Category Archives: Furni
We hope you enjoyed last weeks Habbo pixel art Q+A with notMiceElf because we’re continuing this week with another round! We’ve fueled the guy up on coffee and swedish fish (only the red ones) so we’re hoping to get another gloriously ramble-filled response. If you’ve got a question you’d like to pose keep an eye out for the poll in game and ask away! Ok, Q+A time, GO! GO! GO!
How do you begin to transform your vision into pixel art… where do you start first? (question posted by Unposted)
Another great question, thanks Unposted! You’ll be receiving a years supply of marshmallow peeps for your question… huh? Oh. We aren’t giving away peeps. Probably for the better because those things are pretty gross. Great question regardless. The process of taking the initial idea to final pixel art can vary a little between artists but we do give gold stars to those that stick to the “certified two step method of furni making”™. Ok that’s not really the name but the process does consist of two steps. And it is certified… ok fine it’s not certified! Sheesh. Lets just move on shall we?
Habbo artists royally freak out. No, just kidding. Step one starts with sketching out the idea for an item. We always start with sketches first because they’re typically faster to produce than a full set of pixel art furni but still give us the ability to look at what the full set might look like and make design decisions early on. This step can either be done on paper (and later scanned), or digitally. It’s really up to the artist and what they’re most comfortable with. The sketches are made so that they are around 2x-4x scale and can be easily utilized later in the process. This example from the mystics line is 2x.
After the sketches are completed all the artists get together and chat about the items and what they’ll do. At this point one or two of the artist’s color choices and/or design embellishments are selected to carry through the set (this could take us right back into the previous question about consistency! Or a discussion about obsessive compulsive artists…). The whole sketch step is really exploratory foundation laying and prep work for step two. The pixel part.
The aforementioned “pixel part” can be completed a few different ways but I’ll first go through the way I prefer our artists use and then briefly talk about the other methods. There’s not a wrong way here, just one that I believe works better for our finished products and timelines. Plus, I like to see our artists use the same method I use. Because ego.
Alright, with sketch in hand (on… the computer) the artist can start on the outlines which are like the bone structure of a furni. Yep. Furni has an exoskeleton. Really though, the outlines help give a kind of rigid structural support to furni so the meaty insides sit nicely and… I can hear Hannibal Lecter licking his lips… moving on. The sketch is often scaled to the correct furni size which is either to 50% or 25% if the sketch was at 2x or 4x scale. Once it’s been scaled the sketch can be set to a low opacity and outlines drawn over it on a new layer (we all use Photoshop).
Or the sketch is set off to the side and used only as reference as the outlines are drawn from scratch. You might be shouting at your screen, “Well, notMiceElf, that way sounds retarded! The sketching phase would be pointless if you’re just going to redraw it anyway!”, but I say to you very loud doubters, “nah”. The sketch is mostly a loose guide and redrawing gives us a very clean base to work from later. It also gives the artist a chance to fix oddities present the sketch, so that the design falls more in line with the “Habbo look”, and works better in game. The end result has a similarity to the sketch but can also be drastically different because of the correction process. Furni that has a lot of bits and trinkets (like a skull, book, and potion thing for example) benefits from being redrawn this way because each part can be drawn separately and then combined later for better control over the shape and readability of a design. Imagine if you drew a table top with loads of stuff on it all in one layer and then you realize you needed to make it longer. “Oh, SHhhhhaving cream!”, you’d say. But if you have everything as separate parts you just fix the underlying table part and move on. Easy as pie. No, cake. Eh, we’ll stick with pie.
The inner rendering for the furni is where the volume and color is added to flesh it out and give it more substance. Artists select a small set of colors ranging from dark to light which are used to render each element within a furni. This set of colors is called a color ramp and all those ramps together give us the overall palette. Pixel artists often employ a technique called “dithering” to bridge multiple colors in their ramp together when they’re dealing with a restricted palette (limited amount of color). Essentially dithering is a kind of pattern that makes the artwork appear to have more colors than it actually does. Lots of Habbo furni uses dithering to help render volumes but with newer items we tend to use dithering more for texture rather than bridging colors together. That’s not to say we use millions of colors per furni though. Furni is still rendered with a relatively small palette because it’s easier to keep track of what colors are used across a line if it’s a small number. But you might notice that we’ll opt for adding an extra color or two these days instead of jumping right into dithering.
