So, while I was browsing IGN inorder to know how to unlock the soundtest, and accidentally ended up on the screenshots tab (I'll post the one that took my attention first):
Seeing those were protoshots, I searched aaaaaaaaalll the web and found
Then I started to think! Hmm! The resolution of this system is very low! Would it be possible for someone to reconstruct the art using the bad-quality images we have? I tried and enhanced the common method of recreating art from bad screens (which was done many times before), but this guarantees more accuracy.
So I'll post my results:
So what did I do? It's a processes that has some similarities with reverse engineering!
1 - First you have to get the picture you want to reconstruct, let's call it 'bad.jpg', and open it in Photoshop (sorry, Linux users, I've never used GIMP :V).
2 - Now you take one of the level maps Rolkien made and open it in another tab, and double click the layer and it gets unlocked (so you can move the original image parts that were cropped into the artboard again) (you have to click OK).
3 - Crop the image to the resolution of the screen 160x152px
4 - Move the image around so you feel it's the EXACT same spot (it's a bit tricky but you'll do it :D).
5 - Save that as a psd file. Let's call the file 'recon.psd'
6 - Go to the bad.jpg tab and place recon.psd over the image. Adjust the placed file proportion to match the aspect ratio of bad.jpg, even if it's the wrong one. After you place it, it'll be a "Smart Object". KEEP IT THAT WAY.
7 - Go to Filters, Blur, Motion Blur. Some 1~2px blur at 0 degrees will do for this case! And readjust the image because the blur actually makes it look it changed place.
8 - It's time to start drawing!
First, click on the smart object layer with the right button and select "EDIT CONTENT". A new tab will be opened. The original screen you cropped is there... intact! So you can place a pixel, SAVE (no need to close it) and check how it looks with all the scaling and blur. That guarantees almost perfect renditions, the thing that removes the details, is the Composite video degradation . Do all the modifications in other layers, so you won't need to redo the transparencies for exporting the art! (TIP: If for some reason the smart object stop being edited, close the other tab and repeat the EDIT CONTENT process!)
I made some gifs to show how accurate you can go (yeah I repositioned all the enemies and hud items):
But you don't need to add all elements! Just having the exact spot is enough:
HERE (now edited to include alpha screens) is a pack with all the images from the prototypes I could find, plus the comparison gifs, plus the reconstructed shots in 160x152 and all the sprites separated into small png files with transparency, just for archival. There are actually two known protos as there are two different Tornadoes shown there.
Why did I do all this? Dunno, I don't quite understand myself hahahahaha.
Also, check out IGN videos for Pocket adventure (on youtube, they're broken on their site). More changed sprites and objects.
Found 10 alpha screens from the game. and this:
And see what we've got here!