Cave Story HD Mod

Mar 9, 2024 at 11:49 PM
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-- What is this?​

Exactly what it says on the tin: a mod for Cave Story that will give the game HD sprites! The sprites are 8x bigger than the original game. This mod uses CSE2EX and currently in early development.

-- Features​

  • HD sprites drawn by me.
  • A few minor additions to the game's presentation.
  • Most features included with CSE2EX. (Control rebinding, soundtrack menu, etc.)

-- Video + Screenshots​

Forum1.pngCompare1_2.pngForum2.pngCompare1_3.png
Forum3.png

-- Notes​

Every sprite is based on how it appears in the FREEWARE version of the game. This means redesigns from Cave Story + (Toroko's redesign, Balrog's added eyebrows, etc.) will not be in this mod.

I want to have this complete sometime towards the end of July, but my self-imposed deadline is December (20th anniversary of Cave Story is that month.)

Feedback is extremely appreciated!
 
Mar 11, 2024 at 9:20 PM
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hey, this looks pretty impressive! i wish you the best of luck in completing it!
 
Mar 12, 2024 at 3:49 AM
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Neat! But does the font still have to be Courier?
 
Mar 12, 2024 at 7:58 PM
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Neat! But does the font still have to be Courier?
It isn't actually Courier; it's a font called "DejaVu Sans Mono." Unfortunately, I don't have much freedom in regards to fonts. For some reason, if the chosen font isn't exactly perfect, the game will do this to the text:
OhGod.png
Look at that godawful letter spacing!

There is one other font I have that works well. It's called "Liberation Mono" and isn't very different from the previous one.
fontdifference.png

So I dunno. Maybe Liberation is better?
 
Mar 12, 2024 at 8:56 PM
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11 years ago, this was considered a pipe dream. But now look.

So while the effort here is definitely significant, part of me does feel as if more detail could be added in some of these up-scaled sprites and facepics and tilesets. Which I guess leads into a couple of questions I have. One is, how much of this is final? Are some of the images you've shown just showing placeholder graphics with most of the existing graphics but just sharpened up, with plans on adding more detail? Or are you going for a more simplistic art style, whereby it's mostly just taking the existing graphics, and sharpening them up a bit? Obviously, the latter is no small task (unless you get the right AI tools), but the former would be a lot more work. There are some parts you've shown, such as the life capsule sprite, which seem to reflect an approach of more detail. Whereas there are other parts, like the critter and Quote sprites, that just look like their 1x res counterparts with a little bit of sharpening up.

I guess my feedback on this project is dependent on what it is you're going for with the art style. If your plan is to go for maximum detail, then I'd say there's room for improvement on the level of detail, since a lot of it is hard to distinguish at a glance from the 2x res graphics in the NICALiS ports, or from the 1x res graphics with the edges sharpened a bit.

Regardless, what you've done would have involved a significant amount of effort, so kudos to you on this undertaking.
 
Mar 12, 2024 at 11:16 PM
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So while the effort here is definitely significant, part of me does feel as if more detail could be added in some of these up-scaled sprites and facepics and tilesets. Which I guess leads into a couple of questions I have. One is, how much of this is final?
I do plan on going back to a lot of these sprites later. Part of the reason I started this project to begin with is to try and improve my art and asset creation skills, so I imagine that as the project goes forward I'll be able to improve most of the earlier and worse sprites.
Are some of the images you've shown just showing placeholder graphics with most of the existing graphics but just sharpened up, with plans on adding more detail? Or are you going for a more simplistic art style, whereby it's mostly just taking the existing graphics, and sharpening them up a bit? Obviously, the latter is no small task (unless you get the right AI tools), but the former would be a lot more work. There are some parts you've shown, such as the life capsule sprite, which seem to reflect an approach of more detail. Whereas there are other parts, like the critter and Quote sprites, that just look like their 1x res counterparts with a little bit of sharpening up.

I guess my feedback on this project is dependent on what it is you're going for with the art style. If your plan is to go for maximum detail, then I'd say there's room for improvement on the level of detail, since a lot of it is hard to distinguish at a glance from the 2x res graphics in the NICALiS ports, or from the 1x res graphics with the edges sharpened a bit.
The art style I'm trying to go for involves certain things having more detail, and other things having less detail. In particular, character sprites will continue to be simple, whereas environmental and inventory sprites will be more detailed. Hollow Knight's art style is in a *somewhat* similar vein to what I'm describing. But to that end, I agree with you that there's a lot of improvements that need to be made (Specifically, I plan on going back to things like the doors, chest, health refill box, as well as many tiles. I'm also planning on improving the existing facepics at some point, since they really do need it.)

It's also important to note that all of this is based on sprites that are usually 16x16 pixels big. It's definitely hard to add detail when the original sprites leave so much to the imagination (Which is one of the main benefits of pixel art.)

Anyways, thanks for your input! This was helpful to read, and gives me a better idea of what I need to work on.
 
Last edited:
Mar 13, 2024 at 1:24 AM
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I actually do like the art style here, as it is intentionally different than the official 2x sprites, giving it a more unique look. Very excited to see how far this goes!
 
Mar 13, 2024 at 1:46 AM
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I have one complaint, it's a bit nitpicky though, because furry. But, can Toroko's hands be changed to paws? The fingers on a tier 4 furry bunny is kinda uncanny.
 
Mar 14, 2024 at 4:45 AM
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I do plan on going back to a lot of these sprites later. Part of the reason I started this project to begin with is to try and improve my art and asset creation skills, so I imagine that as the project goes forward I'll be able to improve most of the earlier and worse sprites.

The art style I'm trying to go for involves certain things having more detail, and other things having less detail. In particular, character sprites will continue to be simple, whereas environmental and inventory sprites will be more detailed. Hollow Knight's art style is in a *somewhat* similar vein to what I'm describing. But to that end, I agree with you that there's a lot of improvements that need to be made (Specifically, I plan on going back to things like the doors, chest, health refill box, as well as many tiles. I'm also planning on improving the existing facepics at some point, since they really do need it.)

It's also important to note that all of this is based on sprites that are usually 16x16 pixels big. It's definitely hard to add detail when the original sprites leave so much to the imagination (Which is one of the main benefits of pixel art.)

Anyways, thanks for your input! This was helpful to read, and gives me a better idea of what I need to work on.
Cool, I'll be excited to see how things evolve as you continue to make improvements. And yeah, I definitely feel you that the original graphics leave a lot of details to the imagination, and filling in those details in a way that looks good and believable is an art in and of itself. That's no small task, and I don't envy you at all, so best of luck.
 
Mar 14, 2024 at 2:21 PM
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For some reason, if the chosen font isn't exactly perfect, the game will do this to the text:
The term you are looking for is "Monospace". CS's text system accepts monospace fonts/typefaces but doesn't correctly render fonts that aren't monospaced.
 
Mar 15, 2024 at 4:28 AM
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The term you are looking for is "Monospace". CS's text system accepts monospace fonts/typefaces but doesn't correctly render fonts that aren't monospaced.
Well now I just feel silly. Tried a random monospace font and it worked perfectly, so thanks for this info!
 
Mar 16, 2024 at 11:23 AM
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This is looking pretty great! Wishing you luck in development!
 
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