Items get a final look-over and small edits are made before they’re sliced up (a topic for another time!) for use in the game, but essentially this is the full drawing process! We’ve reached the end of the amazingly wordy two step process. Phew. As I mentioned earlier though, the second step can be done a few different ways, so I’ll briefly lay out the alternatives for you to ponder. By the way (yes, I fully wrote that out instead of using an acronym), there are furni in the game that were made using both of these alternate methods. Can you guess which ones?
The first variation starts out the same way as before with scaling the sketched art to size. From there the artist takes the scaled sketch and uses it as is. The volumes get cleaned up until it’s all readable and the edges are fixed with black outlines. This method has a tendency to have random semi transparent pixels and often takes just as long to complete as fully redrawing so it’s not used all that frequently. In addition the sketch needs to be pretty much perfect for this method to work well so when it is used it’s often used on very simple non-animated items. You can see from my example that it will take a lot of cleaning up to reach the same level of cleanliness as the examples that used the preferred method. Interestingly though, this method is how we make the small size furni. Basically scale the big size, clean up, done!
The second variation is a little more extreme and it’s barely ever used in Habbo (but you’ll see it used in some NDS games as well as a few other console titles). It involves making the item in 3D and then exporting a render at size and cleaning it up *shudders*. The example image is pretty crude, but you get the idea. Definitely more work than is needed for most items we make but it’s a pretty neat process!
There’s a pretty interesting (and short) article from SNK about the 3D to 2D process used for the sprites in KOF XII which I fully recommend if you’re interested in that sort of thing. http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/info/15th_anniv/2d_dot/creation/index.php
Well, that covers it! My swedish fish have stopped swimming around my blood stream as has the coffee so I’m calling this one done and done! I hope you all enjoyed the answer and the small glimpse into the furni production process! Catch you next week with another mind numbing and most likely overly longwinded Q+A!
Last week for the start of our Summer School Q+A we invited you all to ask one of our resident pixel pushers (that’s a pixel artist for those who didn’t know) anything you’ve ever wanted to know regarding the graphic side of Habbo and we’d force out an answer. Yes, even with red hot iron barbs if necessary and let us tell you, we were itching to use those barbs regardless (moody artsy people pffft, you know you have it coming). Before we delve into this first Q+A though we wanted to quickly give thanks to all of you for your great questions. So. Thanks!
Now. Lets get into that delving! Ah, we should warn you though… this answer is coming directly from the mind of one of those artsy people so we make no claim that it actually makes sense. Even less so considering it’s coming from notMiceElf. Good luck dear reader. Should you make it out consciously intact remember to submit a question of your own for the next round of the Q+A!
How do you go about designing furni so that it is consistent with other Habbo furni? (question posted by closetspace)
Hi closetspace and thanks for the question. Actually a pretty cool question if you delve into the historical side of things… which… could be “zzzzz” for some so for those who hate that sort of thing in essence what you’re asking about is the Habbo style and that’s really the tl;dr answer. So. Yep. Oh, you actually do want more? Well, grab some popcorn… this could get long winded.
The Habbo style is pretty rooted in isometric game art so the foundation for everything from furni to pets and avatars is going to be based around the rules for that kind of artwork. For example, check out this screenshot of an old isometric Batman game from the 80s. Sort of has a hint of Habbo in it doesn’t it?
Those basic isometric rules dictate the point of view for everything within the Habbo rooms. They’re really a kind of blue print which gives us a running start for keeping things consistent. From that starting point we delve into the specifics of the Habbo style which is actually the interesting bit.
