Thursday, December 7, 2017

Back layer support is in.



The OpenGameArt Community's come through!

Less than two days ago, I posted a forum art request for UI icons for eyes, noses, and ears. Small features that wouldn't be easily seen on my current preview images, and needed some special art. It was specific and unpaid, and I wasn't sure if I'd get any interest.

... And as of right now, I've got eye and nose icons, and probably ears to come very soon. So, a huge thank you to the wonderful artists at OpenGameArt.org, particularly BenCreating and Spring, who've taken their time to contribute to this project.


Front view (option 1)
Side view (option 2)

Varied Layer Orders!

Here's a quandary:

Scarves go on the neck slot. Bow ties go on the neck slot. ... But bow-ties go over vests and under overcoats, and scarves are on top of everything. Shoes are under pants, but long boots go over tight pants, but not loose pants or skirts. But the shoes and long boots go in the 'feet' slot, and pants and skirts go in the 'legs' slot.

Well, not a problem any longer! I've gone into the code, gutted a lot of redundancy along the way, and implemented a system where the program moves the layers' order to the sort_order defined in the XML. So I can define all pants and skirts to sorting order #24, except for tight pants, which go on #18.

The end result is leaner, more dynamic code-- which can be easily edited to include 'behind' layers (giving support for capes, cloaks, and long-long hair, and prevents clipping with weapons)-- and scarves, long boots, and other things are in their proper places.

(Also-- capes and cloaks soon! Yes!)

Monday, December 4, 2017

New Hair Palettes -- Final!

New colors in practice!

That should be all major natural colors. Certainly enough to start with.



Reconsidering Hair Color

It's the end of the weekend, which means we might get some help from our friendly server admin. In the meantime, I've been working hard on QA-ing the female base's hair assets. This morning I finished! Only three of thirty-one hair styles need further work.

The original palettes for these assets started with one color, then picked darker and darker shades of the same color. I've revisited the red hair color, and redefined a new palette for it. I'll be doing this to the other colors next.

Original scale on bottom
I might be biased, but I think the new colors really looks like a deep natural redhead without going too obviously into purple. My current 'natural' hair color options are black, gray, white, platinum, blonde, orange, chestnut, brown, and red, so I'll give the next eight similar treatment and show you how it went.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bad cPanel! No cookie!

File upload is disabled on my server's Apache?!?!?! Whyyyyyy?

 So, boys and girls, here's today's lesson. If your WebServiceRequest method stops working on making a POST or PUT call with a file, check the damn server's network logs. It started returning 404 errors the moment I stopped sending test strings and tried uploaded my image.

Husband knows the server's admin, so he's trying to get SSH access by tonight. Then he's promised to write me a sweet little Express script that'll take care of everything. Stupid Apache.


 
Anyway.

Here's the to-do list I wrote about a week ago. Here's what it looks like now.
  • Setup:
    • Missing fonts (Ariel bold)
    • Fuzzy text? There must be a way to fix that.
    • Body menu goes off the bottom of the screen. (Temp fix)
  • Import Data: 
    • Add 'loading' graphic while XML is parsed.
    • Change how the required animations are checked to take less memory. 
  • Render:
    • Fix new render save path for WebGL! (System crash!)
    • Add timestamp to the single doll render so they have unique filenames.
    • Rendering on the web app makes a pixelated preview-dummy. (Cancelled)
  • General: 
    • Look for ways to slim / refactor the code!
    • Write PHP script that zips up the renders and prompts the user to download them!
    • Strip out unneeded 3rd party asset DLLs 
What's left, aside from saving images to the server?

The 'loading' graphic between the setup screen and the  was added just fine, but the loading sequence freezes up the system while the XML is processed, which means it never shows up. Now, there's a few ways to fix that, but I think the best way to do this would be to make the setup its own scene and just have a nice animated 'loading' scene between the two.

This will also be a good idea because the 'Choose a body' overflow fix was a quick hack that won't last as we increase the body options. I'm adding a skeleton, orcs, lizard folk once the humans are taken care of. I've also never been satisfied with the current setup UI, and a redesign will be a good change.

