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Artstyle Development

@ Contrarion

Agreed with most of what you said, especially on the map related dumpster effect. Though I do think there should be a loose art direction, I still would like to see a wide variety of map styles like what was found in Unreal Tournament GotYE and Nexuiz that was completely absent from Quake III: Arena, Unreal Championship 2, and Unreal Tournament III. The only parts of Nexuiz that got really annoying were a few obnoxious character models (head hunter in particular) and maps that looked like a plastic cartoon (I'm not talking cel-shaded here). The factions idea seems a bit more interesting than your typical team concept though, I don't know what they plan with it, but I can imagine players wearing their own colors and still being distinguishable from the enemies.
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First off: Hey there everyone! I just found out about the whole Illfonic-Nexuiz dramarama and decided to see what I could do over here with Xonotic, because, frankly, I saw the whole situation as pretty disgusting, and felt the urge to get involved at least a little bit.

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Now for the meat of the post:

If we're going to be trying to come up with some (even loose) art style, I think sci-fi of the interplanetary travel variety is the most interesting.

I really like the idea of factions, but I also agree very much with Lee_Stricklin's stance on them. Having just a few factions seems like a huge restriction for the game. I think a good alternative would be to follow the original idea in the thread and just have a bunch of ragtag, unrelated 'factions', just being groups of similar player models.

And I had an idea regarding the whole plotline topic that's being tossed around here. I don't really want to go into some extensive story like other people here have, but the basic idea is that at some point in the galaxy that's just some kind of insane motherload of extremely expensive materials. The sort of 'golden city' like the Spanish were after, except it actually exists, and it's an entire solar system. And so all the advanced civilizations are all flocking toward this area. This would allow for a large amount of flexibility in maps, since some areas would just be totally demolished from the fighting, while other areas would have flourished into big shiny cities because of the prosperity and the seclusion, and you'd also be able to meld space-ship maps in to the mix pretty seamlessly. Another good point of this is the fact that you can have as many factions as you want (within reason, because I also agree that having gun-toting antcows is pretty lame) because the idea is that all the civilizations in the galaxy are interested in getting their hands on this one solar system (or even a small part of it). This would also allow for creators of the different factions and maps to sort of make their own individual plotlines, so the community as a whole would eventually end up with the 'bigger picture' from all the separate plotlines presented in the form of single maps or model sets, without any overarching plot overshadowing the gameplay that this game is supposed to be all about.
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@vede: That's actually a really good idea. I think it should be taken into consideration.
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I am against a full ban on non-humanoid playermodels (although I do agree that it is good idea). This may be related to my unexplained hatred of playing as humans: if I have a choice, give me the aliens any day.

What I recommend is a partial ban on "oddballs.," y'know, something that would encourage humanoid models but would allow for the occasional weird one. I guess I could live without alien playermodels... I'd be sad though Sad

Also, my idea for factions and models is like this: A few major factions are established by the devs at the start, and any submitted models will be added to whichever faction they fit into the best. (In the case of an "ambiguous model," the person who submitted it may decide which faction to group it with.)

Whatever is decided in the end will be wonderful, though. I'm sure of it! Wink

EDIT: And this is why I need to learn to type faster. (When I started typing this, there were several fewer pages in this thread than before.)
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Hi all, new to the forums (and only just found out about Xenotic). I just decided to visit nexuiz.com and then found out about "the issue" ... well the rest is history.

I'm currently studying to be a concept artist/illustrator and would love to help out in that department. I'm not sure what skill level you're looking for in regard to concept art, or if you're looking for a concept artist at all, but if you are I'd say I'm intermediate.

You can see my current work on deviantart.com: http://ljfhutch.deviantart.com/

I've mostly done a mismatch of styles so far, but that's really just to get good at everything - I shouldn't have too much trouble with any style/era etc. I've got professional-grade equipment and I'm willing to learn and adapt to whatever is needed.

