RETRO Black and White RPG Games

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MinisterJay

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I can think of so many usages of ALL images being black and white. When growing up, we actually had a black and white tv. Colored images are nice, but there are so many things you can do with black and white. You can do dark gloomy forest encounters, dismal dungeons, are go all retro styling.

In Image Resources, we almost have the entire RPG Maker MV RTP images converted to Retro B&W. The only sets not done yet are animations and titles.

What do you think about the different genres that this could fit into? Psycho-Thrillers, Dead and Dying, Old School, etc.

It does not have to be entire games either. This style may also be used only for dark locations. There is even one possibility that the entire game is in black and white, until the final quest is fulfilled...and then everything becomes colored.
 

Isaac The Red

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This sounds familiar, I think I remember seeing someone do a retro noire style game in RMXP. It was a detective game I think. Looked really good from what I remember, so I'm all up for seeing something like that again. And if you don't want to go all out with it, using it for flashback scenes and stuff is a good idea.
 

Micro

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like Isaac said, flashbacks being in B&W might be a cool idea, or a level where you go into the past.

or even something quirky like a character whose color vision was taken away and he goes on a journey to reclaim his colored vision! (joke)
 

Neotheny

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It does not have to be entire games either. This style may also be used only for dark locations. There is even one possibility that the entire game is in black and white, until the final quest is fulfilled...and then everything becomes colored.
it's like you read my mind :) i'm trying to make a black and white noir game based on a comic i drew a long time ago, when i was inspired by sin city.

black and white just screams noir and old movies (like sunset boulevard) to me.
 

MinisterJay

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it's like you read my mind :) i'm trying to make a black and white noir game based on a comic i drew a long time ago, when i was inspired by sin city.

black and white just screams noir and old movies (like sunset boulevard) to me.
I also like the nostalgia of remembering the first games I played. Some of the funnest games I played were pre-16 color. Almost daily, we still watch some black and white tv series like I Dream of Jeanni and Bonanza.
 

Iron Croc

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..something quirky like a character whose color vision was taken away and he goes on a journey to reclaim his colored vision!
That's actually a fantastic idea!
 

Suffolk

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I think this idea has potential.

What do think about adding in the aspect of introducing colored parts of the game as the player progress and unlocks things. Instead of beating a boss and having the whole world turn color, why not make small progression to that. That may even add some story line aspects not otherwise explored.

Say for example, if the player defeats one boss, they can unlock a dark shade of green. Then everything in the game that would normally be that color is unlocked. One level of depth could be that one tree has dark green leaves and only the leaves change to color, whereas other tress that do not share the same color remain B&W. The goal for the player would be to unlock the colors as the game progressed.

Stemming off the first idea... what if enemies were easier to kill if they were in color. Perhaps a three headed hydra monster is the boss of a dungeon and the player has unlock red, but not blue. So when the player attacks the red head on the hydra they do double damage, but do half damage to the heads that is still B&W. Suppose the last boss of the game can not be killed unless the player unlocks the final color. That would put its weak point in color and making it vulnerable to damage.

Just a couple ideas being thrown out. :)
 

MinisterJay

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There are others, in a different thread, that mentioned the same concept. Starting in Black and White, and then slowly adding colors. Your idea, is definitely more detailed, and I like it.
 

Bizarre Monkey

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That's a cool idea, could do a spiritual sequel to Boned where Richard and friends go to release the sun. Which is noted as the reason for the lack of hue in the first game.

Also it means I could do myself justice and switch those flowers out for something more original and less a thing people point at and say "UNDERTALE HAS BROUGHT YOU HERE!"
 

Tuomo L

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I did a psychological triller with the black and white with big contrast with the blood and some accented colors only being shown in color. For example, in my avatar, the girl would be totally black and white aside the purple in her bow and shirt that'd be shown in colors. Blood was also always red for obvious reasons.

Generally just plain black and white makes the game look very boring and sometimes even confusing. The benefit of adding accented colors gives much more impact to scenes or detail of someone, say a guy with a golden tooth grinning and the golden tooth being in yellow color as opossed to white. Using just plain B&W is okay for cutscenes or such but for a whole game, the novelty would overstay its welcome.


I don't think the whole "Retro RTP" idea is a good one when using it for sake of making things look older, since technically the only time games have truly been black and white were when they were 1D and not 2D. During Gameboy phase, they were green or some other accented colors at Gameboy color. B&W is a style that should be used sparingly because so many people overdo it and just making the product inferior than had they used traditional style or the accented color option.


The problem many people don't count for that you can't compare a black and white game to black and white movie, those are entirely different things and serve different purposes.
 
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Bizarre Monkey

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I've been thinking on this some more, and i realized I could easily have a planned, albeit nascent future game of mine... Crowfeast-- go this way! There's two large factions, the Sun Order, who are the imperialistic sun hoarding fellows, and the Crowspeakers, those permeated under dark of night. I began concepting the idea late last year, it's protagonist would be this sinister-ish woman, Mira.
My ideal is to make it in MV as a sidescrolling action game, you'd play I'd say mostly as Mira. Some of you may recall a HD illustration of her, one that is incredibly pretentious.
Recently I did some cool concepts for school, and i realize the dragon I made for art class could be a good end boss.

I also did some story boards for a cinematic trailer, three panels of which got digitized.
We done much, some anew, but a lot of the same.



