Fan input & ideas wanted for the first NEW stage!

So since the last update, I have been hard at work coding in more of the animations for Alucard and making various revisions to existing code in the hopes of finalizing everything that I have done already so that I can move onto the phase of trying to get some kind of demo out. I have also been updating the cost sheet for Alucard with 3 new animations that have been done for him (special thanks to Jake W. for his work) and a $50 donation I received recently (special thanks to Philip B. for this second one from him). I will be putting the updated cost sheet up on my next post once the last 2-3 animations I need are done for Alucard. The 3 animations that were done just done are:
  1. an overhead sword/club swing (similar to the great swords from POR)
  2. an aerial version of this same move, and
  3. another aerial attack that is a spear/2handed sword stab that drops straight down.
Other than that, the next thing I have planned is to have someone continue working on redoing classic Richter’s sprites from the Prologue and Rondo of Blood. If anyone feels they are up to this task, please contact me ASAP.
But, the other big thing I have been thinking about is what I’d like to release within a demo. Yeah, I could release just the Prologue stage. But that just sounds………….. lame. I already did that when I made the GameMaker version and I really don’t want to just do that again. I really want to release something where you can play as Alucard. So that you can test a good number of his moves, controls, and gameplay out. I would like to see how people feel about all the new stuff and get a chance to see for themselves that this is all a reality.
The BIG problem there? The Castle Entrance is no longer planned to be the first area after the Prologue. I plan to have 2 areas before it, so I have no intent of releasing a demo with the entrance. The first area I had in mind being a sort of graveyard and ruined town area. I would really like it to start off with a quick scene of Alucard breaking out of his tomb in this graveyard, then starting the stage making his way thru the graveyard, with graves both in the foreground and all over the place in the background as well. Then up some kind of mausoleum/church (similar to CV3’s first stage), and then have him go thru a ruined town of some kind. Ending with a boss battle back in the graveyard on the far edge of town (again similar to CV3) with Malphas.
I even had an idea in mind where Alucard would have to save a few hostages here and there from cultists intent on sacrificing them. The town I had in mind specifically, would be what’s left of the town of Jova/Aljiba from the beginning of Dracula X. I would imagine that after Dracula was beaten, that in the past few years maybe some hermits or cultists would have moved into what is left of it, and possibly even fixed up a bit of it. But that’s as far as I get with this conceptualization.
So that’s what this thread is for: concepts to elaborate on that idea. And not just WRITTEN IDEAS for areas, traps, decorations etc….. but for anyone who would like to do some kind of concept art or sketches or drawings of any kind about it. I would really like to hear what kind of stuff you guys would like to see in this first area. What should Alucard’s tomb look like inside AND outside? What about the graveyard? How should the remains of the town look and the building he ascends? What should be in there? What about scenery, enemies, etc. What else could we throw in to be creative and spice it up?
Fan feedback is really wanted here. I think this would be an excellent opportunity to involve more of the community in this project as well, which I have wanted to do for quite some time. I have seen some AMAZING works created by Castlevania fans out there from sprites, to fan fiction, to drawings…. the list goes on and on. So here’s your chance to see your stuff be in the game. Feel free to post all your ideas, drawing, etc. in the comments below. If this thread is successful, I could see myself doing quite a few more of these. If I use anyone’s ideas/work I’ll be happy to credit them for it of course.
Let those creative juices flow people and spread the word about this too. It all helps. And as always, thanks for the support. 🙂
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62 Responses to Fan input & ideas wanted for the first NEW stage!

  1. David says:

    Glad to see this is still being made! Will you be putting a Donate button on the front page for the project?
    I remember following it years ago, and with all the new Castlevania stuff figured I’d check in. A nice surprise!

    That said, I’m sure people would enjoy more story being added in an updated version with the couple early levels. I really like the ideas so far, but caution against adding too much story, as that seemed part of the charm of the first (or else go and add lots more story to the whole game).

