Reworking Pillar Mountains Part 01: The Walls

Since I finished the essential things I needed to get done for the Steam Early Access release, I've been considering what I could do to improve stuff in the game while Teddy & Fred finish up the rest of their tasks. One of the things that has always been on the back of my mind is the way the Pillar Mountains (and Startington) look.  

These areas were the very first created for the game, and in many ways it shows. Not only have I improved my pixel art a lot since I created these areas, the overall style of the game has changed a bit too - in the upper screenshot of Pillar Mountains, the pixel art has a ton of colors and feel much more "painted", compared to the screen below, which is more of what the game looks like nowadays:

Since this is also the very first place the players will explore, it would really be nice if it showed the game in the best light possible, so I figured I'd spend some time reworking the essential parts of these places. Today, I'll begin with the walls (or well.. mountains..)!

I begin with lowering the opacity of the original map by a lot, and start painting rocks on top of it, approximately following the outline of the old walls.

I then create a layer underneath the line art and fill the rocks with a basic gray color.

Third step: add lights and shadows, all day. This takes a while, since I do each stone individually, but in the end it'll be worth having this many rocks that look unique, as I can copy them and reuse them in other places without them looking like replicas of the same 3 rocks repeated over and over.

So that's what I did above: simply copy a bunch of rocks, paste them in and paint a bunch of new rocks to close the gap between the two layers. Afterwards, copying the entire mountain and editing its brightness/contrast creates the darker mountain behind the original one.

Finally, I do a bunch of more copy/pasting of the original mountain to create the rest of the rocks. They might not look like much this way, but once proper grass is in place and you actually see a screen rather than the entire thing in all its broken glory, I think it'll look way better than the old version :)
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  1. Huh. The difference in artstyle is interesting. The current graphics are much more detailed and cool looking, but they don't mesh with the cutesyness of the rest of the game. They're almost foreboding in their roughness, compared to the pleasant pebble-y look of the new graphics.

    Do you think you'll be adding additional details to the new style, like the old one had? Roots jutting out from the stone, maybe a birdnest perched on a branch sticking out, or little baby green slimes hopping by in the holes in the stone? :3 That would be super-duper cute.

    1. We're definitely gonna add more details to the rocks! Your ideas are really cool, and we have a bunch of others as well :)

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