New bridges (bridge-castle-transitions, hanging bridge)

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lurker
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New bridges (bridge-castle-transitions, hanging bridge)

Post by lurker » November 19th, 2011, 9:05 pm

Hello,

I have made a new try at a hanging bridge. Comments welcome.
hanging1.png
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Thanks

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Last edited by lurker on January 21st, 2012, 8:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by Simons Mith » November 19th, 2011, 10:18 pm

I like em. I also liked the earlier ones as well, wherever they've gone.

Idle query: Could we have an invisible bridge terrain type plus a set of halos? I'd love things like a multi-hex Indiana Jones style bridge, or a multi-hex grand bridge several hexes wide. But shoehorning them into WML is horrible at best often impossible. If they were just halos, all you'd need is some generic bridgeheads, and then you could really go to town on the artwork without having to bend over backwards to accomodate the limitations of the map.
 

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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by doofus-01 » November 20th, 2011, 12:24 am

Simons Mith wrote:Idle query: Could we have an invisible bridge terrain type plus a set of halos? I'd love things like a multi-hex Indiana Jones style bridge, or a multi-hex grand bridge several hexes wide. But shoehorning them into WML is horrible at best often impossible. If they were just halos, all you'd need is some generic bridgeheads, and then you could really go to town on the artwork without having to bend over backwards to accomodate the limitations of the map.
The WML is not a problem. The problem is that every different length of bridge requires its own complete image. In other words, if you want to support up to 6 hex long bridges, you need 18 complete bridge images drawn (with different radii of curvature - no recycling). If lurker wants to do that, cheers...

--------------------------------------

These bridges look a bit shiny and sheet-like to me, maybe there could be more contrast between boards? Otherwise they look pretty nice.
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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by Simons Mith » November 20th, 2011, 1:32 am

I know that!

But if I only had a choice of a 1-hex bridge or a 4-hex bridge, and the other combinations weren't available, I'd try to adjust my maps to suit. Hence why I suggested invisible bridges plus halos. Because if you do a selection of bridges as halos, people whinge less that some combinations are not available. Whereas the very act of providing bridges /as terrain/ kind of implies that all likely combinations /are/ available, and for any bridge design that requires three variants for every distinct length (i.e. arched bridges), that's a unreasonable thing to expect.

[NB Editing an earlier post in response to comments below:]
Ok. Implementation problems.

First: There's two types of arched bridge. One is like lurkers', where units sink lower as they move towards the middle, the other is the inverted arch or the suspension type where the walkway is flat and the supports follow a catenary either above or below walkway level. That type doesn't introduce unit displacement problems, only graphical problems.

I wrote a parabola macro not long ago; it could be extended to do catenaries too.

Anyway, imagine you had some invisible bridge variants, with suitable unit displacements chosen from -0, +/-25%, +/-33%,+/-50%,+/-66%,+/-75%,+/-100%.
Assume you have a big empty chasm where there is space for your desired gynormous bridge.
Plonk a suitable halo down in the right spot. Then use your invisible bridge hexes to cover the actual course that the bridge hexes take. So instead of

Code: Select all

   123456789

where hexes 1-9 all have vertical displacements of 0, as is usually the case for Wesnoth bridges, instead you might have a curvy bridge route that goes like this:

Code: Select all

   123   789
      456
hex 1 has no displacement
2 has -33%
3 has -66%
4 has +0 (but it's a hex lower)
5 has -33%
6 has +0
7 has -66%
8 has -33%
9 has 0%

I haven't tried this, and it is a bodge. It's the sort of thing I suspect might only work at certain pre-defined bridge lengths. But we might find that if we use displacements of +50,0,-50 we can get an OK-looking 2-hex or 7-hex bridge, but other lengths look poor. But one /can/ calculate what values would be needed and determine from that whether it's worth going further, and which lengths might work better. If we did that, then the game might be able accomodate artists wanting to do one or two big spectacular bridges without forcing them to have to do dozens of boring variants too.
Last edited by Simons Mith on November 20th, 2011, 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
 

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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by artisticdude » November 20th, 2011, 1:37 am

doofus-01 wrote:
Simons Mith wrote:Idle query: Could we have an invisible bridge terrain type plus a set of halos? I'd love things like a multi-hex Indiana Jones style bridge, or a multi-hex grand bridge several hexes wide. But shoehorning them into WML is horrible at best often impossible. If they were just halos, all you'd need is some generic bridgeheads, and then you could really go to town on the artwork without having to bend over backwards to accomodate the limitations of the map.
The WML is not a problem. The problem is that every different length of bridge requires its own complete image. In other words, if you want to support up to 6 hex long bridges, you need 18 complete bridge images drawn (with different radii of curvature - no recycling). If lurker wants to do that, cheers...
Well, the terrain WML might not be an issue, but there are other problems to deal with. Since the bride would hang lower and lower the longer it became, the units would have to be offset to match the height of the bridge (which would be a headache in itself). You could potentially even get a bridge long enough that the units need to be offset so that they are literally two hexes down from the hex they actually occupy... No, I don't see how that could work from a visual/gameplay standpoint, let alone the necessary artwork.

