Artists, don't disperse your forces

1) First of all some example:
2d weapons, armors, rings, books, runes:

  • yes, they only 60x60, but it’s Public Domain (source).
    Yes, they does not looks like homm3 native, but they already done and you can use it!

2) Many open source game already created open source content:
Unknown Horizons, for example done 3d model of tents:
CC-BY-SA 3.0 (source)
And it looks like homm3 refugee camp:

So, a lot of music, 2d and 3d content be found in open source game repos:
Unknown Horizons art repo
Flare art src
Batttle for Wesnoth (forest+jungle example , dungeon example)

3) A lot of music, 2d and some 3d content can be found on OpenGameArt:
sky 2d (CC-BY 3.0)
mutant 3d (GPL 2.0/GPL 3.0/CC-BY-SA 3.0) - change the skin to gray and it will be zombie
Elven Archer (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
Mage (CC-BY-SA 3.0) - few changes and it’s Vampire Lord

4) A lot of 3d content can be found on BlendSwap:
Free account has 100 Mb per week limit, but most of content has CC-BY or CC0 license:
just horse (CC0)
Mechanical Dragon (CC-BY)
Demon (CC0)
Dragon rig and textures (CC-BY)
Monster Galera Man (CC-BY)
The Cataphract rig (CC-BY) - check video inside
Amazing Black Gragon can move in Blenger Game Engine (CC-BY) - check video inside

5)So, if somebody really want to create full amount of playable data content, we need:

a)Create separate branch (repo or like something like that) for data source.
For example, Unknown Horizons has 6 repos:
unknown-horizons - official code repository
translations - translation export repository
gfx - All graphics sources are stored here
sounds - All sound sources are stored here (speech, effects)
misc - A collection of manuals, presentation etc
music - All music sources are stored here
I think trunk for engine + 1 branch/repo for gfx/sounds/music will be enough.

b) Find tools for repack data files:
I’m at home on Unubtu and can’t test it right now, but some of this tools works fine on Windows:

c)Create huge wiki section about structures of data files, formats, FULL list of needed art, sound (and oth.) and some art/sound tutorials.

  • some words about *.def, *.bik, *.smk files. What is it and how to create, edit, pack…
  • FULL list of needed art, sound (and oth.): every single *.mp3, *.def, *.bik, *.smk should be described, create/found similar (with open source license) and placed to branch/repo. I’d like to mark with different colors like (well done, need to fix/update/change, missing).

Here I have question for the developers: May be for the 1st time will be enough to create some minimum of data like in homm3 demo?? Is it possible to do without breaking compatibility with homm3 wog??
Something like few sound, 1 simple map, 1 full town, few additional enemy creatures.

  • some art/sound tutorials like in Battle for Wesnoth: they have Artwork development forum (like our “Content creation” forum), “Create” wiki page (creating maps, scenarios, campaigns, units, art, music, translations …) and “Create Art” wiki page with a lot of complete with tutorials. I found many open source 3d models in *.blend format, so I would suggest to make it default and add blender tutorial to Create Art wiki page. And I like GIMP, so… i would prefer *.xcf for 2d art source.

So, what do you think about this idea?
Unfortunately, I’m not an artist and 3d animator, but i can start from wiki: create minimum and FULL list of needed art and music. Try to find some more images/models, add them to wiki, fill create art tutorial.


I already knew some of them , and using already made work for my little project … 33bd9e669a

Thanks for pointing out some I have not known about :wink: All my work is based on other CC-BY-SA materials , and yes I do use GIMP .

As for defs. Those should go away . it is so hard to create one and it is limited in color pallette. Wiki would be nice and also knowing the minimum of what I have to put in game to make it start/ work so I can see the results of my work/ test them in game. Native higher res like 1366x768 also would be nice as 800x600 is not really used this days. On the other hand I’m still far away from having enough work completed to actually think about putting them in game :slight_smile:

Some of them (like models) may work for VCMI but mostly style is TOO different from H3 (like those icons).

MMArchive + DefPreview is all you need for VCMI (or anything else with same functionality).
No need to modify lod’s - use normal directories instead
No need to modify def’s - use bmp’s/png’s with small json description

Quite complex. But considering that this “demo package” won’t be ready tomorrow this may work.

For such cases some example mods would be more useful.
I may create some example mods with one new creature \ one new hero \ one new town \ etc.

Not sure.
Mobile platforms - 800x480 is quite common
Netbooks - common 1024x600 (IIRC)
Desktops - common 1280x1024

@Ivan: 1366x768 is the most common resolution at the 15" laptops sold the last couple of years, and will probably continue to be a very popular one before they move to higher resolutions (most recent trend seems to be replacing 15" with 15,6"-16" laptops @ 1920x1080).