I think you can look at the Habbo style as if it were divided into three stages. The first stage is made up of the original Habbo releases where the style was, in a lot of ways, in its infancy. It’s this stage that gave us the foundational rules for what everything going forward would look like. Items in this stage were much simpler. Inner edges (like those on legs of chairs or beds) were often black, most items generally lacked texture, and the colors were also fairly simple. It’s the kind of stuff, now, that I’d associate with someone who’s just learning the basics. Ok, don’t misunderstand and start yelling, “You’re dissing oldskool Habbo! FOR SHAME!”, at me. I’m just digging into the visual history to give a little context! PUT THE TORCHES AWAY.
As Habbo made more items the pixel prowess of its designers got better (as did our internal tools for making items… thank you dev) and we left stage one and entered stage two. There’s much better attention being payed to shape, volume and animation in this stage. You’ll notice that vertical banding on table tops becomes pretty common place in this stage and those inner edges are starting to get color instead of being black. Additionally the colors being selected are much more interesting from an artistic point of view which just adds to items looking like completed thoughts. This second stage, for me, is really in full swing by the time we released Alhambra and goes on for about two years or so.
Eventually Habbo switched platforms from shockwave to flash where stage three and the real “modern” style takes over (though admittedly there was some overlap between the second and third stages as we transitioned our tools). Stage three is characterized, in my mind, by items having more visual impact from better pixel artistry and attention to mood by way of color. The color ramps (that’s basically a kind of controlled gradient from one color to the next) for drawing are often a bit smoother and don’t seem as abrupt as those in stage one and the first half stage two which adds to items looking a little more 3D and complex. Items also get a lot more texture and transparency effects (stuff that wasn’t possible before. For example: water patches would never have been able to be made in stage one or two).
It’s a little more apparent if you look at how the rendering of one type of furni has changed throughout each stage. Like. A bed. Don’t look at theme so much but how the items are drawn. The types of textures and complexities given to them. It’s a pretty cool transition.
Alright. I can tell your eyes are getting droopy and your popcorn has run out which means it’s either time for me to stop with the history or plant some kind of subliminal message. What we get from all this history though is that the Habbo style is something that’s been in a constant state of change because of individual artists and the platform Habbo was developed for changing. There’s a core set of “rules” that were formed as we traveled those style stages to this point that we now follow. A few of those rules for example are: black outlines, light goes top left to lower right (this is an odd one… maybe someone will ask about Habbo light sometime), vertical bands for top sheen, small items being slightly larger than real life, ducks are funny.
To a certain degree that long slow change in style and the sheer volume of items (seriously, we have a ton of items) gives us a lot of leeway in keeping things appearing consistent without needing to redraw everything every few years (yeah, I’m looking at you original Area, Iced and Plastic). In a way it’s like having a bunch of red crayons of slightly varying shades. Chances are that any new red crayon will fit somewhere in the bunch and look like it belongs. That is, as long as we follow our style rules of course- ie: make a red crayon not a blue one.
So that’s the long way around the Habbo style reason. But there’s actually a little more to it than “just follow the rules” (see they let me out of my cage, I’ll ramble for as long as I possibly can before I’m pulled back in). That long history of items I mentioned before also means that, more than likely, we’ve already made something similar and we can go look to it for reference. The trick there is to copy only what’s needed so items still look fresh. Sometimes you’ll see that we take outlines or bits of previous furni and tie it into new furni. It’s an elegant way to ensure a kind of shared visual communication goes on between furni from past and present (helps keep our crayons red as it were).
So there ya have it. Our overall Habbo Style and incorporating shared elements between new and old items help keep things looking cohesive. There’s a whole separate topic concerning keeping items within a line cohesive too but I think I’ve probably bored you enough already :p Plus I can hear the chains rattling which means it’s time for me to be put back in my art cage. I hope you’ve found the answer as interesting as I do!
A New Year, brings a new blog! We decided to kick off 2014 by bringing this blog back to life to give you a look ‘Behind the Pixels’. We’re not going to be talking about local Habbo events or updates, instead we’ll be trying to focus on updates that are global and relevant to all of our users! Excitied? You should be. You can expect a bi-weekly update related to game development, frequent campaign updates from our designers, as well as a monthly update discussing the Habbo Economy.