What if there were a restriction on how long the bridge could get before the terrain string becomes an entirely new bridge? I.e., the bridge could expand anywhere between, say, 1-5 hexes (assuming we have all the necessary graphics, of course), but if you try and add a sixth hex you start a new bridge on that sixth hex, rather than further expanding the first bridge. Five hexes is plenty IMO (maybe even too much?), and you could always add a pillar of rock jutting out of the chasm to connect two separate five-hex bridges if you need to span a chasm wider than five hexes.
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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by doofus-01 » November 20th, 2011, 5:47 am

artisticdude wrote:Well, the terrain WML might not be an issue, but there are other problems to deal with. Since the bride would hang lower and lower the longer it became, the units would have to be offset to match the height of the bridge ...
Make the curvature less for longer bridges. That's why you can't recycle section images for different lengths. Not difficult WML, but tedious work making the images.
Simons Mith wrote:Because if you do a selection of bridges as halos, people whinge less that some combinations are not available.
But if you provide a blank bridge terrain, there will be less whining? Also, I don't know why you want halos, terrain graphics can handle huge images just fine.

(I'd tried to do this a while ago, but concluded that there was simply too much soul-sucking tedious effort required for something that would make really crappy maps, game-play wise - a long bridge is a bottleneck.)

If lurker really wants to do long Indiana Jones bridges, the WML is really not a problem. All the work is in the art. Let's see what he says before flogging this any more. :)

Aside from long bridges maybe some extra thought should go to the support columns that hold up the little bridges, if that's the way it goes.
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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by lurker » November 20th, 2011, 9:20 am

Simons Mith wrote:I like em. I also liked the earlier ones as well, wherever they've gone.
I also think I have seen a hanging bridge somewhere, but that was not by me and for whatever reason it did not make it into mainline.
artisticdude wrote:What if there were a restriction on how long the bridge could get before the terrain string becomes an entirely new bridge? I.e., the bridge could expand anywhere between, say, 1-5 hexes (assuming we have all the necessary graphics, of course), but if you try and add a sixth hex you start a new bridge on that sixth hex, rather than further expanding the first bridge.
doofus-01 wrote:Make the curvature less for longer bridges. That's why you can't recycle section images for different lengths. Not difficult WML, but tedious work making the images.
Let's play this through: Here is the outline of a four hex wide hanging bridge. There is barely any curvature left (even though the bridge hangs as low as the one-hex version. So four hexes (or more likely only three hexes) seems to be the upper limit of what looks nice. That means 12(9) different images, which sounds reasonable.
hanging2.png
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What I am not so convinced yet is in fact the unit offset. It has to be different not only depending on how far you are from the ground but also how long the entire bridge is. For example (numbers are made up):

1-hex bridge: -15
2-hex bridge: -10
3-hex bridge: -8 on the outer hexes, -15 on the inner
4-hex bridge: -5 on the outer hexes, -12 on the inner

...and perhaps even a different or no offset at all for the n-s version. Is that really doable?

On the plus side it would get rid of the more-or-less useless spanning construction in the middle (which would become unconvincing for long bridges also).

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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by zookeeper » November 20th, 2011, 12:16 pm

Would it really not look acceptably good to simply have hanging ends and a straight middle section? That is, a bridge across a single hex would consist of two ends, and a bridge across more than one hex would consist of the two ends and straight, flat bridge segments in the middle. Of course it would not look as realistic, but not all usages of a particular terrain need to; I'm merely interested in whether it'd still look good enough for bridges 2-3 hexes long, which I think is about as much as we need to cater for.
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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by lurker » November 20th, 2011, 2:27 pm

zookeeper wrote:Would it really not look acceptably good to simply have hanging ends and a straight middle section? That is, a bridge across a single hex would consist of two ends, and a bridge across more than one hex would consist of the two ends and straight, flat bridge segments in the middle. Of course it would not look as realistic, but not all usages of a particular terrain need to; I'm merely interested in whether it'd still look good enough for bridges 2-3 hexes long, which I think is about as much as we need to cater for.
Wow, this gave me a "deja vu". I have the feeling I read something like this earlier. Was that in that earlier thread about a hanging bridge? Anyway this counts as "frequently requested", so I tried out how it would look.
hanging3.png
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:hmm:

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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by averyimaginativename » November 20th, 2011, 3:05 pm

To my untrained eye, this latest screenshot looks fine.

