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IGAVANIA (n): A gothic, exploration-focused action platformer, designed by one of the godfathers of the genre!
IGAVANIA (n): A gothic, exploration-focused action platformer, designed by one of the godfathers of the genre!
64,867 backers pledged $5,545,991 to help bring this project to life.

November Update: The First Set of Shaders!

Posted by Koji Igarashi (Creator)

When we launched the Bloodstained campaign back in May, we promised backers would have the chance to follow the development process in real time. Inti Creates has been nose-to-monitor since the end of the campaign, but now is the team's first chance to show off some of the progress they've been making—and get you involved in the next steps they take. 

This month, the developers will be showing off four shaders they've been developing as they work to finalize Bloodstained's visual style. Today's update has the first two; in your regularly scheduled December update, at the end of the month, we'll unveil two more. Your feedback will be used to help determine the final look for the game.  

IGA sent us two sets of early screenshots and some brief comments about each one. Let us know what you like, and what you'd like Inti to experiment with in the next update. (Click through for larger screenshots.)

Shader #1

Here's IGA's comments about the first set of shaders:

This shader contains lighting, fog, and character brightness effects designed to give it a 2D look. I feel bad about how much I demanded from the development team!

Shader #2

Here's what IGA has to say about Shader #2

For this shader we desaturated the colors, enhanced the shadows, and used hatched lines to fade between light and shadow. I think this one looks especially unique.

IGA and Inti were excited to finally get the chance to show you some of their work and hear from you before they lock this part of the game down—we hope you like it, and we're looking forward to showing you more later this month. 

We've set up a Google Form you can use to submit your feedback. Thanks for being a part of the return of Igavania! Your excitement is what's driving IGA and the developers. 

 XombieMike of the official Bloodstained forums—which, again, you should join if you haven't already—is back with the latest episode of the Bloodstained Community Broadcast. This time his guest is Matt Papa, Inti Creates' PR manager and associate producer. 

Listen in for a lively conversation about Bloodstained, life in Japan, and how a guy named Matt Papa came to work at Inti Creates in the first place.  

 As always, tag your fanart with #IGAVANIA on Tumblr and we'll post our favorites in a future update! 

Steven Chin, Matt Legowski, and 203 more people like this update.


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    1. Dylan Lasch on

      #1 feels much more detailed and warm. The colors feel much more hyper-realistic.
      #2 on the other hand feels like it's not done. The desaturated look almost feels like work still needs to be done.

      Of course it's on still being worked on so I'm looking forward to the final look ^_^

    2. Aaron Elliott Scott on

      I like the 1st environment shader with the somewhat more 2D look of Miriam shown in the more recent update... Really evokes the look of classic Igavania with more stylized renders for characters and more realistic renders of backgrounds... It's still a WIP, so I obviously you're still working with lighting to create the dark tone for this world. Looking forward to more updates!

    3. Missing avatar

      skool on

      I agree Charcter seems to blend into the background, can't have that in a game. I like the look of the first one better. I Like the vibrancy of the colors, the only pastel like colors should be on the skins of the undead ;). The colors should be bright and stong!

    4. Missing avatar

      Michael Toy on

      Comparing Shaders 1, 2 ,3 just by looking at mirriam, I still like shader #1.

    5. Missing avatar

      Matt Jindra on

      I like the desaturated colors from the second but otherwise prefer shader 1.

    6. Missing avatar

      Jim Power on

      I prefer Shader #1.

    7. Missing avatar

      Karl Leon on

      I honestly can't say I like the look of either of them but I understand its a work in progress. I'm looking for for the foreground and characters and enemies to have a good contrast with the background as well as a flat 2D art style as you can through filters and cell shading.

    8. Missing avatar

      Jacob Lambright on

      I think shader 1 looks better if only for the fact that the colors pop out more and they come off as more vibrant.

    9. Missing avatar

      Richard Field on

      Outlining of individual environmental elements would also help with the overall look.

    10. Missing avatar

      Richard Field on

      The textures need to be designed to work well from a distance. At the moment, they look quite nice from the close up views, but when you pull back to see them in game, all the variance and contrast is lost and replaced with a bland, lifeless sheen.
      To work in-game, they need much more contrast within each individual texture, to give more of a contrasting, craggy look, when they are seen during gameplay.
      I know you are only talking about shaders, but I'm going to mention the environment itself. It needs much more of a gothic look. Gargoyles perched on plinths, up near the ceiling and more baroque forms to the furniture, walls, doors and ceilings.
      I hope you get this right over time!

    11. Kenny Aitken on

      I like shader 2 if it didn't have the cross hatch lines in the shadows, 1 looks great too, looking forward to whats next

    12. Lance Trahan, Duck Block Games CEO on

      I have to say I prefer Shader #1.

      The warm color temperature makes the environment a bit more inviting while remaining sufficiently gloomy in the background. The background feels like it has volume whereas Shader #2 feels more hollow.

      Shader #2 does give the environment a colder atmosphere, but the hatched lines seem distracting and odd for typically whole shadows of objects (like the table in the second Shader #2 example).

      Really excited to see this game released! Love the updates as well! Keep it up!


