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#51 Posted by Brodehouse (10107 posts) -

@nekroskop: I've been banging the low-poly, low-rez, 32-bit era drum for years now. I grew up in that era, I realize all these 32 year old developers are interesting in showing me their experience with the 2600, the NES and the SNES, but my experiences are the NES, SNES and PS1. Those PS1 ideals are the ones I've rarely seen recreated. I've seen games that look like awesome SNES games, fewer that look like awesome PS1 games.

Hydrophobia is actually something that reminded me of PS1 games, but maybe that's because it's so fucked up control and camera-wise and a lot of ps1 games were.

#52 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

@brodehouse: "but maybe that's because it's so fucked up control and camera-wise and a lot of ps1 games were."

Hell, yeah, and add some no texture-filtering so it looks like the MC is grinning like a maniac when he's actually sad.

#53 Posted by Humanity (9853 posts) -

@popogeejo: I was specifically referring to the pairing of 8bit style looking games and 8bit styled gameplay - meaning run to the right sidescrollers and such. While people can digress and pick apart what a "style" or "medium" is the bottom line remains that many indie developed games use an 8bit "look" as a crutch. Not ALL of them mind you, but enough.

#54 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3970 posts) -

Couldn't possibly agree less. Still love pixels.

Criticizing pixel art is super dumb, I'm sorry. It's kind of like criticizing voxels or polygons. It's just a basic style and it's going to stay, especially for indies. I'm sure it's often easier to do and it leads to very recognizable art on the screen for the player.

#55 Posted by djou (878 posts) -

Yes, I largely agree with you but I don't think its losing its specialness, its just the gap between devs that use it in a skilled way and devs that are not is becoming more apparent. A game like McPixel which uses crude pixel art will lose is "specialness" because its a shallow gimmick, but when a game uses pixel art well (by this I mean, vibrant colors, great animations-both in movement and idle, excellent sound design) it can be absolutely amazing. The idle pose of Starbound and the motion blurb animation when the sprite swings their weapon come to mind. Its that perfect combination that is well done and nostalgic. The same goes for the entirety of Fez. Personally I've always preferred the stylized look of pixel art over the muddy browns of KIllzone.

To me, pixel art is the new cell shading, a few games popularized the style, then it was used too much. Now there are a few games here and there that do it well (Borderlands, Gunslinger). I hope pixel art reaches that level.

Pixel art is just easy to pick on. It's no more prolific than using 3D models or whatever else but for some reason people feel like they can paint pixel art as one standard style when it's really a medium. It's like saying painting is overdone and all the same while ignoring all the difference between Caravaggio and Picasso.

The idea that there's an over saturation is also pretty misguided. It crops up a lot in Indie games but is barely there beyond that. It's just easy to pick out. As OP says, the same can be said of modern 3D games.

Pixelart may be losing it's "specialness" because Indie Devs are using it more but if it's done well then that two others games this week were also pixelart shouldn't matter.

#56 Posted by Fattony12000 (7594 posts) -

Bring back vector art.

#57 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (1136 posts) -

I love all styles of pixel art

#58 Posted by Veektarius (4983 posts) -

Low-rez pixel art isn't wearing thin for me. I never liked it. I didn't like it in Sword & Sworcery and I didn't like it in Fez.

#59 Posted by Peakborn (95 posts) -

Not ill-defined at all: it's art where detail is controlled on a per-pixel basis.

By that definition Pixel art is really just an extension of Pointillism within a different medium and not some new transcended movement.

I will agree that it is it's own medium and as a medium is used fairly singularly these days, with the few examples showing possible breadth interpretations that is largely underutilised by most indie games I have seen recently.

I will admit, personally there is a place for poor pixel art when used in context and McPixel is that context.

To surmise, Windjammers.

#60 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Yeah, sure i'm a bit sick of pixel art myself.

But honestly, what i'm more sick of is overly emotional indie platformers. So many indie games these days just feel like they're being more emotionally manipulative than my Ex. (and thats saying something). But thats a matter for another thread.

#61 Edited by TobbRobb (4817 posts) -

What no, Pixel can and have looked amazing for a long time. If anything I'd take more of it just because it's cheap but can still look amazing. While the highest tier of AAA realistic modeling just gets more boring by the day.

#62 Posted by RazielCuts (2981 posts) -

@beachthunder: What game is the not McPixel game? Looks beautiful.

