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1037212 Posts in 41898 Topics- by 33504 Members - Latest Member: Vainglorious

August 29, 2014, 04:21:53 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsThe Salvage | A lonely death on a bitter planet.
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Author Topic: The Salvage | A lonely death on a bitter planet.  (Read 75874 times)
Scut Fabulous
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« on: August 25, 2010, 10:50:40 AM »

~~~ The Salvage is seeking YOUR help! ~~~
In the following thread you will discover a slice of the distant future described through my sketches, concept art, mockups, sprites and textures.  There's a whole IP living in this thread, along with the art assets required to make a game.

Are you a programmer?Wizard  Do you feel that The Salvage is something worth salvaging?  Perhaps you are more interested in creating a much smaller game using my art?

I'd love to hear from you.  PM me, or email me at:

Newest content on the latest pages of the thread.
The Salvage is a game of science fiction treasure hunting.  You play an adventurer on a dangerous planet, searching for ancient technological artifacts that are worth fortunes.

Digging the artifacts out of the ground is a challenge, but there will be many hazards to deal with that will make simple survival difficult as well.

Download the last engine build.  Oct 2010

Extract and run salvage.exe.  WASD keys move the player, click with the mouse to dig away ground.

Please note that this build is old, and far from a game.  Not even talking alpha here, but it shows a functioning engine with working animation and terrain lighting implemented.

Hyperduck sound diary can be found here:

Some of you might recognize this from the 'Mockups' thread.  I was posting a fair number of updates there, and aeiowu suggested I start a devlog.

The project started as a very rough mockup when I was thinking about a sleeping project by my friend jkd.

I'm going to run this OP with a brief rundown of the development so far, in a rough chronological order.





This was my main initial mockup / scratch pad, showing most of the raw game mechanic ideas.  Digging, using some kind of devices to seek out treasure, hazardous encounters, fluids etc.
You can also see that the terrain is being drawn with a very basic stroking system.  When I began I was assuming the terrain would be drawn in real-time with a procedural method.


Character concept sketches:









This mockup introduced the idea of 'The Bankers'.  They loan you exotic equipment for digging up artifacts.  The player needs to always manage the risk of spending too much time labouring on the planet vs the risk of taking on more loans than one can afford.
I also introduced an improved terrain texture here, trying to get more variation in.


Rain and lightning mockup.  Weather will be a regular hazard in the game.  Flooding, electrocution etc.  Depending on how fancy we can get with the terrain engine it might be cool to have erosion effects as well.





Earthquake effects.  In-game I'm planning this to be modeled simply by cutting up the affected ground into chunks and rotating some randomly left or right, and shift their neighbors accordingly.



This is one of the tools you can lease from The Bankers.  I'm calling it a 'Spike'.  It buries itself in the ground and when it lifts again it takes a big chunk of earth with it.




After I had posted up The Spike in the mockups thread, I got a lot of feedback regarding the 'pillow shading', and it had been sticking in my craw too but I thought it was unavoidable with the procedural system I had in mind.  I talked to jkd about it and he said we could be much more flexible, so this was my first mockup of a better terrain shader, which you will see in further mockups below, gets vastly improved upon.


Walkcycle and hero portrait


Here's where I think I pretty much nailed the right direction for terrain.  I'll break it down into steps a bit further down, but in general terms instead of drawing a texture, it uses a masked tiling texture and then a lighting procedure.

Oh, and insane tile shapes...  what the hell was I thinking?  I'm never gonna get these to convert to square tiles...  can anyone rescue my ass on this?



Cave-in mockup.  Added a blue highlight to the underside of the darkest areas.  Thanks for the tip Oddball.

Okay, here's the breakdown of how my lighting system currently works:

I start with my tiled texture which is masked to the shape of the terrain.


The bulk of the shading is done on a new layer, with a rough light source set 'above'.


That layer is set to 'multiply'.


Highlight layer


Highlight set to 'dodge'.


Thin blue underline to soften the darkest edges.


Headlamp painted with LOS taken into account.


Headlamp set to 'soft light'.


A few more lamp doo-dads.


Okay...  wow.  Long-post is long.  That's pretty much the bulk of the work I've done so far.  There are a few things floating I need to process and post etc.

Aesthetically, I think I need to brighten things up a couple notches.  What do you think?  Too dark?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 12:14:10 PM by Scut Fabulous » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2010, 11:03:08 AM »

Really cool!