A look at least year…
As many of you know, 2013 was a pretty busy year for us. We had an overhaul of our entire client interface, based on user feedback. We also introduced Builders Club, Free Flow Chat,
Walking 2.0, and lots of new features to Pocket Habbo. In addition we created a whopping 549 pieces of furniture and 922 new badges – which now means there are over 8000 badges in Habbo.
We know there have been a few hiccups with these updates and changes, but it is because of your continued feedback that we’re able to react and make positive changes to your Habbo experience – Keep it coming!
Over the next few weeks, we have some pretty awesome stuff coming to you guys. On top of the exciting quests and events that your local managers are coordinating, we’ve got a brand new range of furni coming. This new furni is something that will finally give room builders the tools they need to make the most of their rooms.
We ran a poll at the beginning of the New Year asking you various questions, focusing around the different categories you all would like added to Builders Club. We received huge number of responses, and here are the global results of that poll. Interesting, hey?
This will be talked about in more detail in the monthly economy update, but we have to be very careful with what we put into the Builders Club Warehouse. We know trading is an important part of Habbo for many of you and we don’t want to ruin that. We currently have over 650 furni in there, but we certainly can see where everyone agree on what they would like to see more of, and will be looking into which of those furni could be added to the warehouse. In addition to the furni updates for Builders Club, we are working hard on adding alternative payment options and are happy to announce that we will soon be releasing an SMS option for Builders Club!
The UI has some more exiting changes coming its way too. Those of you with eagle eyes will have noticed the little changes that were made between different hotel builds, but we’re not done just yet! We’re hoping to have the final changes done soon, things like the navigation and friends toolbar is coming close to the final stages. Here’s what we think the final product is going to look like…what do you think?
Next Issue: In the next issue, we’ll also be discussing the upcoming number verification feature, how and why your data is safe and the upcoming Valentines Campaign!
About the Author
Hi, My names Dom and I am developer here at Sulake! You’ll often find me wandering the hotels on the avatar ‘Macklebee’. Every few weeks I will be posting a new ‘Behind the Pixels’ post, talking to you about what’s up and all the exciting stuff coming in the hotel…We will be sharing more than ever before, so make sure to tune in. This is really important to me – I hope you enjoy! I feel strongly that Habbo is a place where creativity can bloom and I really want you to feel as though you’re a part of it.
We’re excited to introduce a whole new way to spruce up your room… by changing the infamous, black background! Now you can add a special scenery, some floating clouds, or even change the color to whatever shade and hue fits your mood.
The new backgrounds are available in the Shop right now, but you can only buy them using our celebratory currency: Clouds!
Starting today, and during next week, you will get a Cloud for free. The Clouds can be used to buy most every Furni item in the Shop, as well as the new, cool backgrounds – so basically this offer means you get double value for your money!
Some Cloudy FAQs to answer your questions:
Italian, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Turkish, French.
Norwegian, Danish and Swedish translations are still to come.
How many Clouds will I get?
You will get one Cloud for each Credit you buy. So in a way, you will get double value for your money if you buy Credits while this promotion lasts!
Where do I get Clouds?
You will receive Clouds when you buy Habbo Credits with whatever payment methods are available in your Hotel.
If you do the “Earn Credits” thing (aka ‘Offers’) will you get Clouds?
If I have a Credits Subscription, do I get Clouds, too?
Yes, if you receive Credits during this campaign you will also receive Clouds.
Say I have a Goldbar and I redeem it for Credits in my purse will I get Clouds, too?
The Habbo Exchange items won’t yield Clouds when redeemed during this campaign. Sorry!
How do I see how many Clouds I have?
You will see the number of Clouds available to spend in the upper right corner of the Hotel View.
What items can I buy with Clouds?
We just launched three very exclusive, never-before-seen, backgrounds for your rooms and they can only be bought with Clouds! Apart from those, you can spend your Clouds on pretty much anything in the Shop! In fact, there are only a few thing Clouds can’t buy you, like VIP membership, Habbo Groups, LTD Rares and Credit Furni.
Will Clouds expire?