W3Schools top 10 for all screen types in January 2012 (and trends at the time):
[ul]1366x768 - 18.7 % - up
1024x768 - 13.0 % - down
1280x1024 - 11.5 % - down
1280x800 - 10.7 % - down
1920x1080 - 8.1 % - up
1440x900 - 8.1 % - down
1680x1050 - 6.5 % - down
1600x900 - 3.8 % - up
1920x1200 - 3.0 % - down
1360x768 - 2.0 % - up[/ul]

@q4a: Thanks. Always good to have new inspiration material.

I agree with Ivan that a good deal of them don’t go that well with H3, but for example the books would fit in perfectly IMO, so thanks. :slight_smile:

Zamolxis, I haven’t mentioned this resolution because val-gaav did this already.

Statistics from Steam is quite different and should be used for AAA games
Stats from W3Schools is mostly for web development

But there is one more interesting statistics:

Mobile usage grew twice during last year. And all of them have quite small screens. Right now most of them have 800x480, in a year or two this may change to 1024x600 (big enough for VCMI).

Thanks. I didn’t know about the Steam stats, and indeed those would be more relevant for game development. We support most of their top 10, plus a couple of others which I listed at the bottom (perhaps relevant for the 1.0 release, if we want to strip down the package to resolutions which have at least 1% popularity, and the rest released separately):
[ul]March 2012 stats:
1920 x 1080 > 27.72% > 1.08%
1366 x 768 > 18.84% > 0.42%
1280 x 1024 > 9.83% > -0.01%
1680 x 1050 > 9.62% > -0.15%
1600 x 900 > 7.40% > 0.26%
1440 x 900 > 7.10% > -0.38%
1024 x 768 > 4.58% > -0.32%
1280 x 800 > 3.45% > -0.68%
1920 x 1200 > 3.37% > 0.00%
1360 x 768 > 2.43% > 0.01%

1600 x 1200 > 0.46% > 0.03%
1024 x 600 > 0.26% > -0.01%[/ul]
I also strongly hope mobiles will soon evolve to x600 resolutions, because the x480 has proved to be a pain.

I really doubt x600 would be good for screens smaller than 4’’ used in small smartphones. Pelya managed to scale screen to 800x480 with considerable success. I don’t know what’s the problem then.

What about *.bik, *.smk, *.fnt, *.pal (and may be others)?
For *.bik and *.smk I use RSBinkPlayer, but MMArchive works too =)
For *.fnt - fnt editor from
For *.pal - ??? I know, that this is palette in riff pal data. There is some tool for it, but I don’t understand what it gives me??

So about resolution.

I don’t think stats from w3c are any good because you have to ask yourself who visits their site ? Webdevelopers (often from offices ). This group is nowhere near average computer users.
Better stats are here : statistics Windows 7 I’m not saying stats from MS are best but in case of Windows 7 those shows new PCs ans surelly are better then w3c.

You can go to any market or PC shop and resolutions you will see for ALL new laptops is 1366x768 . As for PC and bigger monitors the standard here is 1920x1080.
Any new content based on vcmi is not gonna happen right away but is a matter of years so it is best to target the future with the res not the present.
The fact is that netbooks are going away (loosing to tablets) and may be as good as gone from the market in few years time. Tablets and phones (look at new Galaxy s3) have 1280x720 res this days.

Aside from that I don’t think VCMI goal is mobile. I tried playa h2 port on my galaxy note (5 inch screen 1280x800 res) and it was very VERY hard to play. To do a proper mobile port game interections would have to change. Pinch to zoom ? Zooming on adventure map? Combat is also far from perfect and it is mouse centric and not good with touch.
If such port is ever in plans graphic set can be done specially for it and for whatever res is popular then on the mobile.

But the way, there are free generated images collection (44 pictures), that could be ideal for town screen backgrounds:

There is a GPL game FLARE,
it has several monsters: … es/enemies
Most of graphics is smaller than in H3, but they provide also Blender files. So monsters can be remade from them.

Free to use Reiner’s 2d/3d graphics:
There are no fitting monsters, but a lot of other graphics, also buildings, terrain textures.
It can be used for VCMI assets replacement in future.

I’ve contacted author of these materials.
There is license to use these sprites:

I’ve asked about making DEFs and distributing them.
Licence doesn’t permit making DEFs and distributing them.
Only if they used in project/stand-alone game.
So better contact author before publishing material used from this site.
I asked, if community decides to make VCMI in form of completed game replacing assets, then it will be OK to use this graphics.