First attempt failed horribly; I'm not a very good pixel artist. I do well enough to get the point across, but shading and detail (especially in small images, like 32x64 for a character) is where I have no talent lol.
So, I scrubbed Pixelation and found an image that I could use as a base. The head shape is pretty much an exact copy, but beyond that I just looked to the image for help. Was a little hard and took a lot of tweaking because my base image was for a female and I was re-spriting a male base lol.
Anyway, after about an hour and a half, this is what I ended up with (original on the left, new one on the right):
There's a lot wrong with it and my little palette at the top doesn't have the two eye colors I used, but I'm quite happy with how it turned out. My main issues with it is everything from the hips down and most of the shading.
I'm still in between works; trying to figure out where exactly to head from where I'm at. I'm not really satisfied by 2D for my own development (I still love 2D games, but either none of the ideas I want to implement work very well in it or they'd take 100-thousand-bajillion frames for every character and object), but I don't want to spend 5 years working on a 3D game because I was learning along the way.
There's also the work involved for making the art. I'm not saying either kind of art work is easy, but making a smoothly animated 3D object is all about setup; you get the object setup and animating it is quite simple. Pixel-art on the other hand is consistent hard-work the whole way through (at least, this is my experience from working with the two different art forms.)
Plus the fact that, no matter how much I love 2D games, there's just no way of portraying in 2D what you can in 3D (without the use of FMVs, which just really blows the immersion.)
Going half-way (2D in 3D or isometric) adds a lot of work and seems like a complete waste to me. I'm not saying that neither has it's place, as I've loved games that fall in both categories.
I guess the root of the problem is that what I want from my projects would require either a 3D environment or a really good (cheap) artist. Obviously this isn't a problem that I myself is dealing with and no one else is, but I just can't seem to bring my self to settle for something less than what I want to make.
All that being said, I have been thinking that an Zelda-esque engine would be suitable for the first part of the series. The point of the first part of the series is really to set everything up for the second. Introduce the environment, some of the major figures in history, the culture, etc. Pretty much, it needs to give the player a fun experience while they learn the history of the world they're playing in. So, the combat and stats part of a in-depth RPG could be replaced with simple combat and puzzles. A lot of people will (hopefully) enjoy the experience while being cheap on the production side and giving me more time to expand on the gameplay and information the player is receiving.
...I'm really too indecisive and picky, huh? Gotta love mixing perfectionism and OCD lol.