    13. Missing avatar

      Aaron Jones on

      I hope Inti pays attention to these much better fan-based renditions you guys are coming up with (of course, there's only so much you can do with a shader edit).

    14. MoosiferX on

      Shader 1 looks great!

    15. Jussi Myllyluoma

      Use the colour palette (cool stone colour, etc) from ( with effects etc from (, and we should be cooking with replicator...

    16. Michael Abi Daoud on

      Patrick M Lankert - YES! THOSE SHADERS!!!! THOSE ARE PERFECT!

    17. Missing avatar

      Philippe Siruno on

      I really like Shader #1. The colors have a really vibrant look. I hope to see gameplay soon. I'm absolutely excited to see more from this project.

    18. Missing avatar

      drinkyourtea on

      This is going to be amazing when it comes out I can not wait.

    19. ARM X Author on

      @Trickstar: Thanks. The extra light-stream effects in the link I posted below were just an additional example of how more "details" might set a "mood" for certain scenes. It was a quick edit example, so it wasn't meant to be 100% accurate on all levels. The color/basic lighting/tone was what the focus was on that one. I have to say that the two examples @Patrick M Lankert shared also have promise, though.

    20. Ron Pat-El on

      I prefer shader #1 by far. The colors 'pop' more, feels more like an anime. Shader #2 feels more like the standard grey and brown color scheme that is so common to the more 'realistic' looking games.

    21. Missing avatar

      Pablo Vaquero on

      I prefer the first shader. However, i really think textures could be way better. If that textures are the definitive ones, i´m kinda dissapointed.

    22. giga-ganon on

      @Patrick you should really send them that on the google form, not sure they will check every comment! (you could also send them a private message)

    23. Patrick M Lankert on

      Here are a pair of examples from the Bloodstained forums that I believe are both more in line with what everyone is hoping to see:

    24. Patrick M Lankert on

      The link that "ARM X Author" posted looks -significantly- better than either of the options presented.

      That being said I am extremely disappointed in what I'm seeing. The Mighty No 9-esque visuals feel bland and flat. The prototype video looked much more professional.


    25. Glenn Knauss on

      Hmm... shader 1 looks more detailed, but shader 2 sets the mood better. It just feels more ominous, which is great. But it lacks the more detailed look of shader 1. Between the two, it's a tough call, but I'm looking forward to seeing the next ones.

    26. Trickstar on

      @ARM X Author

      I love your example. However I think you should get rid of the volumetric light coming from the windows. They make almost no sense with the room. However I love the lighting in your example best. Hopefully they go with something like that.

    27. Teppic on

      Shader 1 looks better. I like colors.

    28. ARM X Author on

      An associate of mine put together this edit of the first shader: (That's closer to the end result I'd like to see.)

      We talked about how Shader 1 seems less "flat" in its details overall than Shader 2, particularly with the character, but that there needs to be moodier lighting and colors.

      That said, I do think that the hatched shadows in Shader 2 are a very interesting effect, and could be used for specific areas of the game. (Perhaps in something like a mausoleum?) And, it should be noted that the use of color and shadow in Shader 2--while not as good overall in conveying a living atmosphere--does create a better sense of separation between foreground and background elements. It's just that, as a consequence, it makes everything look extra stark, sterile, and lifeless.

      I assume this is a prototype, but I'm hoping the elements of the room become less "sterile/artificial" in their rendering in either shader as time goes on. The character model looks great, though, and it is Shader 1 that really allows her design to shine the most here.

      I will have to see the other two shaders to know what other options there are, but right now, I'd work with Shader 1 of the two shown. It's a better baseline starting point for the variety the castle will undoubtedly hold.

      Thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work!

    29. Paul Leung on

      @giga-ganon: Where to fill in the Google form? Thanks a lot!

    30. Missing avatar

      Dragonlordsd on

      It's hard to judge without seeing the shaders in motion, but I prefer Shader 1, as it feels much more atmospheric.

    31. giga-ganon on

      Everyone don't forget to use the google form to tell your feeling about these graphics and shader! The more people ask for an XRD look, the more we get a chance to really have these kind of graphic (not as good i'm sure, but close to it)

    32. Missing avatar

      Schuyler on

      I really hope this isn't what we should expect the final product to look like and just some sort of test room. I knew the game wasn't going to be 2D but I'd had still hoped it would try to emulate 2D to some extent like GUILTY GEAR Xrd or maybe some sort of cell shading. The textures are extremely lifeless so I pray thats changing.

      Continuing past those issues and assuming its just for a quick and dirty mockup... I'd pick shader 1 out of the two, but I honestly prefer something a little darker and more moody.

    33. Paul Leung on

      Thanks for much for the preview! They are great!

      In my opinion, Shader #1 looks great in web-surfing, somehow I prefer Shader #2 in game as it's more matching with the 'dark' tone of the iga-vania series.

      Shader #1 is just too bright and colorful to carry the name of iga-vania.

    34. Rigel on

      I like the colors of shader 1 and the lighting of shader 2. The Miriam model looks amazing!

