Hey everyone, and sorry I've not been able to participate lately. I have still read every message that has been posted and the discussion has been very interesting. I have my high school final exams going on and they will keep me occupied for a couple of weeks more.
I just wanted to briefly comment the issue of different tilesizes. I totally agree with Max-Max with regards to the roads reserving the whole tile. The biggest problem I have with simutrans graphics in general is that cities tend to be more pavement than buildings due to the disproportionate scaling of roads, and narrower roads would open some very interesting possibilities with sidewalks, special road markings in intersection etc. But I understand that for pixel-artists bigger tiles mean a lot more work, and the current graphics being all 128-sized I think the current size is the way to go. I would have no problem with painting bigger graphics though, if that is what we end up with.
real life has to go first
I personally would not mind to convert my objects to another tilesize or to paint new stuff for a bigger tilesize. I like painting!
My concern is what Junna pointed out, the limitations of this kind of game, which might get overexagerated when using a big tilesize.
Some of the limitations that Im refering to:
* No antialliasing / blending between objects and the ground.
* Only 8 views for vehicles. Makes the cornering a 'jump' between different views. If there was maybe 16 or 32 views, then a smooth curve could be made, but I wont be drawing 32 views of the same car. Ever!
* No 'climb'-textures for vehicles. The default south/north, east/west images are shown when vehicles are climbing a hill.
* The ways also have only 8 directions, no smooth transition in corners and the 3- or 4 directions rail texture would be difficult to get realistic since all rail vehicles can turn either way.
I think these issues are easier to forgive when using a smaller tilesize so you "can not zoom in on all the uglineses". Big tilesize invites for more details and more expectations of some of these things.
I think that the comic pak.192 is dealing with these issues as to not aim for a 'realistic look', but a comic look (NOO.....!?
). A cartoonish look which does not invite the player to expect the world to be realistic in the way which for instance pak britain does.
Look at it like the wodden BRIO-trains: They have a very typical design and a relative small size. The design and convention of the briotrain is the Simutrans engine, and whatever you paint on the BRIO-car is our pak. As long as the wooden train-car has that small size, its easy with some paint to convince yourself that 'this is a RC-loco'. Your imagination fills in the gap.
If you instead made the brio train-car huge, 1 m wide, I assume you would have some problems accepting that 'this as a very good representation of a RC-loco' no matter how much details you have painted on it. It would still contain the big plastic wheels, the track would still be what it is, and it would still be a flatsided cube.
The best solution to this would be to go over to Märklin or some other model-train hobby to get all the juicy details, but as we are not able to just switch the mechanics of Simutrans, we have to go with the BRIO-train.
(this is not meant to be any offence to the Simutras engine or its designers, Im just exagerating a little to describe my point
So, the solution to this 'equation', I think will be:
The more realistic, "serious", that we want the pak to be, the smaller it has to be.
The more comic, cartoonish, "obviously not realistic", we want the pak, the more we can afford to go up in tilesize, making the player not expect a perfect world.
Does this sound reasonable?
What do you think?
And finally, which pak should we aim for?
Im voting for 128