I'm GFXing BlackWaterCo's GangRoom.
Due to the extreme lack of information I could find on the subject, I'd like to start a discussion concerning the "do's & don'ts" of GFXing a GangRoom.
There is a list of regulations in the GangCentre shop, but hardly any of it applies to a GangRoom. A GangRoom template is available, but it only supplies room dimensions (maybe?) and a piece of text: "Your gang can use this template if you do not have anyone to make the levels or graphics for you. Message the gang admin for more info."
That's it folks, and now we're left to our devices... Luckily I do have a history in Graal —(this sort of conduct doesn't surprise me in the least)— but if a gang is hiring an artist that is outside/unfamiliar with the game, tons of frustration will inevitably ensue.
It's just recurred to me that I'm the unfortunate schmuck who got stuck pioneering this peachy expedition, and in realizing that, I'd like to make this as painless as possible for myself, the gang (BlackWaterCo.), the staff, and every GFX artist that proceeds us in creating a GangRoom. That's why I'm here. I want every scrap of red tape out in the open, on the table... for all our benefit..... i.e. For instance, I don't want to discover, two months after finishing the Room, that I could've added some sort of fancy thing just because the admins were on-the-fence about it at the time.
EVERYBODY'S PUTTING GIANT, GLOW-IN-THE-DARK ELEPHANT BALLOONS IN THEIR GANG ROOMS NOW!!! TOO BAD BLACKWATERCO. DIDN'T KNOW THEY COULD DO THAT!!!!! OH WELL.
^ I want to avoid this pit-fall, like I said, for myself and everyone.
I've tried to get in touch with the head admin (Yuki?) several times through Era DM's, but you cannot message people while they're offline (and she's always offline when I check). I don't have time to sit and wait for this person —what's more, I asked BlackWater's gang leader to have her simply join a Discord chat with us... and he says it's unlikely due to (whatever 'rumor-has-it' reason or the other). This has been my biggest grievance so far, and if a gang would otherwise be working with an artist that isn't familiar with Graal's quirks, they (the artist) would consider this conduct downright unprofessional; what should be common business/courtesy.
As the message stated in the GangTemplate room: "Message the gang admin for more info." ...yet, even with my familiarity of Graal, I don't understand this. —What is a gang admin?— Who is the gang admin?— Are there multiple gang admins?— How do I even get in touch with said person(s)?
The info for actually using the template is nonexistent, and only 'lends a nod' to the dimensions: "Your gang can use this template if you do not have anyone to make the levels or graphics for you." ..... "CAN USE"?... As in we "CAN USE" the room dimensions BUT WE DON'T HAVE TO?
I consider my work on BlackWater's GangRoom to be about 75% complete, but due to this looming uncertainty, felt it was best to call a TIME-OUT, and try to begin unraveling this colossal mystery ball of rubber bands before making any more rope to hang myself with... (God, I can only imagine if I've spent this much time GFXing over the wrong room dimensions)...... because... look, folks... if I don't address this— if we don't address this right now, then some other GFX crew is going to be asking these same questions sooner or later... i.e. If some illiterate, chocolate-milk boy slides in this thread and types "OK cool" or "TMI"..... Well— Have you ever seen an angry, pink 500lb bear jump down a kid's throat?
I started by taking a (desktop, full-screen mode) screencapture of the GangRoom template, and ended up with these dimensions: 864 x 928
Let me know ASAP if I have these wrong... (though wtf else am I supposed to have done?)
Next, I have many animated parts in the Room (such as a flag blowing in the wind)... I assume these GIFs should be exported separately (to overlay later on the map, in order to save file space), so I don't have to export the entire map as a consolidated GIF file?
^ (I did see in the GangCentre rules that we are allotted 1 week for corrections.....Duly note that, if an admin overlays and offsets a gif even by 1 pixel on BlackWater's map, I will know, and have them correct it after I check their work.)
Also, I have trees in the Room that I'd like players to go behind, I assume these will have to be individual overlays as well.
In Era, I'm aware of the building transparency effect (tops of the buildings fading away when you enter them)..... BlackWater's GangRoom has a munitions building... are we allowed to use this effect for our buildings?..... Additionally, are we allowed to use this effect on our trees?
I have a creek that runs through the Room, preferably not 'swimmable', but it should activate the water ripple FX over your character's feet— is this allowed?
I got a squeak of info out of Yuki concerning file size, and I quote: "Max size per file 250MB" (referring to a GangRoom)..... 250MB... that seems a bit overkill... I want to clarify; make 100% sure she meant "MB" and not "KB".
Is there a limit to the number of GIF images we can have in the Room?
Is there a limit to the size of GIF image we can have in the Room? (I planned to animate the waterway).
BlackWater's lead has made me aware of the Gang Statues..... I wanted to take this idea a step further, and animate the "statues" interacting with various elements of the Room (instead of having them all stand still)— if I do this, can you still link their profile pages on to their characters when you tap them?
Are statues solid, or can you move through them like players?
WILL THE TIMING OF GIFS BE SYNCHRONIZED WITH EACH OTHER? (Meaning that... if I animate a waterway, and export it in pieces, as two, separate GIFs... do you suspect the animation will remain properly synchronized in-game?) <— I apologize for this one, but I'm always trying to push the limits.
Lastly, I am aware of the crazy features that are in the GangHideouts..... I've seen the disco floors and bouncy pads... obviously this is very developer-integrated work (not merely achievable by a GFX artist without help) ...My last question is: What questions might there be; what more is possible, though I'm just too ignorant of this game to have the capacity to ask it?
I appreciate your time. I know it's a mouthful, but somebody's gotta say it. Hopefully we can get some rock-solid answers on this stuff.
*I'm not associated with BlackWaterCo. outside of this instance, I'm acting on my own accord (I'm very aware of this game's social etiquette, and I don't want BWC taking any heat for my views/actions).
*If there is a gang admin/or whomever that can answer these questions/whatever else on a consistent basis, please let's jump in a Discord chat.