    35. Vito "Vitoner" Lanci on

      Shader 1 looks better imho. Shader 2 looks too plastic-like, the lighting is weird and I don't like the Miriam model in there.
      I think the best reference would be Guilty Gear Xrd, both for characters and backgrounds.
      I mean, look at this:

    36. Lilith Erickson on

      @Daniel Gasparini The prototype video looked good, but it was pretty out of focus and hard to see.

      One of the things I think they should try is to cel shade the characters ala Guilty Gear XRD, so the characters look animated, and really pop out of the 3D environments.

    37. Luxliev on

      One more thing. I can't believe I almost forgot to mention that. Miriam model looks really good!

    38. Luxliev on

      Stained glass will be important part of design so I think you shouldn't desaturate colors too much but make them brighter and add more light rays too.

      Still I love shadows in Shader 2 so it would be great if you could merge styles and use colors from Shader 1 and shadows from Shader 2. This game is new IP this is the best moment to experiment and give it unique feel! Thank you for your hard work, can't wait to see more!

    39. Missing avatar

      Aaron Jones on

      Actually, I want to bring attention to something...why are we not seeing double candles, as in the classic Castlevania style? Is it fear over copyright issues, over something as innocuous as two candles next to each other?

    40. Missing avatar

      Aaron Jones on

      (Oh. I put it in the main comments page.)
      The first shader isn't completely better but it really brightens up the room, makes it feels warmer and more inviting. I think it's more fitting for a room like this, where as the second shader would do better underground somewhere, maybe. The way the light hits the banisters is far superior, the stonework below that is kind of nice. If you were going to use something like the second shader for this scene you would need certain parts to be less flat. Also, there are stripes you see over to the right for example in the second shader, those look awful. The one over to the left is more tolerable. The one thing I really like about the second shader for this scene is the nice lighting effect that hits the pillars in the back, that's far better than the first shader's rendition of it. But in general, most of the details of the room should be refined. Anywhere you see a flat surface with no aging or paneling or extra flair, consider what you could do to change it, because people are complaining. And for God's sake, do twin candelabras, PLEASE (if I'm whipping candles they should be double candles). I imagine you could get certain artistic advantages to rendering various sections in 2D instead of 3D, more than you do here, without spending endless hours working on it. You were doing 2.5D for the sake of development efficiency, but...maybe it could be more 2D than this. Those chairs are not so great, in that they should probably have spiky things that stick up on the upper corners to make them look more Gothic. Miriam looks fantastic, I love it. You might need to tweak the way the legs bend though. How much of the style/level of art here is what you're going with? Could this room look much better in the final result?...Is this just a largely unfinished room for shader testing and stuff so a lot of the problems here are really temporary? I'm a little worried now.

    41. Missing avatar

      Aaron Jones on

      Do comments get actively deleted from here? Mine disappeared. Was it the way I said things?

    42. Robert Ackerman on

      This is a tough choice. I like the lighting in Shader 1 but I like how the shapes blend together in Shader 2.

    43. Missing avatar

      Dragonzeanse on

      I mean, I don't want it to end up looking like another Mighty No. 9, where the 3D visuals actually made the game look far worse and under-detailed, but the first shader makes the game look fine to me.

      The first shader looks far better, since it hides otherwise rough-looking modelling and textures. The second one kind of exposes them; maybe some kind of hybrid of the two might look good, but the hatched lines look pretty low-res. I still think texture quality and maybe poly count could be improved.

    44. Kim Lambert on

      @Brian ''eOn''
      There is no need to be ''violent'' with your words, that's not nice.

      For peole who think the first glipmse looked better, check the shader 2, imagine it from far away with extra light on Miriam and a colorful 2.5D background, here is what you saw.
      I remind you all that they are only testing shaders, and they probably keep the better ones for the end. Its a work in progress and they are nice enough to ask for our opinion for each step.
      So for the few people getting mad at this update, CALM DOWN.

    45. Missing avatar

      Matthew Steven on

      @Brian "eOn"
      Calm down.

    46. Brian "eOn" on

      Ok what in the fkn bloody miserable pile of trash is this that i am looking upon.....? no seriously, What in the actual Fck! is that! This looks atrocious compared to what was proposed in our first glimpse within the some already beautiful proto/type screenshots!

      Why is this project going in this direction..... I am utterly and disgustingly disappointed right now if this is for real... this better be a joke and Iga is just trolling us. I feel like i pretty much dumped more than a $100 bucks down the toilet.... I guess it doesn't matter what i think... all i can say is "PLEASE let this be also a proto-type work in progress" so this project can be saved... because i can tell you right now if this is what the final game is going to end up looking like, Iga is going to have a lot of hate mail and backlash in the gaming-media i shit you not!

      I am truly vexed and perplexed at the same time at this very moment....
      I feel like this - "What is a man.. who aims for this art direction? A miserable pile of lies within secrets! But enough talk, Accept it You!!"

      (ps: Fix this Iga I am not kidding.)

    47. Kim Lambert on


      Shaders aside, I'm curious to know why Miriam have 2 extra pieces of clothe on her left shoulder that are not part of the original design. Do you have any idea or could you ask someone from the team?
      I don't think they wanted to change the original design, maybe its to hide the shoulder articulations or something, I hope its temporary.