Olvand's monster generator, pt. II
Hi all! The mail problems I told you about last week are still not fully solved; I managed to get the server to send mails, but all mails ended up in the spam boxes of all email addresses I tried. I then lost an entire weekend on getting the server to sign its emails (DKIM and SPF, if that means anything to you), which worked, but they emails are still not accepted by most servers (like gmail). Aaargh! The solution I'm currently working on is sending the mails via olvandgame[at]gmail.com.
Changing the form
Then, on to the monster generator I was telling you about last week. As you might remember, I explained how I recolored the monsters by changing the hue, but keeping the rest of the color characteristics constant. But color is of course only one thing; form is another. I decided that for now, monsters will vary mouths...
...and horns (or horn-like thingies):
Every pair of eyes can be combined with every mouth, and all results of that can be combined with every pair of horn, resulting in some crazy combinations:
As you see, the horns get another random color; I've discovered that every combination of hues look okay, as long as (again) you don't vary value and saturation.
At this point, you might correctly note that these monsters still look more or less alike, despite all of these variations. They still all have the same arms and legs, for example, but also the same height, the same posture, the same number of limbs, etc. This is because all monsters are actually built from the same base image; for more variation, we would need more bases, which I postponed to later updates. We have to start somewhere, right? At the same time, I always knew that I wanted to support other bases, so I organized the code in such a way that I can add new bases by simply adding a new folder with some pictures in it. In other words, from this point, the monster generator can be made more diverse rapidly.
Making them move and turn
Unfortunately, unlike the fish generator, it doesn't stop here. Monsters can move around and turn freely, which means that there should be an image for all sides. This means that of every pair of horns, there should not be one, but five pictures. Once you have the first picture, it's boring work to create the other four, but it has to be done. The monster generator keeps everything together and combines everything as you would expect:
And it gets worse, because they also walk; so we need animations:
These animations consist of four frames. For the current base, I created it in such a way that for the second and fourth frame can use the same horns, eyes and mouths as the other two frames, but just put them a bit lower. This saved my a lot of manual pixel art for now, but I'm not sure whether it will work for the other bases. We'll see!
So to summarize, I needed the monster generate to make clearer that the monsters have varying behaviors, and the images are generated by combining body parts and changing hues. Next up? Actually integrating the monster generator into the game!