The developers behind Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the Metroidvania-style adventure from Koji Igarashi and Inti Creates, are polling their fans and backers on a very important design decision: What should the game look like? Do fans want it to look soft and painterly, or more illustrative, like the stained glass of the game's artwork?
In an update posted to Bloodstained's Kickstarter, the developers posted two possible visual styles for both the game's characters and its backgrounds. Fans and backers are asked to weigh in on which shader they prefer.
Here are some handy image sliders, so you can see the difference between the two options yourself:
Character shader options
Background shader options
Igarashi said the development team "spent an enormous amount of time and effort" developing the "#3 shader," the cel-shaded, illustration style seen to the left side of each slider. "We tried to get closer to the requests of backers who hoped she would look more like the original design illustrations, and when I first saw this shader, I have to admit I was so impressed I actually gasped," Iga said in Bloodstained's latest update on Kickstarter.
Backers are invited to weigh in on the final art direction for the game via a Google Doc survey. There are a few more screenshots at the game's Kickstarter, which mix the character and background shaders so you can see how the two art styles mesh.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is bound for Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Windows PC and Xbox One. The game raised more than $5.5 million on Kickstarter last year, and is expected to ship in 2017.