Graphics Your Favourite Art Style?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Dan1, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Dan1

    Dan1 Member

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    Hey Folks :)

    Lately I've been picturing different art styles for future games and I'm finding a bit of a conflict in that my favourite is also the one I'm worst at! (pixel art)

    But what do you guys think, when it comes to 2D games, when well executed, what art style do you find most aesthetically pleasing?
     
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  2. Aura

    Aura Guest

    Anything which isn't too gaudy (I don't want to get a headache I'm sure) to look at and the colour variety is decided upon nicely. A game with 16 colours would look better than a game with thousands of colours if you don't know how to put them together.
     
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  3. Greenblizzard

    Greenblizzard Member

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    I like the cartoony and colorful art style. Be it pixel art, low poly PSOne graphics or something like Rayman Origins/Legends. Like Aura points out, though, not any jumbled mess of colors would do; the colors should be carefully selected and contribute to the mood of the game or level.

    While I find Super Mario Galaxy and it's sequel really beautiful, I'm not that much a fan of the overly cartoonified and saturated objects, characters and certain landscapes, which - intentionally, I guess - make it all feel like a toy box come to life rather than a stylized, living universe.

    My absolute favorite I'd say is Rayman 2/Revolution:
    [​IMG]
    The mood and atmosphere in this game is just amazing, with backgrounds reminiscent of animated Disney classics. Despite the low polygon count, the somewhat quirky shapes and beautifully painted textures have a certain "texture" to them that along with a well-chosen set of color palettes make it all really come to life.

    I think there's this fine line of it feeling simply natural. Not too realistic, because then most everything would need to be realistic to naturally fit in, and not too broken down to basic shapes and primary colors like Mario, because then it rips the immersion away.

    Obviously, this preference doesn't strictly apply to every kind of game. Certain games require certain art styles: A quick and fun but shallow arcade game should probably reflect these very attributes with similarly shallow graphics(though not ugly or sterile). A game of Snake, Tetris or Asteroids with hyper-realistic graphics would feel somehow off. GTA would lose it's balance of mature seriousness and immature brutality if it didn't have a certain degree of realism.


    Edit: Looks like I missed the point about this being only about 2D art styles. But my point remains... unless this is more about the technical art style, like pixel, vector and high resolution painting or photo realistic. In which case I can't really make up my mind between pixels and hand painted things. They're both able to well convey the semi realistic cartoony style I like, while vector graphics have a tendency to be somewhat lifeless or sterile.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  4. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    "Pixel art" is more like a category, there could be tons of different styles in there.
    Did you try and create pixel art that correspond to your artistic skill level?
    Because honestly, once you understand the "mechanic" or it, cause after all pixel art is also logic, you can create some pixel art that is pretty cool. It could be simple shapes and very few colors at the same time if you don't want to work forever.
    Look at may avatar (which is the hero of my game). Its quite simple, "early 16-bits style" as a call it. Its made of very few colors and yet I think its end up being a quite charming character. I keep my pixel art very simple in my game because I wouldn't be good at complex art and I don't want to take forever to make my graphics.
     
  5. Fuzenrad

    Fuzenrad Guest

    Undoubtedly 2D 8-bit-style, with intentional restriction of color, low resolution and typical mechanics, like NES / Famicom / Master System, my favorite titles are: Castlevania (NES), Street of Rage (Megadrive and Master System) and Double Dragon (Atari 7800).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2016
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  6. Snail Man

    Snail Man Member

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    I don't really have a favorite. Pretty much any style can be done well to fantastic effect, or done terribly and ruin the entire game. For indie devs, I've observed that it's not about finding "the best style", but the one that you're the best at. For many devs, that's pixel art because it's relatively easy to make non-terrible pixel art, but that doesn't make it the best style, or mean that it's easy to do at high levels.
     
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  7. Mann_mit_Hut

    Mann_mit_Hut Member

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    I found this guy and like the style very much:
     
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  8. Fuzenrad

    Fuzenrad Guest

    I particularly disagree.. when you have affinity with a particular style, the game tends to be particularly well done (of course the experience of dev is very important), i quote the Locomalito games for example.
     
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  9. Snail Man

    Snail Man Member

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    I don't really see how that's disagreeing... My main point was that it's not so much the actual style that matters, but how accomplished the artist is at that style.
     
