Over the weekend, I managed to have a conversation with Lunarea about her new Zombie Survival Graphic Pack! I had previously interviewed her after the release of the Modern Tileset Pack over a year ago, which she had to remind me about, so if you want to learn more about her you can check out that one.
But let’s get into talking about the new pack, and one that is really fitting for the season: The Zombie Survival Graphic Pack.
Thanks for taking the time to talk about your new resource pack. With all the zombie media out there, where did you head to get your inspiration for this set?
I started by doing a lot of research at what existing games, movies and art were doing when it came to zombies and the apocalypse. Zombies are very popular right now, so there was a ton of material to look through and feel inspired by. A lot of the environments I looked at were pretty similar – rather desaturated and drab monochromatic settings, which can really help sell the idea of despair that the characters surviving in that world are feeling.
I decided early on that I wanted the Zombie Survival pack to be very versatile. I wanted developers to be able to use it in more than just a zombie setting, and I wanted them to be able to add bits and pieces from other resource packs. So, I also spent time looking at unconventional zombie media – things that were colorful and cute.
In the end, I settled on a more colorful overall look. The developers who want a monochromatic look can still achieve it with screen tints and clever use of fog.
Makes a lot of sense. Its a whole lot easier to desaturate than to saturate and keep it looking good. What types of areas can I build with the tileset you created for the pack? What kind of process did you use to decide which to include?
The tileset has 4 main areas: Outside/town, Inside/Shelter, Military base and Science Lab. The outside area has a lot of decorations for setting up barriers (sand bags, tall wire gates), as well as a cemetery. The shelter area also includes hospital and church tiles.
When deciding on what to include in the tiles, my first goal was to create areas that could share objects. The hospital and the science lab, for example, have a lot of pieces that fit in either setting. My secondary goal was to create areas that flow well together in a basic zombie plot.
I came up with a really basic plot to help me sketch out some of the tile details. It took the characters from the streets to temporary shelters, then to the hospital and military base to stock up on weapons and healing supplies. Finally, they go to the science lab from which the zombie plague originated and defeat the big boss.
This plot also helped me decide what kind of characters and battlers to include in the pack. I tried to make something that would fit each of the zones, but at the same time wouldn’t be out of place elsewhere.
I noticed that this is your first pack to include battlers, something you aren’t really normally known for. Did you find this challenging? What decisions did you work through in making them?
It was actually a process that took a lot of time, and quite a bit of frustration.
I knew from the beginning that I really wanted to make battlers to go with the pack. There aren’t many zombie battlers in the RTP, and certainly not many modern-themed battlers. But I was stumped as to what kind of style I wanted to use.
I’m definitely not on the same level of battler awesomeness that Thalzon’s at with his unique style or that Archeia and Scinaya are at with custom RTP-style pieces. I can make some pretty clever RTP edits, but I really wanted to push myself to do more.
So, I tried a few different techniques. I started with a painted style that’s very similar to the painted tiles. It was fun to create, but it took ages to create anything with it. Sticking with the painted style would have extended the pack release by a month or 3. After that, I switched to a more cartoon-like battler version. It was quick and easy to create, but it didn’t fit the serious vibe the rest of the pack was shaping up to be in. It was also a bit too messy for a commercial set, and it’s important for our resources to be of a high quality. I had another try at the painted battlers. You can see two battlers in that style in the Extra folder. They were more serious/dynamic, but still took a very long time to create. I was looking at 20+ battlers, and the painted style would have still pushed the release forward by a few weeks.
Finally, I sprited a pixel battler. I started with the doomsday preacher and just loved how it turned out. The battlers still took quite a while to create, but it was a matter of days rather than weeks. And I think they turned out pretty great. They’ve got a degree of cuteness to them (like many pixel battlers do), but they’re not looking too young or out of place with the rest of the set.
The sprites show a lot of personality, I’m personally a fan of the style. Which character do you finding yourself most drawn to?
My personal favorite is the survivalist. He’s the guy with the goggles and jeans. I just love how his faceset turned out (especially the expression) and his character was a lot of fun to sprite.
Speaking of the sprites, and the new template, are you going to release the character template? I know that a lot of fans are going to want more sprites in that style.
The template wasn’t included in the pack this time around, as I wanted to make sure I had a few more characters created on it first. Creating more characters allows me to spot any possible changes that the template needs to go through, and I want to make sure that the released template is the final version.
I am planning on creating more character packs with the template, as well as releasing various characters over time. I’ve already released one re-mastered RTP character on the template in October’s Member+ release.
I noticed one thing that seems to be missing in the pack! Where are the zombie character sprites?
I haven’t forgotten about the zombie sprites! I have a pretty exciting event planned for zombie sprites, and you’ll get to read about it mid-November.
Any hints about things you might have in the works for us in the future?
Gosh, I don’t know where to start! I have a million and one ideas and I want to make them all. I’m leaning toward a character pack of some sort, or get started on some long overdue packs (fairy village, I’m looking at you~). But I guess time will tell!
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! I keep getting impressed further by everyone who works on our packs, and yours are no exceptions.
Have some questions for Lunarea? Just want to talk about the Zombie Survival Graphic Pack? Or throw out a few ideas for some future works? Join us in the comments section below!