Refactoring will be a good step to take, but I'm going to hold off on it until everything else is working. There's a few things I'd like to change up to make a leaner, more flexible, automated process.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Found a code workaround, made three new shirts.

To start off-- new shirts! I've just finished the third one:



Long sleeve women's shirt, long sleeve women's blouse, and a scoop necked androgynous shirt. It's not much (mostly remixing several other articles of clothing) but it's long frustrated me that the LPC set had no long sleeves for women.

In other news! I've gone over the problems I was having with my husband. I have a background as a PHP developer, while he plays with Angular web stacks and such, and since he's more knowledgeable about javascript than I am he was able to figure out that my approach to saving the compiled character images was fighting built-in web security measures at every step.

And then we figured out a PHP solution. Huzzah! I'll be making a REST call straight to a PHP file instead. ... I hadn't wanted to send the .png byte arrays over request data, but... eh, screw my overly nit-picky 'elegance' thing. The files are very small, and it works. So I'll be programming that in tonight.

Most of the to-do items on my list have been finished; as soon as this is up and working reliably, the creator's pre-alpha gets released.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

An amusing interlude...

I've got three "alt" bases now-- muscular, androgynous/teens, and pregnancy. The latter two are my new stuff I whipped up off the female base, while the 'muscular' one is an older walk cycle that never got any assets made for him. It's based off the man's sheet... but it goes off enough that the standard legs and torso pieces won't fit him. Poor guy.

However, I've gone through all three alt bases and added in all the options / accessories that will work. And... erm. The "muscular" options are... interesting.


My husband has decided that this one is a Gentleman Stripper.


This one actually makes a darn good looking gladiator. I might have to extend the base to swing animations. And make the poor man some pants.


This man is too sexy for his pants.

Androgynous LPC set added!

Originally, this was just supposed to be a gift for my best friend, who has a few androgynous-type characters that she wanted to make in the Character Creator. So I made her a walk cycle.

... And then that went smoothly enough that I fully animated it, QA-ed the sucker within an inch of its life, made it some clothing bases, and released it into the wild. Behold, a new character base for the LPC set!


I spent a bit of time playing around with it-- it works great as a male and female teenager between the child and adult bases, an elf, or a pretty-boy hero. I also used the female base so making new clothes beyond the shirt / pants should be much easier and almost entirely fit to the outline.

See? Totally works.




Alright, back to figuring out how .jslib plugins work with the UnityGL platform. XP My original method of rendering the character sheets doesn't work on the web for security reasons, so I'll be learning a new trick before the feature's in.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Server Issues Have Been Fixed!!!

It took a while to get the cPanel reset, followed by trouble with the FTP, but I'm finally in and we've got our first live build online!

This isn't a release statement. Not quite yet.

In order to be usable, I need to fix some platform specific bugs that have cropped up. Here's the list: I'll post frequent updates so you can all see my progress. I don't see any of this taking more than a few days.
  • Setup:
    • Missing fonts (Ariel bold)
    • Fuzzy text? There must be a way to fix that.
    • Body menu goes off the bottom of the screen.
  • Import Data: 
    • Add 'loading' graphic while XML is parsed.
    • Change how the required animations are checked to take less memory. 
  • Render:
    • Fix new render save path for WebGL! (System crash!)
    • Add timestamp to the single doll render so they have unique filenames.
    • Rendering on the web app makes a pixelated preview-dummy. 
  • General: 
    • Look for ways to slim / refactor the code!
    • Write PHP script that zips up the renders and prompts the user to download them!
    • Strip out unneeded 3rd party asset DLLs

Saturday, November 25, 2017

BlueCarrot16's LPC "Gentlemen" kit is out!


I'm extremely excited about this addition to the LPC set. BlueCarrot16 released his Gentlemen Pack, and it looks fantastic!

I'll be adding it to the Character Creator immediately.

... Apparently I'm a liar.

... Because that 'break' really didn't last. Ahem.

I got to thinking "Hey, you know what could be neat and easy? A cute little maternity character!" So, here she is.


