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Archendrus
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Quote Archendrus Replybullet Topic: Retro Vs. Modern Pixel Art
    Posted: 04 April 2015 at 7:58am
Hi Everyone!  New to the forums.  I'm a beginner with art, both pixel and otherwise. I have done a little bit, and even completed a couple games! You can check out my best yet here: http://archendrus.itch.io/protostriker-m

I've recently realized that I spend way more time studying and practicing programming and other technical aspects of game development, than I do with art or game design.  Looking to change that!  My first step is looking at lots and lots of pixel art. 

8-16 bit style pixel art has always appealed to me, but as I dig around I'm finding this "other" style that I really like as well.  I'm not sure if it even has a name so I've just been calling it "Modern" pixel art.  I was hoping some of you could help me to understand the differences between these two styles and what really makes one over the other.

Modern Style:


Retro Style:


I'm still learning, so some of my terminology may be off.  Major differences from what I can see:
- Modern style (top) one is less detailed, but uses more colors per sprite
- Black outlines in retro style not present in modern style
- Modern colors are way less saturated
- Retro one sticks to a predefined palette, where to modern one's palette seems to be chosen as needed.

Some more examples:
Modern:


Retro:


All the differences as described above as well as:
- Use of dithering in the retro one vs no dithering in the modern one.
- More total colors in the modern one
- Pixels seem "chunkier" in the modern one?
- Overall less shading, or simpler shading in the modern one. 

I've read a lot about 8-bit style "restrictions" when creating the game I linked above, such as sprite size, colors per sprite, colors per palette, and I think I pulled it off with some success.  But how would one go about creating something in this modern style?  Thanks for any replies!



Edited by Archendrus - 04 April 2015 at 7:59am
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yrizoud
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Quote yrizoud Replybullet Posted: 04 April 2015 at 3:59pm
What you call modern style seems to be low-resolution with basically unlimited colors, relies mostly on strong flat colors (antialiasing and subpixelling seem to be kept at a minimum).
For a game in this style, you have a challenge of keeping the characters readable, because they will naturally blend a lot on backgrounds.
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Archendrus
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Quote Archendrus Replybullet Posted: 06 April 2015 at 7:29pm
Gotcha. I love traditional pixel art, but that style is really striking and seems to be pretty popular lately:

Hyper Light Drifter:


Titan Souls:


Wanderer:
(There's something else going on with this style that I can't put my finger on)




Edited by Archendrus - 06 April 2015 at 7:32pm
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Quote Lone Scout Replybullet Posted: 07 April 2015 at 5:58pm
I find that the modern style requires a lot of skill to actually pull off. I feel as if that retro style should be used more for games because of the necessity of making all game elements readable - the modern style being better for art pieces because of their unique elements.
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Hapiel
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Quote Hapiel Replybullet Posted: 10 April 2015 at 4:30am
Nice observations! This modern style indeed seems to be the result of low resolutions and high colors!
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Orzie
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Quote Orzie Replybullet Posted: 24 April 2015 at 8:49am
For me, the preferable pixel style contains no dithering and rich details on the every inch of the picture, with bright contrasts and specific gamma.

But I guess many people here won't call it pixel art lol.
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