    Looking forward to this very much!

    • Esco says:

      Story wise I don’t plan to add much extra for Alucard. He is good as is. With the others, it all depends on what voice actors are present.

      Donations can be made via paypal to A donate button isn’t a bad idea. But I really want to get a demo out before going that far. Which work lately has prevented me from getting much work done on this at all. One of the “joys” of adult life. 😡

  2. Ryu says:

    Hey Esco, you could make these initial areas be more revisited, like making a secret passage only available later in the game that give you acess to later game areas and/or put some mid/end game hidden itens that, too, are only acessible later. Sorry for my bad english.

  3. nada says:

    nice work
    I dont speak spanish well but I´ve seen your progress and i just wanna know how I can help you but I dont know anything about programs
    I´ve been following your work for 5 years I am 20 years now I just wanna this project done xd

  4. Hellement says:

    Do you have a name for this game or is it just “sotn hacked”?

  5. M says:

    I’d just make Alucard explode from his tomb, notice Dracula’s skeletons/enemies there and (as a short tutorial sequence) kill them using his equipment. Then he notices Castlevania under the moon, and rushes there. After this tutorial sequence, the regular opening FMV plays, and Alucard is shown speeding towards the castle like in the original. Just my 2 cents!

  6. Emmaginaire says:

    Sorry for the faults I use Google Traduction : Greetings,

    Your project is very interesting and excites me at the highest points of a remake of Symphony of the night (if I understood correctly) and it has the good starting point!

    I would like to help you with designs of what you want (my strengths are the characters, objects and weapons and I do in the realistic) but I do not pixel art (or sprites as you say) it will be on paper That I would scan or take pictures to send them to you.

    I can draw you a picture to show you my skills.

    Ha and also, I speak French and I use google translation, I hope that if you “hire me” it will not pose any problems … – – ‘.

    I look forward to your answers and good luck and good luck!

    • Esco says:

      Yeah I could use help for things like concept art and areas. Tell you what, I’ve been looking for someone to make me a new behemoth. I’m not a big fan of the drac x one, the POR one looked a lot better to me. Could you do that?

      • Emmaginaire says:

        Okay (My apologies for the time taken to answer you I had some concerns),

        Must I understand that you charge me to design the boss Behemoth inspired by that of Portraits of Ruins? I remind you again I do not make sprites or the pixel arts, it will be in drawing (in case if there was a misunderstanding and to avoid disappointing later).

        I would be delighted to help with your project.

        For conceptual art are there precise instructions? Or is it free?

        Good luck and I hope soon.

      • Esco says:

        Most concepts are drawn first. Then a sprite artist transforms them into pixel art. Of course, that means that the final drawing still needs to be 2d for that to work. But you probably wouldn’t present something on your first try that would be so amazing that I wouldn’t ask for revisions. Very rarely does that happen in game design. 🙂

        There are no instructions other than what I already gave you. And YES it is free. If I like the results then we MAY be able to negotiate after.

  7. Leo says:

    Esco, I want to throw you some money! How do I do it?

    I also have a question. Are you really planning to add more areas? bosses? enemies?

  8. Manny says:

    I had always imagined his tomb underneath an old church in the outskirts of the a village. The church is old not in use, a large hole in the top for moonlight to pour through. Two fiends trying to pillage the church start breaking open caskets of tombs built into the church. They run across Alucard’s tomb. The moon rises above Castlevania and pours in. Just then the two jump back and the tomb opens. They are the first to see Alucard and attack. Alucard kills the first and asked the second “What is the year of your Lord?” the guy responds and try to kill him, Alucard is forced to attack and drink his blood.

    • Esco says:

      Other than Alucard killing the 2 men for no reason (which as much as I would love to do personally, would be out of character for him) I think there are some AMAZING ideas here that I would like to use! Especially the whole theme with moonlight pouring in from the full moon.

