i already had an eye on this game earlyer… about a few weeks ago. the technique i described in the “MUD->MORPG” thread was aimed to create landscapes similar to the one you can see (the reason why i made it so complicated is because a MMORPG need a very large world … but grafic-quality would be the same)
well what you need.hmm…
a few good textures you can use (or someone who can paint them ).
for terrain i’d say you need about 4 base-textures you can later use to create transitions like grass-cliff or grass-road or whatever.
then you need a modelling package like max,maya or blender which allow you to preview to model and preview the actual world ( i notived blenders game engine is pretty handy when doing previews, it’s close to panda’s results and you can start it with a single button (even if its just a still frame))
well if you add a additoinal texture to all objects using world-coordinates a texture input you can create nice shadows from the clouds above.
if you add some small shaders to blur the objects in the far distance and a bloom shader (well later is pretty easy to do) you are already pretty close to the original zelda grafics.
and of course you need a few day’s off to put everything together =)
oh jeah… for the characters… you need someone with a talent .
this screen is pretty usefull and explains quite a lot.
i took the freedom and added a few scribblings =)
in the end the whole scene contains only 3 different textures, an simple build ground, a few trees , a few leafes of grass and the main charakter aswell as the bird + a sky.
nintendo knows how to make some simple stuff really good looking. =)
so there is no magic in this game. just a nice style though the whole game.
have a close look at this one… count the edges on the terrain, and the different textures.
about 5 different textures, a simple made landscape, 3 or 4 different trees , the charakter, shadows(needs some work to get them into panda), a bloom shader and a water shader(bottem left).
long speech short sense:
everything you see can be made by normal hobbyist if they take the time to fit everything together.
it actually wouldn’t be that hard. as long as you manage to let everything look like they really belong together. (well the main characters would need a few weeks or more to be made by hobbyist, especialy the textures. but if you have a few “professional” textures nearby you can look how they made it and learn from it. terribly slow at the beginning but the results are rather good.
one thing for shure… it takes a lot of effort =) but it’s doable even for non-professional people like most of “us”. i’ll awnser your more detailed questions in the other thread right away.