ADP Design Document

Design Document

ARENA DEPIXELIZATION PROJECT(ADP) 

Texture mod for The Elder Scrolls 1: Arena

 

PURPOSE:

  • Create the (first) TES1:Arena texture mod replacing the down-sampled blocky artwork with smoother less pixelated textures that is hopefully appealing and unique.

 

GOALS

  • Create a new unique art style for game
  • Improve texture variety by replacing duplicate textures and ensuring that each texture set and image is unique and stands out from the others.
  • Replace all textures.
  • Create a more cohesive theme amongst textures.

 

Limitations

  • TES1: Arena is a very old game and uses unconventional file formats and require special programs/methods to open.
  • Most textures are only 64 x 64 pixels (or in the case of SET files, groups of images with those dimensions) and cannot be resized. This limits the amount of fidelity that can be achieved.
  • Textures are limited to a (external) 256 color palette.
  • In game, many textures in the same SET are placed side by side in seemly random order. That means most textures from the same SET (and their door images) have to be seamless with one another.
  • Some textures are compressed in an unknown way that has yet to be deciphered.
  • The game engine assigns textures based on existing INI files for each type areas but the texture sets aren’t matched very well in multi-level areas. Many areas use different texture SETs for each level but they appear almost arbitrary in how they were selected.  It would take meticulous remapping of all the INI files to create more cohesive appearance.

 

Resources

  • Hallfiry’s Arena Suite– It is a set of tools that allows bulk extraction and reinsertion of assets from the Global.BSA (Arena’s game asset container file). It also converts all the non-compressed textures into PNG files for easy editing and then converts them back when reconstructing the BSA file.  This program allows me to have one working directory. When I need to test my work out in the game, I just create a new GLOBAL.BSA from that directory and replace the one in the game directory.
  • GIMP – Freeware alternative to Adobe Photoshop

 

Steps:

  1. Complete all SET files to have “Alpha” status. (95% complete)
  2. Complete all Wall and Ground IMG files.
  3. Complete remaining IMG files to “Beta” status.
  4. Tweak textures that don’t show well in game or don’t match.
  5. Fix any individual texture errors (e.g. rogue pixels or misaligned textures).
  6. RELEASE 1.0 (not set but likely on Tesnexus and ModDb.

2 thoughts on “ADP Design Document

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s