Not sure if this is the right place, but if not could someone point me to where I should introduce myself?
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That's great LJFHutch. I've been looking for a concept artist for quite a while. The general theme for xonotic is space/futuristic. Right now we are looking for replacements for the seeker and fireball weapon models. I can show you a list of items that need concept are and stuff. I'm not sure if you are familiar with IRC, but if you are join the server irc.quakenet.org and join the channel #xonotic. I go by Dib on irc and I can guide you better through IRC.
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Ah thanks DiaboliK, what time are you guys usually on? I'm in Australia (GMT +10), so now's a bit past midnight. I'll probably check the IRC in 10 hours or so, need to get a little sleep first Big Grin
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I strongly oppose the opinion of banning alien models.
and pls guys, in minsta, where is the Nexus model, it was so damn good, now all I see is those skinny Umbra/Pyria that are hard to hit.
and actually all models have been removed from Xonotic, only Umbra/Pyria are there, which are very good as 3d models but in game they are not good at all (sorry Sad ), where are all the great models we had before
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(05-20-2010, 10:30 AM)XV22 Wrote: ... where are all the great models we had before

Uhm, I thought the player models were one of the most urgent things on the to do list because they were so low quality. I agree that the Nexus model is cool, but an general overhaul of the player models is definitely reasonable.

That being said I'd be sad, too, if we will remove all alien models from the game. But then again I can't create any better looking models (nor models at all, in a fact), so I have no say in this.
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Maybe I've read this thread wrong, but the impression I got was that alien models didn't get banned and I don't think non-humanoids got banned either.

Interested modelers just have to pay special attention to the width, length and height of the hitbox and other player models, and build things that take up a similar space. So no squat aliens of course, but other diverse and weird things could be possible with some innovation and well thought design, methinks.
(04-01-2010, 11:21 AM)Roanoke Wrote: Yes, beveled edges are more futuristic. Like BSG and their beveled paper.
But only on one edge.
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One of the reasons the newer models look smaller is because the old models didn't fit the bbox which is not a good thing. And aliens are not banned. One model currently being worked on is an alien.
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(05-20-2010, 02:10 PM)DiaboliK Wrote: One model currently being worked on is an alien.

Cool, could we see a screenshot of the WIP? Angel
(04-01-2010, 11:21 AM)Roanoke Wrote: Yes, beveled edges are more futuristic. Like BSG and their beveled paper.
But only on one edge.
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(05-20-2010, 10:41 AM)Halogene Wrote: Uhm, I thought the player models were one of the most urgent things on the to do list because they were so low quality.

well, I'll correct myself, they weren't really great I was just upset because now we have only these two hard-to-hit models which don't look very nice, I know there will be more, so maybe there will be better models.


(05-20-2010, 02:10 PM)DiaboliK Wrote: And aliens are not banned. One model currently being worked on is an alien.

That's great
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The pants on the umbra and pyria will be turned to glow so the will be much brighter and visible. And you just arent used to hitting smaller models. And tbh these models are much much much better than the ones from nexuiz.
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Thought I'd post this as a response to some of the worries and points about being too restricting in defining art style.

Having a defined art style does not come at the expense of variety. What it does do is make the job easier for everyone.

As far as I see it, artists will be more encouraged to contribute, not less. Having a definable goal and inspiration to draw from is better than just being left on your own. "Loose" style guide lines don't do much to change that, as you're still left with very vague ideas as to what it is you should be aiming for. Specifics are conducive to giving a strong base to take inspiration from and work with.

It also makes the game more enjoyable for players, and more predictable. A consistent world leads to consistent design cues that are helpful in playing (navigation, telling when a gun is about to run out of ammo, etc.), and makes the whole game that much more appealing and engrossing. This does not mean maps that don't fit that or are blatantly created against that ("fun" maps as it were) will be forced to not be a part of any server, just that as far as "official" Xonotic goes, that those are the rules and guidelines that have to be obeyed for inclusion by default.

It seem to me that central to defining your art style is defining a number of things.

Defining your world - what is the history? How does that affect/create the current situation, and continue to influence it? Think predominant historical figures that then may be reflected through designs that honour such influential figures. Why do any of the races use the phoenix symbol? Perhaps the remnants of an earth or galactic alliance that has since deteriorated, and now only exists as a rusted, decrepit reminder in all the old relics and sites it adorns of times long past.

Defining your character background - gives you ideas as to what attire a character may wear, animation style (animations that give a sense of someone who is professionally trained vs. self-learning or amateur) and even small details like scars or burns. Are they a strict person from a military background or a drifter?

