Soft sarumi hugs please like in studio ghibli movies all the softest hugs and loving each other
For some reason my mind reads ‘Studio Ghibli hugs’ and I immediately
imagined Yata and Fushimi lying in a green grassy field with a light
wind blowing and blue sky and it’s very pretty and well-animated.
Maybe this is like after that official art of them with the flowers
on the back of the motorbike, post-ROK they take a day trip out to
the countryside together. They spend the day together just hanging
out, Fushimi complains about the pollen and the heat and the sun
while Yata laughs and teases him for being so delicate and makes sure
that Fushimi’s putting sunscreen on his nose so he doesn’t get a
sunburn. At one point they pass this hill full of pretty blue flowers
and Yata decides to go pick some just because he thinks his mom would
like them, afterward he walks back to where he left Fushimi and the
bike and finds Fushimi laid out on his back in the grass, eyes
closed, the wind blowing lightly through his hair and for a second
Yata’s breath just catches because every now and again he almost
forgets how stunning Saruhiko is. Yata sets his flowers down on the
back of the bike and just lays down next to Fushimi, staring at him
for a bit. Fushimi’s eyes open and he gets a little self conscious
with Yata’s gaze on him, muttering that he doesn’t know what Yata’s
staring at. Yata just laughs a little and is like ‘I’m looking at
you, idiot, that’s what I’m usually looking at.’ Fushimi clicks his
tongue but sits up a bit anyway so that Yata can kiss him. Yata pulls
him close and soon they’re just lying there in the grass entwined
together, comfortable in each other’s embrace and for once Yata can
feel that Fushimi’s completely relaxed, all that tension
that’s usually there in his frame even in the calmest of moments
completely missing, those invisible walls that Yata still senses even
now torn down and the door wide open, and Yata can tell that for once
Fushimi is completely comfortable being in another person’s embrace.
Knowing that just makes Yata feel more comfortable too, like there’s
suddenly nothing in the world but the grass and the wind and the two
of them and they stay like that for so long that they end up having
to speed a little to get back to the city before nightfall. Yata
teases Fushimi for losing track of time and Fushimi mutters that Yata
was the one who made him lie there for so long, he’s probably going
to get hives from the grass, but of course neither one of them is
really upset about it and they both agree that on the next perfect
day they should go out for a drive again, as far as they can go in a
day, just the two of them together.
Is there anything important to remember when designing maps? I'm having a lot of trouble with making aesthetically pleasing maps.
There are always a lot of things you should remember when designing maps. There’s a huge wealth of information out there when it comes to level design. Here are a few that immediately spring to mind:
#1. Lighting is super important
Humans like light and dislike the dark. They will naturally go toward areas that are lit. If you ever want to attract players’ attention and send them somewhere, light the areas you want them to go, and darken the areas you don’t. You can use appropriate lighting as a tool to draw players through your level.
#2. Lighting is Super Important II
Notice the difference in how this statue looks when lit via hard or soft lights. Hard (direct) lighting will make the statue seem more hard, more harsh, and very different than the softer, diffused lighting on the right. These have an effect on the viewer, just like the existence of the light. You can use the sort of lighting to set the mood for the player, rather than cause some kind of dissonance - if they are mentally expecting something hard because of the lighting, they’ll get subconsciously confused if it’s a tender romantic scene. Likewise, if there’s soft, gentle lighting and the protagonist is murdering people in cold blood, it sends a very weird subliminal message to players. Make sure your areas are lit consistently with the sort of content that you expect to happen there.
#3. Use appropriate angles when designing space.
Humans and technology tend to enjoy things at right angles. Nature tends to prefer curvature. Use these to your advantage when you’re designing an area to look natural or to look civilized. Players will mentally pick this up on a subconscious level. Make use of it. A path through a forest carved by humans should be more or less straight, but a deer trail would be more curved.
#4. Give the player visible landmarks at all times
The worst feeling a player can have is getting lost. You want them to be able to see a landmark from anywhere on the map to help them reorient. The primary goal is to provide them the ability to figure out where they are, and where they want to go. Optimally, you want these above the horizon line in a 3D map so they can just look up to see where they are heading. In a 2D map, you want to place little visual indicators to assist navigation.
