Looking for a complex Construct game

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Post » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:19 pm

[quote="QuaziGNRLnose":rp39d60s]Making a low res sprite takes a few seconds, making a 3d model with good textures takes a day of work.[/quote:rp39d60s]

First of all, I'm not equating HD with 3D. I'm suggesting that 2D games should be made with high-resolution art, ala Braid, Earthworm Jim HD, BlazBlue or King of Fighters XII. Essentially, I'm talking about using a 128x128 character instead of a 16x16 character.

[quote="QuaziGNRLnose":rp39d60s]Also, ambiguous graphics work in much the same way as an abstract messy brushed painting, your mind fills in the details.[/quote:rp39d60s]

While that may be true, It's... conveniently true, and not really applicable to the medium. I'd like to use an example above and compare two graphics from an old, 16-bit game and it's modern, HD counterpart:



Apologies that it gets a little cut off in the forums, open it up in a new tab to view it in full. What you should notice from left to right is that the character is drawn in the same stylized way he was drawn in the first game, just in higher fidelity thanks to a higher-resolution display. The level design aesthetic is largely retained as well.

In his book Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud addresses the same property of art you're talking about: that stylization allows a person to project onto the character because the character is intentionally vague. This is what allows for comics like Sin Titulo. But resolution of image is a system limitation, not a stylistic choice: it is an artistic challenge, not an artistic medium.

Take this image from the first page of Sin Titulo, downgraded to approximately old-school resolution:



You cannot possible argue that it is "just as good" as the original despite the resolution change. It isn't. Details are lost, expression is lost, the text isn't readable and has to be replaced with a font that doesn't fit as well, et. al.

The underlying fact of the matter is that low-resolution art resources are easy to create. It is easier to program an engine for low-resolution resources because sloppy programming will not be as noticeable in the frame rate. It is easier to script for low-resolution art because it's easier to predict motion with less pixels on screen. In short, low-res is easybut again I say, it isn't a stylistic choice.

There's a reason Megaman 9 and 10 were sold at bargain bin prices on Xbox Live Arcade despite being manufactured by a major industry giant: they were retro, requiring little effort or money to make. They recognize that the graphic choice tweaks our nostalgia-bone, and that the gameplay is still fun. But they also recognize that you can't possibly market a never-made game from 15 years ago as worth the same money as a modern game. After all, I dare say most of the users on this board could create a new Megaman game that is faithful to the originals using Construct. Had they made new, HD Megaman titles, they would have sold them as disc titles like they've been doing with the Megaman X series, if only because the initial investment would have been higher.

Ultimately it comes down to this: it is more difficult to tell the quality difference between Gods and Super Metroid than it is to tell the difference between This Game is Hard and Braid. We are no longer in an era where sellable games can afford to have their art created by programmers instead of artists, because even Joe Shmuck can tell when the art is poorly made.

Look, for example, at Cave Story and Spelunky: both games are either available or "coming soon" to consoles, and both featured low-resolution art. Notice I say "featured": now that they've got some funding, both are getting a graphical overhaul. This isn't a coincidence. Low-resolution art is sellable only for nostalgia value: it isn't now, it isn't valuable.
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Post » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:09 pm

[quote="gmerriment":xpn7qgua]In short, low-res is easybut again I say, it isn't a stylistic choice.[/quote:xpn7qgua]

Why the F can't it be a stylistic choice? And what are you implying by stating that? And no, it's not easy to make top quality lowres stuff. It's still true though what Quazi said and I like to think that you're getting at that when you label it "easy".

[quote="gmerriment":xpn7qgua]We are no longer in an era where sellable games can afford to have their art created by programmers instead of artists, because even Joe Shmuck can tell when the art is poorly made.[/quote:xpn7qgua]

Naturally there is bad lowres art. As there is bad HD art. Poorly made graphics can't be defined by the resolution or graphical style only imho. So you're saying games shouldn't have poorly made graphics. Yeah, so what about well made retro art? It's automatically poor because it's lowres?

[quote="gmerriment":xpn7qgua]Look, for example, at Cave Story and Spelunky: both games are either available or "coming soon" to consoles, and both featured low-resolution art. Notice I say "featured": now that they've got some funding, both are getting a graphical overhaul. This isn't a coincidence. Low-resolution art is sellable only for nostalgia value: it isn't now, it isn't valuable.[/quote:xpn7qgua]

Of course HD graphics do appeal more to the mass market. And after all those games are being made to sell copies. This doesn't mean games without HD aren't valuable. What's the value of the original Cave Story game? Doesn't it have any because it's free and lowres? It's still widely considered the best indie game ever. Unless value equals money for you, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say.

Also if you give a statement that a 2d game should be HD because we're not in the 90s anymore and all... it's basically evidence of you not considering games to be art at all.

