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Tutorial - 'Making a Graphically Pleasing RPG.' by RPGoddess

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Ever feel like your RPG is, well, a little ugly? Read up!

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Making a Graphically Pleasing RPG.

Let’s face it: Everyone loves a little eye candy. This tutorial will show you how to make the best of the skills you have, to make a truly beautiful RPG.

1. Choose a base chipset. If you are going to use one type of grass, stick with that grass the entire game. This will require a little copy pasting and editing, so bear with me. The reason? Continuity.

2. Choose the tiles you wish to match with the above chipset. Make sure they match a little already. I’m going to paste some Suikoden house tiles into this Tales of Phantasia chipset. Now usually, this would look fairly icky. But let me show you how it works:

· Convert the Tales of Phantasia to 16 bit colour.
· Choose a medium colour from the Tales of Phantasia chipset, using a dropper tool.
· If you are in Paint Shop Pro (which I recommend for this process) enter the colour properties dialog by double clicking the palette…
· Find out the Lightness and Saturation of that colour. Write it down.
· Now, go to your Suikoden chipset. Find a similar colour, and do the same.
· Go into the Color/Adjust/Hue, Saturation, Lightness dialog. Take the two numbers that you have collected, and find the difference. For example, My ToP’s medium green had a Saturation of 77, and a Lightness of 95. My Suikoden medium green had a Saturation of 69, and a Lightness of 78, so therefore, I must adjust my Suikoden chipset to have +8 more saturation, and +17 more lightness. Still with me? I hope so. Also, sometimes, if a chipset leans towards one particular side of the spectrum, (like, say, green or yellow) it can help even more if you shift the hue towards it.
· With that done, paste the tiles into the Tales of Phantasia chipset as you see fit.

3. Another thing that is often over looked is map design. Remember, people live in your little world. Would they live in large room with almost no furniture, or a smaller one with lots of stuff packed in? Try to make your maps reflect reality as much as possible.
4. One other detail is matching your charasets to your chipsets. Hold out your arm. Is it more vibrantly coloured than your surroundings? I would hope not. Match them in a similar way as you matched the chipsets. It also helps to use the same sort of charaset style throughout the game. One must also take in the “height” factor,,, are your RTP charas too short for the proportions of your Chrono Trigger chipsets? If so, change them… Why would people be living in a world of gigantic objects?
5. When creating custom menus and such for your game, try to lean as far away from Window’s basic 16 colours as you possibly can. None of that bright blue/red/yellow/cyan! There’s plenty more colours in the rainbow, and those ones look particularly ugly!
6. And, above all, trust your instincts! Art isn’t a talent, it’s learned! If you want to get into the nitty-gritty, go to your local library, and read up on basic design and colour theory. It will help you bunches.