Nodes of Yesod : ZX Spectrum Next : Update #2

This week I posted a poll on Twitter to find out which of the three presented graphics styles people would prefer for Astro Charlie, the protagonist in Nodes of Yesod, on the ZX Spectrum Next. The images, and the poll results, can be seen below:

With 384(!) votes in total, the clear poll winner is option A at 55.5% of the vote, with option C a strong runner-up at 33.9%. In fact, there was a fair bit of feedback in the discussion thread where people said they liked option C, but perhaps it could be ramped up a little, adding some subtle shading, so that it wasn't the full-blown "Amiga-esque" style shown in option A, but something more retro and perhaps 8-bit looking.

What I didn't say in the poll, but have stated here on this site, is that I plan on having two modes in the game. Previous incarnations of Nodes of Yesod have gone with "classic" (option B) and "enhanced" (option A) graphics modes, with some differences in gameplay too. For the ZX Next version, I am thinking I'll go with a "retro" mode (something like option C) and a "Next" mode (something like option A).

To that end, keeping in mind some of the feedback from the poll, I have had my graphics team slaving in a dark satanic mill to come up with a sort of enhanced option C. Here's a work in progress where you can see the two proposed options, a "Next" mode (full color) and a new "retro" option that goes beyond where the original Spectrum version of Nodes was, but not pushed so far that it gets into the full-on color option. Take a look and let me know in the comments below (or comment on Twitter here) what you think!

Next mode and Retro mode

For the Next, I may make this purely an aesthetic choice, and keep the gameplay consistent between Retro and Next modes, so the player may choose the graphics style but still have full access to new gameplay features such as the map, etc, etc. I'll talk about all the gameplay feature additions in a future post!

And one final caveat to this, you're looking at this art on a phone or desktop, and it is likely that the actual appearance on the Next will be different, to a greater or lesser degree. That's because the Next is limited to 256 x 9 bits of color, at 3 bits per RGB channel, so that is basically 256 out of 512 possible colors. We have not modeled that yet with this art, so when I get a little time I'll simulate this on my desktop system to verify that things are looking OK.

Astro Charlie fall animation in Retro mode

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Unknown said…
Nice, I wouldn't go any further on the retro style one thou as it's already looking like an Atarti ST style sprite. On a different
note, been reading all your posts and really enjoying them.
Steve said…
Thanks for checking out the blog and for your comment! Not planning to make any more additions to the retro style. We’re busy going through the entire art set with this direction in mind!

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