      • D S SIRIUS says:

        You could change the men to be Dracula’s cultists. It would make sense for them to be put there to make sure Alucard stays sealed away.

  9. Jeffrey Krisanda says:

    I always wanted the area immediately outside the castle entrance , just before you jump over the drawbridge, was deplorable. The art always looked really good to me and it would be nice to see it in a playable area of the game.

  10. Any news ? You said back in June that you would be posting an update soon ?

    • Esco says:

      Normally I’d instantly erase ANY post asking for an update. But…. since I DID mention putting one up soon: plenty. But none I have time to share now.

  11. gmila84 says:

    Hi Esco, how you doing?

    I dont know if you already talk about, but the game will be Metroidvania or old school style, with levels to beat?


  12. krauserkahn says:

    Look at this guy’s sprites he made out of the new Castlevania Netflix series, they are very cool.

  13. Markooz ' says:

    Oi Esco.
    If possible, place a Necromancer in the graveyard. He will summon enemies like skeletons, undead warriors and etc. It can be initially invisible, making it difficult for the player to attack.
    But then, using a special item like holy glasses, you can see it and hit maybe by getting something special like a Secret Holy Sword (necessary to cause damage to spirits) or something else, like opening a secret passage, etc. GOOD JOB! Greetings from Brazil.

  14. Luis says:

    Wow, all these years and you’re still at it. I remember reading about this project a couple of years ago, it’s good to see that you are still working on it as passionately as when I first read about it. Best of luck and keep up the good work.

  15. Andreas Asimakis says:

    Any update, Esco? I’m ready to toss another donation your way but I see it’s been a while since you last updated…=(

    • Esco says:

      Actually yeah, a lot of progress has been made. Spriting wise HUGE amounts. Coding wise to name just a small few: swimming controls & animations, pulling/pushing objects, grabbing levers, new attacks, etc.

      I need to put up an update sometime in the next 2 weeks. Real life has not been cooperating with me though. Lol.

      • Andreas Asimakis says:

        That’s awesome! I really can’t wait to see the work you’ve done. ^_^

        Total side question but have you been keeping up to date with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night? Curious to hear your thoughts on it.

      • Esco says:

        Yup. Looks like more Poke-vania similar to AOS and DOS. Slow clunky controls, outdated graphics and not much in the way of creativity.

        Sadly, I’m not expecting much at this point from it. 😦

  16. Hey bud. I’ve been following you for a couple years now and I’m happy to see that you’re coming along quite well. I’d be happy to offer concept art for your project. I’m an artist who specializes in both expressionism paintings and illustration art. My illustration work could be compared to the work of Amano (final fantasy concept artist) but I employ new style tattoo techniques to it. If you’d like to talk about it, send me an email at **EDITED OUT**. Cheek out my art at OR if you’d prefer Facebook then I have a twitter too but i rarely use it. Hope to hear from you ecso. If not, then fine I’ll still be checking back from time to time to see your progress. Best wishes, Erik.

    • Esco says:

      Hi, Erik. Glad that you like what you see. Sure, I could use someone who wouldn’t mind doing concept sketches for stuff like backgrounds or the few new bosses I want to implement. Especially someone with a creative imagination. However, I don’t use email for artistic endeavors, I use skype. The reason is I can use the free calling function on it to communicate back and forth with artists verbally much more quickly and accurately. Which cuts down the number of times they then have to retry something and also makes it MUCH easier for me to convey what it is I want as accurately as possible. If that works for you, then great. Send me your skype name and we can arrange a time to have a quick chat this week. Thanks.

  17. onumates says:

    I find the idea of a dramatized prologue adaption of the short Symphony of the Night manga that depicted Alucarrd waking up from his tomb a decent addition to the game’s startup a most intriguing addition to the game, so go with the tomb wakeup, but aside from that, I wouldn’t divulge on much ado anything extra, Alucard leaves his tomb and goes to where he senses Castlevania seeing as he can apparently sense magic, and I suppose, the Castle.

