Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Why think when someone else can think for you?

The Elvetika Artist says:
After seeing your splahs screen, I'm thinking of stealing that parallax use for Elveteka, no programming for me though, just WYSIWYG in Flash.

It's funny how we ended with the same structure: sky, mountain, foreground. I even had a sketch with flanking trees at first!

Quick note: the title is not a slam on you 'stealing' 'my' parallax.  It's a description of how I made my title.

I thought I'd go over some of the process real quick.

Krag Vargenstone is an homage to Castle Wolfenstein.  Wolfenstein's title screen looks like this:

So, Vargenstone's title was meant to be an homage to that. Here's my concept sketch again:

As you can see, I was trying to reference all the features of the original title screen, including the white border, which I mimicked with the moonlight on the trees.  In real life, moonlight doesn't do that on trees. You just get a sharp black outline. I know. I dug up a ton of reference material...

... and pasted it together to serve as the basis for the current title:

The idea that you start with just the moon through trees and then pan down to the krag came from the elements of the concept. The trees, the scene, and the moon in the sky just shouted out parallax to me.  Which means if Wolfenstein didn't have that white border (and, frankly, I think the border doesn't add anything to the screen but clutter), I probably wouldn't have arrived at the solution I did.

So, yeah. My title screen is not even slightly original. It's a graphical update on something that has existed longer than I have. It's not even a terribly respectful nod: the original title is a much more skilful use of the Applr ]['s graphical horsepower than my title of modern tools and hardware.

But you don't learn by locking yourself in a blank room and doing stuff. You learn by copying the masters slavishly until you grok their work enough to safely mix in your own mojo. Or at least, that's how it works with me...


  1. Oh, that explains why we ended with something similar, our initial inspirations already were very close. Mine was taken from the Karateka splash screen, which included a picture of the villain's castle, much alike to the Castle Wolfenstein there.

  2. The stuff they did with the resources they had is absolutely unbelievable. The guy that wrote the original Space War! on punch cards for play on a cathode ray tube with little flip switches for controllers? It seems impossible.

    Though, also totally hilarious that they used some of the first computers for games right away.