Here is my submission! For some reason there were two copies of the C64 palette going around, so I used this one, which I am pretty sure was the one in the challenge post. Thank you for the suggestions I got on Discord!
Rereading that comment, in hindsight it comes off as 'damning with faint praise' or even 'sour grapes'. I'm sorry! My mindset at the time was that I didn't want to just go "yeah it's cool"/"nice" or copy anyone else's insight, but bring something different to the table.
Thanks for the in-depth comment! I hadn't heard that piece of advice about cluster size but that's definitely something I've picked up as a difference between people stylistically, it's interesting to notice. I think I agree with what you're saying about the lack of C64-ness being a large factor, also.
One of the spriteart tutorials I used as a late-teen was about crafting old-school RPG monsters, and one of the bits of advice was that you didn't want particularly large clusters anywhere on your sprite - the dithering of pixels and ramps of light were necessary to give the illusion that the sprite was larger and more detailed than it actually was. The tutorial was made to imitate CRT-era games, but when I get given a small palette to produce art with I always default to the mindset of trying to cram as much detail into an 8x8 grid as possible. Almost like I'm showing off - "look how much I can do here".
This picture represents the opposite of all that since there large patches of land unobstructed by other colours or dithering; the trees and cliffs and water all have enough clusters to suggest lighting and layers of substance, but don't strain the eye with strong ramps of colour or single pixels criss-crossing. The trees have a nice broken outline around them where you can still recognise the shape the art is going for. The villagers are all distinct from one another even within the small palette given. The closest thing I have to a gripe is the player character's jeans having a dark grey near-indistinguishable from the blue already there, but it's an unnecessary thing to point out.
You did your best to convey the Animal Crossing aesthetic with the palette given (you even attempted the cylindrical perspective while workshopping the picture), but what's interesting to me is that out of all the submissions, this may be the least representative of a C64 game in a stereotypical fashion. Which is to say a few other submissions used PETSCII or had horizontally-stretched art or limited colours per scanline and sprite, what I take to be the 'telltale signs' of the C64 library. I wonder if that's actually the biggest factor in it winning the challenge.
Thank you everyone!! I've never won a challenge before!
oh, i'd never have guessed this was made with the C64 :O really nice job
This somehow still looks modern. But realy cool work
Remarkably cute and uncreepy for a C64 piece. That is impressive.
I love this! The characters are all so cute and everything is such a pleasing shape. It's also a lovely use of the palette–you've got such a distinctive feel out of it that it almost feels like you used a different one (possibly due to the minimal use of grey).
Very nice use of the palette!
Very cute entry! I like how you used the palette in this
I like the C64 palette and you did it justice!
It's a really sweet picture. The only thing I'm missing is some shadows.