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  10. Fuzenrad

    Fuzenrad Guest

    Hm, so guess I didnt quite understood, for me you said the indie devs choose the easiest styles to achieve a good result. Excuse me. :p
     
  11. Snail Man

    Snail Man Member

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    I only meant that many indie devs choose pixel art simply because it has a low skill threshold for non-terrible graphics. If the artist knows another type of art better, then they will usually choose that to great effect.
     
  12. Braffolk

    Braffolk Member

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    Not true. It is not low skill, just because some people can't draw does not mean that the art style itself is low skill or doesn't require proper effort and skill. It's just that it is very easy to get started with pixel art, as the huge majority of common painting programs support it. Pixel art requires much more effort than any other artstyle when you are drawing anything larger than 16x16 and actually know something about colour theory, palettes, etc (which usually isn't the case with indie devs that are doing "pixel art" ).

    Are these low skill too? I bet if you drew a 16x16 piece of art in another style it would be simple too.


    The reason why artists have to choose other styles over pixel art is because they require way less effort and are easier.
     
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  13. Snail Man

    Snail Man Member

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    I never said pixel art was low skill, I said it had a low skill threshold for non-terrible art, meaning that it's relatively easy to make art that isn't bad. I would never say it was easy to make terrific or even good pixel art, but it's pretty easy to make acceptable pixel art.
     
  14. Braffolk

    Braffolk Member

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    Acceptable for who? Not everyone think it's non-terrible art. The thing is, a lot of what people call pixel art isn't even pixel art. One of the defining features of pixel art is that the artist works on individual pixel level. Not everything that is tiny and looks pixely is pixel art. The resolution of the art does not define the art style, it is how it is done that defines the art style.
     
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  15. RedGreenBlue

    RedGreenBlue Guest

    Something about this art style makes me love it. I think it's the way the grassy fields and trees look in Xenoblade Chronicles. I don't know what you can call the art style in this though.

    Edit: Is there any way I can make this image show up smaller?
    Edit2: I understand this topic is about 2D art styles. I think this style can work well in a 2D game when done correctly.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2016
  16. Snail Man

    Snail Man Member

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    Acceptable for the player. Pixel art is often used in jams and similar competitions because any other kind of art would take much longer and look much worse after the same amount of time.
     
  17. Fuzenrad

    Fuzenrad Guest

    It seems to be a bit unfair view, you cann't generalize saying that every game with pixel art is so because the author wanted to make a "non-terrible art".
     
  18. Snail Man

    Snail Man Member

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    Again, I'm not saying every, im saying many.
     
  19. nvrogers

    nvrogers Guest

    Really? This debate again.

    Pixel art is more accessible to many developers because mistakes can very easily be corrected at lower resolutions. This means that beginners can create simple, but somewhat aesthetically pleasing, artwork out of simple geometric shapes. That doesn't mean that the work is good, only that many players are more willing to accept a non-distracting minimalist style than a gaudy attempt at something complex. Similarly, a beginner could draw simple cartoon artwork on paper, but that must be scanned into the computer and mistakes are more of a hassle to fix. Good pixel art, on the other hand, requires a huge amount of attention to each individual pixel and requires an insane degree of mastery, just like any other art style. OK? Pixel art is like all the other art styles, but it is more accessible because it is easier to edit without breaking the flow of development.


    On topic:
    My favorite art style for my games is minimalism (ish). I like limiting colors and making things look clean.
     
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  20. Ian

    Ian Member

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    In the pixel art category i dont like high res or too low of a res.

    I like this:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Main menu is alittle scrubby right now, just drew it up fast because it isnt a high priority.

    Fan of STF style:
    [​IMG]

    Its also a good way to be more productive, less pixels and looks really sharp/clean.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
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  21. Genetix

    Genetix Member

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    I can't get enough of 16bit 2d pixel art - about anything on the Sega Genesis... I love it!
     
  22. metateen

    metateen Guest

    I'm a 16 bit lover, gimme some Sega Genesis graphics and you got me.

    I do prefer them hand drawn stuff but not on the sane scale as 16 bit.

    Love me that rare 32 bit stuff too.... Mmmm them polygons.
     