#63 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3511 posts) -

It's much less thin than that garbage realistic style most games use.

*lists a million ugly games*

Any art style done bad is lame. Done well it's cool. End of story.

#64 Posted by Coafi (1490 posts) -
#65 Posted by subyman (654 posts) -

It completely depends on the game and style IMO.

#66 Edited by BeachThunder (12294 posts) -
#67 Edited by evanbower (1216 posts) -

I'm not tired of pixel art at all. I'm definitely tired of games that try to remind you of the 80's every five minutes, but what people can do if they're really going for it with pixel art is so complex it really resembles something like pointillism in painting more than anything that was happening in 16 bit video games. There was some awesome pre-video game pixel art, guys..

#68 Edited by psylah (2182 posts) -

Dust raised the bar for art for an indie game, and nothing has outdone it since. "Pixel art" style is as bland as white bread to me, now.

#69 Edited by ArbitraryWater (12002 posts) -

I'm not so much tired of pixel art as I am tired of the cheap nostalgia play towards NES and SNES games that accompanies a lot of pixel art, especially if the game in question looks 16-bit but the soundtrack is using NES-style chiptunes (That actually drives me CRAZY).

I'll side with @brodehouse here and say that indie developers should really start to hearken back to N64/PS1 era stuff instead (and not just because that stuff is much more a part of my childhood than the SNES). There are roughly half a trillion indie type games that try to imitate Final Fantasy IV-VI and Chrono Trigger, but where are my indie games trying to imitate Final Fantasy VII-IX and Chrono Cross? I want 30 second unskippable summoning animations, inscrutable and unbalanced character building mechanics and a minigame that requires you to look up a guide to get the best possible outcome.

#70 Posted by Fattony12000 (7594 posts) -
#71 Edited by cloudymusic (1222 posts) -

I can sympathize with the feeling a little bit. Pixel art in indie games used to be a really cool draw and a distinct artistic style several years ago, but now it's pretty much expected. As others have said, the financial realities of being an indie studio often make pixel art the only practical choice, so I'm not decrying the fact that pixel art gets used a lot; it's just no longer a special thing, or something that makes a game stand out to me. It's just more or less expected from indie games now. The same goes, to a lesser extent, for chiptune soundtracks and sound effects.

#72 Posted by Brodehouse (10107 posts) -

here are roughly half a trillion indie type games that try to imitate Final Fantasy IV-VI and Chrono Trigger, but where are my indie games trying to imitate Final Fantasy VII-IX and Chrono Cross? I want 30 second unskippable summoning animations, inscrutable and unbalanced character building mechanics and a minigame that requires you to look up a guide to get the best possible outcome.

Throw in A-B storylines that split right at the beginning ensuring the only way to see all the content is two 80 hour playthroughs, put it into a jewel case with a demo disc for the next 989 Sports game, and ship it to me!

#73 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5902 posts) -

I'm more tired of super rudimentary pixel art. Games that manage to create a unique art style of their own using it are fine by me. As long as it can stand out in some way I'm satisfied.

#74 Edited by Cybertification (206 posts) -

I think the low budget thing is a terrible excuse. If you have a low budget, just make the game ASCII based.

#75 Posted by Hunter5024 (5902 posts) -

Some games use it better than others. I agree it was kind of a bummer in Samurai Gunn. The game is so flashy that I think it could really benefit from some more interesting art. If it's a money thing rather than a stylistic thing I can understand a little bit better.

#76 Edited by mlarrabee (3029 posts) -

When it comes to most things, I say if I can make something as good as whatever it is, it shouldn't be selling. I say this mostly when looking at indie game graphics and hearing modern pop music.

#77 Edited by DonutFever (3561 posts) -

Yeah, I know what you mean.

#78 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1662 posts) -

More than pixel art in and of itself, it's the 2D platformers with middling pixel art and chiptunes that are starting to wear thin in my eyes. Uninteresting art, music, and gameplay can be explained away as "it's retro, just like those games you played on your Nintendo!". At some point, why should I be interested in some of this stuff when better-looking, better-sounding, and better-designed 20-year-old SNES games are available for $8 on the Wii?

There's obviously great pixel art, chiptunes, and 2D gameplay still out there, but it's also worth acknowledging that it's pretty much the easiest and lowest-budget type of game to make. When a developer acts as if this predictable style was part of their grand creative vision, that statement should be taken with a grain of salt when they lack the resources to do anything else.