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Special Stage Development Discussion, concepts and coding foundations

#46 User is offline steveswede 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:49 PM

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Out of all of them now. This is looking the most promising to me.



#47 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:20 PM

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Here's a little study on how that background "works".



Shapes
The whole figure can be divided into two parts, with a connection in the middle that blends both:

Top:

-Four centered rows of diamonds, each with a shadow of sorts.
-The shadow gradually blends with the diamond as we ascend to the top.
-The shadow shows a bigger contrast with its diamond's colors as we descend.
-There's 1-3-5-7 columns, so there's always a column in the middle.
-The last row is not complete, it ends in the middle part.


Middle:

Just a small "link" including the logical progression of both parts.
-The last row from the top ends in here.
-The first half row of the bottom continues a little in here.

Bottom:

-Three and a half centered rows of diamond-shaped "windows", each with a shadow of sorts.
-The shadow gradually blends with the diamond "window" as we descend to the bottom.
-The shadow shows a bigger contrast with its diamond's colors as we ascend.
-There's 8-6-4-2 columns, so there's never a column in the middle.
-The first half row is not complete, it continues in the middle part.



Gradients

With that said, there seem to be three layers with (dependant) gradients in there:
-Background.
-Diamonds.
-Shadows.


The gradient from the top background gets mirrored in the bottom diamonds, and vice-versa:

Background top: Dark blue, blue, pink
Middle: Yellow.
Diamonds bottom: Pink, blue, dark blue.

Diamonds top: Blue, green.
Middle: Yellow.
Background bottom: Green, blue.


The gradients for the shadows and the diamonds seem to be connected in a similar way, but swapping the blue and dark blue colors. This way, the diamonds and shadows end up sharing the same colors in the first and last rows of the complete figure:

Diamonds top: Blue, green.
Middle: Yellow.
Shadows bottom: Green, dark blue (same as bottom diamonds).

Shadows top: Blue (same as top diamonds), dark blue, pink
Middle: Yellow.
Diamonds bottom: Pink, blue, dark blue.




I hope it's of some use. Tracing the colorless outlines of those diamonds might help understanding the shapes.

EDIT: Updated with colors info.
EDIT 2: Fixed some stuff.
EDIT 3: Moved to the next page since it was too incomplete when I first posted it.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 23 March 2010 - 05:39 PM

#48 User is offline Chimpo 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:50 PM

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QUOTE (ICEknight @ Mar 23 2010, 07:27 AM)
Mmm... Guys, I've noticed you're both missing the middle row of diamonds


I haven't finished placing all of the diamonds.


#49 User is offline Hamneggs 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:39 PM

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Guys, aspect ratio is an issue.

Changes:

"Sonic" and "tails" in the extra space.
Some extra diamonds in the extra space.
Stars and rainbow pulled out into the extra space.

BG alone:


Mockup(is it just me or does it look like there is too much blue? I might texture the glass...):



#50 User is offline Canned Karma 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:55 PM

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If you're going to use Sonic & Tails, you should use the Sega font or the Options screen font for it. As it stands, it looks bad.

#51 User is offline Chimpo 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:56 PM

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QUOTE (steveswede @ Mar 23 2010, 10:49 AM)
Out of all of them now. This is looking the most promising to me.



I'd use it, but it's far too small.

#52 User is offline steveswede 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:21 PM

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QUOTE (Hamneggs @ Mar 23 2010, 09:39 PM)
Guys, aspect ratio is an issue.

Changes:

"Sonic" and "tails" in the extra space.
Some extra diamonds in the extra space.
Stars and rainbow pulled out into the extra space.



Ditch the text as it doesn't come across good. Though the the extra diamonds for sorting out the aspect is a neat idea.

#53 User is offline Chimpo 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:29 PM

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Smoother gradient and adjustment to the stars.

Still haven't done much with the diamonds.

#54 User is offline Hamneggs 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:21 PM

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Different font.

Still don't know what should really be done with the extra space.


