A question which I asked myself for a long time:
„What would Dark Souls look like, if it'd have been released on GBA?“
GBA was the system which inspired me to start creating pixel art – great games games like Castlavania: Dawn of Sorrow and Fire Emblem: the Sacred Stones have had a huge impact on me – I totally love them.
Time to pursue my nostalgia and merge two awesome things:
GBA aesthetics and Dark Souls.
From left to right:
-Black Iron Tarkus
-The Chosen Undead (or Oscar of Astora)
-Solaire of Astora
-Siegmeyer of Catarina
This probably would have been my most favourite GBA game \[T]/
Might even do more or animate them, if there is some interest.
For the system purists:
Displayed at 300% zoom
Each sprite is made with the following restrictions:
15 colors max, 1 color transparency
48x48 px (excluding solaires feather, bc couldn't find a satisfying solution)
More Souls related pixel fanart:
Sieg looks cute in your pixel art form
I played through it just one time.
Dark Souls? Doom, gloom, depression, everyone goes hollow. Everyone you could possibly care for dies.
Berserk also disabled, broke or killed off multiple (all) characters you might care for - the difference is that it is starting out with a cast of mentally unstable characters from the get go and they slowly slip all down the slope to madness, because of their personality, their goals and what happens to them - at least for the whole golden age arc and to some point even up to the end of the retribution arc - before fairytale, high fantasy and RPG aspects seem to overtake the story to make it more enjoyable for another kind of audience. The themes later change to party aspects, helping friends and a generally a much lighter tone - because the world shifts at a crucial part from human-centered to magic-centered.
In Dark Souls you have a bunch of characters who are actually bearing an undead curse, which literally means they can't die and the only possibility for them is to become mad. The death is inevitable, like it is in reality, but I think it's much more interesting to look at what most of those characters we care about actually achieve. The thing which keeps them human seems to be the thing which is their goal in life - I thought about it the way that some of them ultimatively reached their goal. Under the line the outcome is the same for everyone in this world (and it's the same in reality if you look at it realistically), but I think the characters we care for are some we truly can be proud of because they achieved something which is bigger than their self through their own struggle. Everyone Dies.
But the important point: the end of the story is unclear, while all of them significantly help us on our journey, maybe they even enable us to change the whole gameworld - we didn't know at the end of DKs 1.
A lot of the stories I like have characters which actually struggle, but keep standing and move on. This doesn't mean that all of them are heroes, but most of the characters I resonate to seem to violently follow their self-set goals.
But the characters in Dark Souls 2 felt to me like without goals, only there to "entertain" the player with their little stories, which seem to beg for your compassion.
The idea of the circles seemed to make achievement despite struggles indifferent, because it doesn't affect the "big story". The outcome of what you did doesn't matter at all, because there is another circle coming anyways.
Dark Souls 1 and Berserk both have a totally philosophical "western" view of the world that with enough struggle you can achieve something bigger than life.
Dark Souls 2 is much more philosophical "eastern" in it's approach, so that the individuum can't possibly change the outcome of the big plan / fate / the mechanic of the world.
I just like the first type of story much more. Being powerless feels much more desperate and meaningless to me, than being possibly powerful, but also prone to fail.
One thing about Dark Souls 2 that I really liked was the new ending they put in at SotFS. It actually just lets you walk away from it all. No age of fire (light) or age of dark...you just, go away.
I bought the original DkSII collectors Edition which was quite expensive - why should I buy another version of a totally broken game, which gets released as a "new release" and is significantly more expensive than a dlc, for just switching enemy placements and fix flavortexts. Not fixing any of the broken gameplay (e.g. controls)
Well you got a "discount" but that's not at all what I would call customer service, especially not if you preordered and showed the publisher your thanks in the best way you possible could do it. The publishers are just fucking greedy bastards and I don't supported them in this way anymore with DkS3, nor will I support any other game this way, which get spublished by BandaiNamco in future.
I think even dark games can have strong colors here and there and a clear visual seperation. S&S was mostly very monotone.
Still the game is pretty good from a gameplay standpoint.
Are there any games that you've made the art for? I really want to play something with your pixel goodness.
One game I worked on and did animations for and you actually might know is: Adventure TIme: Explore the dungeon because I don't know.
A rather smaller project I am currently realizing with a friend is called "Tower 57" and we intend to release it leter this year, preferably August.
All the art in this game will have been produced by me
Of course I didn't make 100% of the work for any of these (most had more graphicians working on them), the exception is Tower 57,but this also is my first personal project for which I am doing a lot more than just graphics.
-Tower 57 (my own project): pixwerk.net/home/index.php / kickstarted in 2015
-Shadows of Adam (classic RPG; kickstarted): www.kickstarter.com/projects/9…
-Zodiac Legion (round based strategy) (zodiac-legion.com/index.html)
Games you could buy:
- Adventure Time explore the dungeon because I don't know store.steampowered.com/app/243…
- Halfway store.steampowered.com/app/253…
- Forge Quest store.steampowered.com/app/249…
- Huey - fragmenttwo.com/ - Ios Sidecrolling game
- Echoes of Aetheria www.dancingdragongames.com/
- Puzzle Hero itunes.apple.com/at/app/sword-…
Canned, but Demo / not available anymore bc. browser:
- Final Element - Megamanesque sidescroller - got canned - demo available here: www.dropbox.com/s/7ek2oqemxo0i…
- Riftforge (not available anymore) - Browser based strategy game
- Norroth (not available anymore) - Browser based rpg game
Now I'm wondering if the mechanics of Dark Souls would work well on a Gameboy. lol
-timing (stamina management)
-spatial awareness (positioning in 3d space, slight height differences, how you use your hitboxes)
I think that spatial awareness can't be reproduced in a 2d game but I also don't think it works even with a first person 3D game.
Distance and Timing would work and then you get something like "indie dark souls reproductions" and those aren't fun, because I think Dark Souls is compelling because of it's 3D exploration and 3D battle systems.
In 2D you have other tools which work much better / more efficient than in 3d, especially instant readability, exact platforming and in generally is a lot simpler/cheaper to code.
SO from a gamedesign perspective I wouldn't say it can work with the same formula - and then the question is if it's a darksouls if you alter it.
And if you think of games like Metroid and Zelda the 2D and 3D installments differ totally too.