Author: SMARTcreative

  • Hello traveler, stay awhile and listen. Today we explore graphical rules and inspiration for our upcoming RPG Celestia. It is not secret that the whole project is heavily inspired by 90s RPGs in many aspects. Let’s break down the three important visual decision we made early in the development a little bit.

    Color Palette – Pico8

    To setup a dark fantasy feel it is essential to select a correct color palette to support the “dungeon” mood. In the early stage of the project we explored several under saturated color palettes but we weren’t happy with the faint look of the project. In that time I was exploring game jam entries and some of them used the Pico8 game engine that is using very limited and bright color palette. We took the original Pico8 palette and merged it together with an extended version. Which gave us quite an unique and bright look with options to do really atmospheric dark dungeons.

    In previous projects we were extending our color palettes during development, but the currently extended Pico8 palette gives us all the colors combination that we need.

    Limited sprites size

    Setting up canvas size and tile size can be tricky, once the decision is made it is really expensive to change it in the middle of the development. To keep our art style in bounds we decided to go with 8×8 pixel tiles, but is it enough? To be honest sometimes it is not. Let me list some positives of the 8×8 tiles that we found during pixeling:

    • Easy to create prototypes and animations
    • Players need to use imagination to get the whole picture
    • Retro Aesthetic
    • Clear and Distinctive Silhouettes

    Since 8×8 pixel doesn’t allow us to narrate the story and environment with visuals we decided to include a text log, which informs the player what is currently happening in the monastery or dungeons.

    CRT Monitor filter

    One night after playing Loop Hero I was fascinated how the CRT Monitor effect that Loop Hero uses is really adding to the old school vibe of the game. I did a short google search and found a easy solution for Unity and in less then hour after I fell in love with the CRT Monitor effect we had it in our game! Will this effect be in the full version? I don’t know but for now we are in honey moon phase – hope it lasts!

    On a side note, we managed to add Celestia: Divine Revelation to a Steam and you can wishlist it now!

  • Welcome to the Celestia: Divine Reveletion devlog where we provide regular updates and glimpses into the development of our retro RPG!

    The Story

    Celestia: Divine Revelation will take you on a short detective story set in an Italian monastery. You play as one of the “refugee monks” who have fled their Franciscan monastery because of the Black Death. During your journey you will uncover some “mystical” secrets of the mysterious abbey.

    The story is partly separated from the main game loops in the dungeon. As one of the refugee monks, you will explore the dungeons underneath the monastery, collecting fragments (lists) and books, which will be used as currency to unlock evidence. As you unlock new evidence, you will be able to interact with the monks in the abbey and uncover more dark secrets!

    RPG System

    At the moment we are in the early stages of development, so some systems are changing every day, but let’s take a deep dive into some high-level decisions regarding the RPG system:

    • At first Celestia is about mastering strategy and trying to beat random dungeons with limited resources. As you progress through the story, new ways of playing will be introduced.
    • After each dungeon run, your character’s progress and equipment will be salvaged and you will have to start from scratch. But don’t worry, there are some permanent upgrades that will make you stronger in advanced dungeons.
    • You will not be able to finish every dungeon run. Sometimes the gods of chance will not be on your side and you will have to abandon the dungeon after the first few floors.
    • We have decided to include classic RPG systems with collecting XP to gain levels, adding stat points and improving your character with various traits.
    • Another important part of the gameplay is equipment, and in Celestia we decided to tie some spells to weapons. So not only do you have to decide which weapon suits your playstyle based on stats, but also based on the spells that are available.

    This is just a first look at some of our systems, we will be exploring each system in detail in one of our upcoming devlogs.

    The Current State of the Project

    We started development in Autumn 2023, we currently have designs for the main features and are now working on putting them together to make a playable prototype. We have also started working on pixel art for a first type of dungeon with all the monsters, items and secrets.

    What comes next?

    • Our main goal for the next month is to design a map generation system that combines handmade rooms with procedurally generated corridors, loot and enemies.
    • The long term plan is to start getting feedback from alpha testers at the end of Q1 2024, so if you want to try out Celestia alpha phase and help us to shape the game – join us on our Discord!

    .. and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1