Where do you get your mod graphics from?

Discussion and analysis of graphics, story, levels, and so on.
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Tulip
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Where do you get your mod graphics from?

Post by Tulip » Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:44 am

Alright, this small thread should be about where you guys (all are asked, who already made a mod) get your graphical ideas from.
A thing like this could help guys like shikadi who obviously have a hard time making graphics, and there I so many other way to get new graphics for Keen.
I have to admit it can be tiresome sometime, so I also stole some graphics in my mods, and I'm sure the graphics from other members aren't 100% made in a paint program by themselves as well.
It also interested, if you guys draw things on paper, and then scan and colour them later.

The last graphic I got from kind of a strange source, and it's the reason I got the idea for this thread:
I had a Star Wars themed Mickey Mouse and Goofy comic and on one page there was a structure of something between a radar and a gun, and it was, as disney most of the time is, bright and colourful, so I scanned it and after maybe 15 minutes of editing I had a four tile background item.
Some of my graphics were just taken from older mods, and some times adapted to my graphical stile by adding shadows, or making it brighter, and sometimes I added a little bit of animation to it.
As I said before I think other Apogee Games also using a 16 colour EGA palette, are an easy source for graphics, I already used Crystal Caves, Secret Agent Man and Monster Bash, and as I have seen others like Duke Nukum or Cosmo have been used.
Vga games with more colours are a bit more difficult adapting, but can be worth a try, I think, I once took a graphic from Quik the Thunderrabbit from Titus. Anyway Titus has nice and cute graphics, I personally like Prehistorik. I also think NES or other Nintendo games run through an emulator can provide nice graphics as well.

I think the trick is not to take too many graphics from one source, so that the mod would still look original, and by a little editing one can make it fit all together. Everything should look organic in a way.

Kdash
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Post by Kdash » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:30 am

I just kinda sit down and draw stuff. I try not to steal any graphics. There might be some in my first mod left over that are from Keen 1, but I know that my next mod (still designing levels...) will have all original graphics.

That's just for my stuff, though. I'm the same way for themes/skins. There's a lot of nice themes out there (for Windows, Linux, WinAmp, whatever...), but I just can't use my computer knowing that I didn't make the theme myself. I like my own theme, even if it isn't the best.

Borrowing graphics is okay, especially if you have trouble drawing a lot of tiles. The thing I don't like, though, is thinking some graphics in a mod are really nice, only to find out that they were taken from another game.

levellass
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Post by levellass » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:08 am

I think that all mods are connected, they borrow from mods past, and influence mods future. Who hasn't looked at some of Xky's stuff and thought 'Wow, how can i do something that good?' or 'Well that's an interesting technique.' I thus have a very utilitarian view on graphic borrowing, if it makes the mod better, do it.

Of course just mindless copying of tiles is of no use, a mod can be nothing but copied graphics, but to do so without being a bland rehash, they will need to be used inventively, in ways that the originators never though of, or in a manner that evokes the feel of mods past.

And then there are those graphics that are inspired by, or scanned from, or altered, this too can be a valuable source of new ideas as you can build on what has been done. After all, isn't that what modding is? Borrowing the Keen engine and doing as much with it as we possibly can? I like to think we have taken Id's original concept and done so much more with it.

I am not a good creator, but I am a very good modifier, most of my graphics will be adapted from the seed of something past, maybe ripped entirely. i am as yet unpracticed in doing much with graphics, but I hope to improve with time.

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Tulip
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Post by Tulip » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:28 am

As far as I can see you (genius314) also got your ideas from other games, but instead of copying the graphics you nicely redid the yourself. I'm thinking of cameras (like in Duke Nukum) or the Chocolate Bar similar to other Keens. That's also a good thing, if you don't want to copy just think of an opject you've seen before and try to redo it.

Btw, is "Mort times 1000000!" or "Power Clones!" still in work?

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shikadi
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Post by shikadi » Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:24 pm

i usually combine grpahics of other mods and recolor some to make it look nicer (or at least for me) , i do not spend to much time on my graphics (<you might no like that) , i spend a lot more time thinking and creating my levels

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Post by KeenRush » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:50 pm

I have created all my mod graphics myself (except a dopefish cameo), and I'm sure many others have done so as well. It's just plenty of hard work.

Kdash
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Post by Kdash » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:59 pm

Tulip wrote:Btw, is "Mort times 1000000!" or "Power Clones!" still in work?
Yes. As I said, I still need to finish the levels. Oh, and the names are probably going to be changed. Those were working titles (they also had to fit into the limited space, so I didn't have too much room for creativity).

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Tulip
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Post by Tulip » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:12 pm

Glad to hear that, I'm really looking forward to them, part one was great!

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CommanderSpleen
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Post by CommanderSpleen » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:58 pm

All my graphics are home-made. My best ideas start on paper and then evolve through hours of pixeling (not scanning). I waste a lot of time on graphics. It's fun, but causes delays of an indefinite nature.

In my modding directory, there's a bitmap called platforms.bmp. In there, I just keep drawing tiles for my main two mods. Sometime after their release, I'll display it somewhere as a kind of 'making of' token (and provide some plagiarisation fodder). It works really well, as I'm not restricted to fitting the graphics into the tileset until they're polished up, and I can see how they'll look in different combinations much more easily.

After these mods are ready, I'm going to take on a simpler and less perfectionist project. I might borrow graphics for the next two Monky Business episodes (backgrounds and whatnot--at this stage I'm not sure about copying sprites), and using the style that's evolved for the first episode will also speed things up.
Last edited by CommanderSpleen on Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Stealthy71088
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Post by Stealthy71088 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:00 am

Mine are all original, except for usually the keen sprite- the only time I've changed that was for my vorticon version of the grinch, and that was just a modified vorticon elite. I also made my own version of bounder to use as a star in keen: universe.

I usually just wait until I get a really good idea for a sprite for before I try to make it, and that takes forever. But when I finally get an idea and make it, I usually really like how it comes out.

Tile graphics are a lot harder- I have a hard time motivating myself to make tiles- It's my least favorite part of modding. I actually have a mod that's almost completely done except its missing some 70% tiles. Theres other stuff it needs, but thats the main thing.

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