AuthorTopic: GR#224 - Castle of the Winds - Gameart Revamp  (Read 9769 times)

Offline Facet

  • Moderator
  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 426
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile

GR#224 - Castle of the Winds - Gameart Revamp

on: January 13, 2014, 08:21:19 pm
...is a fondly remembered shareware roguelike for windows, probably a bit dated looking on launch! (in 1991), 16 colour windows icon palette and quite basic Ďprogrammer artí no real detriment to its playability (procedural dungeons help as does a pretty sweet bestiary and breadth of items and magic). The gameís about beating up hordes of monsters, taking their lunch money and exploring the great unknown; pretty addictive.

I think the sprites are an interesting challenge for a remake in terms of presentation: not scaled with size or related in space to the map, (almost) static; potential for playing with perspective and cropping. I'm sticking to approximately the original restrictions here for the authentic experience.

Screens on Mobygames
Youtube playthrough
Pretty great breakdown on Strategywiki
Download (now released in full as freeware, should be fine on XP, not so much Vista+)

Player avatars: not at all tempted to give them any more clothes, I think the blue underwear is quite iconic. Wasnít sure about the Simpsons skin (also tried dither as the original), but I think it works dampened by the grey midtone, and in context of the colour limitations. Iím trying to avoid outlining everything despite the palette. Thinking now that the female version was supposed to have braids so might try that later.

No animation for the guy because I couldn't settle on a nice anticipatory resting frame at the time, and Iím a bit sick of him right now. I sort of stumbled onto doing the attack frame animations while sketching alternate poses and Iím really glad for it. Quite aside from the characterisation opportunities it really helps to get a better feel of the character in space, and to break out of more obvious solutions on corresponding frames, Iíll be doing this more in future.



First bunch of monsters! (thereís about 60 or so in the game, aka more than Iím realistically going to have a go at). Iím quite pleased with the giant rat and little humanoids (Goblin/Kolbold), despite some suspect footwork goblin wise that I may revisit (it being retroactively designated animation), not quite convinced with the neon snake yet; maybe it needs some markings/colour variety. The batís flapping is a poor excuse for an attack I know but I dunno where to go with that; darting forward a bit? A little red mouth would contrast alright. Monsters are only ever seen on the white dungeon background so any colour combo is fair game.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 12:09:20 am by Facet »

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 327
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Castle of the Winds

Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 09:27:02 pm
Finally!

I think the skin color looks fine and as there are no great colors on that palette the only other color would be a weird red. To me, the resting frame for the bad seems more like an attack frame then the attack one does, it looks like the bat is swooping down while the attack frame you have is, as you said, just beating its wings. Also, the red eyes on the orc/goblin clash really strongly with the skin.

Offline Parkerbaby

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 90
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Castle of the Winds

Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 09:59:18 pm
Those are the best renditions of Castle of the Winds sprite I've seen. This is close to my heart; it is one of my favorite games. Great choice keeping the blue underwear.
I think some of the enemy sprites may have some readability issues particularly the snake silhouette.
Have you had experience inputting your own sprite with the in-built customization mechanism?, because I've never gotten that to work.

Offline Facet

  • Moderator
  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 426
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Castle of the Winds

Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 02:06:51 am
Thanks guys!

Fahrenheit:
I see what you mean ‘bout the frame order, I had it like that so the full silhouette of the upstroke frame would be the resting one, I redrew both a bit more realistically (realised it was missing a webbed tail, looked kinda like a zubat) and a sorta swoop attack. Googled ‘bat attack’ with mixed results.

The red was the only colour that I found to fit for the goblin eyes, I guess I don’t mind the harshness as much, ‘cos that’s how I knew it in the original.

Parkerbaby:
Good to know there’s someone else invested in the game here! To swap out the char icon: it doesn’t seem to like modern implementations of the .ico format; I think you’d have to use contemporary software, I remember having a go once myself, more trouble than it’s worth perhaps.

I can’t really see much beyond my own interpretations of the sprites at this point but I thought the snake outline (at least the resting one) was ok, howdja mean? I wasn’t happy with the animation myself so I tried something with a bit more snap that I like lot better; intended as something like a boa for contrast with the other, viper-type snake.   