Or. You know. Here they are. Because I made a stand / walk cycle for eight skin tones. ... Then I made maternity clothes, because no one uses naked people in their games. ... Then while I was at it, made the pants and shirt in all twenty colors of my custom clothing palette thing.

I'm really, really bad at taking time off. Have a link to the OGA page I released it on.

Also it's in the Character Creator now.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Taking a Thanksgiving Break!

Hey guys!

Well, I'm almost through fixing and testing all of the female clothing assets... and I'm starting to feel burned out. It's long, hard, tedious work, and what I have left is mostly armor. A lot of that armor was just slapped onto the women's bodies from the men's sets.

A little while ago, I posted about an RPG game I'd started making for a game jam last July. I'd only gotten three days into the jam before my sickness took a hard turn for the worse. I'm thinking I'll make the introduction cut scene for that game and get my mind onto something else. It should be very short: a few lines of dialog, putting together a scene from finished art, and learning some scripting.

Oh, and this is what it looked like:



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

New Toys, New Toys!

A big shoutout to Farrer at OpenGameArt.org for unlocking a bunch of new LPC assets for me! Ties, bowties, formal men's shirts, vests, pants, two types of glasses, sunglasses, monocles, and two new types of curly hair have been added to the set!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Deciding Stylistic Changes... (Feedback Appreciated!)

My next asset is the sleeveless shirt-- which is much like the 'pirate shirt' from the last post, with a high neckline. And while I'm studying this, I've run into a decision to make.

 If it didn't need much QA work, I'd check it over and pass it on despite being similar, but so far I see jitters, self consistency issues (it can't decide where the neckline belongs), and frames to redraw... so I'm considering altering the design to have more variety in the creator, so long as I'm doing all this work anyway.


What do you think? Top row is the original Sleeveless Shirt by JRConway3; bottom row is my own changes to make it more unique looking.

Pirate Shirt!

Or, maybe it's just a tank top? Either way. The author called it a pirate shirt, so a pirate shirt it is.


I did a lot of work on this-- the shirts and dresses are proving to be the hardest part of the women's set. But after a day's work, here it is! And the twenty recolors to boot.

Currently at 20/40 women's clothing assets finished! 

--

Original by Marcel van de Steeg. My work consisted of redraws on shoot, thrust, hurt; consistency edits between animation sheets; redefining the bottom hem to fit with the standard for pants and skirts; shading edits; placement edits; recoloring.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Punk Princess Sheets


Do you know what I can do with the new Belle Skirt? ... I can make stuff like this. Have some animation sheets!
Icon
Idle / Stand
Walk
Swing
Thrust
Shoot
Magic
Hurt

Credits
Character created by me (Eliza Wyatt) and my LPC Character Creator program. Licensed CC-by-SA 3.0.
  • Body: Original by Stephen Challener (AKA Redshrike); edits by Eliza Wyatt
  • Long Hawk (hair): By Manuel Riecke
  • Bracers: Original by Matthew Krohn; minor pixel edits by Eliza Wyatt
  • Belle Skirt: Originally "Underdress" by Lanea Zimmerman (AKA Sharm); Edited, redrawn, and recolored by Eliza Wyatt
  • Corset: Original by Nila122, pixel edits and recolored by Eliza Wyatt

New Belle Skirt!

 

Okay, so I don't usually post about a QA job... but in this case, I feel like I deserve it. Bleh. 18/40 women's assets complete!

I loved this skirt to death, but after I parted it from the blouse it needed a bunch of redraws: the skirt was plastered over the waist-area regardless of how the waist curved, so the butt came out of the skirt on the side completely on thrust_north, and all the shoot animations were off. So while I was cruising at about three set inspections a day... this one took me three days.

Anyway, have the set early. (I'll put this on my OpenGameArt.org account later.) This is my own color set, but I've added the scale on each image so it can be very easily altered.

