Development:Cargo (graphics)

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The following description applies to cargo images, upgrade images, and weapon images.

Development Needs and Tasks

We still need to supplement some missing cargo images and improve existing cargo images with low quality or.

Please head over here for a list of open tasks: 2D Images - Cargo

Proposed development roadmap:

  • Phase 1 [ 98%]: Provide missing cargo textures.
  • Phase 2 [ 34%]: Improve cargo images with low quality, replace images duplicated for several items.

Cargo Images

Image Requirements

Generic Image Requirements

Please read this Development:Graphics_Requirements page before continuing to the specific requirements.

Specific Image Requirements

The cargo graphics format currently recommended for the master data is png format (being an open source project, we also prefer open formats). Though we can use any of the proprietary formats like 'tif, jpg, or bmp.

For submission, the images are then converted to dds images with the .image extension, using the DXT1 compression with nvcompress:

nvcompress -bc1 -nomips cargo_original.png cargo.image

The image ratio horizontal:vertical must be 1:1 (assuming pixel ratio of the map is 1:1), since the texture is mapped directly to the user interface. This means a circle must show as a circle when viewing the texture in an image viewer.

The vertical and horizontal size of the image should be a power of two (POT). Really, NPOT (non-power-of-two) textures are really, really, really troublesome. Don't use them. Just use POT. Love the POT. The POT is the mother, the POT is the father. Trust the POT.

That leaves few options:

  • 256x256
  • 512x512

Currently, 256x256 size is recommended. Keeping original high resolution image (e.g. 1024x1024 or 1280x1280) versions in stock helps maintaining quality and scalability as game development progresses or typical screen resolutions rise in the future with better hardware available to the players. Also, keeping original 3D-models in stock provides for unplanned future changes.

Committed textures are classified as:

  • DQ - Development Quality: textures with horizontal resolution of 128 or below and low degree of artistic quality
  • RQ - Release Quality: textures with horizontal resolution of 256 or above and medium to high degree of artistic quality
  • CQ - Cinematographic Quality: textures with horizontal resolution of 256 or above and very high degree of artistic quality

Creating and Naming

Image names should reflect the cargo name but in lowercase letters separated by underscore ("_").

Including and Testing

Images for cargo items are references in data/master_part_list.csv file. Change the appropriate reference (like: @cargo/concentrates.png@) to your new image file name located in the data/textures/cargo directory.

Next, start Vega Strike, and on a planet or station, go to the trading screen, find your cargo, and verify if your image has been loaded.

To speed up the testing process, you can start Vega Strike with a testing mission:

./vegastrike test/docking.mission

If you cannot find your cargo, try changing the texture file reference for the Atlantis planet in the data/sectors/testsystems/planets.system file to e.g. planets/university.texture or sol/earth.texture. With this, the planet will be changed to another type, and the probability of finding different cargo items will increase.

Selection and Vetting

Some Thoughts

The Process

When replacing existing cargo images with already exceptionally high (cinematographic) quality, you may follow the process as described in Development:Graphics_Requirements#The_Selection_and_Vetting_Process.

For both, submitting replacement of existing cargo images or adding missing cargo images (provided the new images are not way off-topic):

  • Submit the images to svn (in case you have commit rights attributed), or
  • through the forum or private message, ask a developer with write access to submit them (e.g. the maintainer of this page, pyramid).


AKA: Committing to SVN.

You will be required to submit:

  • The non-dds (e.g. png) image (if you apply any changes such as cropping, resizing, color transformation).
  • The dds image file (in data directory).
  • A master part list file if you are not replacing an existing cargo but have created a new specific image.

In addition you may also submit:

  • the original unscaled image (in the masters/textures/cargo/sources directory).
  • the source code or project file used to create the textures (any format, in the masters/textures/cargo/sources directory).
  • a credits text file (copyright.txt or credits.txt file) stating the creator of the source image and the license type of the original image, plus any additional info you may want to supply (source/url, real name, experience, thoughts on the image, modification method, in the masters/textures/cargo/sources directory).

If you have write access to svn then submit the textures after going through the community selection process. Otherwise, please call, through a forum topic or private message, a developer with write access to submit them.

The svn repository has two directories for cargo images:

  • masters/textures/cargo that holds the original textures and also source files that were used to create the textures (if you are willing to share them so that larger resolutions may be produced in the future if required). This directory is for future development use and is not distributed with the game releases.
  • data/textures/cargo that holds the textures used in game and distributed in the releases.


Software, Tools

For a comprehensive list of tools, please see:

See also

Author: pyramid