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Fishkeeper

Size info in encyclopedia, and chart (w/ quick Paint shapes doodle)

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A decent number of dragons mention somewhere in encyclopedia entries or descriptions that the species is comparatively large or small, but I have no idea how large the majority of these dragons are supposed to be. The encyclopedia entries should have, at least, approximate average length. What would be cooler, though, is something like the below. 

 

Picture this: the Celestial entry mentions the dragons' "great size and strength". You read that, you maybe think "cool, it's large". You read a size in numbers, maybe you get a vague idea of its size in your head. Wouldn't you rather click through to its encyclopedia entry, see a massive shape compared to the rest of the dragons, and go "woah that's big!" ?

 

1823970112_dergidea.png.339ec127963b3dd9a291780e329dd065.png

 

First, come up with size classes. I'm thinking maybe Micro (Chickens, Pumpkins), Tiny (the smaller drakes, think around dog-sized, could keep this in your backyard), Small (livestock-sized, like cows), Medium (bigger than most modern animals), Large (starting to get into storybook dragon size), Huge (definitely storybook size), Gargantuan, (we're talking bigger than anything but whales here), up to Colossal, i.e. "cannot fit on the scale". The above image is a vague idea of what it would look like, I put no effort into making the images actually match imagined size classes. 

Second, assign each dragon a size class. Said size class goes on the encyclopedia page, and links to the above picture to show you how big that size class is. This wouldn't require figuring out an exact size for each dragon, just a rough idea. If an inactive spriter came back online and said "hey, that's wrong", just change that dragon's size class. Otherwise, dragons made by inactive spriters could be assigned size class based on any details in their encyclopedia/description about size, mentions of diet, and probably just a bit of what seems right. I can't imagine Pinks being very large, for example. 

Say, you want to know how big a Pumpkin dragon is. You go to its encyclopedia page, you see it's classed as Micro, you click the category to see this picture, and voila. You know how big a Pumpkin dragon is. Any dragons mentioned to not stop growing would be given the class of their size when they reach adulthood, with a note that they can get much bigger. 

 

 

(old idea, scrapped)

What would be really cool would be a picture something like the example below. Pick a few classes of dragons, say Western, Eastern, Wyrms, Pygmies, Drakes, and the general wingless category, and decide which dragon is about medium-sized for each category. Just for the sake of this example, we'll say that a Seasonal dragon is a good mid-sized example of a Western class dragon. We would put the silhouette of a Seasonal dragon on a grid with sizes, alongside a human shape and an average-sized member of each other class. That grid, with silhouettes, would be in every encyclopedia entry, and would be the same. The unique part of the entries would be the adult dragon for each entry (potentially both adults if there's significant size difference between the sexes) overlaid in color. 

 

756801050_dergsizechart.png.cfae7a20f244a2776a5822d8413f19fd.png

 

Something like this. The grey shapes (not intended to represent any particular dragons) are the standard parts of the chart, and the red shape represents the individual dragon for that entry. Numbers along the bottom would also be good. This way, we see the approximate size of the dragon in question, plus how it stacks up against other dragons and against a human. 

It would require some work to figure out how large each dragon should be, but the spriting/art itself would be relatively simple. Make the initial grid, then take the transparent sprite of each dragon, size it appropriately, and place it over the grid. For dragons actually used in the grid (in this example, the Seasonal), just put the silhouette in color. 

Edited by Fishkeeper

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This would be really cool. I feel like there's an unoffical size comparison chart floating around the forum somewhere, but I haven't seen it pop up in a while. It was somewhat accurate from what I remember. Maybe that could be used as a reference for this. 

 

There are only two issues I see with this, both of which could probably be sorted out:

1. Some of the spriters went inactive without ever mentioning the size of their breeds. How do we approximate the size in those cases?

2. There are currently 219 (?) breeds in-cave. More will be coming with the arrival of the holidays. How can all of these breeds be sandwiched onto a single page without chaos? Scroll bar, maybe?

Edited by The Dragoness

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Oh, no, this would not be all on the same page. Each breed would have that image above, with the red dragon replaced by that particular breed, on its encyclopedia page. 

For example, you go to the Celestial encyclopedia page, you see the silhouettes of average representations of some of the categories, like the picture above, with the Celestial sprite superimposed over them so you can compare the Celestial to those representative dragons. The Pink dragon entry would have those average dragon silhouettes with a Pink sprite over them, and so on. 

 

As for the size thing, I think it'd be reasonable to go with whatever makes sense. If the dragon is mentioned in the encyclopedia or description to be unusually large/small, that's taken into account. If they come back online at a future point, see the size, and say "hey, that's not right", it gets changed. If not, no harm done. 

