Thursday, August 2, 2012

Portrait: Carrie Fernandez

So here's my first attempt at replacing the low resolution portrait of Carrie Fernandez with a custom one. I'm a complete beginner when it comes to portraits though so I'll probably attempt another one as I hopefully get better (which seems a reasonable expectation considering how long this project is taking).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Entrance to Castlevania

One of the most obvious parts of the Forest of Silence I neglected so far was the actual entrance to Dracula's Castle.

Yeah, that really doesn't look good

I sloppily copied a brick texture over the old one and called it a day. I was perfectly aware that it didn't look good at all. I just hadn't gotten around to improve/fix it yet.

Castlevania Judgment (Wii)

Once again inspiration came in the form of Castlevania Judgment. Here's Carmilla in the Castle Gate stage. I realized very early on I couldn't duplicate this look of the castle with any degree of accuracy because the castle model and the setup of the textures simply do not allow for it. It did provide the overall starting point I wanted to base the new design on though.

I feel that originally the look of the two towers didn't mesh well with the main gate. It seems like the towers and the middle section had been built by two different builders. My intention was to put some consistency in the design.

The transition from tower to main gate still could have been done better, but this is easier said than done considering the entire tower consists of a single tiled texture. There is more variety on the main gate but it still has similar problems with the actual texture placement.

As seen from the Boss Battle area.

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 2012 Release

Right over there ->

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Castle Center hallway and Medusa

Castle Center

I didn't intend to make the hallway appear darker but I think it turned out pretty nicely. The Castle Center itself is probably the most intimidating level to texture so far. Nearly every single room has it's own set of textures.

Tower of Science

I was working to put a chained Medusa based on her Legacy of Darkness appearance in that tank. I liked the idea that Dracula either turned villagers into Gorgons or kept Medusa herself chained up to somehow use her as a means to control the Medusa Heads (In Castlevania 1 you did have to fight a lot of them before confronting a statue that turned into Medusa herself).
Now that I'm replaying Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia on DS however I sort of see a resemblance between this creature and Rusalka, the boss from Somnus Reef (Link). Since I am trying to tighten the timeline (as far as that is possible by altering textures of course) I'll likely go with that interpretation instead.

So here's a screencap of something that probably won't make it into the actual pack:

Heck, at one point I was considering putting Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades and Grant Danasty in the different tubes as a way to explain the fakes in Symphony of the Night and Portrait of Ruin.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Forest of Silence

I went back to fix a couple of textures in Forest of Silence. All in all this level is nearly finished.

I did attempt to make it look like TihuĊ£a Pass (the one Borgo Pass from Bram Stoker's novel is based on). Sadly there is only so much that can be done with the original look of the game and a place that looks completely non-threatening (at least in pictures, I've never actually been there).

So here's a huge post to show of a couple of screens.

Forest of Silence

The most noticeable change from the previous version is the improved treeline. Originally I had simply taken a picture of several trees, erased the edges to make it look like a pine forest and darkened the texture to make it harder to notice that it weren't pines. Right now the trees are actual pines, properly cropped and as a result can appear a lot more clearly and detailed.

A lot of the buildings and pathways in this levels are in ruin. I imagine that the walls and buildings outside of the castle itself wouldn't necessarily be subject to the chaotic nature of Dracula's Castle. Dracula's creatures could have possibly (re)built the walls and gates in the time between Castlevania's resurrection and Carrie & Reinhardt's adventure. That's why I went with a boulder texture instead of giant bricks. (Yes, the giant skeleton doing construction is my justification).

Another shot of the treeline. The skeleton was also nice enough to pose for a good shot (making them a lot nicer than the Castle Center female vampire). In a post from January I said I didn't touch the actual bones. I found out I lied since I did smooth out the edges and forgot about it.

I painted the statue myself. It isn't an exact replica but I think it does the job. I already talked about the werewolf here.

