Kevin: “One of the biggest upgrades going from 8-bit to 16-bit is obviously the art. Not that I’m biased. Where we could get away with two frame walk cycles in Dragon Fantasy: Book I, if we tried to pull that off in Book II, the fans would be severely disappointed and would DEFINITELY call us on it.
In Dragon Fantasy: Book II, Ogden now has over 120 frames and that number continues to grow as we finish off and begin to polish the game. These include everything from walking animations to attacks, casting spells and using combat abilities, and of course, taking damage. In comparison, Book I’s Ogden had ten frames: two for each direction (up, down, left, and right) plus a squat and a sleeping pose.
Another one of our goals was to stay true to the homage of the 16-bit era without being a slave to 16-bit practices. In Book I’s original release, we kept strictly to the 8-bit palette. What we hadn’t realized is people don’t remember as well as they think what 8-bit games actually looked like. When we released Book I for PSN, we added some additional palette colors.
We’ve carried this lesson over to Book II and are working with additional colors and fewer strict rules. Most sprites from games like Chrono Trigger have a four frames while characters walk. Book II boasts a whopping 50% improvement over this, and instead has a massive six frames per walk. The ultimate question then is: will Book II be 50% better than the games that inspired it?”
Got any questions for our resident artist? Feel free to leave a comment or question here and we’ll whip Kevin into answering them shortly.