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There was one specific section in Riptale that presented us with a lot of problems graphically. The Underground Forest.
The issue was that due to the amount of vegetation, enemies and platforms were incredibly difficult to see. Some of this was by design. To put it simply, there’s a reason why soldiers wear camouflages. It would add another level of challenge to the game. However, too much is too much, which is why we went back to the drawing board in hopes to find a solution to this conundrum.
During the many play tests an idea came up, that maybe the enemy sprites should have some red in them to indicate danger. Naturally, the screen is often filled with blood, but even so, we didn’t really see any downside in adding red color to the sprites, so that was the first change.
The other change (as you can see) was to the vegetation sprites. Any amount of white in the background graphics in a three-tone-palette adds confusion to the game action. This is why we decided to try “backlighting” the most dominating assets. It’s a trade-off, but one that’s necessary in an interactive medium such as games.
The downside to doing major changes to the tilesets is that now there’s a good deal of levels that need to be fixed before the game is ready to ship. Sometimes that’s necessary.