Yes, Clouds will expire after this campaign is over, we will let you know when.
Can we do Quests to earn Clouds?
Unfortunately, no. You will get Clouds only when you buy or earn Credits.
Can I earn Clouds by selling stuff in the Marketplace?
No, sorry, the Marketplace will function as usual.
It seems like the Olympics have been going on forever doesn’t it? If I had a million pounds every time someone asked me “Hey, did you watch the games yesterday?” then I would have two million pounds. I guess an Olympics without Eric Moussambani just isn’t worth watching to some people. But in Habbo we’re not so apathetic, perish the thought! We love the games, and this week the Habbo-lympix celebration and competitions continue. The Habbo-lympix quests are still ongoing, with awesome Habbo-lympix badges up for grabs- the more quests you complete, the higher level you achieve.
We’ve also got some great Habbo-lympix Rares coming on sale this week. A Limited Edition Rare, a statue of an angry-looking Habbo throwing a javelin, and a traditional (non-numbered) Rare Union Jack Sofa. Yes, now you can sit on a sofa decorated with the flag of Great Britain. A dream come true for those of you who have dreamed of sitting on a sofa decorated with the British flag. The Sofa is available only for a limited time, so get yours while you can!
Tomorrow begins our latest room building competition- Habbos will have to design a relaxing room fit for a Queen. Habbos will have from Thursday to Saturday to build their room, and then the voting will be open from Sunday to Monday. The top ten Habbos in the competition will each win a Medal case/ Trophy Furni.
Italian, Spanish, Norwegian, Danish, French, Portuguese, German, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish.
Today marks the start of our campaign, celebrating the spirit of togetherness and our ability to reach for the stars and make it happen!
We just launched a quest that will take you around the Habbo world, see the sights and hopefully meet some new friends. The quest will earn you achievements and who knows, maybe even a surprise or two!
To give you the full Habbo-lympix experience, there are also some new Furni available in the Shop (and more new stuff will follow next week!) – podiums and trophies and pretty much everything you’d need to create your own awesome stadiums.
And speaking of awesome stadiums — with the help of some very talented Habbos from various Fansites, we’ve launched some really cool Habbo-lympix Villages in all the Hotels – a place to hang out, answer quizzes and maybe even take home a prize or two! If you want to be a part of it all, simply add the tag ‘Habbo-lympix‘ to your room! It’s the same tag in every Hotel.
So what are you waiting for – come on over and help us celebrate the Habbo-lympix spirit! It’s all happening in your Hotel right now :)
If you’ve gathered all the artefacts, earned all four badges (the first one was given out without an artefact), managed to wear them together in the right order, you will have received the very magical Gate of Eternity…
But what are they??
I put our resident historian on the case, and after some research into the phenomenon, Neja was able to tell me this…
“A long, long time ago, when the Ancients arrived in Habbo, they decided Habbos should be able to go anywhere in the world. Habbos would get to explore and discover wonderful places: forests, seas, jungles and vast lands, full of plants, animals and other Habbos! For this purpose, the Network of the Ancients was built. The Gate of Eternity would take Habbos wherever they wanted to go!
The Ancients were very careful about who were allowed to be the gate guardians. The artefacts had to be handled with care, and the puzzle was not for all. Only those who could solve it, would be granted guardianship of a Gate of Eternity.
Years passed and the Network of the Ancients was used less and less. Some of the Gates of Eternity were shut down and some were forgotten, left in dusty corners of Habbo… Until now! With your help, the magic of the Ancients has returned and the Gates of Eternity are reactivated!
If you’ve been granted a Gate, make sure you create a wonderful place for it – you want your guests from all corners of Habbo to be in awe of the place they arrive to! And remember, this Network of the Ancients is exclusive – reachable only by entering a Gate of Eternity…”
So there you have it Habbos! Go exploring with your Gate of Eternity…
With all the new and improved safety measures that have been made, we’re finally ready to return to “Free Chat!” It will be a gradual process, starting with a pilot in the Spanish Hotel today and continuing with the French and Brazilian Hotels on Thursday. If all goes well, all the rest of the Hotels will follow as soon as they’re ready, hopefully next week!