Here next to the old:



Just realised I had the dungeon room bg as dark dither instead of cyan; I should really give it a playthrough or two again myself for research purposes. Not much progress on the tiles to post yet.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 12:10:08 am by Facet »

Offline ||||

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 329
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The brand with four stripes
    • llll_lijj
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/new_icons.asp?owner=30996&ob=search&dosearch=1
    • Lijj
    • View Profile
    • Erde

Re: Castle of the Winds

Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 08:26:41 am
These sprites look awesome... what a difficult palette though. I think yellow skin is the only way to go with the palette and it looks alright, these were the only other options I could think of:

The dithery one has an old comic look sort of but I like it without the dithering.
 

Offline surt

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 529
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Meat by-product
    • not_surt
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/2254.htm
    • View Profile
    • Uninhabitant

Re: Castle of the Winds

Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 10:35:22 am
Love CotW and these are just awesome.
Back in the day I replaced all the character/object icons in the executable (long lost sadly) and had to resort to magenta for humanoid skin colour.  :P

Offline 9_6

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 414
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Castle of the Winds

Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 03:35:06 pm
I'm not sure about the broken outline, it seems to me that it makes things hard to read, especially if you have bright yellow shapes on a white background.



Also that palette on the picture looks like 16 colors but is actually 32 with 2 barely visible variations of each color so the picture should have no more than 33 colors including white in it.
It uses 44 while your 2 characters only have 7 in them. What is happening?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 03:42:34 pm by 9_6 »
Does scaling an image blur it?
Opera fix Firefox fix

Offline Facet

  • Moderator
  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 426
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Castle of the Winds

Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 11:10:39 pm
||||:
Thanks! I hadn't tried that halftone combo and I rather like it; a similar one is used for the ogre and I’m planning to keep that, I was thinking the dither might be too textural for regular skin (tendency to swallow fine detail), but great for coarser stuff, I'll have a play with that that one. There’s a whole variety of humanoids to go at, with every shade of skin as can be wrung out of the palette so I will try everything somewhere! the cyan/blue is pencilled in for a frost giant ;D.

Surt:
Hey, I was just looking at your EGA mockup from a while back for odd colour/texture reference.

Would’ve loved to have seen your full revamp! I’ve had a go at some of the sprites a few times previously. For reasons that now escape me I decided to force a toon look, AA the crap out of everything, and give some of the tiles outrageously contrasty patterns. Most sprites are basically mirrored buff chests, that's how you kick it oldschool I guess. Some less awful ones:




9_6:
Ah sorry, I think redundant colours are me not taking the time to use an index on composite sheets; gif compression I guess, I’ve been doing these in PS on the fly but I might have to break out Graphics Gale. (It's this one)

I know what you mean (on constrast), The yellow is way bright to pair on white (least it’s not magenta :lol:). I would have to rework stuff ground up with outlines in mind to get the most out of them, but to me those examples do lose subtlety, get a bit cramped in places and it's a trade-off I'm reluctant to make. I’m considering adjusting the palette as a whole for these kinds of issues; a kinda ‘fuzzy old CRT monitor edition’ which might make everything play together a bit nicer.


I redid the rat in line with the other couple of animals ‘cos he was looking a bit feeble, I’m realising just how much the two frames can be pushed without tweening; more exaggerated stuff actually works better, feels more complete statement than sluggish half measure. Also tweaked the goblin but might be getting worse, probably time I move on. I feel like I'm shaking off some animation rust anyhow.



   
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 12:10:36 am by Facet »

Offline Facet

  • Moderator
  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 426
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Castle of the Winds

Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 02:33:38 am
Haven’t had much time to work on these, but I did start on a few things including the skintone. I think the dither harmonises better when used over the whole material rather than as an intermediate, and I realised I might as well just shade with the light grey! The guy especially was pretty flat before and hopefully this goes some way to helping on the bg contrast front too; my only concern is that some things elsewhere are going to be stuck shaded only with black and I would like keep things more or less consistent. It seems like the answer to wrangling a lot of these odd colours is to stick a bunch of grey in there, I think I will hold on to the original palette anyway.   



Some new ones, mostly pretty early stages, any ideas welcome:


« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 02:40:52 am by Facet »

Offline ||||

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 329
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The brand with four stripes
    • llll_lijj
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/new_icons.asp?owner=30996&ob=search&dosearch=1
    • Lijj
    • View Profile
    • Erde

Re: Castle of the Winds

Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 11:30:33 pm
Bumpity... just don't like seeing this way down there  :hehe:
I really like the depth you get using the grey as a secondary color on the yellow skin. That seems to work the best overall. The 3rd Conan dude looks way better like that.