This article explains how to give your creations refined Trovian look.
Trove game embraces colorful and cartoony feel. This means it is usually better to go with blocky style of squares and simple lines with bright colors instead of attempting 1:1 real life item representation in voxels. Trove is bright, fun and silly, let your imagination flow!
There are only few actual rules in Trove art style, but quite some possible guidelines that could help you give your creation more Trovian look. Some of you might already have Art experiences and your own art style for models, but for the sake of maintaining same unifying look throughout the whole Trove we kindly ask you to follow the guidelines below in models you submit to Trove Creations. This guide covers both Dungeons and Styles.
Blocky before OrganicTop ^
Quite a lot of people try to go for smooth organic looking shapes in styles. While it is not necessarily a bad thing, usually round objects with curvy lines don’t translate all too well in voxels, and thus don’t get the Trovian look. Try to simplify the shapes. Trovians are small, and blocky shapes look better when scaled down.
For dungeons this rule applies less because they stay full scale.
No Corner-connected VoxelsTop ^
Left – Corner Connected, bad. Right – normally connected, good.
Primary in Styles it is crucial to avoid using Corner-Connected voxels. Corner connections look fragile and unconvincing. Moreover, each separate group of voxels is rendered separately too, so more corner connected or floating voxels there are – harder it is for game engine to process the model.
Floating voxels – completely disconnected ones – are not all too welcomed in Styles, it is better to avoid them too, but in some very rare cases they might be acceptable.
With dungeons you need to keep an eye on Voxel count. When you load your blueprints in Metaforge you can use the /debugtext command to see the Voxel Count - Elements. Green is good, Yellow is normal and Red means the voxel count is too high and it will take a long time for worlds to load your dungeon in. Corner-connected and floating structures increase Voxel count. In other words, more block surfaces there are to render – higher the elements count is.
The way Trove works, styles themselves do not have special abilities. Making a golden rod with blue gem and saying it grants Freezing spells would not work, styles need to look special as is. Placing some thought into shape and coloring of your model is very important.
On the example styles above it is easy to tell which idea each of them represents. There is an icecream spear, dark infineon sword, moon-themed staff, bow from geode ores, gum-ball machine gun and a straw hat.
Please avoid using repetitive elements or creating too much shape noise on the model. It is very important to stay within Dimensions. Styles that exceed their bounding boxes will clip through the character models in-game. Dungeons that exceed their dimensions simply will not be able to be generated.
Coloring and ShadingTop ^
Keep the coloring simple and shading smooth. There is no need to use all available colors in one creation. It is also usually good to stay away from extremely saturated bright colors, using them only as accents (example – cyan gems on moon-themed staff).
On both dungeons and styles it is better to use hand-coloring for shading instead of automated Gradient tool (right cube). It is fine to use the tool as basic color, meaning you will add some more details or adjust automated result, but its not fine if gradient is the only coloring your model has. Using Noise (left cube) tool is usually a bad idea too because it creates a mess of colors which neither fits in Trove nor looks good. This is more visible on a bigger, dungeon scale. Coloring by hand and deciding for yourself which areas should be lighter\darker works better for the end result.
Do not use Material Map colors as main colors for your styles or dungeons. Also do not use any colors darker than 10.10.10 in RGB scale. At that point they stop reflecting light.
Keep your ideas YoursTop ^
Trove is looking for unique content. It is alright to make a voxel model inspired by a something from your favorite movie or game, as long as it is not an exact copy and adjusted to Trove style and biomes\themes.
But is not alright, for example, to take a pixel art weapon from Terraria and make same with voxels. It is also not alright to do same with dungeons. Blindly copying a build from Minecraft or other sources would not work as Trove Dungeon.
Additional RulesTop ^
Some ideas have already been made multiple times over, before submitting a new style it is always good to check with Trovesaurus Database. Same themed dungeons have slightly more of a leeway, as, there can be more than one Crypt dungeon in Cursed Vale, but they do need to be significantly different.
Following ideas will not be considered for acceptance:
Fire swords, Ice swords, Key blades, Spiral designs, Gas masks, Light Sabers, Candy Cane Shafts, Dragon head staves, Eyeball staves, Rib cage / Skull staves, Devil pitchforks, Farming tools, Staves that are guns, Katanas, Recolors of past models, Religious imagery, Hats that aren’t hats (If it could be a decoration instead, It shouldn’t be a hat.), Something-on-a-stick (make sure your creation looks whole).
Keep in mind that some in-game models do not follow all the rules and guildelines above. That is becaues some of the models were made before the rules were created (to avoid just that in future occasions) and because some of the models were created by Developers themselves.
This guide is based on information from Trove Team and style guides from Trove Wikia and TroveCreations Reddit.
Etaew June 12, 2020