    That scene could have you pickup his gear before leaving.

  18. Netic says:

    I have 2 Possible outcomes for an idea but since you’re making the game you decide what goes in and what doesn’t.

    The romantic and graceful beginning for alucard.

    The fucking awesome look at all those fucking rats die and blood and alucard kicking that goddamn grave beginning.

    Which one of them suits you the most?

  19. LarryG says:

    Is a small donation okay? I can’t really contribute anything of value, unfortunately I simply don’t think I have the skill set required to sprite or compose and I can’t really justify a hundred dollar donation with the money I make but I love the project and Symphony Of The Night I know I’m not adding much to the project but would a $30 donation be welcome?

  20. SOTNAlucardbestAlucard says:

    I’m sorry to post this here but I have no idea where else to post it. Let me start off by saying this project is incredible. I have, like many Castlevania fans, played SOTN to death and for a long time I’ve wanted more.
    And, for me the games that followed SOTNs’ style just didnt cut it. So this project is just fantastic and I fully intend to support when I am able.
    But my question is…how in the hell is this not more supported? Post replies on these threads are not in the quantity I’d expect and I gotta wonder how much exposure this project is getting. I really urge you to find some ways to advertise the highlights of what you’re trying to do on other sites. Maybe contact some retro games blog owners and see if they might be interested helping you get the word out. There are so many SOTN fans out there and I’m certain with more attetention not only would this blog recieve more support, but attract help from some diehard fans who also happen to be skilled in some aspect of game design. I believe getting more feedback from such persons this early on could really take this project that much further. Also since a lot of players don’t know what a hack is I’d recommend in other media platforms referring to it as a fan made remake, because I feel a lot of people potentially interested in supporting the project might see “SOTN Hack” and think it’s just some cheat for the game and totally ignore it.

  21. Vossler says:

    Hey buddy, maybe its not right place to ask, but do you still need a music? I remember you needed one from Harmony of Dissonance, i can make a good cover/remix with real instruments. Please let me know what tracks you need, i will be super happy to help this project a little bit!

    • Esco says:

      Hey, Vossler. Thanks for the offer. There is only one track I still need to be remade at this time. Riddle from Castlevania III. It is also in Order of Ecclesia and Castlevania: Adventure Rebirth. Link below.

      Take a listen please and tell me if you think you can come up with anything fast paced and creative that almost makes people want to get up and dance to it:

      • Vossler says:

        Is there any email address to send you that? Thank you

      • Esco says:

        Sorry, I don’t use email. Please tell me your skype name and I will message you there. If you don’t have one you can just set one up (which is easy) as that’s the only real form of online communication I have.

  22. From a long sleep, Alucard should be thirst, weak, in a village full of humans, If he just get out to the village he must kill someone, so is better have a gameplay using dark metamorphosis killing animals or weak foes and in the end having a bath of blood of the stage boss killing some human giving the powers back to alucard and giving also some rage to enter the castle in a epic entrance, this would also add some background in receiving his powers and not just finding them smashing buttons somehow, also this is a concept, remember me also of the IGA interview about how they made SOTN so rich in scenarios, they just have a entire team just to add the details, insects, leaves moving, rats, etc,

    And esco, I have a book of ideas, inspirational for you if havent see it yet.
    The Ayami Kojima Art Book, Santa Lilio Sangre:

  23. gdn1998 says:

    The only problem with adding two more stages to the game is that it might ruin the iconic intro of the original. Yet, I still have some suggestions. I highly doubt that a non Castlevania player would be playing the game, but the first stage might be a great tutorial level for them. For example, you’ll have to retrieve Alucard’s original inventory in the tomb before going outside, or you’ll have to fight an enemy with the dragon helm as its drop. You can also add dialogues between the villagers and Alucard with them telling what the hell is going on. I also think that there’s no point in focusing on these stages as you’ll probably won’t be revisiting them again after you get to the castle.

