AuthorTopic: The History of Pixel Art  (Read 17214 times)

Offline Cure

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #10 on: February 03, 2016, 12:44:17 am
Maybe add classic gameboy / game boy advance release dates as well?
They're up there - '89 and '01

Offline Conzeit

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #11 on: February 03, 2016, 01:08:34 am
nice little topic. Had a nice chat about it =D
2005 is definitively way too late for pixelation. I started being absent from it by 2005 for sure.

Madgarden told me he remembered it as a subforum to the Game Developer's Refuge from about 1998. Alex dug this up at archive.com https://web.archive.org/web/20020608081439/http://boards.swoo.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?s=3cfdbfd81e80ffff from 2002, but I'm pretty sure I was here by 2001. I guess I may be off by a year but it's defintively not 2005

 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 01:12:11 am by Conceit »

Offline Cure

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #12 on: February 03, 2016, 01:26:46 am
it's defintively not 2005
Yeah, I've got PJ listed at 2005 (though it was -technically- working in Dec 2004). Pixelation is currently listed as 20?? because the beginnings of this community remain extremely murky to me.

I'm still not certain that either site warrants a mention. They're both very important to me and our community but it's difficult to say what their contributions are on a larger, historical scale.

Offline Gil

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #13 on: February 03, 2016, 01:43:45 am
We deserve a mention ;). As far as I can tell, Pixelation and Pixel Joint created a generation of artists, so much so, that I keep running into people in all sorts of places, from game studios to any random place where pixel art pops up (pieces from Pixeljoint were long the most favorite to pick as paintings in Minecraft). A bunch of influential indie games were created by people that learned their trade right here. If we were to make a list of just the professional games I know of that have Pixelation or Pixeljoint members on the team, we'd be absolutely flabbergasted. We even managed to influence quite a few old timers, like Henk Nieborg. Other places where pixel art is practiced are usually dominated by our members (places like deviantArt).

It makes me proud and I definitely think we should our heads up high and put ourselves in lists like that.

Offline RAV

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #14 on: February 03, 2016, 03:01:21 am
it's defintively not 2005
Yeah, I've got PJ listed at 2005 (though it was -technically- working in Dec 2004). Pixelation is currently listed as 20?? because the beginnings of this community remain extremely murky to me.

I'm still not certain that either site warrants a mention. They're both very important to me and our community but it's difficult to say what their contributions are on a larger, historical scale.

Oh, hehe.. ,

A selfless look on it. Good. That's what a historic effort needs. The newer pixel art communities have been rather lopsided and almost revisionist in their view on the Demoscene. It was part of their attempt to find their own identity through critique on past developments, and in that sometimes jumped to judge it, by their own time's mindset and morals.

The demoscene was quite influential, up to industry, but altogether it too was a rather indirect and very obscure underground counter-culture behind the scenes. It wasn't a globally conscient phenomenon, like playing Mario was. In that sense, if you mention Demoscene, you might as well mention Pixelation and PixelJoint. I think in the reality of it, 99% of people today that consume or produce something with pixel art, never heard or cared about Pixelation and PixelJoint as such, nor the demoscene. But both left some subtle traces. Whether either of them deserve to stand next to the Gameboy or Mario, in raw cultural impact on their own, is questionable indeed though. But I think it's good to show that other side of pixel art, that it meant more than mainstream culture and industrial product.

On that note, when you mention all those particular console hardware, that in a way can be seen as just variations of the pixel computational principle, you may as well mention some more screen technologies that came after CRT.

Offline Ai

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #15 on: February 03, 2016, 05:27:40 am
On reflection, possibly the popularization of LCD displays belongs on there, depending on what you're going for exactly. The TV(ie low quality CRT) -> computer CRT -> LCD progression has definitely effected the appearance of pixel art -- going from less discrete to very discrete (and consequently impacting the usability of techniques such as dithering; AFAICT higher-contrast dithering became significantly less usable as LCD became standard)
IMO things like the superbrothers art style exploit LCD display characteristics (eg. exaggerating contrast further by choice of shapes).
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 05:29:43 am by Ai »
AA tutorial about handling irregular lines.

If you're not at least a little uncomfortable, chances are you're not learning that much.

Offline RAV

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #16 on: February 03, 2016, 05:39:23 am
So another thing that's been bugging me is, there's no PC pixel art in there. And I wonder, does pixel art on early IBM computers not have sufficient relevance, or maybe not in the USA? Here in middle Europe, it was more the other way around, consumer gaming consoles were often enough minor. I never played even Mario, nor any other console games, ever. Some did, heard about it, but it just wasn't necessarily that big a thing for us.

I grew up on first ASCII code games on IBM computers with monochrome screens, and then on all kinds of "indie" shareware pixel games (funny this was actually a big thing in the past, too.), and then bigger commercial games like Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle (Point&Click adventures of Lucas Arts), or Warcraft, or Settlers, or Sim City, or Lemmings, or Commander Keen, or Command&Conquer, or... There were a great many pixel art PC games, and only they defined pixel art for me. I don't know exactly how exclusive they all were to PC, but often they were mouse/kb heavy controls. I don't know if that's a territorial thing, and if for example Settlers is nothing compared to a Mario on global scale, so that it would not be worth mentioning on such list. But in my youth, where I lived, it was the other way around. Anyway, not exactly sure which PC titles to prioritize though, maybe genre success, or what. And since PC is such a homogenous era for most people, compared to clear cut console generations, many people don't exactly tie it with pixel art anymore, they connect it more with the transit away from it, but it did start with some iconic pixel art games, even though they were work machines.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 07:51:13 am by RAV »

Offline Ai

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #17 on: February 03, 2016, 10:27:46 am
Well, the Sierra point-and-clicks are certainly notable.. I'm not sure whether they are notable in a pixel art sense though. I pointed out the Ultimate games because I thought they contributed a lot to the early exposure and popularization of the isometric view in pixel art, which is still ultimately a small enough scene for that to be notable.

My picture of the history of PC gaming, especially WRT art, is a lot less clear; my picture of PC art in that era is like "There was a lot of mediocre stuff. There was stuff that was professional but unremarkable (Apogee, Epic Megagames). And there was Flashback (which I know wasn't PC exclusive)"

2002 seems right for the green-on-black Pixelation (dunno if there was a version before that).

Not sure what to say about regional differences. I know they existed -- eg Commodore 64 was of no particular note in Europe, whereas CPC was of much note there; Spectrum seemed to be particularly popular in Britain; etc. I think that we have to consider where the majority of the pixel art was being produced -- and personally, I have no idea what the answer to that is.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 10:55:44 am by Ai »
AA tutorial about handling irregular lines.

If you're not at least a little uncomfortable, chances are you're not learning that much.

Offline Helm

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #18 on: February 03, 2016, 02:31:39 pm
Quote
We even managed to influence quite a few old timers, like Henk Nieborg.

In what way? Is there a quote on the matter? Seemed to me Henk Nieborg always had pretty clean technique, even on the Amiga before Pixelation ever existed

Offline yrizoud

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #19 on: February 03, 2016, 03:37:41 pm
About the PC platform, I think the japanese manga style drawn as 16-color 640x400 (480?) was a pretty significant step. The higher resolution allowed precise line art and dither patterns to mix two colors. The only specific game I have in mind is Knights of Xentar (1995 english version of a 1991 game) - it's NSFW, so be careful what you 'image search' for.