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Member Since 20 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active Jan 28 2015 06:14 AM

#5196672 Sprite DLight - Instant normal maps for 2D graphics

Posted by on 06 December 2014 - 01:21 PM

The final week of the Kickstarter campaign is running and the final stretch goal is smashed:



I am currently redesigning the UI, the flat buttons are gone, there's some shiny new orbs for the map generation tabs:



Any feedback is welcome.


There's 6 days left to grab the tool at the Kickstarter backer price and to jump in for the beta.

#5195393 Sprite DLight - Instant normal maps for 2D graphics

Posted by on 29 November 2014 - 03:24 PM

Thank YOU for backing, jbadams smile.png

riuthamus, the intensity of the specularity map cannot yet be set for the lighting preview, that's why it looks a bit metallic.

#5195076 Sprite DLight - Instant normal maps for 2D graphics

Posted by on 27 November 2014 - 06:12 PM

Happy Thanksgiving!
There is a new feature as a gift to all supporters: an animated dynamic lighting preview for sprite sheets. 
Click the image for the full update, including a video clip showing the new feature!
"Selen Run Animation", ©2014 Lunar Ray Games, animated dynamic lighting preview of the sprite sheet in Sprite DLight

#5194266 Sprite DLight - Instant normal maps for 2D graphics

Posted by on 23 November 2014 - 08:46 AM

Thank you smile.png

Yes, I know Sprite Lamp, I have backed it, and I think it is very cool, just like its creator, who did a lot of awesome work and prepared the ground for 2D normal mapping integration with various engines (which is something Sprite DLight users will also benefit from).
Both tools just serve different purposes. With Sprite Lamp, you have more artistic control and you can achieve a better quality if you take the time to paint everything nicely.
Sprite DLight is targeted to projects with larger numbers of sprites, where you just don't have the time to draw everything by hand.
Think of animated characters. You would just process the sprite sheet in one click, resulting in quick normal maps that are all calculated with the same settings.

#5194111 Sprite DLight - Instant normal maps for 2D graphics

Posted by on 22 November 2014 - 05:56 AM

Hey everyone,
I would like to introduce the tool for game developers I am currently running a pretty successful Kickstarter for (funded within 17 hours, now more than 500% funded, all stretch goals smashed):
Sprite DLight on Kickstarter

The tool generates bumpy normal maps for dynamic lighting effects in games, based only on already existing 2D sprites.

Sprite_DLight_Infograph_Kickstarter.png      Sprite_DLight_Normals_Comparison.png
A quick comparison of normal maps generated by common tools/plugins to those of Sprite DLight:
1: Original "Sprite DLight Title Art", ©2014 by the amazing artist AlbertoV from DYA Games
2: Normal map created by the GIMP plugin (same as PS plugin)
3: Normal map created by a common normal map generator with the original sprite used as height map, followed by shape enhancement
4: Normal map created by Sprite DLight in one click

3. is the best result you can achieve with current automatic normal map generators combined with clever techniques, although the result is still pretty poor, it's more of a bevel effect, which is randomly concave or convex, particularly at the edges of the shape.

In the "Updates" section, there is already a pretty straightforward guide for the technical integration with Unity, including a step-by-step video.

"Ghost Pizza", ©2010-2014 AlbertoV (DYA Games), normal map generated by Sprite DLight, dynamic lighting preview recorded in the Sprite Lamp shader

There is less than a week left to get in on the beta and to get the tool at the Kickstarter backer price.

I would love to get some feedback on this, and I can't wait to see your 2D games with dynamic lighting!

#5062387 2d Game Art Assets - Zombie Pirates

Posted by on 16 May 2013 - 03:53 PM

I'm wondering if there really is a market for 2d game assets, namely character sprites.
I have been working on a game for a while, and my character animation technique is at a level I am happy with.
So I started to produce some animated character sprite sets.

My first set consists of four zombie pirates:

There are 7 different animations for each character:
Run (18 Frames), Talk (13 Frames), Jump (9 Frames), Fall (17 Frames), Crawl (21 Frames), Short Attack (11 Frames), Long Attack (15 Frames).
The running animation also serves as a walking animation and the falling/knockback animation includes standing up and can also be used for death, spawning and the like.

