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Psiweapon
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Quote Psiweapon Replybullet Topic: Anybody knowledgeable about EROGES? :D
    Posted: 06 April 2016 at 6:27pm

No no, don't worry, this is not about discussing dirty stuff.

This is about how pixel art is employed in eroges.

I'm interested in someday imitating the general style of illustrations for such games, mostly from the nineties, I think I have a vague but on-track idea of the techniques used, but there's some stuff I have little idea about:

-Typical/recognizable palette restrictions
-Hardware palette restrictions (mostly out of curiosity)
-Specific titles with top or second tier art

Evidently I'm only interested in those titles that employ pixelart-compliant art, whether by choice, as lower end hardware suport, or straight hardware limitations of the time.

Non-dirty games of the same genre, visual novel or whatever the hell it's called, also qualify.
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eishiya
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Quote eishiya Replybullet Posted: 07 April 2016 at 7:15am
The restrictions/palette were those of the target OS. So, DOS eroge were limited to the 16-color CGA palette, early Windows games (probably the ones you mean) were limited to the VGA palette, 256 colours (of 262,144) on the screen at once. The screen sizes, similarly, were just the dominant desktop screen sizes at the time.
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Psiweapon
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Quote Psiweapon Replybullet Posted: 07 April 2016 at 12:19pm
Hey, thanks!

I have no idea about japanese computer systems.

What do you mean with "256 colors (of 262, 144)"?
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eishiya
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Quote eishiya Replybullet Posted: 08 April 2016 at 8:40am
Well, with the time period I'm talking about, it was Windows 95-ish, not much difference between Japan and the west at the time. I don't know about earlier eroge, I'm too young xP
I know there was the PC-98 in Japan which dominated the eroge market before Windows got popular, and many Win95 eroge of the time were ports of earlier PC-98 games. PC-98 also used VGA, so the colour and screen size limitations were the same.

I was actually wrong about 256, but I'll explain what I meant: I (mistakenly) meant that it could use 256 colours on the screen simultaneously, but had a global palette of 262144 colours (18-bit RGB, 6 bits per channel) to choose those 256 from.

I was mistaken because the 256 colour limitation was only for the 320x200 size, but most games used the 640x480 size, which limited them to 16 colours, not 256. These 16 were still chosen from the same global palette of 262144 colours. Example screenshot to make it clear what type of game I mean, 16 colours, 640x480.

Here's the full VGA palette, the 262144 colours I mentioned. Choose your colours from there if that's the restriction you want to go for. Alternatively, if your program allows it, set the color mode to RGB, 6 bits per channel (might be called RGB/6 or 18-bit RGB). Unfortunately, mine (Photoshop) does not have such a mode.


So really, to get the look you're going for, you just need to work with VGA limitations, and I am certain there are many resources about that. If there aren't pixel art-specific ones (which would be surprising), you can find technical specs on VGA online fairly easily.

In particular, something to look into is whether the palette could change mid-screen. For example, in this (dirty) screenshot, there are 17 colours - I think the "extra" colour is the pure white, which is the only colour not used in the main artwork, it's used only for the text. I don't know whether that's how it was in the original game though. Most others I see really do have just 16 colours per screen.
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delicatone
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Quote delicatone Replybullet Posted: 23 April 2016 at 8:47pm
I didnt know about this genre of games, haha.. learn something new every day.
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delcorral1
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Quote delcorral1 Replybullet Posted: 05 January 2021 at 2:00pm
Well, I'm a lover of the eroges from the latest 80s to the early 90s. Aside from its obvious themes, artistically their pixel art skills were awesome. nowadays they're highly regarded as unique.

I'm leaving here a reference tumblr: https://pc98backgrounds.tumblr.com/post/172220272627
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