  23. SoulTie

    SoulTie Guest

    I prefer hand drawn graphics, mainly because that's what I'm good at. Also, I like the amount of detail that you can add if you don't suck at drawning. :D
     
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  24. Rusty

    Rusty Member

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    I do pixel art, or at least I do art at a pixel by pixel level (after that whatever your personal definition of pixel art is can go to hell) and I've got to say that I agree mostly with Snail Man here. Most Jammers do quick art which is usually pixel art. That doesn't mean that pixel art as a category is simply "not-terrible" but that it's more convenient and I understand that.

    As for the whole favourite artstyle thing, I do enjoy more colourful games mostly, such as the previously mentioned Rayman series. It's just more fun to work on as well as you don't really have any hard set of rules to work with and you can really play with the shapes and colours a bit more to favour the mood of the scene rather than the rules of the artstyle.

    Since I'm looking at screenshots of Xeno though, I'll say that I like a more dark and grissly take on 3D art. I hugely prefer the 3D work on Gears of War and Mass Effect to the likes of Final Fantasy and <anything from Nintendo here>. That's just me though.
     
  25. I do think flat style. I think its one of the more popular ones these days. Its simple and if done right looks really good. 2 Dots has this type of style in their Android/iOS game.
    two-dots.jpg
    I also like the shiny style (I don't know what this style is called) but similar to candy crush, or the image below.
    24694766-Four-shiny-sun-images-weather-icon-graphics-Stock-Photo.jpg
     
  26. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    IMO, using both styles, I'd say that, for the same end quality, the work needed to produce a pixel-art image is directly proportional to its size, while a vector or hand-drawn image needs work proportional to its level of detail. This means that the work needed to make a non-pixelart image isn't constant; it starts out needing a lot less work for a smaller image, then its work requirements increase with the resolution; at some point a non-pixelart image will need less work to convey the same amount of detail.
     
  27. JarodTheGreat

    JarodTheGreat Member

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    Any art style.
     
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  28. zircher

    zircher Member

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    Based on what I can do, I create and render 3D models with anime/manga cell shading to create 2D sprites. Can't draw for beans.
     
  29. bix

    bix Guest

    I like pixel art done in greyscale. There's a game i love called Red Rogue http://redrogue.net/ and i love the artwork in that.
     
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  30. CamperLv

    CamperLv Member

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    I like cartoon style and maybe, just maybe, manga/anime or what do you call them.
     
  31. Cantavanda

    Cantavanda 〜Flower Prince〜

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    My favourite art style is Impressionism, just look at this!
    [​IMG]
     
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  32. Treecase86

    Treecase86 Indie Game Dev

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    I like a mix between RPG style art, and Mega Man-esque art, similar to Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, one of my favourite games; Hope this helps Hira_Alternate_0.png Hira_ALT_R_0.png <~My sprites. DB:AA~> G.png
     
  33. Khao

    Khao Member

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    Whatever you'd want to call this:

    [​IMG]

    At least when it comes to 2D games, I think Ori and the Blind Forest is the best looking game I ever played. Screenshots don't do it justice either, as everything is smoothly animated (even background elements) and there's some pretty heavy use of parallax scrolling with a mindblowing amount of layers (both for distant objects in the background, and for subtle effects, like the very floor you're standing on being composed of multiple objects at a slightly different depth). Not to mention that background objects even make use of normal maps, making shiny lights look so much better.

    So ****ing good.

    In general, I love the look of high-resolution, highly detailed 2D games (as long as they're actually well-made) though they are very difficult to work in if you're in a one-man project.

    Best I've ever done on my own is this thing:http://i.imgur.com/G2FexUf.png

    Which really isn't all that much in terms of looks. I could've probably made it better by adding more background objects, better variation, and a better way to do things instead of tiles, but I decided it wasn't worth the effort. It's just too much work for a single person that also has to worry about design and code and sound.

    And in that sense, I can see where people are coming where they say pixel art is more manageable. But I also definitely agree that if you actually want good pixel art, you're not gonna have any less work than if you were drawing things traditionally, though it also does have some obvious advantages (like tilesets).
     
  34. graviax

    graviax Guest

    I particulary like that style
     
  35. I love the Mario & Luigi art style and I feel it was perfected in Dream Team and Paper Jam. Meanwhile the Paper Mario art style was at its best in The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario, then became choppy crap in Sticker Star and Paper Jam. The new Color Splash looks pretty but the animations are still too choppy for my tastes.