Define your technology - Drawing from your world and your characters, what kind of technology has been created? For what purpose has it been made and how does it work, and how does that affect the overall design and suitability of weapons. For example, imagine a powerful plasma based gun that has a central reloadable energy core. To see when this core needs to be swapped out as it's energy is used up, a small see through section allows you to see the glow of said core and as it runs down, you know when you have to reload. The weapon may have been created during the earlier days of the transition from bullets to plasma technology, and as such is bulky, a little slow and hence the low tech solution of simply having a clear section to see when you need to reload. Is the technology radioactive and harmful during or after use? Unstable and volatile? An idea from The Conduit is the TPC launcher, where after an enemy carrying it has been killed a few seconds later it explodes due to being slightly unstable, creating a new hazard to watch out for.

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Suffice to say, defining your art style or more importantly, the foundations to draw from are more conducive to creating a fun, unique looking game. Using vague "definitions" of futuristic and sci-fi doesn't help that. This does not mean to lock everything down into minute specifics, but the more vague you make your art style definition the more wiggle room you have to introduce inconsistency make the game seem more like a random mish mash of ideas than any consistent idea or production.
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^ what he said. All moot now though. Sad Don't want to get involved in those kind of decisions, but I do try to keep my models consistent to what I perceive is the level of tech and quasi-history. I obviously won't be making SuperMario anytime soon. If something IS finally put in place, I'd follow it.

(05-20-2010, 11:03 PM)Flying Steel Wrote: Cool, could we see a screenshot of the WIP? Angel

No. Tongue Soon enough anyway.

And yes current models are definitely thinner than the Nexus model but now have a standardized size and have built-in brightskins on parts of their bodies. Believe me, with them glowing, they're far easier to see without having to be squat. Also if you dislike Pyria and Umbra, Ignis will satisfy you, it's male so less skinnier than the earlier female models. Tongue I know minsta servers often implement only one model for the server - Ignis has 3 versions of the same dimensions and the same brightskins capability.

I support the porting of older Nexuiz models to Xonotic as long as their textures can be updated as well as their dimensions conform to that of the rest. And of course, if they look good enough. I kinda like Quark. But that's just me Tongue
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I fully support a strict style guideline. Without repeating too much of what MPM said, we need a definite history to define our art. How did these people/weapons/technologies arise? Which faction manufactures them? How could we style them? Should we make weapons manufactured by a certain faction look like players of that faction?

On the subject of Bboxes, playermodels must take up as much area as possible. Playermodels can be thin, but they should not be too thin, and each model must contain a healthy dose of fullbright.
(07-18-2010, 10:59 AM)Flying Steel Wrote: How could anyone with ADHD tell its a high damage weapon if it wasn't a gigantic metal cock fucking the map whenever a player gets within 3 meters of a wall?

[Image: di-712770583645.png]
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What about having some sort of model tweaking team/review board, basically a group of good modelers that take models that have been submitted and accepted and adjust them slightly to ensure that the game stays balanced and such.

However, some modelers might not like their work being edited without their permission. I see two ways around this issue:

1. Have a set of clearly defined guidelines about certain aspects of models, like torso width, frontal dimensions, etc. (There could also be different guidelines for male and female models to accommodate anatomical changes.) If a model follows the guidelines, then no tweaking is needed, but if it does not meet them, then the model board contacts the creator to inform them of "applicable regulatory compliance issues" and either ask them to fix it and resubmit or get permission for the board to tweak it themselves. Another useful tool that could be released would be a "template model"; a very basic untextured model that conforms to the guidelines that modelers could build off of for their models. If there are gender-specific guidelines, then there could be both a male template and a female template available.

2. Make some clause for model submission along the lines of "by submitting your model, you consent to it being altered slightly in order to maintain game balance prior to public release." This would have to be very clear so that no one gets p.o.'d and says "hey, wtf why did you change my model w/o my permission?" because they didn't see the clause. Setting up some type of official content submission system (other than "post on the forums and hope a dev sees it and likes it") would be beneficial for this; there would be a nice, convenient page where you could put all of the submission rules and stuff, right above the "Browse for File" dialog.
Humans... Dodgy

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Or we can make that process more human by having someone from the board actually talk with the modeler about a model and what needs to be changed. It currently alienates people with legalese, I think.
(07-18-2010, 10:59 AM)Flying Steel Wrote: How could anyone with ADHD tell its a high damage weapon if it wasn't a gigantic metal cock fucking the map whenever a player gets within 3 meters of a wall?

[Image: di-712770583645.png]
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It seems like this thread has died, which seems like a very bad thing to me.

I think that, like the thread title suggests, this is VERY IMPORTANT if we want to avoid having assets that are all disjointed theme or style-wise.

