Article Why do Gamemaker users settle for pixelated graphics?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by fxokz, May 2, 2017.

  1. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    Games where you don't need to identify and react to stuff in split seconds are boring :p
     
  2. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    !!!! how could you!
    (Speaking of slow paced games, play Myst III if you haven't, a masterpiece.)
     
  3. Niels

    Niels Member

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    there are many "rules of art" (think positioning, proportions, shading, color theory) that still apply on pixel art, so it's not just "a art style for people who suck a art". it's less detailed, so its easier to get away with some things, but in the end you have still have to "see" as a artist to make good pixel art
     
  4. Simon Gust

    Simon Gust Member

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    All art is pixel art, just with more or less unnecessary pixels. But honestly, pixelart isn't easy because the less pixels you have to work with, the harder it gets to make like an animation that resembles something recognizable.
     
  5. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    how about vector art? paintings?
    music???
     
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  6. Simon Gust

    Simon Gust Member

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    Vector art is pixel art with theoretical infinite unnecessary pixels. Color-molecules are also pixels. I don't know about Music though.
     
  7. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    Or I could play The Witness, because it has much more focused and clear design that lets you identify a puzzle from a meaningless decoration at a glance.
     
  8. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    I'm gonna take this as an unironic reply.

    But that's the whole point of myst!!!!!
    Also, the puzzles in must are on a whole other level to the witness... (that is, from a game/level design perspective)

    If this was an ironic response; xD
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  9. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    It was a serious response, it just was passive-aggressive. Also, I wanted to point out that devs are even consciously trying to reduce pixel-hunting in puzzle games nowadays...
     
  10. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    I think it really depends on the type of puzzles. The point of Myst is to explorer, try things out, etc. If each interactive element was made clear, it would loose a lot of what makes it great.
    The puzzles in Myst are meant to make you feel like you interact with the environment, not arbitrary puzzles just planted there.
    This is made quite successful with inconsequential interactive elements that are meant to exaplian future mechanics of the game.
    Such an example in myst 3 would be the lab you find in the first world, where you can determine the weight of different elements (useful in the japanese/asian inspired world), or that electricity can affect plants (useful in the plant world).
    This kind of design really appeals to my problem solving mind, as it is quite parallel to how we would problem solve IRL.
    Actually, this was probably even more successful in the first Myst. But I still prefer 3 for its world design.

    This is something i don't quite like about The witness. the puzzles are just their own, little puzzles that have nothing much to do with the world.
     
  11. GM029

    GM029 Member

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    I'm not sure why but for 2d games I just find low res pixel art more interesting and aesthetically pleasing than high detail HD graphics. No idea why. I prefer the graphics of say Undertale/Cave Story to the new Rayman games or Castle Crashers. It's not just that I prefer the way they look but they draw me more into their worlds for whatever reason.

    Probably the same reason that some people prefer computer generated music/chip tunes to recorded music tracks.

    Funny back in the day when I was actually playing games on the SNES I would dream about where new systems like the N64/Playstation would take 2d graphics. I would imagine games like Castle Crashers ( I was a few generations off).

    Although I will say in certain games (think Limbo or Inside) the HD graphics really work.
     
  12. Widget

    Widget Member

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  13. Guest User

    Guest User Guest

    there is a distinction between how an artwork is perceived and it's medium/techniques/etc.. 'Pixel Art' refers to a specific technique in creating the art, not what it's displayed in.
     
  14. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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    Hand drawing is hard, I tried that before.
    And pixel art is more easier, if you're screwed some parts of your frame, you can modify some pixel,
    Hand draw? Well tough luck, draw it from begining.

    Plus, good luck designing the stage design, if you're about making platformer.
    Oh, you screwed your map layup?
    Tough luck, design it from begining, draw the map again, no copy pasting like pixel art. (well it depends on your map type, if it's blocky then it's doable)

    Plus unity is way better if you want to make handdraw game due to the collision engine and spine.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  15. Ethanicus

    Ethanicus Ethan L!

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    Good points. I can easily change a single frame on pixels. Guess it's more of a matter of "do it right the first time."
     
  16. inkBot

    inkBot Member

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    @ajan-ko Eh. Whether you're doing high res 2D, pixel art or 3D, structuring your art assets is key. If you do a game that has a hand drawn look, and you have to do everything over from the start if you want to change something, then you're doing something wrong.
     
  17. rIKmAN

    rIKmAN Member

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    I knew it was a mistake to sketch my rough frames with a permanent marker.
     
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  18. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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    The problem is, when you make hand draw you need more process to do things, you need to put your rough draft to your program, and see how it looks...
    After your draft looks good, then you have to polish it, line art it, you need to structure your color layer, etc. (my head hurts after coloring running animation, screw this, I'm going pixel)
    My point is, after you polish your sprite and you had some tiny mistake, you need to do more chores rather than pixel art.

    Pixel more forgiving when you make mistake. And I'm still newb at animation.
    (key frame, anticipation, follow trough, etc)

    If I'm not wrong, the only one person able to do programming and great solo hand draw is the creator of Dust Elysian Tales, and he is an animator who takes it into next level by learning programming. (Well, it's not like he is the only man, but still... hand draw is rare)

    If someone is a pro animator, and love hand draw, by all means, do it, nobody gonna oppose it.

    and I'm no animator, and that's the problem.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  19. Ethanicus

    Ethanicus Ethan L!

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    All the issues you mentioned are taken care of with experience. I've made so many running animations I could probably make them in my sleep.
     
  20. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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    But for me it's still hard... I don't have exp to pull that off. That's why I went pixel, it's more beginner friendly.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  21. inkBot

    inkBot Member

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    @ajan-ko Like @Ethanicus said, those things are ameliorated by experience, but even then the process you're describing is much the same for pixel art. Draft, revision, polish, revision. It's just the scale that is different, and when you're working on a certain size of sprite, it can take just as long, if not longer, to tweak things just as when you're doing high res work. It's all a matter of perspective, really.

    And I have to say: If it's a tiny mistake, it's a tiny fix.

    About Dust: An Elysian Tail, I assume you meant that the creator of Dust is the only one able to do it that you can think of, or are aware of? Otherwise it's a rather absurd absolute statement to make. I might be wrong here, but the creator of Salt and Sanctuary and The Dishwasher is also only one guy, at least at the time he made The Dishwasher, and those games are also somewhat high res (I personally don't like the style at all, but some do). Braid and Intrusion 2 are other examples of one man games that doesn't use pixel art. Dust is top of the crop of all of these in terms of sheer animation, of course, but even Dust doesn't use frame by frame animation for everything. Many of the enemies in it are animated with a modular/skeletal system.
     
  22. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Braid is not a one man game, at all....neither was Dust. I don't think The Dishwasher was, either.
    Also, I thought all three games were ugly as hell, but that comes down to taste, I guess. Couldn't stomach the art style in any of those games. :x
     
  23. inkBot

    inkBot Member

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    They certainly are held up as examples of one man games, even if they may not be entirely. I guess it comes down to how you personally define "one man game" at that point. Cave Story, also held up as one of the "one man game" greats, wasn't made by Pixel completely by himself either.

    I definitely agree with you on The Dishwasher not being super good looking. Dust looks alright in some cases and meh in others, to me. The cutscene character drawings doesn't match the gameplay style, and any time frame by frame is mixed with skeletal animation I just find it weird looking. Braid is a solid "meh" visually.
     
  24. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    A game where one person does all the art, music, programming, and sound. Or at least 99% of it.
    Dust and Braid definitely don't come anywhere close to that. I'm pretty sure the Dishwasher is very much in the same boat, but I haven't checked.
    Cave Story on the other hand, (as far as I know) is a true one man game - what exactly did pixel not do himself? The credits for the game list special thanks, but no artists or musicians or anything.

    -Signed: a badass who's actually making a one man game, and is sick of all these other scrubs saying "oh yeah, I made this game all by myself (*cough*, with the help of these other 10 artists, programmers, and musicians, *cough cough*)," hahah.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  25. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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  26. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    I make one man projects. Hard to call them 'games' though. More like couple mechanics with 1/2 completed place holder graphics in a single test level...
     
  27. YanBG

    YanBG Member

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    Thank you Fel666 and mysticjim for the good words about my game! I've been looking lately at RPGs like Antharion and the close side of the walls is not visible, so do you stand corrected Fel? But i get it that the menus need to be more flashy.

    [​IMG]


    On topic: Last comments are on to something because dev studios first try to secure a producer and budget(managers rarely use their own money), but then that's not indie anymore :D

    So the OP's question is kind of rhetorical, it's obvious.
     
  28. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    If you are trying to emulate those games, then sure.