Idle / Stand
Walk
Magic
Thrust
Swing
Shoot
Hurt

CC-by-SA 3.0. Originally from the 'Underdress' set by Sharm (Lanea Zimmerman) who's done some awesome work for LPC.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

LPC Wishlist

Sprite sheet QA is long and tedious. Also, it doesn't really come with a lot of exciting news or screenshots. "Look, guys, I made this article of clothing not bounce on the walk_north animation!" ... Yeah, no. I don't see any parties being thrown there.

(Though if the QA completion stuff interests you, this is the spreadsheet I use to track my progress.)

I keep seeing things I'd love to add to the LPC set in the meantime, so I thought I'd make a list here of things that I think are missing, that I'd love to see made or make myself later.


Clothes:
  •  Man's suspenders
  • Child's suspenders
  • Woman's long-sleeve shirt
  • Woman's swimsuit
  • Woman's baggy pants
  • Woman's sash-belt (with bow)
  • Child's sash-belt (with bow)
  • Child's swimsuit
  • Sandals, for everyone
  • Shorts, for everyone
  • Jackets, for everyone
  • Long coats, for everyone
  • Collared shirts, for everyone
  • Vests, for everyone

Hair Styles:
  •  Buzz cut (semi-transparent)
  • Very short (non-transparent)
  • Loose, sleek curls
  • Fluffy curls
  • Long hair, draped over one eye
  • True afro
  • One bun
  • Two buns
  • Two braids
Eventually, I'd like to look into themed packs. A medieval pack. A late-Victorian pack with puffy sleeves. A sci-fi pack.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Critique Wanted: Clothes Color Palettes!

All the colors I mean to use for my clothing...

Clothing Samples in action!

So, this is the one and only time to critique and refine my clothing colors before they get used everywhere!

LPC tends to be super saturated overall; I made these palettes with that in mind. Almost every color of the twenty has been tweaked and refined, and I tried to include every major hue in the lineup. If anyone has any comments / critiques, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Major Features? FINISHED!

I have just ticked off the last item on my current 'to do' list, aside from finishing the graphics credits (which is half done).
  • The character's controlled with WASD and the E key.
  • 1-5 are weapon / action hotkeys. They're also buttons.
  • Preview background can be changed from the Settings Menu.
  • A magic effect animation has been added.
  • Body: Skeleton has been added!
So. What's left?
  • Getting the damn thing online. Finally.
  • Finish the credit spreadsheets for the items currently in the program
  • QA / fix all the current graphics:
    • Graphics must animate with the base without jittering
    • Graphics must not cut off prematurely
    • Make graphics compatible with others where possible (shirts and pants should use the same curve)
    • Graphics must contain 5 or 6 shades per color scale
    • Standardize the color scales used
  • Little code touches:
    • Add a 'loading' graphic for the pause while the sprite libraries load
    • ... ... (I can't think of what else we need...)
Most of this is curating the LPC graphics collection! Which means I can do this post-release, and add more and better options with updates.

Someday, once all this is finished, I'd like to add to the LPC set myself; a medieval clothing set, a Victorian clothing set, maybe a touch of scifi elements, a bunch of new, shiny hair styles. But that's another project for another day.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Credits, Hair, Dynamic Window Height...

I took a few days off to be a zombie; nonetheless, a few things did get done in the meantime.


I added a bunch of new hair styles, for the express purpose of filling out the left menu so I could test the scroll wheel. The window now resizes with the content, and I have a bunch of new, untested hair in the system-- all in red and none of it QA-ed, but we'll get there.

I've also started going through the assets and documenting everything's source; something I should have started earlier, but Makrohn's Universal LPC Spritesheet project makes it a little easier. Ish.

Truth is that not everything is in Makrohn's collection, and I'm using this opportunity to catalog what has and hasn't gone through QA, and what sources I'm missing. It'll be long, tedious work, but by the CC3.0-by-SA license, it's also vitally important I get this in.


We're still locked out of my server space. Part of it's me being sick (for those who don't know, I have an unending migraine that makes talking on the phone hell), part of it's my husband having a lot on his plate right now. I hoped to have the early dev version online two weeks ago. At least when the app does come online now, it'll have a lot more to offer.

I'll ask my husband to give the guy a call anyway. :) The project is alive and well and making great progress, never fear!