Blood Omnicide blog
Blood Pill 1.01
Blood Pill utility is updated to version 1.01, changes including:
Experiments with sprite resolution
At times, working on Blood Omnicide extends into very exotic disciplines. Such as pixel art. It was challenging to try various scale effects on character sprites, as they don’t look good comparing to much more accurate background textures. In the end the best results were achieved using Scale2X effect.
Move mouse cursor over pic to change to upscaled look:
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It wasn’t enough to use only Scale2X to achieve this result, as this method is supposed to be used primarily with genuine pixel art, whereas Blood Omen’s sprites are more like just low resolution images with 15 colors palette, but with lots of smooth transitions. That’s why the final algorithm was improved to reach the goal of lesser contrast. First, the source image is scaled to quadruple size using Scale2X, then it’s scaled down by 50% with blur technique.
Of course, this effect can’t beat 3d models. But as we see it, it makes sprites look better and more in-match with rest of the world.
Blood Pill 1.0 and complete Map Survey
Some of you might know that Ben Lincoln, the creator of TheLostWorlds.net, did a research called Map Survey. Inspired by the discovery of the secret BO location with a pirate ship, he tried to seek each level of the game for other previously unknown locations. He also explains the rules of location storage in BO, the connection between the map’s number and section. Thanks to his work the tile texture compression format was known, as well as .cmp files format, which created an opportunity to research the structure of the maps. Continuing his work we spent two weeks to investigate CMP files with a HEX-editor. As a result we acquired almost fully explored program structure of the maps in Blood Omen.
New 1.0 version of Blood Pill utility is capable to read files of BO locations and export them as pictures, showing optionally not only layout of the locations, but much of the information hidden to the eyes as well, such as numbers of the phrases spoken by characters, scripts for buttons, places available to travel through in mist form, location exits etc. Previously to acquire such information we needed to make long and exhausting measurements, taking lots of screenshots and combining it all manually.
Using this specifications it is possible now to create BO level editor to make new locations in addition to existing ones.
Here are some curious facts found out as a result of format research.
Today we present an update to the arts' section, concerning all the work artists have done over the last two weeks. However, some art is still unpublished due to the coming changes to the license policy.
A bunch of new art by David Lakatos:
Ariel, Elzevir, Kind Ottmar, Malek, William the Just/Nemesis, Vorador:
Adam Brown's work at Kain's concept:
Our new team member Adam Brown was willing and able to do some improvement to the inventory design. Here he presents his new highly detailed, much improved pic of Kain in iron armor:
Two new Work-In-Progress videos show the progress of destructables using Open Dynamics Engine, which was mentioned in one of the previous news. The system has been updated to allow more parameters, destruction types and new features for wider usage. However, the simulation is not stable enough yet: