BattleGame: Mhyre's Grotto

BattleGame: Mhyre's Grotto

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BattleGame: Mhyre's Grotto

Title: BattleGame: Mhyre's Grotto
Pixel Artist: Thu  (Level 3 Litter :: 6947 points)
Posted: 4/22/2014 06:50
Statistics:  33 comments    155 faves    0 avatars

t_BattleGame mock-up#1 rework

Tried my new pixel technique, "next level" new school pixel-art.

Mock for game under development, technical name - BattleGame.

Tactical RPG.

Progress roll

Top Pixel Art - April 2014 (#4)Top Pixel Art - April 2014 (#4)


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Sunjammer (Level 3 Chief) @ 8/30/2014 17:40

by "next level" i take it to mean that it's vaguely in the new school style but not in the obnoxiously sloppy and lazy way the '2d retro' bandwagoners have been doing it. if my assessment is correct i'd say you succeeded, it looks beautiful

winged doom (Level 3 Hatchet Man) @ 7/22/2014 07:51

Love this one. Say this is going to be a game, please! 

feiss (Level 5 Detective) @ 4/28/2014 15:06

Maybe, at the end of the day, is the classic debate between this and this.

albertov (Level 4 Button Man) @ 4/28/2014 11:33

@feiss: Interesting discussion. Open a thread in the forums, I'm sure you will get lots of different opinions. From my most humble point of view, you're judging Irkalla and Hyper Light Drifter as games, as a whole. If you isolate a mecha graphic from Irkalla and a mecha graphic from Armored Warriors, or if you isolate a background from HLD and a background from any Henk Nieborg game... well, then, to me, there is a "subtle" difference in pixel art tech and visuals appealing. But that's my opinion, based on my influences and references. I understand this is a very subjective subject.

JerryPie (Level 11 Big Foot) @ 4/28/2014 06:37

I have no clue what you just said. 

Wugabuga (Level 1 Rookie) @ 4/28/2014 05:56

I agree.

From game to game this gets mainstream but isn't it a law of the universe. Something that looks good or "Has some taste on it" and can be done easily and fast is of course used very often.

I think you wasted your breath.

Bynine (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 4/26/2014 03:58

I love it a lot, but the perspective seems a bit incongruous between the grave and all the other objects

beetleking (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 4/25/2014 11:20

Feiss you are totally right.

feiss (Level 5 Detective) @ 4/25/2014 09:11

Great job Thu, I love it, specially the subtle and different colours of the grass, that give a special lighting. The building looks a bit flat compared to it (in terms of lighting), but great job indeed! The game looks terrific.

About the topic in discussion, I am a bit confused. I feel that in PJ the boundary between pixel art technique and artistic quality is very blurred and mixed sometimes, or maybe it's me that don't get the point sometimes. I mean: what I care about when watching a game is not if they painted the screen in 3 hours, but whether it looks gorgeous or not.. What if Irkalla (for example) has sprites with chunks of rectangular black shapes without AA that are done in a fraction of time? It looks amazing! And even more, looks really innovative and gives the overall look of the game a very special atmosphere, feeling and texture. Does Sword and Sorcery have bad graphics? I think not at all, all the contrary!
In fact, I think this new fad of pixel art is really innovative, original and revolutionary, and I don't see it as a bad thing. There is no color limit anymore, and mixing pixel artwork with 32bit artwork is fantastic, gives plenty of room for experimentation and new original art. It's true that is very trendy nowadays and many times is quite bad, but there's also a lot of bad traditional pixel art too! I think lazy style needs time to mature and find its spot, that's all.
But the fact that is "easy to do" or is not optimised does't mean it doesn't have great composition, shapes, color scheme, tonal value or in general, artistic quality. They are different things: There is a lot of technically good, optimised pixel art that has a lot of artistic flaws; and of course, there's also many "lazy style" artwork that doesn't look good, too. The style or technique does not give artistic quality automatically.
It's true that it hurts. I also feel cheated and angry sometimes when I watch at that new indie game made with 5 pixels, skinny characters and a atmosphere achieved with a photoshop gradient on top. I feel the urge of do it myself like FlyGuy did, just to demonstrate that is technically very easy and fast to do (BTW FlyGuy, I love those screens). But this shouldn't conceal the fact that Hyper Light Drifter looks gorgeous.
Just one little thing more. I see the new lazy style --with its big pixels, spiky edges and simple blocks-- as another way of praising and admire and old friend of ours: the pixel itself, in its rectangular and blocky shape. It's almost a homage to the blocky pixels we don't see since Atari times.
Sorry for the rambling. Now, I leave the room and run away..

