Fantasy RPG prototyping

This project is my attempt to emulate a somewhat “retro” visual aesthetic, relying on spritework  and pixelart style textures. My initial concept called for a more tactical style of game in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics, featuring the player directing his characters on a restricted playing field.

I went with a visual style reminiscent of the 16-bit era, creating both interior and exterior environments.


After that I started prototyping some actual game mechanics, starting with movement and combat.



As it turns out, the mechanics behing tactical RPG’s get complicated really quick, and before fully committing I decided to explore some other possibilities. In this case I decided on giving the player direct control of a character, closer to the style of a third person adventure game. Abandoning the previous birds-eye view camera for something closer to the player character also meant having to make sure the environment holds up to closer scrutiny by increasing object detail and texture resolution. If the previous prototype is evocative of the 16-bit era, this would be closer to 32-bit.


Happy with the way the visual style came together, I implemented 3rd-person style controls and camera:



Although certainly more impressive from a visual and immersion standpoint, this prototype introduces it’s own issues. Not only are environments more demanding to create, characters have to increase in complexity as well in order to not feel out of place in the more detailed environments. Further experimentation with camera and control styles might reveal possibilities to minimize the amount of extra work required.

[to be continued]


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