14 votes

What creative projects have you been working on?

This topic is part of a series. It is meant to be a place for users to discuss creative projects they have been working on.

Projects can be personal, professional, physical, digital, or even just ideas.

If you have any creative projects that you have been working on or want to eventually work on, this is a place for discussing those.

A list of all previous topics in this series can be found here.

14 comments

  1. [11]
    asoftbird
    (edited )
    Link
    I've been working on something I dropped about 4 years ago: a wind turbine mod for Factorio. I'm aware that there's already tons of these for the game, but my issue is that most custom models from...

    I've been working on something I dropped about 4 years ago: a wind turbine mod for Factorio.
    I'm aware that there's already tons of these for the game, but my issue is that most custom models from mods for that game don't fit the game's art style.

    Compare this modded screenshot with this screenshot of the vanilla game for instance.

    First image looks like it's from a Red Alert 2 or similar game, second one looks dirty, rusty and has tubes/cables all over the place.

    As for wind turbines, it's generally made of completely unfitting textures. There's also this one which looks a lot better, but still doesn't quite fit the general game aesthetics.

    This kind of stuff has been irking me for a while, and since I have some experience with 3D modeling in Blender and some experience making materials (Substance Designer, Blender procedural textures, Quixel Mixer) as well as relevant design skills (am product designer by trade), I set out to design a Factorio-style windmill. In 2016.

    Back then I wasn't that good at modeling and dropped it pretty quickly, but last week I found the file again and started work on it again.

    Here's a little video of a work-in-progress windmill concept. This one was made probably somewhere around last week. The materials are placeholders and the general structure isn't decided yet. Factorio has a style of machines generally looking climate-affected and made from scrap metal, but they shouldn't look derelict and broken. The game also generally has a lot of moving parts and visible 'technical' elements. Another important point is that the models are rendered orthographically, so vertical side faces aren't visible. The fun part about this is that the location of thing doesn't have to make sense: it has to look good.

    Here's some close-up screenshots of the parts:
    Overview
    Generator close-up
    Transformer detail

    That's why I decided to put a bulky generator off-axis, connected with a little belt system. Added some cooling fins to the axle so it's better visible, because otherwise you wouldn't see the rotation from ingame. There's also a transformer part for which I still have to figure out the location, but that'll come later on.

    In the meantime I've changed a few things, as can be seen in this gif here.
    It's mostly a material test to see if I can get close to the Factorio metal (slightly yellowish, partly rusty) using procedural materials. Also used a different video technique, so the animation is a little wonky. Changed the blades to reflect a more junkyard scrap styled look.

    There's a lot of work to be done and still needs proper materials and detailing, but it's a fun little thing that keeps me busy.

    Still need a programmer for it though, if anyone's interested in making Factorio mods and has python Lua experience, let me know :)

    8 votes
    1. [10]
      sqew
      Link Parent
      I'm an on-and-off Factorio player and reasonably adept Python programmer. What's involved in programming for Factorio mods?

      I'm an on-and-off Factorio player and reasonably adept Python programmer. What's involved in programming for Factorio mods?

      5 votes
      1. [9]
        asoftbird
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        If I'd know I'd do it myself! /s I don't really know much about it, and I just noticed it's Lua though, not Python. In either case, documentation and tutorials are available as well as API...

        If I'd know I'd do it myself! /s

        I don't really know much about it, and I just noticed it's Lua though, not Python.

        In either case, documentation and tutorials are available as well as API documentation.

        Edit: I don't think adding the wind turbine itself would be that difficult; just use a similar power generator (solar panel for instance) and adjust accordingly. It gets more difficult once you want to add fancy behavior though.

        Edit2: it appears there's already a wind mechanic built into the API, though making an entity that rotates in multiple directions would create a lot of sprites.

        It's not meant to be a convenient source of energy, so I was thinking something along the lines of "manually rotate the wind generator in the right direction once in a while" instead of autorotating. This means it'd only have 4 possible rotations instead of like 8 or more.

        Edit3: It actually looks fairly doable for a "haven't used Lua in literally a decade" person like me. API has lots of relevant functions.

        5 votes
        1. [8]
          sqew
          Link Parent
          Haha, well, I definitely don't know Lua. Based on your edits, though, looks like you'll be able to figure things out? Best of luck to you! Maybe announce the mod to ~gaming when you have it finished?