albertov (Level 4 Button Man) @ 4/24/2014 02:53

I like this piece a lot, but I don't see any "next level" here. This is just small size pixel art. Obviously, I prefer this style (where you care about the palette) more than that supposed "new school" pixel art we can see in a lot of current indie games.

@FlyGuy: Man, if I could rate your comment, I would give you 5/5. You call it "lazy style", and that's a good name, but I call it "production art" because I suppose the main goal is to produce faster. You gain speed, but you loose too much in the way. Also, I call that style "paint art". Usually, in that "paint art" you need some Photoshop transparency, gradients, lighting, etc. in order to make the result more interesting. With "good" pixel art you don't need any of that.

Phoenix849 (Level 1 Depressed) @ 4/23/2014 13:09

WOW, FlyGuy, that's the most in-depth analysis of modern pixel art games I've seen so far! And that explains why everyone is so tired of pixel indies.

Maybe anyone could offer an alternative style guides or good technique examples?

JerryPie (Level 11 Big Foot) @ 4/23/2014 09:58
 I don't know if I would consider this "next level" although it looks amazing.. but I do agree with beetleking and Thu about the popularity of a certain style that I personally think has infected indie pixel art games. And I think it's because many of the artists working on these games have recently picked up pixel art because of the fad. They might not fully understand all of the techniques that have been created through millions of hours of experimentation by experienced pixel artists. Not to say it looks bad, it's just boring at this point. It's time for something new.

A common approach with this "lazy style" (for lack of a better term) are skinny sprites. (Once again, some can look good, but I believe a lot of them choose to pixel like this due to a lack of experience, or simply because everyone else is doing it.) Another thing you might see is a lot of banding, a whole lot of unnecessary colors, stray pixels, and generally what pixel purists would consider sloppy form...probably becuase less time is spent on each asset in order to get the product to launch date faster? Here are some examples.. Sword and Sorcery, Riot, Paradise Lost, Gods Will Be Watching, Witchmarsh, Galactic Princess, Curious Expedition, Irkalla... Then there are games that don't really go the whole skinny sprite route, but alter it a little, they generally still use most of the same fast/messy techniques for tiles/backgrounds. Project Rainworld, Hyper Light Drifter, A.N.N.E., Super Time Force, Crawl.. Like I said, it can still be done tastefully. And some of these examples might be reaching a little..But It's hard to argue that the style in each of these games is drastically new or aren't "HEAVILY" inspired by each other. This argument could be used with 3D games as well (like Call of Duty), so all of this might just be me wasting my breath.. I think the frustration of only seeing a certain style be really popular is what might cause people like Thu to try something else. I applaud him...I for one am bored of the skinny sprites and messier backdrops.

Example of how fast this kind of work can be done, I made these 4 scenes in about 3-4 hours. Fake Hyperlight Drifter Art

castled (Level 3 Chief) @ 4/23/2014 09:42

I've got no background on the accepted definition of "new school" in the pixel art community. But based on what Thu said I think they are referring to the style designed to be viewed scaled up significantly, at least greater than 2x. Also the style rarely uses outlines because of the low resolution and is often mixed with NPA techniques. While that style certainly still benefits from a skilled artist, it's definitely a lot faster to design and animate simply because you're pushing way fewer pixels.

cure (Level 11 Pixellite) @ 4/23/2014 07:10

That's about what I figured. Not really a specific technique then, just a general approach. Honestly I love this work but I don't think there are really any new techniques used here.

What does new school mean for you, though? I would assume it refers to work that focuses on clusters, de-emphasizes dithering, is tailored specifically for LCD monitors rather than CRTs, and overall has a sharp/clean look. I am wondering if you think 'new school' pixel art has different qualities, because I don't understand what you or beetle king have said about it (indie devs are using what technique? What makes it easy, what makes it boring?)

Thu (Level 3 Litter) @ 4/23/2014 05:43

I totally agree with you, beetleking, thats why I started searching for new branches of this. New school is good for gamedev because its easy to draw and animate while its going on production, but it looks boring.

beetleking (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 4/23/2014 05:11

I really like this but Im very tired of this new school stuff because almost every indie devs are using this new school  style.

Thu (Level 3 Litter) @ 4/23/2014 04:53

If to be short, by phrase "Next level" I mean no losses of detailisation like it can be seen in new-school pixel-art games like Superbrothers, Duelyst etc. And also addings for a palette, that gives me a freedom to make objets more realistic than usual.

But there are cons:

-it takes lots of time to work. Maybe this is because I just started practising.

-easy to get tangled in a palette

-lots of colors same by brightness and saturation

dyluck (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 4/23/2014 02:45

Kudos, I'm amazed by your "next level" pixeled scenery. One of the most interesting pieces I 've ever seen. The grass ligthing, the shapes... and the even most pleasant palette... Seroiusly, I love it...thank you for sharing it with us. You reaaly cheer my day, and inspired me.

I'll study it carefuly if you don't mind.

_Connor (Level 5 Assistant Manager) @ 4/23/2014 02:13

It looks nice. But claiming it as your own technique and calling it "next level" is a bit pretentious. 

Fairy (Level 4 Deputy) @ 4/23/2014 01:16

Oh wow, this is really impressive work. The entire background is so crisp and clean looking; I'm definitely a fan of this new school pixel art.

Nether (Level 5 NES) @ 4/23/2014 01:04

Oh boy. I really like the contrast between the nonsaturated background colours and the saturated ones on the character. Also the style is really clean and easy to read. I am very intriqued by this game.

Ashkin (Level 8 Rear Admiral) @ 4/22/2014 19:31

This 'next level new school' technique sounds interesting, can you expand on it?

skittle (Level 9 Nidan) @ 4/22/2014 17:03

Very crisp colours. Lovely all around.

Also, do you perhaps have trouble pixelling the bottom of trees  (just kidding, incredible piece!)

PIXELNACHO (Level 5 Macaron) @ 4/22/2014 16:19

That's just GREAT ¿How do you play it? ¿Is a tap game for mobiles or something?

Mr.Fahrenheit (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 4/22/2014 14:38

I really love your soft style! Very cool

Pixelart_kid (Level 6 SWAT) @ 4/22/2014 14:05

Is a great background !!! With the colors and the building conveys the atmosphere immediately

Delicious (Level 10 Capo) @ 4/22/2014 11:42

Love the grass and building! Character works well against the background, sticks out and doesn't get lost because of saturation. Nice!

Damian (Level 10 Operative) @ 4/22/2014 10:27

Wow, this is great.

AlexHW (Level 5 Detective) @ 4/22/2014 09:52

looks great, dude..

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 4/22/2014 09:44

Perfect, in my opinion. If this game doesn't turn out to be a Diablo 3-esque button masher, I would love to play it.

3Dragon (Level 3 Private Eye) @ 4/22/2014 09:25

Very impressive. Looks like a diablo game style =)

cure (Level 11 Pixellite) @ 4/22/2014 09:20

Looks pretty sharp. What exactly is this new-school technique you refer to?

EZKOI (Level 5 Sniper) @ 4/22/2014 08:13

I simply love it, trees, the building, grass, good job.

Related & Tags

game, valerykimart, rpg, medieval, fantasy, trpg, tjrpg, gamedev, mhyre, grotto, swordsman, grass, trees, technique, BattleGame: Mhyre's Grotto avatars, BattleGame: Mhyre's Grotto icons, BattleGame: Mhyre's Grotto pixel art, BattleGame: Mhyre's Grotto forum avatars, BattleGame: Mhyre's Grotto AOL Buddy Icons

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