The sets are available in four different sizes and certainly mirrored PNGs of each frame. The M and S versions have no antialiasing and can so be used for retro style pixel art games. (S is perfect for 320x200):


A preview of the animations (L size):


So my questions are:

  • Is there actually a market for that kind of stuff?
    If so, what could I charge for a fully animated character? (non exclusively, so anyone who pays for it may commercially use it)
  • ​Where could I offer the packs for download?
  • Is it better to upload them at a specific site like www.indiegamestock.com, or is a blog like Chris Hildenbrand's (http://2dgameartforprogrammers.blogspot.de) the way to go ?

Thanks in advance,


#4963340 Rock, Paper, Scissors based Action RPG

Posted by on 26 July 2012 - 09:56 AM

Thank you all for your ideas.

I think I'm going to mix these things and give the player some single target spells like maybe:
- a movement slowing spell,
- a stunning trap,
- a melee lifeleech attack
- an evasion skill that makes you dodge all attacks dealing more than 20% of your MaxHP for X seconds.

@ Mito: I could remove #4 and the minions could perfectly overwhelm the melee attacker, but the setting of the game requires me to provide 4 different classes/playstyles.
The game will unfortunately not have a multiplayer mode (but with this system, it could) and the rock-paper-scissors style is only for keeping things balanced, as the enemies will also use these different playstyles.
Each "class" will be superior to one of the others, inferior to another and more or less equal in powers when facing the remaining "class"/stance/playstyle.
For example, the melee attacker has some mobility advantages to make sure he is able to get away from the minions.

#4962663 Rock, Paper, Scissors based Action RPG

Posted by on 24 July 2012 - 11:07 AM


I'm designing this wonderful action-rpg and I am going for a rock-paper-scissors design to keep the playstyles balanced.

Can somebody help me finding the missing link ? ;)

#1: Single-target melee burst damage
#2: Area-of-effect damage
#3: Summoned minions
#4: ?????

#1 beats #2 beats #3 beats #4 beats #1...

So I'm looking for a style that is superior to the melee guy but gets overrun by the summoned minions.

What could #4 be ?

Thanks in advance, Anything is welcome.

#4961910 Ideas wanted: RPG Spell combination system

Posted by on 22 July 2012 - 06:07 AM

Hello again,

Thank you all for the great input.
I’m really excited about so many people being interested in this.

It is quite hard to stick to the technical aspect, because there are just too many cool possibilities to alter the whole system.

As Burning Hand said, we should concentrate on how to keep it simple to get a spell out, as it actually is real time.
We want a more or less fast paced combat, we want to be able to act and react and we do not want to press 10 key for one spell.
And we also do not want to have to remember a lot of key combinations. This is no beat-em-up game ;)

I like the ideas of Mito and Stormynation and my game already has these 4 classes/stances/colors specialized in AoE, Burst-damage, Control and Summoning which would make up for a great spellweaving concept where you pay additional blue mana to your purple “summon zombie” spell to make his attacks slow the enemy.
That sounds great, the possibilities are endless as is the player’s choice.
Things just get too complicated and time consuming if you have to work yourself through a recipe to cast 1 spell.
I think it is only possible to do all that stuff before combat, just like in MtG.
Being able to create your own individual deck or combinations of spells is wonderful and it is just what makes MtG so great.
But 90% of the game are already over before you start playing and that is what I dislike most about MtG.

I’m afraid there is no possibility to decently implement a simple system allowing to create your personal fireball spell with double damage and AoE slow component, costing 2 red, 1 green and 1 blue mana.
So I try to stick to the concept of up to 4 predefined variations for each spell, containing cheap weak spells and expensive strong spells.

I try to expand the list with some of your ideas combined with my thoughts:

8. reducing the number to 6 pre-combat chosen base spells
this is based on the idea of Imbarns. Here we could make some artifacts drop off the mobs, and you can equip the artefact into the action
bar slot.
We loot the legendary orb of cliché, equip it in action bar slot #1 where it transforms to a spell, dependant on your stance, when playing
the green AoE stance, you get the meteor dealing AoE dmg, when switching to the blue control stance, the orb in slot #1 changes to the
frost orb, slowing the enemy. This is quite nice, because it substantiates an item drop system. Everybody likes looting extraordinary items
contra: pre-combat decisions limit your choice in combat and if you equip the orb, you have to take all 4 versions of it.

9. switching/scrolling/tabbing
is basically Burning Hand’s concept with a few changes. It’s also the concept I like the most at the moment. Fireball is in slot #1 of the red
stance, the other stances have completely different spells in slot #1. So when you want to cast the fireball spell as a slowing frost orb that
costs 1 red and 1 blue mana, you have to be in the red stance, hold down a modifier key (maybe alt) and press 1 to browse through the
4 different versions until you got the one you want. Then you release the alt key and you press 1 again to cast the spell. After casting it,
the latest used version of the spell stays in the slot.
This system provides easy access to the version of the spell you use most of the time but it also enables you to choose between the
other versions of it with a manageable amount of effort.

But maybe I am already thinking way too complex and should just separate things.
Maybe it is enough to have your slowing glacier spell costing 1 blue mana and cast your damage causing fireball spell costing 1 red mana afterwards.
Only… we all want to summon a ghost zombie, an infecting zombie and a hard hitting melee zombie, don’t we ? ;)

#4961409 Ideas wanted: RPG Spell combination system

Posted by on 20 July 2012 - 12:58 PM


I'm working on an RPG with stances instead of classes.
There are 4 categories of spells requiring different resources. Think of it as mana.
So while you are in the red stance, you produce red mana which is required for red spells,
you switch to blue stance where you stop producing red mana (which is not lost by switching) and you get blue mana...

My current system shows the spells of the stance your are in, so when you switch to blue stance, you
get the spells of the blue category displayed in the action bar.

I am looking for a system allowing to combine spells or combine resources of different colors to get
a new spell, so there would be a lot of diversity and choice for the player to play their individual
Think of it like in Magic: the Gathering where you have multicolored spells costing mana of 2 or more
different colors.

If we take the classical fireball as an example, i want to give the player the option to use whatever
fireball he likes at any time in combat, be it a frostball slowing the taget and costing 1 blue mana
in addition to the red one or be it the meteor causing area of effect damage and costing 1 green mana

The main question is how to get a lot of spells and combinations into an action bar of maybe 6 slots.

Some of my ideas are
  • something like the rune system in Diablo 3
    where you are limited to the combinations you chose before combat.
    contra: less variability and very limited choice during combat.
  • a hidden tree system
    where you switch to red stance, press 1 for fireball, press 2 for frostball.
    contra: too many keystrokes until you get a spell out.
  • a context-sensitive action bar,
    showing only the spells you can afford with your actual resources.
    contras: chaos! you never know where the skill you want to use is in the action bar.
    You press the key for fireball at the same time you get another resource, so the action bar changes at the
    wrong moment, causing you to cast the wrong spell, and if you have a lot of all resources, the action
    bar is full while not showing all spells you could cast.
  • a spell crafting system
    where you throw spells and/or mana into a pot, combining them to new spells which could be quite interesting.
    contra: see @ #1, everything must be done before combat.
  • automatically adapting spells,
    if you get blue mana in addition to the red mana already in your pool, the fireball spell in slot #1 changes to the
    frostball spell.
    contra: what if i want to produce the additional blue mana for something else and what if i want to cast a fireball NOW?
    Or what if i have the resources for 4 different variations of fireball available ?
    Which one will it change to and how can i cast the one not shown ?
  • creation of new spells by combining base spells
    this would only work with summoning spells as far as i can think of it. so you summon a zombie and you cast a ghost spell on
    it, creating a transparent ghost zombie which takes less damage or something like that.
    contra: no fireball variations ;)
  • altering the base spell according to the stance you are in,
    this requires showing all base spells in the action bar independant from your actual stance, so the
    contra is obvious: chaos again. when using only 6 base spells in each category, the action bar must contain 24 slots,
    which would require you to buy an additional keyboard ;)

None of these ideas is really great, but maybe you know the optimal solution ?

Wall of text, i know, but the topic is too complex to describe it in 10 words ;)
Thanks for reading and thinking about it.