          Haha, well, I definitely don't know Lua. Based on your edits, though, looks like you'll be able to figure things out? Best of luck to you! Maybe announce the mod to ~gaming when you have it finished?

          3 votes
          1. [7]
            asoftbird
            Link Parent
            l think l'll give it a shot. Got a bunch of fun ideas (of which some l think haven't been done before) and l might be able to make that work.

            l think l'll give it a shot. Got a bunch of fun ideas (of which some l think haven't been done before) and l might be able to make that work.

            3 votes
            1. [6]
              sqew
              Link Parent
              Feel free to let me know if you want some help with the Lua. Looked into it a bit more, and I imagine I could pick up enough to be useful pretty quickly. Been looking for stuff to do :)

              Feel free to let me know if you want some help with the Lua. Looked into it a bit more, and I imagine I could pick up enough to be useful pretty quickly. Been looking for stuff to do :)

              2 votes
              1. [5]
                asoftbird
                Link Parent
                Sounds good, what timezone are you in? Tried collaborating with someone from NZ before and 2-4 hours of potential contact time wasn't too great :p

                Sounds good, what timezone are you in? Tried collaborating with someone from NZ before and 2-4 hours of potential contact time wasn't too great :p

                2 votes
                1. [4]
                  sqew
                  Link Parent
                  Haha. I'm in the western US, so probably easier than NZ depending on where you are.

                  Haha. I'm in the western US, so probably easier than NZ depending on where you are.

                  1 vote
                  1. [3]
                    asoftbird
                    Link Parent
                    Oh, decent. What's your preferred channel of communication?

                    Oh, decent. What's your preferred channel of communication?

                    1 vote
                    1. [2]
                      sqew
                      Link Parent
                      I use Discord pretty often if you're up for that.

                      I use Discord pretty often if you're up for that.

                      1 vote
  2. ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Between password and the Cataclysm mods, I'm trying to figure out how Frontiers RPG should work. I think I've figured out how combat would work, which is cool, 'cause it's something that's been...

    Between password and the Cataclysm mods, I'm trying to figure out how Frontiers RPG should work.

    I think I've figured out how combat would work, which is cool, 'cause it's something that's been bothering me for a while. Not combat itself, but the fact that everything seems to align so well with having it embedded into the system.

    Now I'm trying to figure out inventory and carrying capacity.

    D&D gets away with often enough by employing magic at a baseline. "Of course you're gonna have bottomless bags that provide you with the item you want to get from it, automatically, if you're travelling!". It's a measure of storytelling convenience: having to strongly consider giving up one item for another on your journeys is a bummer. Well... Frontiers is, at least partly, about that kinda struggle.

    So far, I'm thinking the same thing I was thinking a few months ago: items have abstracted values (Miniscule, Small, Medium, Large), a set of qualities (like Wearable or Attachment to <type of item>), and some level of inventory space to them (like jeans having their pockets offering X Miniscule item spaces). Slots translate between each other to a certain degree: if your makeshift cloth sack gives you 10 Miniscule spaces, it can be converted to a certain amount of Small spaces, but not Medium or Large ones.

    It... kinda makes sense, given that it's meant to be somewhat abstract, but I feel like there's something else to it that I'm missing.

    3 votes
  3. moocow1452
    Link
    https://webtoons.com/app/en/challenge/contest/us-contest-2020 Working on this, trying to figure out if I want to go with more of a pilot idea, or something more self contained. Also what I want to...

    https://webtoons.com/app/en/challenge/contest/us-contest-2020

    Working on this, trying to figure out if I want to go with more of a pilot idea, or something more self contained. Also what I want to write about, also if I want to write about it.

  4. ohyran
    (edited )
    Link
    (this is a bit out of line as I am kinda doing the creative thing here in the thread and maybe thats not smart, sry if so) I want to start writing - found an article about "Gay Anthems" on...

    (this is a bit out of line as I am kinda doing the creative thing here in the thread and maybe thats not smart, sry if so)

    I want to start writing - found an article about "Gay Anthems" on wikipedia and there was a list from a book called Queer of what made a Gay Anthem. The list read like the chapters of a coming of age novel.