    So in short: The latter two Mario & Luigi games and the second and third Paper Mario games have the best art styles in my opinion.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  36. Latté

    Latté Guest

    I agree with Khao about Ori and the Blind Forest. That game has unparalleled graphical quality. A few other games I think deserve to be mentioned are Dustforce, Mini Metro, Cobalt, and Hyper Light Drifter.
    Dustforce has a very clean style with smooth edges and soft colors. Cobalt is a unique game with a polished futuristic style. The explosions, the characters, and the environments are all spot-on. Mini Metro uses minimalism with a limited color palette, and it's wonderfully pleasant to look at.
    [​IMG]
    Another game that does this very well is soundodger.

    Hyper Light Drifter's art style is my personal favorite, though.
     
  37. MikeDark_x

    MikeDark_x Member

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    Speaking of art movements my favorite is the Gothic art movement

    [​IMG]

    Now if we speak of games, it's still the same because many games tend to use that kind of structures in the art, the best example of this is castlevania (edit: well more like the first thing that comes to my mind)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now if we speak about stuff like techniques such as pixel, vector, and so on, I don't really have a favorite
     
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  38. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    I'm a huge fan of proper use of color, where color is used to accentuate things. Limbo, Mirror's Edge and Hyper Light Drifter are all games that do this superbly; Cave Story also deserves a mention although its use of color doesn't feel completely conscious all the time. Lots of mobile games I've seen are HORRIBLE at this, they just splash all the colors they can to try to look attractive and the end result is a very bland mess.
     
  39. Roa

    Roa Member

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  40. Genetix

    Genetix Member

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    I love me some 16bit graphics, I grew up on the Sega Genesis and still love the look and feel that generation of games had.
     
  41. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    I thought about this question, but I found out that I cannot answer it. I have favorite games, but I don't have favorite art style. Actually, the whole idea of having favorite art style is weird to me. Weird as saying: "My favorite limb type is legs."
     
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  42. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    My favorite limb type is tentacles :p

    I don't really see art styles as something inseparable from the game they're from; static visual design is just one of many parts that makes something the experience the artist is trying to convey. Killer 7 and The Wind Waker both have very similar cel shaded artstyles, but things like music, gameplay and general themes make them feel very different.
     
  43. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    If you can prefer a game over another, a music over another, a book over another, a color over another, you totally can prefer the visuals of a game over another.
    We all have preferences. Discover them, embrace them.
     
  44. TheouAegis

    TheouAegis Member

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    Seriously, some NES games are a lot better looking than some of the images posted here. And better than a many of the games I've seen uploaded to the Google Play store even. Some were even better looking than many 16bit console games. Even in the 16bit console era, some games were hideous to look at, while others were breathtakingly gorgeous. It all comes down to how much effort is put into the artwork. I love love love the Seiken Densetsu series (Final Fantasy Adventure was the first Gameboy game I ever played) and SD2 and SD3 were so bright and colorful, but the animation in them is pretty horrid. Graphically, I'd have to say I like Shining Force more than Secret of Mana. Sometimes even simple graphics can be better than complex graphics, though. I think the Ecco The Dolphin series is one of the most beautiful games on the Genesis, so even though Vectorman has better graphics, I like Ecco's graphics more. Speaking of Vectorman, at least it's a whole lot better than Ballz...Batman Return of the Joker on the NES looks almost like a Genesis game, but it's on the NES. Journey to Silius has smooth animation and gameplay with great use of color. Catlevania III on the NES has excellent use of color (the other guy posted pics of CV1, which had horrendous colors). And Moon Crystal on the NES - my god, as soon as you start moving, you know it's a game whose developers spent a lot of time on the graphics. Nearly anything by Ocean or whoever based on a Disney cartoon had gorgeous graphics, but some 16bit games were pretty bad - especially on the Genesis. The Immortal on the Genesis I consider to be one of the ugliest games I ever played, even though it had CG rendered graphics like was popular at that time; poor animation and hideous color schemes. Sword of Sodan is another eyesore on many levels. Tecmo Super Bowl looks and feels like an NES game even though it was on the SNES. And really, you gotta love some of the old Genesis stuff like Rings Of Power that had the graphic quality of any game that came out for DOS.
     

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