2D Games: Underrated?

Game Set Watch has a very interesting article up on its site, talking about the strengths and weaknesses of 2D and 3D games. It's totally worth a read if you've ever wondered if developers would ever stop using pixel art in games. Just further proof that there will always be a need for pixel artists!

Posted by Blackbeltdude @ 11/23/2008 14:21  |    24


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spinach (Level 1 Rookie) @ 11/28/2008 14:43

OpenGL supports sprites, and the new DirectX does, too, in an awkward way. There's a lot that can be done with pixel art in three-dimensional space. I'm surprised nothing has followed the technical feats of Yoshi's Island.

Blackbeltdude (Level 7 Ichikyu) @ 11/28/2008 10:48
Well, Capcom definitely reused a lot of assets, but they also made a ton of new ones. Reusable assets are another big advantage to sprites of course.

And yeah, there's a group out there that's hacked Megaman 4 and put in the Megaman 9 tiles, which might be what you're thinking of, Adarias.

Adarias (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 11/28/2008 09:58
no, not all, but there was a video where they modded something like megaman 4 tilesets into levels that were crazy-close to megaman 9.  i could be mistaken.

Gil (Level 6 Major) @ 11/28/2008 00:35
Actually, I think they're new graphics Adarias, with perhaps some old ones for small stuff. That's what I gathered at least.

Were you under the assumption that it was all recycled graphics?

Adarias (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 11/27/2008 20:54
didn't megaman 9 reuse a whole slew of old graphics?

iiimage (Level 1 Depressed) @ 11/26/2008 22:21
Pixel art may not be the most popular thing to do when it comes to gameing, but im sure there will always be "oldschool" people that want to make 2d games.

Larwick (Level 8 Regional Boss) @ 11/26/2008 10:22
Whether it will be used for commercial uses or not, i think people will still be creating pixel art games, if only for the sake of art in the future. Even if the pixels are so incredibly small programs will be made with grids that give the impression of a lower res. An article about 2D gaming is very relevant to us here at Pixeljoint, and a lot of people seem to have had great interest in it.

Blackbeltdude (Level 7 Ichikyu) @ 11/26/2008 09:19
Where are you guys finding these percents? :P (aside from the DSi's screen increase.)

I agree pixel art will probably be used less, but I just don't think it will ever stop being used in games. I think there will always be people who just WANT to use it in games. Megaman 9 is a good example of it (I personally dug the retro look). Capcom could have made it the same way they made Megaman X8, but chose to make it in the old 8-bit style.

We'll probably starting seeing a new genre referred to as, "retro" instead of seeing pixel art replaced completely.

Adarias (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 11/26/2008 05:52
Pixel art may well fall into a limbo where the artists who produce it are rare (expensive) but the only active technologies to host it will be cheap or simply outdated, making it more and more niche.  The positive/negative aspects of that to the professional is clear; to the hobbyists, debatable.

this debate has gone on for as long as i have been conscious of pixel art though, so we can look forward to a long and awkward parting with the mainstream at very least.

Nintendo has done pixel-artists a favor by increasing screen size by 8% without affecting resolution, aka the new must-have system is going to be nice and pixelly.  However they have also stabbed us in the back by removing the GBA capabilities.  Of course, the DSi ware possibility suggests there may be room eventually for retro games to find themselves on this platform much the way they did on the Wii.

Anyway I've rambled but the main point is, 80% of the people here won't be affected by whether the future has pixel-art, and the others have generally adapted (or begun adapting) to a future that they are more directly conscious of.

Gil (Level 6 Major) @ 11/26/2008 00:48
Yeah, err, Megaman 9 sucked completely artwise and is a mockery for us pixel artists because it screams "look at these big retro pixels"

And raster based images in the future? 99% of all 2D games have nothing to do with pixel art, are you talking about the future taking our 1%?

One tiny game like King of Fighters just can't compete versus games like Odin Sphere, which have rich high resolution graphics. Just check the XBLA for example. Lots of 2D games there. Almost no pixel art

Blackbeltdude (Level 7 Ichikyu) @ 11/26/2008 00:10
Oh come now. Just look at Megaman 9 as proof that pixel art is here to stay. Or howabout King of Fighters 12? Pixel art is becoming/is a style choice just like cell shading polygons. I agree that more raster based images will probably be used a fair amount in the furture (ala Wario Shake It!), however; I think pixel art is going to stay just because it's another art option.

Technology can advance all it wants to, but it doesn't erase art forms and styles because it does.

That said, it's not a bad idea for pixel artist to get familar with 3D programs. :P

Metaru (Level 8 Brigadier General) @ 11/25/2008 21:22
wonder what 3D forums would say about this article.

Gil (Level 6 Major) @ 11/25/2008 19:43
Can Blackbeltdude explain why this pertains to pixel art in any way? Pixel art is just an archaic low resolution way of doing 2D. Eventually it will go the way of the dodo.

What will the pixel artist do when we reach a state where pixels aren't even visible entities on a screen, being so small that they are invisible?

High resolution 2D graphics are still present and needed, as this article poorly illustrates, but pixel art is unfortunately on its way out, only being held alive by the handheld gaming world and some badly written flash and browser games.

It saddens me, but we already lost the fight

Adarias (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 11/25/2008 17:39
3D took over 80% of the market, but 2D OWNS the internet!!
fixed for concision and clarity :P

and yeah my point was just that iso is not inherently confusing in the same way that not all 3d games have camera problems and not all flat-grid games make sense at a glance, either :)

Vertigo-Zero (Level 9 Necrophiliac) @ 11/25/2008 08:00
3D took over 80% of the market, but 2D OWNS the internet!!

Ky3bMu4 (Level 8 Guerrilla) @ 11/25/2008 01:38
Goddamn... in 3d world there are TEXTURES which are pixel-drawn =))) It's a future =/

RoboBOT (Level 7 Captain) @ 11/24/2008 22:57
Some isometric games let you change the view. Sim City 2000, for example.

Blackbeltdude (Level 7 Ichikyu) @ 11/24/2008 22:47
Weird error wouldn't let me finish that comment properly...

And of course for a thing like a tactics game, it's a largely irrelevant issue. Controls also make a difference... Either way, there's isometric games out there that execute the style well, and others that don't.

Blackbeltdude (Level 7 Ichikyu) @ 11/24/2008 22:06

Well, I can see how isometric games can be confusing. If you take a game like Lock's Quest for example (awesome BTW), there are times were you wish you had a camera to change the view of. Like if you need to do something behind a tall structure, there's only so much you can do effectively since you can't see your character (even if they make a shadow). It varies from game to game of course, and person to person, but I think the main disadvantage to that style is that the characters can't always be seen too clearly.

And of course for a thing like a tactics game, it's largely...*** Message truncated (4000 chars max) ***

Adarias (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 11/24/2008 20:29
It's a bit of a strange article in that essentially points out what should be obvious to anybody that has played any of these games, while people who haven't probably won't find enough in the article to get the point across.  Aside from that ther'es a few weak points (like saying that isometric/three-quarters view is confusing...which is why hundreds of 2d and 3d games use either) and we're done.

And for the record homeworld ships move in full 3d with a single click :P.

Elk (Level 5 Assistant Manager) @ 11/24/2008 12:33
Don't really know why people think that, I'm working on a 2D mmorpg right now and it's doing good progress...

Labbe100 (Level 1 Thug) @ 11/24/2008 10:58
thank you Blackbeltdude, I start to read this article this is very interesting !!!

greenraven (Level 2 Hired Gun) @ 11/24/2008 08:54
Castlevania is still a 2D powerhouse to be reckoned with.

I'm sure jal will agree... and then some.

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