    "big voiced divas; themes of overcoming hardship in love; "you are not alone;" themes of throwing your cares away (to party); hard won self-esteem; unashamed sexuality; the search for acceptance; torch songs for the world-weary; the theme of love conquers all; and of making no apologies for who you are."[2]

    Especially the PERFECT phrase "Torch Songs for the World-Weary" is just... [chef kiss]

    I sort of doubt I will ever do it though - and it wouldn't be in English anyway since its not my native language and my vocabulary and writing is sort of hampered by it and lets be honest I don't write anyway so :)
    BUT, if I did I can see a thematic story arch in those themes:

    1. Big Voiced Divas - remembering grainy music videos of your childhood that you had to lie about liking.
    2. Themes of overcoming hardship (in love) - growing up gay when "gay" was a slur.
    3. You are not alone - realizing that perhaps its not that bad. That "gays" aren't what you where told.
    4. Throw your cares away (to party) - sneaking out to clubs when you think no one sees.
    5. Self-esteem, hard won - ... but they do... Conflict with those who know and those who don't
    6. Unashamed Sexuality - Coming out, to whatever cost - then paying ALL the costs of rejection.
    7. Search for Acceptance - Fleeing your past, trying to forge something new.
    8. Torch Songs for the World-Weary - Feeling rejected by "your own" realizing that that world isn't perfect either.
    9. Love Conquers All - Then falling in love again, finding your groove or the people you needed.
    10. No apologies - Coming back home neither as a conqueror or asking for forgiveness.

    What if that was also squished in with another set of stories? Like a detective story, or a passing time story, or something else - to not just make it another coming-of-age-gay story? Like following what happens AFTER chapter 10 in the coming of age story when the protagonist comes home for a family affair and something "other" happens and each chapter is basically that story unravelling with connections to the recollections of the protagonist.
    Like he remembers the past, as this thing happens in his hometown? A mystery maybe? I have no idea.

    Anyway feel like filling in ideas?

    EDIT: suggestion - Man comes home to the small town he grew up in to attend the burial of a school friend he hasn't seen since he was 20 and fled the town to make a life for himself elsewhere. His estranged family is happy he's back, but expect him to keep the charade up for them, which he will not do as he is disconnect from the town gossip or the relevance of it and in his OWN case feels they want to squish him back in to a closet.
    What he doesn't know is that it has very little to do with him, or shame for him, even if that plays a part - but the effects him leaving had for them and what happened afterwards that is a much bigger secret.

    It starts with him driving back, listening to a Diva Song on the radio that comes up as he passes the town limits and thinking back to his childhood dancing and singing along to that song as it played on the TV and how him, and his friend both used to like it - even if they had to pretend they didn't in school which spins him out in these thoughts.

    EDIT 2: the last chapter where he remembers deciding to return home to attend the funeral also contain the reveal of the person who did the things that consist of the mystery giving him basically a "coming out speech" but for other reasons - with that "I refuse to apologize" line. That person is also the person that made sure he came back for the funeral which is what ties in to the memories of that first phone call that set off the story cycle, which in a sort of Kaiser Zoze-esque way connects the last dots.

    EDIT 3: since I have insomnia and need to be up in a few hours, I may as well fill in more in this.

    "The quiet hum of the flat-top surface under the car wheels shift to the jittery scratches of gravel roads as the town I grew up in come ever closer, then the first over the top piano bars start up on the radio. When Gloria tells me she was both afraid and petrified, the town sign zoom past, and I can't stop myself from laughing at the audacity of whatever ironically inclined deity handling this timeline for me. I could drive these roads blindfolded and really wish I was."
    "I wish I didn't have to see the trucker bar at the edge of town with it's shitty pealing advertisement for even shittier beers. I wish I could just blast blinded through as the monolithic brick box of the high school gym building looms on my right. When the Park next to the house I grew up in comes up on the left I dream of gouging my eyes out and just ram this car through the fucking two storey house at the end of the road. But like Gloria, I guess I can survive this too and when the song ends, I let car come to a stop on the drive way leading up to the boring little garage, and the porch, and the second window on the second floor"

    EDIT 4: Next morning and I haven't been able to let go off this thing, so will continue on my own if needed :)

    "I let the car idle for a minute. Turn off the radio, pull out the key from the ignition and just sit and listen to the air conditioning's technological mumble. Let the white noise drone out the sound of that thing that is outside of the car. The bright light dripping down through the leaves in the trees high above, the simmering honey-like heat sticking to everything around and the cloying brutal past smeared over every direction."
    "I'm in a bubble of my real life insulated from a history I've spent four years fleeing. A slice of a big city and relationships and a job dropped in to a past"