But now, we have a new creature we hope to frame...



The Crow.



Majestic in it's incredible flight, seen to most a harbinger on blight.



From a sun's incredible light, an armada of such can provide cover of night.







A feather travels like a silent messenger.

To some, they see death's harbinger.



But to select few, it is a blessing meaning much.

The Adherents of the Crow know that as such.



Crows aren't dumb at all, so they think and say.

In fact they receive orders, feathers simply lead the way.



Seen as crazy and deluded by those uninterested.

Hunted for being different and not invested.



As usual, the branded gather in darkness,

to try and resolve the conflict, faith regardless.



No side is black and white.

Merely misunderstood and full of spite.



But Neither is wiser than those who lead both.

It will be them who would need to seal an oath.



As Dragons and their ken seek to worship sun's radiance.

Crows and their disciples seek to pray in darker gradients.



A Clash comes forward, between Nighthood and Suncowl.

The Crowfeast to follow shall be one most fowl.



Information about Crowfeast:
First five or six pages will be defining Mira: A crow disciple with a split personality, she snaps from being somber and calm in grace, to an absolutely ravenous sort. I expect she's going to be very fun to write.

Next along will likely by Rammol: A goofy, kind of eccentric crowspeaker, on the battlefield he's feared, around friends he's enjoyed. Not Bipolar, just knows when to be serious. I've had a famous flash of him play out in my head, where he raises his arms and the largest murder of crows you ever fuckin seen arcs out from behind him, darkening the skies.

That was what made me decide to make it. That flash of this radical crowfeather adorned dude in robes is all 'and now there will be crows' and god damn motherfucker are there then crows.

Speaking of the blighters, they did inspire this, my School has a fair few of them fly around, in the hour of break I have, sometimes when I'm alone, I observe them, their plucky behaviors, their intimidating awe and their graceful flight.

Ravens are over-used while Crows are underappreciated.
I've decided I'm going to do all art myself, and keep it consistent. Also keep in mind most of that is OOOLLLD and Mira will likely be written to be more of an anti-hero with a very silly side.
 

Xilefian

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I'm yet to see an RPG Maker game effectively use black and white colouring. Boned is probably the best example I have seen. I'm not sure it's a good idea to make an entirely black & white RPG.

Amazingly, my Filters Plugin is mostly used as a sepia/black & white filter for their entire RPG Maker MV games to avoid having to make their entire RTP black and white. Quite disheartening considering how powerful the Plugin is, but apparently people love their black & white style.

Flash backs is probably the best area for using desaturation.
 

Bizarre Monkey

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I forgot to mention, and Tuomo nailed it on the head, I wouldn't be doing the same as boned, I'd have a game that started out in dark greys, but with the color of blood, some eyes (particularly enemies) being bright red, and then Mira's crowspeaker scythe would have purple trails and effects.

I'd be using virtually no RTP assets, I'd be doing animations, sprites, etc myself. Tilesets too, but thats a given, it alike boned, is gonna be a side scroller. This makes tiling easy (NO AUTOTILES GIT RIKT) and has the added bonus of looking completely unlike something that's made in RPG Maker.

Once I finish off my final assessment tomorrow and catch some decent shut eye, I might start working on it in MV.

I'm looking forward to it!

As you defeat more sun sucking douchebags some more colors would begin to appear. By the end game color is back 100% and then "It from beyond the infinite black marr" would be like "WHO DARES VIOLATE MY PERFECT DYSTOPIA" so then you have to fight that guy.

protip that guy is a huge asshole!

I imagine the sunwalkers, most of them, begin to see their wrongs, and unite with the Coverts of Night to free everybody from the Dystopia.
 

Essy

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An old project idea of mine 'Tau' was going to use something along these lines, although the coloring was a story element as the 'Camera' was its own character. It wasn't entirely black and white though so I don't know if I can count it.
Assuming an impending text wall so i'll leave it here for whoever cares..
The camera itself was a manifestation of one of the powers of the queen of a faraway country who had lost all 'color' from looking through the emptiness, with the exception of outlines from which she could distinguish nationalities(mixing nationalities would mix the colors.)
Her goal as (a rather benign)antagonist was essentially leading the party into a journey that would bring the world together as the queen desires a less segregated world so that she could see a myriad of colors once again.
 

Bizarre Monkey

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I drew a bunch of really cool concepts for Crowfeast on the train today, gonna put em in spoilers for those interested.
Mira Concepts

Mira Finalization

Logo and Mira's Scythe Concept
 
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Suffolk

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@Bizarre Monkey , I like your concept and your drawings from Crowsfeast. Keep up the good work!
 

Tuomo L

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We've talked a lot about using b&w but we're forgetting something that is very stylized and yet preserves the color information which would be lost in pure b&w. Sepia tones, which can have any varying colors even though most people immediattly think dark brown-reddish.

However, Sepia tones can have varying levels and colors that help compliment the scenery, especially more orange than brown based give nice style especially to a western setting or a dessert. Sepia tones of green in forrest and blue for watery scenes help establish the moods for these scenes and make them look different from just having regular color palette.


Color is a very powerful tool when utilized right, same is lack of color. However, taking away color is honestly done wrong 99% of the time. For good effect, I'd recommend watching the movie "Sin City" and adapting that stylization with your b&w with increased constrast and black&white level curves.
 
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