#55 User is offline Afti 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:23 PM

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Replace the SONIC and TAILS with Rainbow Road-esque character constellations, if you want to go that route. Flying text looks stupid.

#56 User is offline Synergy 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:27 PM

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Surely by just wrapping the diamonds as a texture horizontally as we need to do anyway the aspect ratio problem is avoided? You won't see the diamonds on the side because they'll be oscured by the tube.

This brings me to another point I'd pondered: when moving left/right or up/down in the original, the diamond background merely scrolls twice. If we wanted to use a sky sphere then we have the option of how we want to tile the diamonds and stars on said sphere; we can either do it as the original, by tiling appropriately or maybe moving the sphere as well as the camera to maintain the double-scroll, or we can try and make it a little more "realistic" (in the loosest sense of the term) considering 3D provides flexibility. For instance, what about tiling the diamonds horizontally but keeping the sky and stars solely at the top of the sphere so that the "sky" always appears at the top?

#57 User is offline Hamneggs 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:45 PM

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QUOTE (Afti @ Mar 23 2010, 06:23 PM)
Replace the SONIC and TAILS with Rainbow Road-esque character constellations, if you want to go that route. Flying text looks stupid.


Example? No, really, I don't exactly own MarioCart anymore. Please show me what you are talking about, cause it sounds like a good idea.

QUOTE (Synergy @ Mar 23 2010, 06:27 PM)
Surely by just wrapping the diamonds as a texture horizontally as we need to do anyway the aspect ratio problem is avoided? You won't see the diamonds on the side because they'll be oscured by the tube.

This brings me to another point I'd pondered: when moving left/right or up/down in the original, the diamond background merely scrolls twice. If we wanted to use a sky sphere then we have the option of how we want to tile the diamonds and stars on said sphere; we can either do it as the original, by tiling appropriately or maybe moving the sphere as well as the camera to maintain the double-scroll, or we can try and make it a little more "realistic" (in the loosest sense of the term) considering 3D provides flexibility. For instance, what about tiling the diamonds horizontally but keeping the sky and stars solely at the top of the sphere so that the "sky" always appears at the top?


That sounds like a brilliant idea as well, but I'm not sure how exactly you would want the picture formatted for tiling like that. And also I would like to bring to your attention a few ideas that have been tossed around here on the forum and in my head.

Make the blue/red/purple/etc. part of the tube transparent, as seen in our various mockups, maybe even with a translucent sci-fi glass texture.
Make the gold parts reflect the diamond background (or if it becomes a skybox, reflect that) and possibly other parts of the tube.
Make the arrows glow as if they were lights.

And something I just thought of: motion blur!

That is if you would want to do that.


#58 User is offline Synergy 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:58 PM

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I had thought of motion blur which could be quite cool but would have to be subtle otherwise would be a bit overbearing. Similarly I think the transparency or reflection would have to be subtle or slight rather than a major change otherwise it's not really staying true to the original, but more importantly would be quite distracting when you've got rings and mines flying past at high speed (could also be worth having these more expensive effects as options for those who have higher-powered hardware but retain the standard look for those who haven't). Anyways, always good to come up with new ideas and we can give them a try to see how they look when it gets to that stage smile.png
This post has been edited by Synergy: 23 March 2010 - 07:02 PM

#59 User is offline Master Emerald 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 07:12 PM

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*PICTURE OFFLINE*
This post has been edited by Master Emerald: 23 March 2010 - 08:26 PM

#60 User is offline T.Q. 

Posted 23 March 2010 - 07:21 PM

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Nice background, but it's starting to make the special stage visually busy/noisy. Also, I think the diamonds should be brought down a bit to create some "head room". In the game, the background moves up and down, and when it reaches its lowest point, you see plain blue on top.


EDIT for M.E. on next page: Well, that's assuming we're not using (or having the option to use) transparency for the special stage.
This post has been edited by T.Q.: 23 March 2010 - 07:31 PM

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