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Old 01-11-2020   #1
Ace Dragon
 
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Default Ace Dragon's adventures in Zone Builder.

The first time I played SRB2, it was at version 2.1, but I only played the official content.

With version 2.2, I am not only playing user content, but also messing around with making my own as well. It will more or less be just levels in Zone Builder, but I am now doing more than just using what came with the game.

The first go-around with Zone Builder was seeing about making what would amount to an amalgam between Aerial Garden and Greenflower, complete with custom textures. However, it quickly became too ambitious for a first level and realized I need to do something smaller and more fitting as a first project. This is one shot.
https://mb.srb2.org/attachment.php?a...1&d=1578775543

One thing to note is that I also got into the game's Lua scripting as well (hence the Yellow Crawlas). I figured that at the rate everyone was using the blue ones, I needed something to differentiate my content. These go at a speed between the blue ones and the red ones.

The other thing I'm using Lua for at the moment is custom scenery objects, the following tree is not the prettiest, but it gets the job done.
https://mb.srb2.org/attachment.php?a...1&d=1578775566

I tried using SOC files for custom objects as well, but for some reason I found Lua easier to use. Maybe it's that I know how code syntax works and SOC does not have any (which thereby makes issues and missing attributes easier to spot). It has been a bit of a learning curve, but I've been wanting to make Sonic levels since I was a little boy over 20 years ago. I have made other things like homemade games and 3D artwork, but this is not something I have done for real yet.

Now of course, the level isn't even close to being ready for the releases forum, but I figured this thread will be fine based on what other people are posting.
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Old 01-11-2020   #2
SchrodingerBoy
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It looks pretty cool
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Old 01-12-2020   #3
Goldenhog
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Nice textures! And the Crawlas look surprisingly neat in yellow.
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Old 01-12-2020   #4
Ace Dragon
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenhog View Post
Nice textures! And the Crawlas look surprisingly neat in yellow.
Thanks, both the custom spriting and the custom textures use a program known as Genetica as the main workhorse (not the crawlas though, which were done through Slade's color remap).

The company that made it went belly up, but the nice thing is that if offers a non-destructive workflow using nodes. The tree sprite utilizes its canvas node which offers a non-destructive layer and shape-based workflow. I like non-destructive approaches because it makes revising easier without the fear of mangling what is being made.

Another thing I can say is that the Lua scripts so far are not complex by any means. You have to start somewhere and I figured the easiest ones to make would be a new scenery object and a new crawla color. The intent is so I at least have the most basic possible reference for future custom objects. One thing I am not interested in is making new characters, I will very likely stick with the 6 that come with the game.

If you're wondering about my age by the way, I am 31, so I'm old enough to remember getting Sonic 1 as my first console game. Some of the sections in SRB2 can be tough if your twitch has slowed down since your teen years.

Last edited by Ace Dragon; 01-12-2020 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 01-12-2020   #5
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Another custom graphic, with the goal being to create a piece of animated scenery.
https://mb.srb2.org/attachment.php?a...1&d=1578869479

The orange flowers obviously came with the game, but the white flowers are not. What they do is rotate their petals over 5 frames. The alignment between frames is a little off right now, but one of the aims was to have a nice template for custom animated objects as well (via a Lua script).

The other reason is that the stock flower options were a bit limited if you want larger plants, learning to make your own will offer a lot of freedom.

---
EDIT: Another shot added, the first part of the level actually looks like something now, but it still needs to be filled with objects (ie. rings) and I haven't yet tested with the other characters.
https://mb.srb2.org/attachment.php?a...1&d=1578945199
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Last edited by Ace Dragon; 01-13-2020 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 01-21-2020   #6
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I wish I knew about the movie maker earlier, it will make WIP reports (with detail) far easier to make.

Among the things I discovered and utilized, solid mid-textures and skybox viewpoints. The beginning was also extended just a little bit.
https://mb.srb2.org/attachment.php?a...1&d=1579573327

The overall route is being extended more and more, and the outline of a new path near the beginning is in place. The discovery of what solid midtextures do allowed me to remove some FoF's and simplify a few things.

EDIT: More .gifs will be posted as new things and new sections are added.
https://mb.srb2.org/attachment.php?a...1&d=1580048788
https://mb.srb2.org/attachment.php?a...1&d=1580250972
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Last edited by Ace Dragon; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:36 PM.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Finally figured out moving Poly Objects
https://mb.srb2.org/attachment.php?a...1&d=1581597104

While it might seem to be a simple concept once you figure it out, it did take me a while to fully get how to make one properly, even after looking at the tutorial and the example files. Apparently, everything from the height of the midtexture image to the height of the control sector plays a role (which the latter determines the translucency of the object).
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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That's looking pretty great Ace Dragon! I honestly really like the "Lawn World" concept, it's similar to a theme I never got around to trying, which is a level like a walled garden. I like the large amount of custom content, too. That helps make things feel fresh and unique, and you typically don't get this much custom stuff in a first map. The level design looks interesting and open, and the atmosphere is sunny and a little mysterious, which is awesome.

However, I really don't like those main wall textures. I'm not really sure how to describe it. Grainy? Busy? Dull? Mainly, it doesn't fit in with the art style of the game. It looks realistic in a 90's-3D-rendering kind of way and makes me feel uncomfortable. It feels more Doom64 than Sonic in my opinion.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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I updated the wall texture to be less 'busy'.

Meanwhile, the full layout is starting to come into view as the end sign gets placed, but much of the second half of the zone is still fairly empty and therefore far from finished.

Even the layout might see a few changes as everything evolves, ideally I wouldn't want sonic to be able to blow through the entire zone at high speed, while avoiding the idea of slowing progress to a crawl. Tails will probably be able to cheese the level like he does for almost all of the official ones, but his running and his flight speed was buffed for version 2.2 so there's not much you can do other than add large and tight indoor areas (which is not what I'm aiming for).
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