I would put some colour in the protagonist, yet make it remain dark, maybe a dark orange...

I really like the graphics, I hope you manage to do it Tongue

And, depending on the ending, nowdays there are no need of square tiles, you can make them whatever shape you want, if you see the devlog of the art of braid (it is on gamasutra), you will see that they have tiles in all bizarre shapes, and that alpha blending make them fit (but you don't need to use alpha blending, only masking is sufficient).

Noel Berry
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2010, 01:44:59 PM »

The art is really amazing. Kiss The player sprite (seen in the last few mockups) seems a little dull in terms of colour though, as Speeder said. It's just flat out grey. Maybe adding some different shading, and a bit of colours here and there, would make it more interesting? It just doesn't seem to reflect the wonderfully drawn mockup of the space/digging suit as much as it could, I think.

Scut Fabulous
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2010, 02:48:38 PM »

Yeah I'm going to need to tweak the sprite, it hasn't seen any changes since I began the project.  One thematic element I had wanted to keep was that the character would be the same palette as the terrain.  The idea was to keep a drab feeling, that your character is relatively poor compared to galactic standards.  Notice how the Bankers and the tools they lease are contrasting white with ruby highlights.

Anyway, I'll work on the character.  I'm sure I can make him pop some more.

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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2010, 05:06:15 PM »

I've been looking in on this occasionally in the mockups thread and have been loving it. I love the style and palette being used. Nice to see the concept art.

I agree on the character sprite. To be honest, until now I thought the character was some sort of rock being with glowing eyes. I think the reason is not only because the sprite is the same color as the terrain but also that it is very organic. It doesn't look particularly man-made; if it's supposed to, I think it needs some hints in that direction.

But overall, I love everything else, so don't take that the wrong way. Just trying to be helpful.
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2010, 08:31:06 PM »

The idea was to keep a drab feeling, that your character is relatively poor compared to galactic standards.  Notice how the Bankers and the tools they lease are contrasting white with ruby highlights.
I think it'd be nice to have the player feel raggedy without keeping to the same grey, as it'll make reading the game hard. Maybe a brown/grey palette with orange detailing?

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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2010, 11:59:20 PM »

At first I thought the character was a rock golem/cyclops thing that always had its mouth open, now that I have seen the concept art it is still quite hard to think of it as a space suit. Out of all the concepts I dislike the one you picked the most. Other than that this game seems sweet and Id love to see you finish it! Smiley

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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2010, 10:13:06 AM »

This is a really cool idea.

If I may, I'd suggest separating the suit a bit with some of those lines that you have on the concept, as well as making the visor a bit more glass-like:
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 10:19:16 AM by McMutton » Logged

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Greg Wohlwend

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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 11:42:50 AM »

i just wanna say. this thread is my favorite thread.


Sir Raptor
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2010, 11:44:34 AM »

This is amazingly sexy.
Maybe you could make different parts of the main character's suit to be different shades of gray, so that it's still at least a little more visually appealing. He looks like a golem the way it is.
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 12:49:09 PM »

 My Word!

Wow I don't how your coder friend can possibly resist cracking on to make this project more than just awesomely drawn concepts. This game could be epic.
Freeware Ninja
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 01:14:13 PM »

looks great! Smiley

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Scut Fabulous
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2010, 03:37:57 PM »

I get a sense there's some confusion regarding my power armour design.  I'd like to clear that up:

 Durr...? Hand Point Right

Okay, silliness aside, It's worth pointing out that the sprite I've been using is pretty much unchanged from the original mockup, because I was working on things other than the sprite.  The ground went from flat shading to textured, so it's fair to say it's time for the player to do the same.

Here's a couple variations I drew up, and I tried using hue different from the terrain but that could probably be user-set anyway in the game options.  I added a dreaded black outline to some portions of a couple, and I think it's worth using to make the sprite pop off the screen better.  The version on the far right is the same as the one on the far left, except I've removed the outline.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2010, 07:12:49 AM by Scut Fabulous » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2010, 07:05:07 PM »

The version on the far right is the same as the one on the far left, except I've removed the outline.

I like this one best. The drab green with pinkish highlights makes it look like worn, burnished metal of some sort. I like the "head" design better; the circle in the middle one looks like an eye which makes the visor opening look more like a mouth. The outline does make the character stand out more, but nothing else seems to have an outline so it seems a bit inconsistent. After all, the character will be moving which will create some separation from the background.
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2010, 07:20:41 PM »

Your power armour is amazing, this game looks so good. My fave of the three pics is the one in the middle, but do what you think is best!
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