AuthorTopic: The History of Pixel Art  (Read 14020 times)

Offline Gil

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #20 on: February 03, 2016, 06:42:38 pm
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
Wasn't talking about technique really, more the fact that I heard he's friends with a lot of Pix/PJ members these days, worked on games with them, etc.

Offline Friend

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #21 on: February 03, 2016, 08:51:00 pm
how extensive has your research been on this topic and how thorough are you gonna be with this? 

i think the current indie boom and its glorifying of pixel art as a worthwhile, chosen aesthetic choice is relevant to add to the timeline.

though i do  believe this has led to somewhat of a backlash towards pixel art, since gamers frequently see pixel art indies as laziness. 

my conception of it is that pixel art has become on its own a way to immediately stamp itself as indie, to separate indie games from mainstream.  but interestingly, with the rise of respect towards indies has led to somewhat of a saturation of pixel titles in which the pixel art aesthetic has on one hand catered to nostalgic gamers, on the other alienated some younger gamers who grew up with call of duty

Offline Cure

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #22 on: February 03, 2016, 09:03:20 pm
how extensive has your research been on this topic and how thorough are you gonna be with this? 
A couple of days spent idly googling, supplemented with things I've picked up in the last decade at pj/pixelation or irl (like the music cabinet I found in Detroit). As for how thorough- dunno yet. Just collecting data and getting community feedback to get a feel for what is more and less important in the development of our artform. This could turn into an extensive list categorized by decade, and a short-list for easier consumption.

I agree the indie boom is relevant, but which particular points are pivotal? Superbrothers? Cave story? The debut of particular hardware?

@RAV, Ai: LCDs had a huge impact on pixel art and I will update the list with a mention of the invention.

Also I began updating with pictures.

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #23 on: February 03, 2016, 09:19:00 pm
according to this site http://gizmodo.com/5546518/a-brief-and-glorious-history-of-pixel-art the indie boom was sparked in 2007-  "in fact, Sony that launched out of the indie stalls first in 2007. Fl0w from thatgamecompany was first, followed by Everyday Shooter from Queasy Games, and the first couple of titles in Q-Games' PixelJunk series. All three companies were destined to define the way we view indies on consoles."

notice all three of those games had somewhat unique art at the time.  i think this led to the the trope of "experimental" or "oppositional" graphical styles from the norm, and became the way indies were recognized. in addition, unique graphics were a visual result of the inherent desire for indies to pose new ideas into gaming.

 i have no idea if this is correct, but i imagine pixel art became the new face of indies that relates back to this need for unique visuals.  while pixel art at this time 2007ish had been replaced, rebranding pixel art unto the indie genre not only gives a clear artistic basis for new indie games without needing to completely reinvent the wheel, but also a means to connect to older gamers through nostalgia.  again this is entirely my hypothesis.

need more research so sorry i cant say anything concrete  :'(  i think pixel art's rebranding into the indie scene was just a snowball effect

Offline Cure

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #24 on: February 03, 2016, 09:28:51 pm
I think money is a big factor too. Small indie developers simply don't have the budget for expansive 3D games, or the massive teams such an undertaking would require. So pixel art graphics are used in a way that emphasizes their nostalgic value and greater focus is placed on gameplay.

Also a hypothesis, as I am not a gamer and have played roughly 0 indie games (I did spend 10 minutes playing Sword & Sworcery though...)

Offline Atnas

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #25 on: February 03, 2016, 09:45:06 pm
Cave story could be seen as breaking ground for popularizing not necessarily a 'style' but more of a mindset. Older games, including indie games, seemed to be fighting a battle to try to express a lot in pixel art, and came up with varying degrees of failure. Cave Story embraced simplicity to make the artwork manageable for a lone developer, and what was taken from this by the community was a utilitarian and minimalist view of pixel art, one that shaped a lot of indie games in the following years and ultimately inspired design choices seen in Sword & Sworcery EP. If you read interviews with Superbrothers, you'll find a large inspiration for the visual style that they had been developing for over half a decade prior to the release of Sword and Sworcery EP were the same things that Amaya tried to do with Cave Story.

I'm not saying it was the first to choose a style like this, but it was definitely the most notable departure from the norm that I can think of. Take note that Cave Story began development in 1999, it's safe to say that Amaya's decision to be inspired by retro graphics like the original super mario was way ahead of his time, when the games industry at large was focusing on prerendered graphics and 3D.

While that's a level of granularity that might not be worth getting into, I definitely feel Cave Story (2004) deserves an entry on the timeline.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 09:54:39 pm by Atnas »

Offline RAV

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #26 on: February 04, 2016, 07:28:54 am
Good stuff, everyone. And man, cure you did your homework looking into things and putting it together, the list is looking nice now, with those sample pics.

I mean, in a way it's a mad endeavor, attempting anything like this. There are so many loose ends, things we don't know, lost knowledge...

we can sit at it and discuss forever, basically, and I guess we will. :)

In the meantime however, even so, as is, this Pixelation project may be the best overview for giving people a better sense of pixel art's greater wealth.

That there seems to be a timeless need in humans to express themselves with these techniques across all means.

Offline Cure

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #27 on: February 04, 2016, 04:39:44 pm
If you read interviews with Superbrothers, you'll find a large inspiration for the visual style that they had been developing for over half a decade prior to the release of Sword and Sworcery EP were the same things that Amaya tried to do with Cave Story.
Interesting that the interviewer, in 2011, used the term 'bit-art'.

Offline Helm

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #28 on: February 04, 2016, 05:40:00 pm
Yeah, this is a wonderful resource. Thank you, Cure

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #29 on: February 04, 2016, 09:35:51 pm
Maybe something about this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_A._Kirsch this is an interesting short article:http://www.wired.com/2010/06/smoothing-square-pixels/
And those Mattel games with the red LED lights maybe.. though it's more light units rather than pixels:
http://www.retroland.com/mattel-electronics-football/
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 09:37:45 pm by |||| »