To celebrate, we’re throwing parties in all the Hotels where you can win a BADGE, a never-before-seen TROPHY and even unlock a week of FREE VIP for everyone that attended!
Get ready, Habbos… the party starts in Spain already on Wednesday at 1pm Spanish time!
PS: You can also read what Paul had to say about returning to filtered chat here ››
Italian, Finnish, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, French, Portuguese, German, Dutch.
Today marks the start of a three week adventure following in the Footsteps of the Ancients! We’ve got Quests and room competitions and new Furni – and some very special artifacts that come with even more special badges… To get you started on the right foot, here are some answers to a few questions that you might have!
How can I participate in this campaign?
You participate simply by logging into your Hotel, the information is right there on the Hotel View!
How long will this campaign last?
3 weeks! Every week we’ll explore a new place – the desert, the savannah and the jungle.
How long will the new Furni be in the Shop?
There will be new Furni every week, and it will all be available until the end of the campaign.
How can I take part in the room competition?
Build a room that fits the theme using at least 3 different pieces of the new Furni line. Once it’s done and you’re happy with it, you can easily enter your room by clicking the button that appears in your room!
How many rooms can I enter?
You can only enter one room pr competition, so make it a great one!
How many room competitions will there be?
There will be three in all, one for each week of the campaign!
If my room makes it to Top 10 in the first room competition, am I disqualified for the other room competitions?
No we don’t disqualify talented people in Habbo. Even if you won the first room competition you can still compete for the others – but you can’t submit the same room of course.
If my room makes it to Top 10, do I only get a badge or will I get another prize as well?
You’ll get fame! In addition to a badge, your Habbo will be profiled on the Hotel View, and your room will be listed in the official rooms tab in the Navigator!
If my room makes it to Top 10, do I also get the badge for Top 100 and for taking part in the room competition in the first place?
You will receive one badge according to your ranking.
How many badges can I earn in this campaign?
Four badges are available as parts of the Ancients’ map, then there are three for the room competitions.
How many times can I vote for a room/any rooms?
You have 3 votes per day. You can give all to the same room or split your votes between different rooms.
What is the big deal with these so-called artifacts, and how do I find them?
Artifacts are legendary relics built by the Ancients – the Fathers of Habbo who mysteriously disappeared years ago. Every week there is a new Artifact to collect. You can buy the Artifacts with Stars, which you earn by doing Quests. Every Artifact comes with its own special badge – a piece of map that you need to complete and assemble in order to reach the Gates of Eternity. It’s also possible to buy artifacts by Credits if you haven’t manage to earn enough Stars.
What are the Gates Of Eternity, and how can I get my hands on them?
Texts are unclear about the Gates of Eternity, but we think that the Ancients found them – and that the Gates completely changed their lives forever! As far as we know, the only way to reach the Gates is to complete the map. But think twice before diving into adventure, you have do it at your own risk…
How can I take part in the Quest?
You can find it on the Hotel View, or you can go to your room and click on the Quest icon in your left side menu. Activate the “Footsteps of the Ancients” Quest to take part!
How can I get people to vote for my room when I can’t say my room name?
Ask people to follow you to your room to vote! You should also try using Facebook and Twitter.
Will there be any LTD Rares in this campaign?
Since last week, our tech team has been investigating the disappearances of Monster Plants. Seems that a lot of Habbos’ Monster Plants have gone missing, temporarily or permanently, because of a bug with the plants in relation to Group Rooms, and this is obviously NOT okay.
They are working on a fix as we speak, but because it is a little bit complicated, we don’t know yet exactly when it will be implemented. However, they think they’ll be able to have it all sorted out by the end of this week, but hopefully even sooner than that.
Once fixed, your Monster Plant(s) will be returned to your Inventory, and automatically revived.
In other words, the minute they install the fix for this problem, you can check your Pet Inventory, and your plant will be there, alive and well, ready to be tended to as usual.
We are so sorry about this, and we hope to be able to fix it VERY soon.