    But I was thinking it would look better, if rather than having it just go straight to black, you showed more of that "roof" fade into black. Perhaps use some dithering, or use details like gradually darkening bricks, etc.
    Just my take on it though.
     
  29. Storyteller

    Storyteller Member

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    pixel art is a modern incarnation of impressionism and pointillism on a digital canvas.

    Here are some images by Monet and others:


    [​IMG]
    Here you can see the longer brush strokes of impressionism. there is still a very 'almost pixel art' look to it.

    [​IMG]

    Here is another, man, that totally looks like something out of a video game!

    [​IMG]

    whats this, NPCs and a background image together!? where do I stick my quarter in?
    In seriousness, see how the small discrete bits of color form the complete image?
    If this were done through the medium of a tv screen with its grouped phosphors and refresh rates, or a modern LCD, those discrete bits of color would be roughly square, instead of very short strokes of a small thin brush.

    [​IMG]

    in this, the good Monet has moved to an almost pointillist technique.
    Here are some more of the same.

    [​IMG]
    Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884-86)

    by Seurat, here you can really see pointillism clearly. Photography was being refined in this era and emerging processes also used small 'dots' or 'grains' to capture light and color. 10/10 would play this game.

    [​IMG]
    grand canal by paul signac. This is pointillism at its finest example here; this looks about like a playstation or game boy advance game.
    The palette is strong and seemingly consistent, the artist uses similar colors with different adjacent colors to create different effects, a strong trend in pixel art.

    --continued next post due to image limit.
     
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  30. Storyteller

    Storyteller Member

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    over time this evolved into pointillism

    As we continue through our journey into art history and theory, we see pieces like these:

    [​IMG]

    The circus by Seurat,

    [​IMG]
    this is from parade de circus, another by seurat

    [​IMG]

    here is another zoom level from another source. You can clearly see the beginnings of a very pixel art system of light shade and color.

    Click Here for more images like these.

    [​IMG]
    Here is a piece by Ed McCarthy

    [​IMG]
    and another

    [​IMG]
    and another

    [​IMG]

    Here are some more of dem pointillisms.

    Moar

    --continued next post due to image limit.
     
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  31. Storyteller

    Storyteller Member

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    here are some examples of modern pixel art

    Bugpixel.com
    HD Pixel Art

    [​IMG]
    another, notice the very subtle use of detail, while much of the image uses a modern popular style that utilizes very flat shading and no outlines, you can still see the influence of pointillism here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More
    Moar
    Mhor

    [​IMG]
    by mastodon

    [​IMG]

    Momodora Reverie Under the Moonlight
    This game looks like a painting. A painting you can jump around and kill things in.

    [​IMG]
    Downwell
    The incredibly minimalist graphics and limited palette still convey ample information that is recognizable in a unique, fast paced action platformer.

    [​IMG]

    Super Mutant Alien Assault
    In complete contrast is this gem of high definition pixel art. The intricate details provide a visual complexity that combines with a smooth easy to read style.

    [​IMG]

    Turmoil
    While not strictly pixel art, I wanted to point out the backgrounds in this screen, notice how the backgrounds are basically pointillism landscapes, reminiscent of ed mccarthy and I daresay the era the game takes place in to a degree.

    [​IMG]
    Uncanny Valley
    The paintings within a painting here show the compositional skills of the artist. This game looks like it could be a monet. this return to minimalism is a part of the cyclical nature of art, this is a neo-impressionist masterpiece.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
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  32. Guest User

    Guest User Guest

    ...well today i learned that there's an image limit.

    oh merciful gods of forum, please let the GMC be tolerant of 'indie hipster spaghetti minimalism' lest the thread descend into the chaotic 69 Pages of Flame War that manifest with the utterance "Super Brothers Sword &Sorcery has good pixel art".
     
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  33. Ninety

    Ninety Member

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    @Storyteller Interesting posts. One more example for you: the Indigenous Australians here have a long tradition of art that developed separately to Europe. Dot-painting is one of the primary techniques used. This isn't the best example but I'm on my phone.

    [​IMG]

    Perhaps one of the earliest precursors to pixel art?
     
  34. Guest User

    Guest User Guest

    actually...
    [​IMG]
    Lascaux, France.
     
  35. Niels

    Niels Member

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    wow I never thought of pixelart as modern pointilism! now I feel like a real artist;)
     
  36. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    upload_2017-5-25_3-14-31.png
    I can't tell whether I'm hallucinating because of sleep deprivation or not.
     
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