 

Also, I don't think this would put too much effort on TJ himself. The only coding I can think of would be putting each dragon's comparison image on its encyclopedia page, maybe to be unlocked along with the adult sprite. The rest would be coming up with reasonable sizes for the dragons, someone making the background of the image with the few silhouettes of representative dragons, and someone taking each sprite and overlaying it on the background.

 

I really want to know how big these are, and I feel like images would have more impact than just numbers. 

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Long ago there was a pretty comprehensive image, very similar to your example, I believe it was made by an actual in-cave spriter (I think?). It was pretty cool to look at that and make comparisons and get a better feel for how big or small the different dragons are.... However, there were a LOT less dragons in the game back then. I'm not sure how much work it would be to gather information about every single breed in order to put any sort of accurate comparison image. A lot of breeds do mention some sort of general 'large' descriptor word, but who exactly determines just how large that is? In order to be any sort of accurate we'd need to get the actual spriters of every single breed to weigh in, and some of them are long gone. Even with the ones that are still active or semi-active I'd think it'd be fairly challenging to communicate regarding every single breed and compile all that information. Also, you mention the grey silhouettes being representations of other dragon types, but those sizes vary a LOT among each type. Pygmies in general tend to be sorta-kinda in a general size range, but some of the other types it'd be fairly hard to figure out what would be considered an 'average' size. I mean, Mints and Ashes are both Wingless type, but they are most definitely *very* different in terms of size. 

 

The only way I could actually see this realistically working would be if the comparison chart was very very very vague and TJ himself just decided what each size would be.... Which honestly I'm not fond of that idea at all. A lot of spriters have left and/or don't want to be contacted with questions, so there is no possible way to get valid spriter input on every single breed. And in that case I'd really rather not have a chart like that at all, because I'm very much of the opinion that information about a breed should remain fairly close to the way the spriter intended it, which obviously wouldn't be possible in some cases here.

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I can't honestly say I care. It would make no difference to the game; many of us breed whatever to whatever without thinking of size (well, i di actually; that was why I did it.) https://dragcave.net/lineage/0lJfH

 

But the info we already have would be a problem; I never knew that ochredrakes were the size of cats till a few days ago, but I read it somewhere..

 

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1 hour ago, Fuzzbucket said:

I can't honestly say I care. It would make no difference to the game; many of us breed whatever to whatever without thinking of size (well, i di actually; that was why I did it.) https://dragcave.net/lineage/0lJfH

 

But the info we already have would be a problem; I never knew that ochredrakes were the size of cats till a few days ago, but I read it somewhere..

 

 

Yeah, I think DC Drakes are meant to be on average the size of domestic dogs? I read that somewhere too. It’s so weird - I imagine the Tatterdrake to be like Fell Dragon size, but it’s a DC Drake so it’s probably dog-sized.

 

6 hours ago, HeatherMarie said:

In order to be any sort of accurate we'd need to get the actual spriters of every single breed to weigh in, and some of them are long gone. Even with the ones that are still active or semi-active I'd think it'd be fairly challenging to communicate regarding every single breed and compile all that information. Also, you mention the grey silhouettes being representations of other dragon types, but those sizes vary a LOT among each type. Pygmies in general tend to be sorta-kinda in a general size range, but some of the other types it'd be fairly hard to figure out what would be considered an 'average' size. I mean, Mints and Ashes are both Wingless type, but they are most definitely *very* different in terms of size. 

 

This is pretty much word-for-word what I was going to say.

 

It seems a simple thing to do, to just compile all the sizes, but there are a LOT of people’s concepts on the site now. While the Azure Glacewing’s description reads it as “one of the largest breeds”, the Plated Colossus is described as “one of the largest dragon species”.   Celestial are “massive” and have a “great size”. The Fells are said to “never completely stop growing”, meaning their size is indeterminable really. It seems there could even be a lot of clash with which dragon is considered the largest. As mentioned, many spriters aren’t around anymore to give their opinions so they’d have to be done either by guesswork, which might not be true to the creator’s wishes, or not done at all. As well, some spriters might want nothing to do with this idea or disagree with it and refuse to give their permission or something. It seems like it’d be a complicated suggestion, and I wonder how it would go about being done.

 

A different, less amusing, way this could be done is that in the encyclopaedia they could each have a height and a weight stat (like in Pokémon) so that we could find out their size and as such would have an imaginary visual to go off. It wouldn’t be as much technical work, with each artist needing to just state the intended size of their dragons, but would still probably have communication issues. 

 

That being said, I do kinda like the idea, but I don’t see it having much practical use other than for interest. I’d certainly be interested in there being a “compare sizes” where you get to pick two dragon species and see their sizes compared. Fuzz’s lineage is funny in concept, and I imagine would be hilarious in visual. But then honestly I don’t see there being much other use in it other than for fun.

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Sure, it wouldn't have any practical use. Neither does this entire site. It'd just be for looking at and enjoying, and adding a tinge of realism. After all, what journal entry of an animal species doesn't mention its size? 

 

I have a new idea and have updated the first post. This would require only vague approximations of sizes, only one new image, and could be very easily updated if an inactive spriter came back and said that a dragon is the wrong size. Absent the artist, I'd think a decent idea of size could be had from looking at how a dragon is designed, what it eats, and how it acts, i.e. an agile, slender, fish-eating dragon is probably not very large. 

 

Getting artist input could be made relatively easy. A few people discuss and figure out what sizes the categories should be, then any artists willing to be contacted could simply be asked "which category does this dragon species closely match?" and the answer could be noted.

 

This would also mean that no dragon ever needs to be declared the smallest or the largest. You just say it's in the largest size category. I could do the same with whales, placing, say, humpback and sperm whales in the same size class without ever actually mentioning which is larger. 

Edited by Fishkeeper

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This picture is totally inaccurate, but springs from a thread we had a couple of years back (I forgot what it was called), speculating about dragon sizes:

 

dragons.png

 

(Skywings, for example, are waaaay smaller.)

 

I'd still love to see something like this. So, support! ^_^

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I think this is a really cool idea. I like the modified version as a more practical way of accomplishing it.

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Even though getting artist input may seem easy, some are inactive and will never give their permissions to anything site-related ever again. This was discussed recently in another thread, where a now-inactive artist said they'd never be coming back, and as such we would never know what size their dragons were intended to be. Again, some artists might not even support the idea getting implemented into the game and refuse to give their permission for it (though that might be drastic)

 

Also probably me being contrary, but having different, non-precise, generalised size classes doesn't appeal to me, as there wouldn't be individuality. I'm sure there'd need to be tonnes of size groups too, as I imagine there being a plethora of dragon sizes in the game and I'm sure the smallest and largest specimens in one size group would be very different from one another? Idk, I like the idea, I just imagine it taking a lot of time and consideration and probably isn't all that doable.

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36 minutes ago, RealWilliamShakespeare said:

Even though getting artist input may seem easy, some are inactive and will never give their permissions to anything site-related ever again. This was discussed recently in another thread, where a now-inactive artist said they'd never be coming back, and as such we would never know what size their dragons were intended to be. Again, some artists might not even support the idea getting implemented into the game and refuse to give their permission for it (though that might be drastic)

 

Also probably me being contrary, but having different, non-precise, generalised size classes doesn't appeal to me, as there wouldn't be individuality. I'm sure there'd need to be tonnes of size groups too, as I imagine there being a plethora of dragon sizes in the game and I'm sure the smallest and largest specimens in one size group would be very different from one another? Idk, I like the idea, I just imagine it taking a lot of time and consideration and probably isn't all that doable.

 

Yeah, I agree. 

 

I honestly can't really think of a good way to make 'size classes' that would actually be accurate, include every single breed in the game, be vague enough to allow multiple breeds in each class but specific enough that the class distinctions are obvious.... It honestly sounds *really* complicated.  Just for example I'll take the OP's examples:

 

Quote

I'm thinking maybe Micro (Chickens, Pumpkins), Tiny (the smaller drakes, think around dog-sized, could keep this in your backyard), Small (livestock-sized, like cows), Medium (bigger than most modern animals), Large (starting to get into storybook dragon size), Huge (definitely storybook size), Gargantuan, (we're talking bigger than anything but whales here), up to Colossal, i.e. "cannot fit on the scale".

 

There will definitely need to be something between the 'small' and 'medium', there is a large gap between 'livestock-sized' and 'bigger then most modern animals'. If you consider 'livestock-sized' to be a cow, there would still be things like elephant-sized and giraffe-sized, both a fair bit larger then a cow. Also, what constitutes 'storybook dragon size', that is *super* vague, and how do you decide if something is *actually* storybook sized, in the 'huge' category, or just *close* to storybook sized, in the 'large' category? And is 'bigger then anything but whales' actually *bigger* then 'storybook sized'? 

 

It just seems way too complicated, especially given that these dragons were made by many different people who may have very different ideas about sizes, or possibly not want to pigeon-hole their creation into some random 'class', or may not agree with TJ or the general userbase on how big their dragon is.... (And, again, I'd honestly rather not have a size chart that actively goes against a creator's vision for their dragon, which would almost certainly happen in the process of trying to categorize tons of very old creations from spriters who may not be interested in doing so.)

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8 hours ago, HeatherMarie said:

It just seems way too complicated, especially given that these dragons were made by many different people who may have very different ideas about sizes, or possibly not want to pigeon-hole their creation into some random 'class', or may not agree with TJ or the general userbase on how big their dragon is.... (And, again, I'd honestly rather not have a size chart that actively goes against a creator's vision for their dragon, which would almost certainly happen in the process of trying to categorize tons of very old creations from spriters who may not be interested in doing so.)

 

Absolutely. How critical IS it ? Make your own canon, perhaps ?

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