This rendering of Marty represents a dilemma.
Every once in a while, I’ll make a change that creates a paradigm shift for the rest of the game. The last time that happened, I decided to make that gunk splatter all over the place when you killed an enemy. It was a simple change, but it caused the rest of the game to expand, including the story. It also lengthened the production time by a month or so.
For a while now, Marty’s sprites have included greys that were not part of the original palette and a higher resolution. Before that, everything adhered strictly to the limitations of NES graphics. But I haven’t felt right about Marty’s look for a long time. In the process of adding some color, I applied a different sort of shading (cel-shading, as opposed to the minimal contour lines found in the other creatures). I really like the way he looks in that style, but he looks nothing like the rest of the game. That’s the dilemma.
I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that Marty doesn’t come from the world he explores in this game. He’s from someplace else, and I’ve been trying to accentuate that idea ever since I made that gunk, and the story solidified itself in my mind. So now I find myself dividing objects that represent the two worlds. I like the idea of contrasting these elements with different visual styles (and possibly musical styles), but as I did with the gunk, I have to decide whether this is a case of “raising the bar” or “getting too big for one’s britches”.
We’re looking at a change that could lengthen the development time of this game beyond a year. There’s nothing magical about the scope of a year, but when I started Rebound, one of my primary goals was to keep things simple. And this is not simple. I like this change, but I feel the need to “count the cost”, as they say. (I’m just full of idioms today).
In any case, I’ll do some research, and as always, watch lots of Miyazaki. It seems that every day, I find myself doing things that I’m totally unqualified to do. I’m humbled, and grateful for the chance to work on games.