Oh, I don’t know…how about redrawing almost every single piece of art in the game! Crazy? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely!
We decided to approach this in the style of a SNES special edition of a previously released NES game. We wanted to take the art we had, and just bring it forward a generation and make it shine better – after reaching what we feel was the best of what “8-bit” could be, we decided to bring this to what we’re calling “8-bit as we remember it” instead of “8-bit as it was” – just mouse over the images below to see the difference. For those on touch devices, tapping the images should show the “after” images – there’s also a full gallery below.
First, we updated the overworld map. The map (and all of the maps) are unchanged – just better defined, cleaner tiles everywhere.
The interface’s look has been upgraded as well, with clean gradients, while the monsters have more shading and detail.
We added shadowing and detail throughout the maps (see the ambient shading on the floors where they meet the walls) – who says AAA FPS games are the only ones that should feature ambient occlusion!
Finally, so many poor vendors were stuck in their little shops with tiny walls and no roofs, beaten down upon by the hot sun! Well after negotiations with the NPC Vendors’ Union we’ve given them some much-needed shade. Just walk into the shops as always and the walls or roofs fade away.
The full gallery of images can be viewed here, for those with less mouseover-friendly browsers:
Now we realize some people actually prefer the simpler, original 8-bit style. And to those people, worry not! The graphical updates can be turned off and on at any point in the options screen. It was important to us not to take anything away fans may prefer, and just offer updates for those that will appreciate them!
So what comes after UI and dungeons and trophies and graphics? After the holidays we’ll have more posts, talking about audio, and platforms. Lots of platforms. Including releases on a number of platforms where the game isn’t currently available.