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Ace Dragon's adventures in Zone Builder.

Ace Dragon

2.2.5 is out.

What that means is that thanks to Hannu Hanhi's work, I can safely look at targeting OpenGL because of the freedom it will bring for mapping.

See the difference between two effects that are impossible to avoid in two levels. The greenhouse roofs in LWZ2 can now be transparent and SGZ can have its FoF barriers without incident (the left column is OpenGL, the right column is software).

Ace Dragon

More off and on work, more custom badniks and large-scale traveral. This includes the first two-hit badnik of what is currently known as the Creative Worlds Pack, but since you are in the second level it is easy to deal with.
BC1-3.gif SGZ1-4.gif

Anyone wanting to make complex multi-directional custom assets on a decent scale should really take a look at that thread where you can render it out in Blender, as a complete badnik asset for instance might see the time you spend in SLADE (for scripting and other things) match or surpass the time needed to create the sprites (which means a quick turnaround time).


This is all looking really great! Lots of detailed geometry here.

From a color design perspective, the blue in the sky feels really heavy to me. The saturation and brightness overwhelm the ground. In the figure-ground relationship, I think of the sky as the "ground" that gives relief from the figure of the stage geometry, and I want the sky brighter to give me that relief.

If you've never color-picked from a photo of the sky before, it's a real trip. The color values look so wrong at-a-glance and out-of-context. The sky is actually way way brighter and way way less saturated than you think it is.

Ace Dragon

Resuming work on Skyward Garden Zone, a couple of .gif previews.

Yes, a couple more of those 16-directional sprites, all of them created quickly with the help of Blender's Eevee engine.

Ace Dragon

I tought this mod died lol
glad to see youre still working on it, good luck!
It never died, it is just that SRB2 stuff is far from the only thing I do in a given week. Most of my time is occupied with making artwork in Blender. Not only that but revising and improving old work too, not to mention my computer needs to use much of its resources when rendering is active.

(My avatar is a recent revision of an image made in Blender)

Ace Dragon

Note; This is largely a crosspost from Discord.

The latest, Skyward Garden Zone is now fully playable, as verified by all characters except Metal Sonic (because he is largely a copy of Sonic with extra abilities. It is in a state now where I could release it now if I wanted to (to get feedback), but it is part of a level pack and the first alpha release relies on Broadside Cliffs Act 1 being playable first (which is very incomplete in both gameplay and the layout). It has been tested in both OpenGL and software (though polyobjects are a little glitchy in software, with any luck 2.2.9 will be out by then with much needed optimizations).

Meanwhile, here are more WIP shots done in the last week or so (in order)


Wandering Protagonist
IMO, the bottom of the skybox crosses the line of "too much detail". It almost looks like a giant glitched-out texture at this distance.

(at least, I'm assuming the flat looks like brown static because it's too detailed, and there isn't anything else going on over there)

Ace Dragon

Broadside Cliffs work (act 1).


The big pines are a combination of sectors and midtextures. The end of endless trial and error with aligned textures is helping greatly as usual.

In addition, this zone is on track to using more slope vertices than Skyward Garden.

Ace Dragon

More WIP shots.

Broadside Cliffs Act 1 - added end sign, many small fixes and detailing, fully functional now. Proper scrolling for falling water has also been done. Also an enhanced skybox. Software rendering can play the level from start to finish, but OpenGL is recommended for no rendering glitches and better coloration
Lawn World Act 1 - Opened narrow spots with some inaccessible areas (to reduce the 'Doom' look). One spot is accessible though.
Lawn World Act 2 - Opened narrow spots with some inaccessible areas, small fixes and bits to make it look perfect in both software and OpenGL.
Lawn World General - Some palette customization to color the marble and the stone better, it only seems to work with OpenGL though, software still uses the original SRB2 palette.
Skyward Garden Act 1 - small bits and fixes, there is no way Tails can now access Knuckle's path and hit a dead end.
Coding - trimmed Tails' flying ability a bit while not crippling it, sharply reduced control lock period for horizontal blue springs
Other - Stubs for 3 NiGHTS bonus levels, functional, but extremely basic just to get them working.

I plan to do some more bits and bobs before I formally release this to the public, this will be an alpha version, as it is still quite incomplete as far as a whole pack goes. Acts 2 and 3 of BCZ and SGZ I plan to do before starting new zones.

Ace Dragon

NiGHTS work.

I will push an alpha release of my level pack onto the forum soon, and initially this will be the only custom NiGHTS special stage available. One hint I can give is that while the math for placing hoops might seem outright daunting, there is actually a fairly straightforward pattern that enables proper placement with some trial and error (ie. with the math ZB can do for you, you don't actually have to do that much mental math to place them).
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EDIT: After a few more fixes (as well as some file size optimization by way of converting many textures and sprite to Doom Graphics), I went ahead and pulled the trigger, I hope I did everything right with the new submission system.

If you see a thread in addons & more named 'Creative Worlds Pack', that will be mine.
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