The bridge looks a bit too well kempt and shiny to me though - the palette (or shading?) you used for the rotten bridge strikes me as a better fit.
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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by doofus-01 » November 20th, 2011, 3:26 pm

lurker wrote:
zookeeper wrote:Would it really not look acceptably good to simply have hanging ends and a straight middle section? That is, a bridge across a single hex would consist of two ends, and a bridge across more than one hex would consist of the two ends and straight, flat bridge segments in the middle. Of course it would not look as realistic, but not all usages of a particular terrain need to; I'm merely interested in whether it'd still look good enough for bridges 2-3 hexes long, which I think is about as much as we need to cater for.
Wow, this gave me a "deja vu". I have the feeling I read something like this earlier. Was that in that earlier thread about a hanging bridge? Anyway this counts as "frequently requested", so I tried out how it would look. :hmm:
http://forum.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?p=485898#p485898
Hence my noise in this thread...
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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by zookeeper » November 20th, 2011, 3:39 pm

lurker wrote:Wow, this gave me a "deja vu". I have the feeling I read something like this earlier. Was that in that earlier thread about a hanging bridge? Anyway this counts as "frequently requested", so I tried out how it would look.
Cool, thanks for making that. Looking at it, I can't really tell if it's ok or slightly too far in the uncanny valley. :hmm:

Maybe if you added a kind of a rope rail as a support? That is, not a typical hanging bridge rope rail as in doofus' version, but straight ropes between the supports of both ends of the bridge, which would support the midsection of the bridge? Far from realistic I'm sure, but might work better than a flat bridge or one with supports underneath.

EDIT: Of course, it'd also look ackward when units would get drawn on top of the frontmost rope. That can be avoided but it requires extra WML magic, as well as splitting up the images into two layers.
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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by lurker » November 20th, 2011, 5:39 pm

doofus-01 wrote:Hence my noise in this thread...
Your input is most welcome. I hope you do not mind me trying the same thing again.
zookeeper wrote:Cool, thanks for making that. Looking at it, I can't really tell if it's ok or slightly too far in the uncanny valley.
As a compromise I could leave the single-hex version as a special case, create a two-hex bridge and extend that with straight parts. That could work fine up to sizes three and four. But it still leaves the problem of different unit offsets.
zookeeper wrote:Maybe if you added a kind of a rope rail as a support? That is, not a typical hanging bridge rope rail as in doofus' version, but straight ropes between the supports of both ends of the bridge, which would support the midsection of the bridge? Far from realistic I'm sure, but might work better than a flat bridge or one with supports underneath.
I would prefer not to have such ropes, exactly for these layering problems. Instead I could extend the support downward, so it would no longer hang but stand on the ground. Downside is of course that the Indiana-Jones-feel suffers a lot from that.

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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by zookeeper » November 20th, 2011, 5:53 pm

lurker wrote:What I am not so convinced yet is in fact the unit offset. It has to be different not only depending on how far you are from the ground but also how long the entire bridge is. For example (numbers are made up):

1-hex bridge: -15
2-hex bridge: -10
3-hex bridge: -8 on the outer hexes, -15 on the inner
4-hex bridge: -5 on the outer hexes, -12 on the inner

...and perhaps even a different or no offset at all for the n-s version. Is that really doable?
Unfortunately, no. We can have different offsets for different terrains (so the n-s bridges could have no offset), but we can't really do it on a per-tile basis. In theory we could of course split the bridge from 3 terrains into 6 or 9 (3 terrains for the midsection parts, 3 or 6 terrains for the end section parts), but that'd be way too annoying to deal with in the map editor, so I think that option is pretty much off the table.

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Re: New try at a hanging bridge

Post by lurker » November 20th, 2011, 7:30 pm

zookeeper wrote:Unfortunately, no. We can have different offsets for different terrains (so the n-s bridges could have no offset), but we can't really do it on a per-tile basis. In theory we could of course split the bridge from 3 terrains into 6 or 9 (3 terrains for the midsection parts, 3 or 6 terrains for the end section parts), but that'd be way too annoying to deal with in the map editor, so I think that option is pretty much off the table.
I agree. That brings us back to some sort of support. Here is a proposal with a very weak pillar standing on the ground.
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