I’ve been messing with a tile template system for a long time. Too long, really. But I’m making some steady progress in what I like and what I feel is an intelligent way to execute and organize assets, pipelines, and presentation methods.
Believe it or not, tonight is the first time I’ve used the animation feature in Tiled. It’s pretty fun, and I’m happy it’s included. I wish I could export as a native animated gif, but I just used a capture tool for this.
I’d like to be able to recreate several Castlevania levels as a proof of concept, but for now this is what I have been working on. Let me know your thoughts!
Looks impressive! It’s clearly recognizable as the first castle area of CV1, but has a lot more volume. My main critique is the wall feels rather flat compared to how textured everything else is, so I think some subtle texturing would help. Minor critiques: the candles don’t appear to cast any light on their surroundings; the stairs don’t cast any shadows, making them look painted onto the wall.
And this isn’t really a critique but a taste preference, but I really dislike soft gradients combined with sharp, low-colour pixel art, I feel they don’t mesh well together. I think more textured, defined shadows would work better here. This could probably be achieved with a fairly small number of tiles, too. They could still be done as translucent overlays on top of a flat-coloured tileset if you wish, but rather than soft gradients, they should be a few set opacity levels, mimicking the small palette of the base art.
Lastly, consider giving the shadows some colour(s) instead of just making them grey. It’ll make the scene less dull, and can really make the mood of the scene stronger. You’re not constained by the NES’s lack of good cool/warm greys like the original artists were, after all.
I really like the marble walls of the original, and I agree that the gradient really takes away from that, but I do like the trim.
I have no idea how you made the gradient or the reflected light from the floor, but that’s a cool effect. Because the midheight floor by the stairs doesn’t reflect onto the background, it makes those sections pop more - the shadows help a lot here, too.
Anyways, good job! I really love redone NES art, and this is really great.
I messed around a little more with it today. I tried to apply some of the feedback. Thanks for the thoughts and the info. I dont feel like it’s at all done, yet. But, I guess some progress?
This looks a lot better!
I feel you’ve lost the marble feel of the original walls though, because their new texture has a lot of similarly-sized blocks/rocks/something, rather than large-scale patterns on a smooth wall as you’d get with marble. At least, marble is how I interpreted the original art (as did Raphael_Azcueta). Marble is one of the hardest types of things to draw, so I recommend looking up reference of real marble walls to get a feel for what it looks like instead of guessing.
I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be dilapidated stucco over brick. I know in later games it becomes more of a marble hall of luxury, but this is going for the source inspiration of the Hammer horror movies.
I am not happy with the texture yet, either. Needs work.
Next I should apply more colors and rely less on greys. Its a challenge to make sure values alone are reading correctly, let alone nailing the color theory aspects.
You might be right that it’s not marble in the original Cv! I would imagine it’s something like worn down expensive wallpaper, but that’s because I like my fancy vamps. Stucco makes it feel nice and gritty.
I liked the gradients, but the drawn light and shadows lends itself a bit more authentic SNES feel.
The gradients are cool, I think. They emulate the more current pixel presentation style of applying GL lighting over the retro pixel render.