Most maps seem not to have any clear idea of what they're trying to look like, I think in part because we haven't been able to decide on anything beyond "in space!" in the theme department as far as I can tell.

I think, at the very least, we should try to identify an architectural style to draw from for maps. Having a consistent architectural style between maps would make the experience of the game a lot more cohesive, which is something I believe to be very lacking not only here but in open source FPS gaming in general.

To maybe get things started, here's something to look at for some ideas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architectural_style

My personal favorite so far is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amsterdam_School
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IMO we already are quite well on the way, considering how inconsistent the maps were in Nexuiz. You had space stations of sorts, slime filled factories, medieval castles etc. At least we can all agree we are in space now Wink

The more model props we have, the more consistent our style will be BTW. The mappers we have all have their own style, and that's a good thing. Maps SHOULD vary in style, all the buildings you see in a city aren't all of the same color and architectural style with differing shapes only, either. As long as the theme stays consistent we're good, I'd say. And that's pretty hard to change with the current official textures only. Smile
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(05-28-2010, 03:58 PM)VNilla Wrote: What about having some sort of model tweaking team/review board, basically a group of good modelers that take models that have been submitted and accepted and adjust them slightly to ensure that the game stays balanced and such.

However, some modelers might not like their work being edited without their permission. I see two ways around this issue:

1. Have a set of clearly defined guidelines about certain aspects of models, like torso width, frontal dimensions, etc. (There could also be different guidelines for male and female models to accommodate anatomical changes.) If a model follows the guidelines, then no tweaking is needed, but if it does not meet them, then the model board contacts the creator to inform them of "applicable regulatory compliance issues" and either ask them to fix it and resubmit or get permission for the board to tweak it themselves. Another useful tool that could be released would be a "template model"; a very basic untextured model that conforms to the guidelines that modelers could build off of for their models. If there are gender-specific guidelines, then there could be both a male template and a female template available.

2. Make some clause for model submission along the lines of "by submitting your model, you consent to it being altered slightly in order to maintain game balance prior to public release." This would have to be very clear so that no one gets p.o.'d and says "hey, wtf why did you change my model w/o my permission?" because they didn't see the clause. Setting up some type of official content submission system (other than "post on the forums and hope a dev sees it and likes it") would be beneficial for this; there would be a nice, convenient page where you could put all of the submission rules and stuff, right above the "Browse for File" dialog.

I like the Idea, But also include a "I tried to Contact You" system. Contact them through the forum, private message, email. Lets say the creator of the content is away on holiday or he's an inpatient at the hospital, We need a time system also. Artist Style's are so different We need a Judge Counsel group to screen all the models and approve on certain Artist's to Create and maintain the created content. I draw mostly anything, and that last thing I wanna here as an Artist is "Make it Look Cool" , I just want to bang my head on my Artboard eveytime I hear that. A certain Style has to be agreed upon for me to start anything. I had a client over the Summer for some storyboards for a movie, and assistant director told me make them more "sexy", what? I felt like smacking him to 10 ways from sunday. I ended up fixing about 20 boxes and thats after I spoke to the director.

Edit: Excuse the color scheme to distinguish post from quote
If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything - Malcolm X
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What up Xonotic commies!

So, i'm new here. Skimmed the thread, agree with some of the arguments. Some i don't.

For those people who are saying that an art direction is restricting, it's not. Its focused. And it's a challenge. Leave your comfort zone, you might find it's quite interesting. Any art direction will do for me though, except steampunk, i'm almost completely at a loss when it comes to doing that level of detail.

There is one issue one restrictive issue though. Why 5000 polygons? 2000 more would give quite a bit more room for realizing your content, and still be able to run quite fast. Not that 5000 is something to laugh at, but that extra 2k would help a lot. just my contribution, if you can call it that, can still work with 5k polys.

Oh, something i need cleared up, 5k quads or 5k tris. Because if its tris, that's 2500 quads i can work with. Not exactly a high quality mesh...
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anark10n: are you an artist that is willing to contribute to the game? All the .blends of the current models are in the repository, if you are worried about poly count and stuff. Oblivion modeled all the current player models and used mostly 5k tris.
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The main point here is to avoid looking like as if we borrowed everything from other games and ended up with knights fighting zombies fighting elves fighting wookies fighting vampires fighting storm troopers fighting Giger's alien fighting pokemon fighting zelda.
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I would love to see that.
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