Some major life events consumed the majority of the spring and summer for my life, but I have finally gotten back on track working on Evenfall at a steady pace. Recently, I have taken another look at the existing art in the game. I've said time and again that the playtests had non-final art direction, but I figured it's high time to start working towards what the art direction will be.
Art has always been my weakest point in game development. I have a long way to go before I would expect people to refer to the art as "good" but for the time being, I'll accept "passable!" There is still a long time between now and any kind of "done" state for Evenfall, and I plan to spend a good chunk of that time improving my ability to produce the art for the game.
As a first step, I have gone back and begun to rework most of the existing sprites, textures, tilesets and hud elements. Using the wonderful EDG64 palette by @ENDESGA, I have been standardizing the look and feel of existing art as well as working to simplify textures and make foreground elements clear with outlines and brighter colors to contrast the darker backdrops.
For example, here is a screenshot of the middle of the first town, Riverstone, from the Winter 2017 playtest:
And here it is now:
Simplified, clarified and consistent in color.
It's not perfect. I'll never stop trying to improve it as I learn and as the game develops. For now, this color and style overhaul helps get things in order for a more consistent development plan. I now have a direction to move in with the art rather than throwing something into the editor and calling it "good 'nuff".
Continuing on between art work, I am also focusing on yet more expansion of spells and a fresh take at the Traits system.