MS Paint, ASEprite, Paint.NET, Tiled used. 3 Months
16 colors, resized to x3.
After a long, hard 3 months of work, I have finally completed my biggest spriting project yet...A remake of NetHack, one of the most famous rogue-likes of all time. My aims when creating this texture pack were simplicity, professionalism, contrast and familiarity.
First and foremost, I knew the very best best way to keep things simple would be to stick to a 16-color palette. Knowing this, I decided to recreate the 1057 tiles of NetHack using the ever-popular DawnBringer palette. I did this because I wanted to reinvent the graphics of an old game while still keeping the old-school look of it. Dawnbringer also converts very nicely to terminal colors, which means I could also create a version using NetHack's original colors.
My second aim was professionalism, and this appears throughout the texture pack. NetHack's default texture pack has many stylistic clashes. Some graphics have very tiny heads and realistic proportions, while others are goofily out-of-proportion. I set to create this entire texture pack using bases as often as possible to keep a consistency from character to character. I also used many modern pixel art techniques such as anti-aliasing, hue-shifting and sel-out to create the smoothest, clearest texture pack possible in a 16x16 resolution.
Thirdly, I aimed for a high level of contrast in this tileset. One of the biggest parts of NetHack is encountering and identifying the hundreds and hundreds of enemies and items. In the default tileset, it might be hard to tell apart a halberd from a bardiche, or a giant ant from a soldier ant. Many tilesets are also color-coded, making it harder for deuteranopic or color-blind players to play. This has led to a lot of criticism of tile-based graphics in the community, and how text-based graphics are much better. To mend this, I did my best to make no two items look alike. Items are never differentiated by just color. Some might be flipped, others might look a little wider or taller...you get the idea.
Lastly, I knew it was important to keep a familiarity with this tileset. Over the decades, millions have played NetHack and many have used the default tileset. It's grown and changed over the years, but many of the basic monster appearances have stayed the same. I knew I would be alienating people if I changed the tileset too much, so I tried my best to keep the designs/posing of the popular characters as familiar as possible without making too many sacrifices in professionalism. For example...In both the default tileset and mine, the Rogue is a brown-eyed warrior wearing a red barbarian helmet, blue tunic and brown pants.
When you download this tileset, you will find multiple versions of the tileset within, including those. For vision-impaired people, I created a larger 32x32 tileset resized using 2xBr. .txt versions of the graphics are also included for those who wish to mod their inventory icons to reflect this tileset.