus, with opacity controlled by pressure. This lets me get the texture and shading in places where shadows collect, or highlights bounce. Basically, soft and organic stuff is the stylus, while hard edges (warehouse lights, fence) are mouse.

If you don't have a Wacom, you can fake it pretty well by using a 2x2 pencil at something low, like 20-50% opacity. Just brush over the same area until the color you want is there.

Pretty much the whole thing is done using the following tools:

  • layers (e.g. paint dirt, add new layer on top, paint building, add new layer for shadows and dirt, add new layer for lights, etc.)
  • pencil tool (1x1 at 100% for hard details, 2x2 translucent for shading and texture)
  • rectangular marquee select (e.g. select an area to just paint within it)
  • soft brush tool with bright colors for "glow" effects.
  • pretending I know what I'm doing and just throwing down paint until it looks good :)

I really enjoy working with pixels, because they're well-behaved. And a lot of it is actually problem-solving and rules, so I can lean on my logical brain when my creative gets tired.

Hope that helps!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games