CBP Documentation: Fixed City Sprites

This is just to ensure that this information is fully documented somewhere publicly – unless you’re a modder or just deeply curious about RoN quirks I’m not expecting you to bother reading this. It’s boring, poorly formated, has no images, and I basically haven’t posted it anywhere.

I’m referring to fixes that have been discussed on the unofficial RoN Discord. These changes are all complete and are earmarked to be included in whatever the next CBP version is (Alpha 8c or Alpha 9), but aren’t yet published as of writing this.

Precursor info 1:

  • All versions of the metro_6 sprite have a “bad” pixel on the middle-right of the central column that’s semi-transparent but clearly shouldn’t be (imo).
  • All versions of the metropolis_6m sprite have four “bad” pixels on the awning (bottom left) that have the same issue as above. On the snow sprite it gets a step harder to correct because the four pixels have the snow on them, but the underlying pixels are still missing.
  • The windows of each sprite under the bridge area are bright in pre-EE (snow and non-snow), but are dull in EE non-snow (still bright in EE snow). Unlike many other shading changes, these aren’t due to shaders etc, they’re actually baked onto the TGA sprite files themselves.
  • The trash can on the left of each sprite has a passthrough-to-shadow pixel replaced with a black pixel in EE non-snow (no pixel change in EE snow).
  • In EE, the nation/team color panels on all of the non-snow Major City sprites have had their partial transparency (248/255) removed, breaking the coloring of all of these panels. The snow versions seem fine.

2: metro_6a and metroplis_6t have a weird glitchy-looking zone on the door / windows section under the bridge at the bottom left.

  • In EE, the non-snow versions of these two sprites have the glitchy look removed, I guess as part of the pass on the lighting which was done on the windows there. They didn’t bother to fix the snow versions lol.
  • CBP fixes the snow version, but to simplify the process I decided to remove the door handles on both sides of the door. There are a couple of odd quirks with the door that I chose not to fix as I was unsure whether they were bugs (odd dark pixel top-right of door’s glass, odd 2×2 square pixel arrangement on the bottom right of the door).

Changes I just made:

After comparing the T&P 0800 and at 1-2 out of the 1.10 / 1.20 / MS  Store versions of the sprites, I changed all six non-snow sprites, and two snow sprites, making the following decisions:

  • I always used the 0800 version as the base image for the non-snow versions. This fixes all the broken color panels because those versions of the city sprites have the correct transparency. This should have no effect on the stuff which I don’t explicitly mention on this page (I checked), but just in case it has some truly niche quirk, I’m mentioning it explicitly.
    • Since the two new snow versions only required a total of 5 pixels changed, the base version chosen there should be irrelevant.
  • For non-snow versions, I chose to use the EE trash can and windows. Although I originally thought that the trash can was a subjective fix applied by whoever updated the windows in EE, I’m beginning to think it was actually an accident by whoever did that (i.e. I’m not sure if I would choose this trash can version if I did this all again). I mildly agree with the window dulling that was done though, hence my choice there.
  • I used other related features to fix the five missing pixels on the non-snow variants (I chose other pixels that had the most similar geometry and color etc to copy), then ported those pixels to the snow variants:
  • When fixing the four pixels on the first of the snow variants, I used the _s snow overlay on top of the non-snow file as the “base” for the four missing pixels. When copying these to the snow sprite, I noticed that the snow variants seemed to use slightly less-white lighting than “default” (as in just city sprite + _s laid on top), so I dulled the base pixels when copying them to the snow variant from 255->240 (slightly crushed levels).
  • The second snow sprite with a one-pixel problem didn’t seem to have its pixel affected by snow, so no extra snow-steps were taken.

I decided to not update the trash can or windows of the snow sprites. I did not go back and update any part of the two previously-fixed-up-in-CBP snow sprites. Ideally these versions should have their handles added back but doing a perceptibly-near-perfect job (which I feel is the appropriate standard to hold in this context, as anything less would stick out as a foreign addition on the sprite) with my modest editing skills is beyond even what I’m willing to do. It’s why I removed the handles when I first fixed those two sprites (removing it is less noticeable than having a bad handle).

The images are saved by Paint.NET 4.3.4 as 32-bit TGAs with RLE compression on.

Update: Tark has also pointed out one or more minor graphical issues with the city_6_snow sprite. The two of us don’t quite agree on exactly where the line is between “graphical mistake” and “intentional artist choice”, so the fix in CBP is more conservative than the one in RoH, but I appreciate them flagging this sprite for me.

There are subjectively five potential issues with the sprite.

  1. Top-center: unexpected dark gray lines.
  2. Top-center-right: adjacent to the previous issue, the edge of the roof does not seem to be properly snowed.
  3. Top-center-right: on the same roof as previous, there’s an odd line in the middle of a “puddle” of non-snow. It is not as clearly a mistake as 1) is.
  4. Top-right: the south-east end of the sloped roof seems to have floating snow/ice that extends impractically far from the roof given its geometry.
  5. There are odd wispy white lines throughout the image.

1) seems to be quite clearly a mistake, and is by far the most obvious of the five items. I edited these out.

2) seems to be a mistake as it is inconsistent with how other roofs are snowed on. I did a very basic edit that adds additional snow to the top-left of the roof by duplicating some of the existing snow. This does not entirely fix the issue (if you look closely that corner still seems under-snowed, and the snow of the entire edge seems to be possibly a bit misaligned), but I think the result is adequate. To improve significantly upon it would require a comparatively significant time investment on my part.

3) is hard to make a call on, as it ties into 5). I decided to remove the worst part of it and to add a small “puddle” of snow of my own into the otherwise no-snow “puddle” where the mystery line used to reside.

4) Is inconsistent with other roofs, and so I opted to remove the overhanging snow/ice. Of note, even if this truly was an artistic choice, I find it highly unlikely anyone would look at the modified version and think it looks “wrong”.

5) Tark and I disagree on the nature of these lines. While Tark speculates that they’re from test-drawing on the image by the artist, I find it more plausible that they’re in fact intentional attempts to replicate the feel of snow being blown throughout the city. I opted to not make any adjustments to these.

Because these edits were an order of magnitude more significant than the previous touchups, I chose to remake the edited parts of the image using the base un-snowed image and the _s snow overlay. As previously noted, the lighting / colors of the _s overlay differs slightly from the actually-used snowed sprites, but this can be largely corrected. I found that adjusting RGB levels was enough to make the shade of white/grey almost identical numerically, and indistinguishable to the eye. From memory (I’m writing this well after making the edits), crushing down from 255/255/255 to approximately 235/230/240 was how I replicated the look.

I edited the relevant parts of the _s overlay, applied it onto the unsnowed sprite, then copied just the affected areas of that merged image onto the existing snowed sprite (to minimise the granted-minimal collateral damage that would happen if I simply replaced the entire snowed sprite with my own).

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