Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Delver's Drop

High-definition and sexy: Pixelscopic on choosing 2D

3:00 PM on 03.26.2013 // Jason Cabral

How the Rogue in Delver's Drop came to be

Throughout gaming history, there are many examples of iconic visual design and of characters and worlds that have transcended the limitations of their medium to become cultural icons. Gamers of all ages know the happy little plumper with the red shirt and blue overalls who fancies jumping about. Many can also remember the feeling of rushing through the lush hills, waterfalls, and chequered earth of a tropical isle, all while trying to collect as many rings as they can.

Nowadays, developers have more options than ever, allowing them to really make any kind of game that they could dream up. So, why would they want to stay in 2D, when all of these 3D routes are available to them? More importantly, what kinds of decisions go into creating a character or a world? When I got a chance to speak with the guys from Pixelscopic, they shared with me their insight on developing for 2D and character design.

CEO, co-founder, and engineering director for Pixelscopic Coby Utter was the first to chime in about some of the inspirations that led to Delver’s Drop’s 2D world:  

“I was heavily inspired by the Vanillaware titles that came out in the PS2-era: Odin Sphere and Muramasa. You can do really amazing things in 2D, with current technology and hardware. So the whole point was to be able to make 2D stuff that’s very high-definition and that’s pretty much sexy in every regard. That was prime directive from the beginning.”

Looking at the visual design of Delver’s Drop, clearly a lot time and effort went into creating the feel of this dark and foreboding world. Creating a character to match, and that the player could connect to, was going to be a challenge. Vision director Ryan Baker shares some of what went into the process of creating Delver’s lovable little Rogue.

“I wanted to have a set of different character classes that you can connect to them, without having to worry about what their faces look like and whether it’s a cute looking Anime character or a more serious realistic face…all that stuff goes away if you just put their face in shadow. I wanted the glowing eyes and mouth for a bit of personality.”

The limited color palette of Delver’s Drop helped to draw me into its dark and perilous castle of horrors. Ryan shared the reasons behind their decision:

“Part of the decision for the fewer color numbers, and the sharp edges between the highlight and shadow, [were] partly pragmatic. If you’re going to animate any of those frame by frame, it’s much easier to do that if you have distinct color break. I think it actually looks better because your highlights look sharper and poppier, so you see things better on screen. But it also is time saving.”

“When I started working on the tile sets, and I painted some and had some shading, they just looked a little muddy or too fussy, and it was taking a long time,” he said. “So, as I moved back towards these fewer color numbers I realized that it looks really crisp, like pixel art.

“If you go back and look at anything with that limited color palette, something you learn because I used to [use] too many colors…you realize that things actually pop a lot more and just look really attractive on screen if you use fewer colors and just do a sharp break between a highlight and a shadow.”

“Simultaneously, [for] all these pragmatic reasons, but also trying to make it look like HD pixel art...but not using pixels,” laughs Ryan. “As crisp as pixel art and has a similar aesthetic, if you just look at it at a glance. That same kind of poppy, Super Nintendo-era really vibrant, crisp feel.”

Vibrant and crisp is really the best way to describe the visual design of Delver’s Drop. Pixelscopic has embraced all the advantages and limitations that 2D has to offer and now is looking to bring something interesting and different, while still paying reverence to its progenitors. I can’t wait to give this high-definition art a closer look.

Photo Gallery: (5 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Jason Cabral, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure jasondcabral Tips
Destructoid News Contributor, 2D/3D artist and all around art nerd. Avid retro game and promotional items collector, and frequent practitioner of Wing Chun Kung Fu. Disclosure: I have worked on ... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Delver's Drop

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th October - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Boy howdy, does Divinity: Original Sin take a while to get going. But, it was worth it in the end. Probably the most hardcore RPG I've played. Stellar writing, at that! Combat's pretty amazing too. [img][/img]
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
So it seems I've locked into the Neutral ending for SMT IV and now I need to find specific challenge quests and complete them...? How (un)fun! Google is your friend - the videogame.
Riobux avatarRiobux
Interested in playing some Pathfinder? Trying to arrange a Dtoid Pathfinder group for Saturday nights (GMT) on Skype & Roll 20. If you're new to pen-and-paper RPGs, I don't mind at all and can bring you up to speed quick. Just comment if interested.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Local convention had a great selection of game soundtracks 5 for $20! I got Halo 3: ODST (2 disk!), Gears of War 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Darksiders 2 (2 disk!), and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Some of the best soundtracks of the last 7 years!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Photos and videos are back on quickposts but clipping on some devices. We're going to add a new quickpost editing interface so photos and videos can only be displayed one way (a la twitter) to solve this. Also, a My cBlog link was added to your user menu
Flegma avatarFlegma
Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Finally killed Ludwig, now if I could only get passed the 2 hunters on the second floor. that 2 some is rather annoying,and her holy blade kills in only a few hits. wish mine was that strong.
Casus Gaming avatarCasus Gaming
After reading a blog post about DMC4 I decided to watch all the cutscenes on Youtube. Tried the games years ago and couldn't get into them, but man that shit was stylish. Likeable protagonists, intense drama... still think DmC reboot wasn't that bad tho.
lewness avatarlewness
me on 1st ff14 raid (void ark): ooh so many people and lights, so many lights, lights, fuck I can't see, what is happening, i don't understand, is it tuesday already, get on the platform fuuuuck, wow void helm
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Just a reminder that you have until the 30th to get your Bloggers Wanted post, "Thankful it's over" in. I'm either going to tell you how I ruined my best online gaming experience or rip Twilight Princess a new one. Maybe both.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Huh. I just found out the developers of Hatred (remember that controversy?) region-locked their game to prevent it from being accessed by Australians. Destructive Creations are more censor-happy than Nintendo, it seems. Where's the outrage?
Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.
Parismio avatarParismio
Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
Shinta avatarShinta
Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Guys, check out your blogs! Just be sure to bring tissues. I wish I had. [img][/img]
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Anyone see the new Captain America trailer? It's pretty dope!
Shinta avatarShinta You're welcome.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Update: played through Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth, reminded why I don't like the series, and requested a refund on it and its sequel. Not sure if they'll refund the sequel, but if they honor at least the first, I'll use that money to get Undertale.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I hope the new Star Wars movie answers the biggest question I have about the franchise; do Midi-Chlorians poop?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -