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What is with the "pixel art" trend?

Discussion in 'Playground' started by SlickRCBD, Feb 16, 2023.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    Lately I've been seeing a lot of games being advertised as "Pixel art" or "retro style pixel art".
    They are being made to deliberately resemble the graphics of games from 30+ years ago.

    What is with the sudden popularity of this? As somebody who lived in that era, I can say that the games were made that way back then because of hardware limitations, not artistic choice and developers were always striving to try to make the graphics look better.
    Games made in the 21st century generally look amazing to my eyes compared to the graphics on my 40-year old Intelivision or Apple II family graphics (pre-IIGS).

    So why do people think it's appealing to deliberately make the graphics look bad?
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Appealing to nostalgia I suppose...
     
  3. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I also think for younger generations who didn't play those games, there may be a sort of archaeological curiosity for lack of a better way of putting it.
     
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Pixel art can look great, I've always been a fan of it. It's been relatively popular throughout all the years, but I guess it has a certain niche appeal that not everyone can appreciate in this day and age. In the era when new games are being released by the hundreds each year, I expect that some developers will use pixel art graphics as a way to make their game stand out more from the hundreds of other titles with more modern graphics. Finding a more niche audience who might check your game out just because they like the graphics is definitely preferable to getting lost in the sea of other games.

    Plus, there are insanely popular games like Stardew Valley, so some developers will try to piggyback on the visuals just in the hopes of achieving similar success.
     
  5. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I imagine it's a lot cheaper to create pixel art for the indy developer too.
     
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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  7. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    GoG's latest freebie just reminded me of this thread.
    My thoughts are just incredulity when I see something like this:
    I haven't seen the graphics of the NES advertised as a good feature since the SNES came out. Maybe it's just that I remember how the NES used to look amazing compared to the Atari or Intelivision or the Apple II until the Turbo Graphics 16 was released, and then it made them look ugly by comparison.

    Again, maybe I'm influenced partly by advertising, partly by the fact that I was wowed by the SNES graphics back in the day. It just makes me feel surprise that people would want to go back to the NES look.

    On the other hand, I find the graphics in RPGMaker games to be adequate even today, even though they look like they are from an SNES game like Secret of the Stars, Paladin's Quest, Earthbound, or Final Fantasy IIUS/IVJ.
     
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