Inspired by classic online games, Noble’s Land takes a retro approach for its art style. Designed to give an old school feel with current technology, Noble’s Land takes players back to the golden age of persistent online gaming. Where one decision could end in massive losses, or massive rewards.

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Minimap Region Text Minimap Generation, Old vs New In-Game Minimap Demonstration
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0 comments by BesomeGames on Jul 8th, 2014

One of the latest features to make its way into Noble’s Land is the Minimap. In order to get the minimap in action I had to make some changes to how the minimap is generated. Each World Chunk and Custom Chunk has its’ own thumbnail that is used to draw a zoomed out view. Up until now to generate these thumbnails I was taking a 32 x 32 tile, down-scaling it to a 2 x 2 tile, then drawing the 16 x 16 Chunk to produce a 32 x 32 thumbnail. A big part of Noble’s Land’s style is having the black show through each tile, giving it that very old pixel look. When down-scaling the tiles there was no picking which tiles would be used, resulting in a lot of black space. I wanted something with more detail, so now you manually assign four corner colors to each tile.


By using the four corner colors there is no black space in the thumbnails, giving more detail in what you can see. The animation above shows the original down-scaling version and the new four corner color version and you can see how much more detail comes from the new style. In the fields you can see the flowers showing through, the island’s borders are much more prominent, and the tree mapping is much more accurate. The best part is that it now mimics each tile’s color more accurately, by having single black pixels mixed into the old version it ends up looking much darker then it really is.


When I first added the Minimap in-game I had it move every time the player did, allowing you to see exactly where you’re standing down to the pixel. While playtesting I found I was watching the minimap more than the World View itself, which I tend to do in every game that provides an in-game minimap. I didn’t waste all this time creating a World View so that players can stare at the smaller version the whole time they explore. To remedy this, it now draws an approximate view of where you are instead of being pixel perfect. The center of the minimap will always be the Chunk your standing on and it won’t update until you enter a new one. The way I look at it is, the player is looking at a map and assuming where they are instead of having some sort of GPS-like sixth sense. When playtesting further I found I was focusing more on the World View and using the minimap to plan where I would be going, instead of exclusively watching the minimap.

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Noble's Land World Editor v1.0

Noble's Land World Editor v1.0

Jan 31, 2014 Mapping Tool 1 comment

The Noble's Land World Editor can be used by players to create and submit content to be added to the live game. If you create good content, you'll earn...

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 15)
Arethrid
Arethrid Jul 8 2014, 9:21am says:

Looks a lot like "Dransik". Do you know that game?

+2 votes     reply to comment
BesomeGames
BesomeGames Jul 12 2014, 6:05pm replied:

Yes I'm very familiar with Dransik, I played it for over ten years as Noble. It became clear years ago that Dransik was losing support and players. I volunteered to work on it for free and I got a nasty reply telling me to go make my own game, so I have been.

I consider Noble's Land as a spiritual successor to Dransik. Although the artwork looks very similar, which was intentional, the Dransik style originally came from the very old series Ultima, specifically 4 and 5. The artwork I use now is programmer art, I created it pixel by pixel, and I intend to replace it when the game earns some income. It will be the same retro style, just retouched by a professional that knows what they're doing.

Although the base game, GUI layout, and artwork will feel similar to Dransik I'm not making a clone, I intend to take Noble's Land much farther and expand on certain aspects. If you liked Dransik there's a damn good chance you'll also enjoy Noble's Land.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ChickenDelight
ChickenDelight Apr 13 2014, 11:45pm says:

WANT.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gexgekko
Gexgekko Jan 2 2014, 7:17am says:

Awesome game! I love this kind of games! Waiting the release date!

Take this as feedback:
Will the game have multiple screen resolutions/size? My eyes are a bit ****** so I can't see well and this kind of game I love is always about small images in a small window, so I can't almost enjoy them, and I know there is people worse... Hope the images are easy to see :/

+2 votes     reply to comment
BesomeGames
BesomeGames Jan 3 2014, 1:25am replied:

Glad you like what you see!

Noble's Land is being designed to feel like an older game when you play it, but the technology behind it is current. The game is designed at, and will look best when played at, 1920x1080. To keep things fair for all players any other resolution or aspect ratio scales to fit instead of showing more or less of the play area or black space. Everyone gets the same experience but those that play at 1920x1080 gets the "full" experience.

I myself play at 1440x900 and I think it looks great. 800x600, not so much.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gexgekko
Gexgekko Jan 3 2014, 6:27am replied:

Thanks for replying! I usually play 1366x768, but for indie/pixelated/small characters games I need to lower the resolution because some mix of colours makes me unable to see because of my damaged eyes and when I think about all the people like me who can actually play a game but no enjoy it because of the resolution... Uh, I become mad! (lol nope xD)
Loving old school games with new technologies.

+1 vote     reply to comment
MinikuiOni
MinikuiOni Nov 18 2013, 10:37am says:

There is never enough sandbox games.. Tracking :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
BesomeGames
BesomeGames Nov 18 2013, 2:48pm replied:

Glad you like what you've seen so far! Thanks for the feedback, I agree. Life needs more sandbox games in general.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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BesomeGames
BesomeGames Oct 25 2013, 3:42pm replied:

Haha, well that depends. What game development skills do you have? I'm all set with programming but I could really use some good pixel art, music, and sounds effects if either of those are something your good at.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Noble's Land
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Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
Besome Games
Engine
Custom Built
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Noblesland.com
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TBD
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Latest tweets from @noblesland

Back home on the PC. Need to pick the next feature to add, open to suggestions. Shops, Map Objects, Dialogue, Skills? Starting tomorrow AM.

3hours 57mins ago

Got much more accomplished today then I expected, hopefully I can wrap this next feature up quick and FINALLY make another Video Update.

Jul 17 2014, 3:18am

Here's an animation demonstrating the region text display of the minimap: T.co

Jul 15 2014, 12:56am

Put the final touches on the minimap by adding the current region's text to it's title bar. Going to pick the next major feature to work on.

Jul 14 2014, 11:46pm

Back on the laptop for a few days. Newest client with minimap getting ~120 frames on this shitty thing, very happy with the results.

Jul 14 2014, 10:01pm

I have a few Dev Blogs in the chamber. Got an early start today, let's see how far I can get today.

Jul 10 2014, 11:20am

You'll be able to sign up for the mailing list for emails when new content is added to the site and to get announcements of testing dates.

Jul 8 2014, 4:57pm

Going to make some minor changes to the site tonight to add back in the latest twitter post, social links, and a mailing list for updates.

Jul 8 2014, 4:56pm

New Developer Blog post showcasing the new minimap generation and in-game minimap is now LIVE! T.co

Jul 7 2014, 8:01pm

Just finished creating the new animation, going to update the dev blog post and push it live in the next few mins. Link incoming.

Jul 7 2014, 7:39pm

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