  24. draculita says:

    I would suggest an extra stage, a bit large, that combines a bit of every game or scenario of DS and ROB games or 16-bit games, such as compiled boss rush or combat arena, would also suggest that maybe After finishing your project , You leave slots in which you can then replay downloadable playable characters for the game, such as Soma or Shanoa, something like type DLC chars, well I just do not know my imagination delirious i out the contexc jajaja lol, well it’s just a free comment, thanks for your attention

  25. Tremis says:

    For Alucard’s tomb, perhaps having a bunch of crows/rats around the tomb, then they suddenly sort of spontaneously get gravity-ed (is that a word?) into the air around the tomb with blood steaming from them into it. Small pause, then Alucard punch/breaks out of a medium size-ish mausoleum with some kind of etching of the Madonna w/child on the front door. Preference for multiple blows, get those flakes of granite falling off the mural as it gets cracked.

    • Esco says:

      THAT sounds BRILLIANT!!!! Exactly the type of ideas I’m looking for: creative, yet realistically VERY doable.

      The one BIG idea I had for this was that as the music starts up, to have him bust out of the tomb his coffin was in and time it so that right as the song REALLY gets started he breaks thru with a loud sand. This is the theme I intend to use in the first stage (which was requested by quite a few people I might add). Which actually works perfect for that:

      • Negions K says:

        That song sounds… too soft…. I wish there was a harder, possibly even hard EDM sounding remix or something. Something that would really blow you away to start to game, even more so than what Dracula’s castle did for the original sotn.

  26. ixmarcel says:

    I’m glad you’re still working hard at this project!

    I love the idea of graveyard-themed starting area. The Cemetry of Ash from Dark Souls 3 comes to my mind, but I’m not sure if it could be of any inspiration to you.

    Also, even though you probably won’t be interested, I can do additional level design for this project if you ever feel like you need some help with that. I have some experience from previous projects.

    • Esco says:

      Hmmmmm…. rotten trees, dark brooding weather, stacks of graves and best of all….. it’s NOT FLAT! Yeah, that DEFINITELY helps, lol! Even that first boss with the sword stuck in it gives me ideas for the first mid boss I had planned. Really nice.

      Thanks for the offer…. what do you mean by level design though? That is a rather broad field. Are you talking graphics like drawing tilesets, backgrounds, etc.? Or designing concept sketches of levels or just something like enemy placement?

      • ixmarcel says:

        I never tried my hand at making custom graphics for video games (I only did stuff like compiling/editing existing tilesets/sprites).

        I did my share of level designing in various editors, but it’s just a hobby and I’ve never used Unity engine. I was thinking about doing stuff like additional/optional areas for this project, but I’m not sure how that would work since I don’t do graphics design.

        Anyway I’d be up for it if you need my help (I can try Unity if it’s not too complicated or draw areas in GIMP… I guess…).

      • Esco says:

        Yeah I’m not going to frankenstein gfx in the game (as I call it when people just pull stuff from random other sources and mix them together). I’m not talking in unity: I’m talking drawing, sketching and spriting. Yeah GIMP would work. So that may help. Can you show me an example of something you would have in mind for this first stage?

  27. Im loving what are you doing, and this year is the 20 anniversary! Maybe we could see some areas like the ruined town with its own theme. Keep the good work, a lot of fans are supporting you!

  28. For the areas that come before the castle, I would at least NOT use any themes that are being used inside the castle already. I remember CV3 having you enter a church in Jova/whatever the town is called, but a church/chapel is already in Dracula’s Castle.

    Maybe it would just be cool to remake some of the alternate path Rondo of Blood areas in SotN style, because these clearly lie close to the castle. The ruined town, the long bridge, the cemetery, and maybe the hidden docks that lead to the caverns beneath Dracula’s Castle.

    Just naming some ideas! Also, I don’t know if it’s possible to directly import some maps into the engine you’re using, or if you have to make everything from scratch.

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