As a kid I always thought the moon in this game was rather intimidating. I'm rather disappointed I couldn't get that menacing grin out of an actual picture of the moon (or am I the only one who notices the grin?).

I think the textures inside the buildings really complement the lighting here. At one point I considered putting a lot more green patches on the ground (it is supposed to be a forest after all). Sadly I haven't found a way to make it work.

I don't understand why a canyon cut by a river would look like a rock slide. Especially with walls cut this straight. I guess the canyon could have been the result of an earthquake but the broken bridges between them seem to make that rather unlikely.

In an attempt to close the gap between Castlevania and Bram Stoker's Dracula I decided to make the signs say "Borgo Pass". Luckily investigating the sign merely says "route" so I was given some freedom (considering it is a rather useless description and written in lower case I'm assuming the developers intended to replace this text with something more useful).

I scaled the texture of the torch from the previous 256x256 to 512x512 as it is a recurring object throughout the game. I originally put a desaturated version of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper on the banner. Right now it is Giovanni di Paolo's illustration of Dante's Paradiso, canto X.

It turns out the inside of the tombs share a texture with the top of a previous pillar. It still looks pretty appropriate. Lucky accident I suppose.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


So I've been reworking the Heads-Up Display (again) somewhat. I didn't quite like the way the View section looked and the Status bar also needed some updating. I decided to take a few more looks at the menu screens and HUD of Castlevania Judgement for the Wii, as I had already based other portions of the HUD on it.

Castlevania Judgment (Wii)

The Health Bar and Special Attack Bar formed the inspiration for my version of Castlevania 64's Health Bar and Boss Bar (as can be seen at the bottom of this post).

The bar holding the name of the combatants seemed to be a decent starting point to base the View section on. So I went with that. Having a bar instead of just the text additionally provides the benefit of it looking more uniform.

I also reworked my previous Status/Blood meter by putting it in grayscale and putting the name of the condition in it to make its use more obvious.

And so here we have the current version of the HUD:

Underground Waterway

And yes, I'm taking some heavy liberties with the Underground Waterway because I think it's the ugliest level in the entire game. Once again I'm taking inspiration from Castlevania Judgment. When I'm done I intend to evoke a look similarly to the Crystal Cavern stage. Sadly I can't do anything about the depressing soundtrack.

Boss View

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

HDD failure

I suffered a click of death a few days ago, which as I understand it is a pretty sure sign my Hard Disc is gone. I lost a few files related to the project (mainly some older screenshots, savegames and MapZone texture files) but luckily the important stuff is backed up. The biggest problem this causes however (aside from all the stuff I lost not related to the project) is that it effectively cut my disc space in half. Folks, always back up your stuff.

On a lighter note, here's a screen of Rosa.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vampire Ladies

I have already shown the female vampire from the crypt both in screenshots and in the boss battle video, but I never really talked about her design despite the fact that I spend a lot of time on her. So get ready for some lady bats!

Villa Crypt

The most obvious change I made to her face are her eyes. In her original N64 appearance the white eyes with no irides are pretty effective, but I feel there's no way I can do justice to that look if I keep them white in high resolution. I went with bloodshot eyes instead.

Other than that I simply added color to her face with some blue and purple highlights.

It is a large part of the storyline early on that villagers (especially children) have been kidnapped and/or killed. Therefore I thought it made more sense to have her look like an actual villager instead of a random maiden in a gown. I actually used the peasant girls from The Witcher as inspiration for her new outfit.

Castle Center

This one is semi-new though (as in, not yet in the currently available pack)

In the Castle Center the female crypt vampire returns as a regular enemy (although it seems to be random which vampires spawn). She is basically a palette swap of her previous iteration, so in exactly the same fashion I simply changed the hue of her crypt appearance.

I thought her original appearance looked way too bland. Compared to the other possible vampires that spawn there, she looks gray. I thought a dark red dress would look way better on her.

Also, she's a complete pain to screencap properly.

Face up he... wait what?

This one is the best I could manage.