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New DarkStarr Metronome 2024!

Discussion in 'Developer Work and Blog posts' started by Scottie, Mar 24, 2024.

  1. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    Greetings and Salutations folks!

    It's been a bit since I've had the chance to reach out and post about stuff I'm working on! And there are a few things I'm working on that I need to wait for a bit before I can reveal the coolness! But lucky for me I just finished something that, though not incredibly elaborate of a task, is delicious enough to present! Of course, this post is just about me and my workflow, as well as my creative thoughts about the task, so I can't really conjecture about when this will become available or how folks will be able get one into their hot little hands,...but I WILL be showing you some blow-by-blow images reflecting the steps I took to essentially give the old, original DarkStarr Metronome a new and updated look to revel in the classic style of DarkStarr's glory as our resident Lord of Chaos (and Gothic Fashionista :D).

    The inspiration, of course, is the fact that Starr recently celebrated another trip around the sun in our real world, and we thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to honor him in the game with a thoughtful re-working of his old, somewhat brown/bronze-ish Metronome into a more sharp and stylish color-scheme with an extra bit of decorative "flourish" thrown in?" I, for one, always recognized the early, original version as something worth revisiting for the sake of a visual update, at least texture-wise. Here you can see it below!

    [​IMG]

    I really don't recall the mind-set, at the time, which guided the original artist towards that particular color-scheme, but it certainly always had that "copper and bronze steampunk " sort of aesthetic appeal. Its original motto inscribed at its base, "AS TIME PASSES DEATH APPROACHES", added a wonderfully sinister edge to the already macabre design and somewhat rusty appearance of its inner workings and gear/scythe combination that gets exposed as part of its "tick-tock" timing mechanism within. Fun stuff! But how to re-visit and offer something a bit different while still maintaining and respecting the initial design? Changing the geometry really wasn't something I wanted to tackle, out of respect for the perfectly-thematic work that went into it in the first place, but a new "finish" in both color and ornamentation as a classy update certainly indicated a thoughtful series of texture-map changes was in its future! You can see how the original texture has a color saturation throughout which feels a bit "heavy" in that one hue's direction.

    [​IMG]

    It was time to get to work. First and foremost I wanted to get back to the basics of "goth" and into the color-realm of silver and black... I say "color-realm" here because, to me, this isn't merely a matter of simple desaturation. Instead, a good silver and black motif needs some night-time colors added to the mix, with enough "bluing" added to the metal to make it seem as if it is treated steel in some cases, and perhaps silver trim elements in others. I started my efforts by making sure the most evident metal elements (the wings) received a texture-pass that brought those areas into that realm...

    [​IMG]

    This wasn't a major change, mind you... Just playing around with colors after all... A touch of blue, a dash of green... All very subtle, as if night had gotten these elements in its cool clutches, but recognizing that our game's daylight would play with these colors as well, shifting into other reflective qualities as our day/night-cycle light-play had its way with this material's specular settings. Nothing dramatic,...just a new, cool "feel" to the old forms... I then moved on to embracing the shift back to "Grim Reaper Basics" by ensuring that the bones and shroud had that classic, dark, "moon-bathed" look, while still maintaining a bit of warmth in the bones themselves. The robes, of course, needed to return to traditional black...a direction I felt was necessary for the wooden bits of its structure as well...

    [​IMG]

    And speaking of the wooden bits, I thought about the extent to which I wanted to bring some ornament to portions of the wooden compartment, especially if I could draw a bit of popping contrast by using the newly-established bluish silver of the metal. I tried several things before deciding that "simplicity provided class" to this design, especially because part of the Reaper's arm drapes in front of the main front panel I was targeting, and anything too "flowery" threatened to get lost in this scheme of tone/color. I kept it bold and simple!

    [​IMG]

    However, as classy as we wanted to keep it, the urge to seek out something wonderfully more "Goth" kept intruding on our thoughts (I was conferring with others during this process, and we were inclined to add a deliciously colorful "splash" to the mix)... What better way to invoke another element of the macabre into the mix than by adding a bit of "coffin-lining" reference?!?! And with that little change we added another small difference in detail, so as to make this honor to DarkStarr complete. Where once the inscription referred to Death in general, it will now pay tribute to our Lord of Chaos directly while referencing the in-game year of this artifact's visual reworking!

    [​IMG]

    Of course, these changes to the Diffuse map required that I go back in and rework the old Specular and Normal maps into new versions of themselves containing and enhancing these added details...

    [​IMG]

    The final reveal? BEHOLD! With but a few, carefully-conceived steps I was able to produce something fun and new from one of our oldest special decorative items, themed exclusively for our game in the early days! Check it out in-game!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ah, it feels good to finally post something here again, my friends! And I hope you enjoyed this verbose journey through my little process... Simple changes, I know, but I really like the feel of this new decoration piece as it fulfills our desire to pay tribute to the other side of the great coin of our SotA nobility duo. May DarkStarr forever reign over the forces of Chaos!

    Take care for now, folks, and I'll be back soon to post a little something about some other stuff I'm working on! I hope to make it a habit once again!

    Yours truly,

    Scottie ^_^
     
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  2. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    Nice to see you Scottie. I love your imaginative streak. Thanks for sharing. Be well always
     
  3. Isabel Ayin

    Isabel Ayin Avatar

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    The result looks fantastically spooky and I loved learning about the design process. Thank you!
     
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  4. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    You're both very welcome! I'm so thankful for your appreciation! It's great to see folks enjoy the creative process, and it's fun for me to share!
     
  5. Duke Gréagóir

    Duke Gréagóir Legend of the Hearth

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    Awesome! :)
     
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  6. that_shawn_guy

    that_shawn_guy Bug Hunter

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    I love the updates! Not just for the details in the changes. But also in the thoughtful preservation of the original aesthetic.
     
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  7. Beaumaris

    Beaumaris Avatar

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    Cool stuff, thanks for sharing!
     
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  8. Cirsee

    Cirsee Avatar

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    Love seeing your posts Scottie! Looks like a nice direction with a new re-imagined piece.
     
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  9. Belladonna Rose

    Belladonna Rose Bug Hunter

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    Fantastic work as usual. But how do we get the new and inproved one
     
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  10. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    Thanks so much!!! And great question! But like I said, I'm generally not privy to that info... HOWEVER,...I've just gotten a hint that we'll be finding out very soon!!! In fact, "livestream soon"! Come join us! ^_^
     
  11. Pifester

    Pifester Bug Hunter

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    Door opening from the other side would have been cool - could have book ended them on a entryway etc. Awesome regardless
     
  12. Duke Gréagóir

    Duke Gréagóir Legend of the Hearth

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    There should be book ends versions of them! :)
     
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  13. that_shawn_guy

    that_shawn_guy Bug Hunter

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    Tabletop bookend version as well ;)