#5. Build up to the payoff
Remember, your level is a work in progress in how the player perceives it. You need to build tension, and you do this through ambient storytelling. If you’ve got something big that the player is looking forward to seeing, drop hints about it over the course of the level before you deliver it. Start with more subtle ones, and work your way upward. Try to tell a story through just the little things you see in the level - the placement of props and objects, the way they are lit, and so on and so forth. Build some anticipation, and your big payoff will feel even bigger.
#6. Don’t shy away from giving the players what they want to see
If your level is a dragon’s lair, the player will expect to see a dragon. Make sure that you give them that payoff at some point - if your game has built up the mythos for the dragon to be an enormous, legendary creature, you have to deliver. Not getting to see the dragon will be tremendously disappointing.
#7. Visibly artificial barriers to entry suck
Players hate it when they are arbitrarily gated from something. It’s when this happens that the tracks begin to show and the sense of immersion is broken. As a level designer, one of the most important skills you must have is the ability to hide these arbitrary lines in a plausible way. The game has to have a critical path through the level, but it’s up to you to create a plausible reason for those invisible walls to exist.
I wouldn’t even begin to presume that I’ve covered the various elements of level design in any depth, but these are several aspects of level design that have helped me over the course of my career. There are plenty of other things I haven’t written about that are also important. The best advice I can give you is to keep working on it, solicit feedback, and try to figure out how to improve your existing designs. You don’t need to fix everything at once, but start looking for things you can recognize and fix those.
Also, when you’re processing feedback, it’s often just as important to note what people don’t talk about as what they do. Certain game elements, like the anticipatory buildup or the cameras or the UI tend to not get mentioned by players because they’re primarily subconscious. When they are mentioned, they tend to be negative (“That monster came out of nowhere!”). Your goal with level design should usually be that the player should always have an idea of what will be happening just through the visual cues from playing the game, and should never feel completely blindsided by something. I hope this helps.
Those walls look awfully smooth to have ivy climbing up them so readily, but a bit of research shows that ivy can climb near anything you put it next to.
I thought it’d be interesting to compare this ivy the with ivy I recently looked at from Dark Souls.
The first thing that jumps out at me is that they both use a 2-step process: first drawing a layer of vines creeping across the wall and then placing leaves on top of that, seemingly without any specific logic to the connection between the two.
The vine parts both use the same technique: they are decals, which is to say they’re alpha-clipped textures placed on geometry that matches the contour of the wall. What Dishonored does that Dark Souls seems to not is include some geometry with this, especially towards the roots at the bottom. This is a best-of-both-worlds approach: the efficiency of a decal with the sense of place that polygons give you in a 3D environment.
The leaves are similar in both games, alpha-clipped cards with a leaf texture that are angled away from the wall by a certain amount. The leaves from Dishonored have more obvious lighting applied to them, but that could easily be because the lighting contrasts in Dishonored are greater than Dark Souls. I can’t image giving lightmap space to all those leaves, so I imagine the lighting in Dishonored is baked as per-vertex components on the leaf quads. I can’t quite tell if the leaves from either game use normal maps - I don’t believe they do - but the darker ivy from Dark Souls does use a specular component that adds a gloss color based on the relationship between the camera’s direction and the leaf card’s normal. The brighter ivy from Dark Souls and the Dishonored ivy don’t seem to do this.
All things considered, both games use very similar techniques to make the ivy-covered walls. The way the overall art direction - especially with the lighting - in the two games differs makes the end results differ.
“I want to become a person who breaks down boundaries. There are many walls and boundaries in people’s hearts and minds that separate them from other people. I want to be a person who breaks down those invisible walls and boundaries, "transgender author KIM Bee said at the Empathy Monthly Forum.
After I decided I would write something about her talk, I found myself staring at the blinking cursor for a good hour without writing anything. Her life was too intense and too beautiful to encapsulate on a page. I wanted to write about KIM Bee the person, and not just KIM Bee the transgender author.