Don't get me wrong. By all means, make a HD game. I enjoy those too as I enjoy all well made games. But there's still one good reason why people should keep making retro games: because they want to. :D
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Post » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:20 pm

[quote="PixelRebirth":2pksbkdb]But there's still one good reason why people should keep making retro games: because they want to. :D[/quote:2pksbkdb]

I kinda agree... indie pixel art games are like indie b/w film. Usually watched by film students only.

Yeah, there are exceptions of course. But it's not the norm. Of course everyone here and TigSource and (name your indie site) will love pixel-art games. We ARE the indie community.
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Post » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:25 pm

pre rendered 3D is the worst thing that can happen to a good game.. good pixel art is beautiful. Ever played knytt? No one is playing that game and complaining about the graphics, even if everything is really simple, not even advanced pixel art. It's just... beautiful.
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Post » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:49 am

[quote="gmerriment":cwf55zgp]With all due respect, if you want to promo an engine, you should be thinking in the now, not the 90's.
... Games made with "8-bit" graphics (kind of a misnomer, really, since the SNES that they typically emulate was a 16-bit console) serve only as nostalgia anymore and are part of the reason nobody takes 2D games seriously. Again, doesn't mean they're bad games. But I would hardly call them advanced.
[/quote:cwf55zgp]
Dear Gmerriment,

engine promoting is not my objective, I just mentioned it on a side-note in a post as so appealing hi-tech games were introduced.
My aim was to look for complex games - with high res. gfx or not - which are compex /advanced in their realisation tech (programming), or grant a complex /advanced gameplay (not just a lonely walking sprite to be seen). That is why I mentioned 8,16 bit era games as examples, as imho Construct games seem to be more enhanced grafically than gameplaywise. I look for the opposite.

Also Thanx for your examples, thougts, good for comparision.
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Post » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:12 pm

[quote="Attan":33drv5oe]pre rendered 3D is the worst thing that can happen to a good game.. good pixel art is beautiful. Ever played knytt? No one is playing that game and complaining about the graphics, even if everything is really simple, not even advanced pixel art. It's just... beautiful.[/quote:33drv5oe]
Have you heard of a game called Donkey Kong Country?
XD

all styles have their place.
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Post » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:17 pm

[quote="madster":21h8mr86][quote="Attan":21h8mr86]pre rendered 3D is the worst thing that can happen to a good game.. good pixel art is beautiful. Ever played knytt? No one is playing that game and complaining about the graphics, even if everything is really simple, not even advanced pixel art. It's just... beautiful.[/quote:21h8mr86]
Have you heard of a game called Donkey Kong Country?
XD
[/quote:21h8mr86]

I have to say that I tend to agree with Attan here (yeah, big surprise :P ). At least prerendered stuff has to be really amazingly well done for me to actually like it.

DKC is a good example, though it still can't come close to the charms of SMW imho.

[quote="madster":21h8mr86]all styles have their place.[/quote:21h8mr86]

True!
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Post » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:36 am

Cave's prerendered 3D stuff looks fine, although they probably treat it like pixel art afterwards to make it look good.
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Post » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:48 am

your argument against abstraction is ridiculous, those sprites in earthworm Jim were already meant to be representing something more than what the available pixels could, they were traced over real drawings and paintings to try and emulate them. Also on the topic of the new EW vs the Old, i hope you do notice that the log and tires are extremely ugly in the new version, while the visual roughness in the retro one makes them look much nicer. Your scaled down high colour image means absolutely nothing in the context of the argument. We're not talking about lowres trying to be highres vs highres itself here, we're talking about retro graphics vs HD, and how the ambiguity of a retro graphic leaves lots for the mind to interpret.

I'm talking about 8x8-16x16 graphics, small stuff where 10-100 pixels can be an entire character, anything bigger than 16x16 isn't going to be really "retro", its just low-res, and even then using a small graphic isn't lazy, i find when games are high-res it can be just as ugly or uglier, especially when the art is badly done/designed and the large size leaves nothing to hide, plus animation just looks terrible at a large scale unless you have a giant team working on graphics, or its damn good paper-doll style animation.

Anyways back on topic, how can you tell me that having retro sprites and graphics doesn't have mental interpretation, when a one to a few PIXELs represents an eye, rather than an eye simply being an "eye" plain as day. When your drawing a curved surface or a sharp edge, in low res, you need to imagine what the mind would see very vague contrasting areas of colour and edge shape, while in a high res image everything is what everything is, and no matter how hard someone tries its easy to see that space suit as a space suit with folds here and there and everywhere. On the note of lighting, HD graphics can't look more "real" because lighting is baked into graphics low or high res, and with complex realistic graphics baked lighting doesn't leave much open to interpretation and can look damn weird when things are lit differently even in the slightest way. Having a character turn around in low res doesn't leave much visual "pop" while in HD its pretty damn clear someone just did a 180 in no time at all, and having a turnaround animation is never a good idea as it interrupts control.

Having retro graphics makes you focus on stuff differently, and because of that, it 100% is a stylistic choice, the fact that low res is easier to do is just a bonus added to an already strong style that can stand on its own.
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