Captain’s Log, 0201005.160: The Drums of War

Work on Hat Trick proceeds apace. Pages through 65 storyboarded, through 67 paneled and lettered.

Hopefully I don’t go much higher than 90 pages. My numbering scheme didn’t account for a third digit.

Right! That’s enough for the progress report. Now for the navel-gazing!

Piqha Side

Did some doodles of more Piqha. You can see Merlin the Dark Magician Rabbit as a Piqha. Most of the others are concepts for translating my Stardogs/Starlancers concept into Piqhaspace.

I considered using Inktober as a way to explore the Piqhaverse, but decided to learn Japanese instead.

Rejected!

Yes, I know it will take me more than a month.

That said, Piqha, and Piqha Stardogs in particular, continue to be something I enjoy playing with. I dunno, maybe I’ll leave people and furries behind some day.

Do a Barrel Roll

As I’ve recently noted, my RPG engine is in many ways my most excellent project concept. I love to animate. I enjoy coding. Video Games are the total art form. And the JRPG in particular is well suited to mobile gaming. Making my stories as vidya also solves supply problems,

So, I’ve been playing some of the JRPGs that inspire me. The basic list is Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, Pokémon, Penny Arcade: Rain Slick Precipice of Death 3, and Chrono Trigger.

Yes, I’m a filthy casual. No, I will not be finishing a Final Fantasy. I love RPGs for babies and if ever I make an RPG, it’s going to be in that category.

Anyhow, I’ve been playing Superstar Saga on my 3DS because I gave my GBA copy to my brother. It’s a good game, one of my favorites. But playing a game isn’t the only way I research ’em. I also look into speedruns. And watching a speedrun of Superstar Saga reminded me of the many art differences between the GBA version and the version I have now.

So, there are good reasons for the differences in art choices there. The GBA game has a pastel palette because the GBA screen lacks a backlight. The remake’s art style, on the other hand, is designed to match the art style of the sequels, which evolved to be more polished and painterly than comicky.

But I love the comicky bit!

Look, let’s do a side-by-side of art from Bowser’s castle:

The pixel art version doesn’t have to be pixel art. It could be HD. It would look like it was drawn for a comic book with limited palettes, and an emphasis on bold shapes that are full of personality.

I say this because the original art style is tending toward something that could be my art style, if I made an HD game. Look: here’s a metal drum from the original game, and then the remake, and my quick HD take on the original:

If I make a game, if I’m lucky, it’ll look a wee bit like Superstar Saga. But not the polished remake: like an HD upscaling of the original pixel art.

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