AuthorTopic: Am I going crazy here?  (Read 25639 times)

Offline Crow

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 09:59:20 am
well.. you did ask non-artists which screenshots looked better..
Perhaps asking artists that don't play games to look and decipher which are better might receive different results.

From a non-artist standpoint (you know, I'm not an artist anyway) I'd rather ask the people who actually end up playing a game what they prefer. In the end, though, I'm sure they'd like some old school art anyway. Game design and execution is also important here.
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Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 10:14:27 am
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I think the trouble is you're asking people to form a conscious opinion, where they normally don't have one.  Resolution is just easily quantifiable. 32 > 16.
Yes, but I didn't tell them the resolution was lower or anything like that, and you can barely even tell with a game like LttP. They just said things like "it looks bad. I don't know why." or "it bothers my eyes. It's too detailed." It's not like I told them "this game is newer and higher resolution. These games are old and have a lower resolution. Which do you prefer?"

Yeah but, one screenshot is double the size or the others are very blocky.  Or they don't like purple.  They just sound like easy things to use to make a decision rather than examining the actual aesthetic style and technical talent like we might.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 10:36:58 am by rikfuzz »

Offline jams0988

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 10:24:27 am
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Yeah but, one screenshot is double the size or the others are very blocky.  Or they don't like purple.  They just sound like easy things to use to make a decision rather than examining the actual aesthetic style and technical talent like we might.
So you're saying these might just be gut reactions, based on having to come up with an opinion quickly and under pressure? That given time with these old games, they might come to appreciate their artwork? That's an interesting thought, too. That might be true, too...

Thanks, that cheered me up a little. X'D

Offline Helm

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 12:10:16 pm
I think it's absolutely understandable that a mass audience would prefer a simple palette that is straightforward and makes sense on a symbolic level ('grass is green') where there's no supersaturation to hurt people's eyes or arcane patterns of pixels clogging up the space. That is because people do not look at these things as art consciously, they look at them as game-spaces. And from the two screenshots you've provided in this thread, the  Secrets of Grindea one is a better game space. It makes one feel serene, like they know what they have to do before they even touch the controls. There's space. There's a path leading to somewhere. There's numbers where enemies get hurt. This is safe. I know this.

Adarias' screenshot is arcane. The purple is so strong it DOES punch through and create a priority issue if you look at it from a game space perspective.

I think from these two screenshots, given that one is higher res and emptier and the other smaller and packed, these reactions are understandable.

This doesn't mean that a game artist needs to make his art bland and inviting to avoid people thinking their game is uglier than those other bland and inviting games are. It's just a risk (to make a more arcane-looking, idiosyncratic game art style) that one has to consider and adopt willingly to persue some other end effect on the user. Perhaps a degree of tension, or a game narrative function that viewers wouldn't consciously point at and say "I think this is a better looking screen that that screen because it makes me feel incomfortable and confined".

Offline Batzy

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 12:55:42 pm
First off http://www.pixeljoint.com/p/20079.htm

Secondly that SoG screenshot you posted doesn't do justice. Been following this project for a while myself too C:

I noticed a few of them saying "like the old games, but so much better looking," which really surprised me.

and yeah i wouldn't compare it to old pure PA games anyway since it uses NPA effects they (trolls/idiots) just messin' with ya head.

Offline Tourist

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 03:34:16 pm
For the sake of completeness,

Could you post or link to the other screen shots that you used? 

Did you present the lower resolution images at a smaller size (1x), or did you present all of the images at the same size?

edit: I suppose info about the age and gaming experience of the surveyed group would be useful too.  But others can repeat your survey without that info.

Tourist
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 03:37:42 pm by Tourist »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 05:24:26 pm
I think it's completely irrelevant what comments some people post. There will always be comments like "zomfg how great" and "bah that's total shit".
It's all about the people you ask, if your friends are playing just for example 3D ego shooters like CoD and Battlefield they maybe can't really understand what's behind an old 2D RPG.
If you ask people who played lots of the old classics they will give you other answers and if you ask artists the answers will be also different. Just look out for people who like the same stuff as you and all is good. There are that many people and even if you think about some very unusual things, there are still people who like them - and this is good, because if everybody would like the same all would look like the same and this is boring.

Maybe our sight as artists is wrong, who can say that since art is completely subjective.

If you look at both screenshots you can recognize what's illustrated, that's the most important thing.

The Grindea screenshot looks with it's effects much more dynamic and game-like than adarias' mockup. You can definitely see the action there.
The Grindea screenshot also suggests more depth.
And I'd say it's by far more pleasing to look at on the first sight, like helm said, there is a path, you can imagine what is to do and so on.

The colors in adarias screenshot are fighting each other, maybe there is also a too strong contrast (purple-yellow) in the background and the charakters aren't really easy to read since the lava and stones are taking all of your attention. The charakters also don't look at each other and it's not really clear where to look at the whole screen. It's also not clear if the charakters can jump over the lava.
Maybe the parts itself are better made, but the things which you can read are much stronger in the grindea screenshot. Most people even won't recognize how the pixels are arranged, they can see it, but they won't look at it or recognize it.

But just because the illustrated things are "better" made, from an artistical standpoint there is no guarantee that the whole thing will work better. I think the big misconception about this is that we are looking at the most things as artists, not as users, gamers or whatever. We are also rating the things as artists and we are judging things by our own observation. Maybe our observations are wrong, who can proove this? Maybe we are looking at the wrong part, how do we know?
There is no problem with this as long as we don't put our own opinion above all others. It's also possible that our opinion about things changes over the years, was our earlier opinion wrong than?

Is it a necessarity that all people have to think the same as you? Even if they are friends?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 05:29:13 pm by Cyangmou »
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Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 05:53:09 pm
I would recommend updating the SoG screenshot with your view of general good pixel technique and solid aesthetic qualities and see what people say about a side by side comparison.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #18 on: September 06, 2012, 12:03:45 am
I've followed Secrets of Grindia for quite some time..
There is a lot of bad pixel techniques, I'm not a huge fan of the palette for the most part.
For example, there is A LOT of edge highlighting and pillow shading.. Some stuff also seems smudged out by shadows.

But they get stuff done and I really like the animations!
And the game really seems to be going in the right direction. Although I can't help but notice details that bothers me.

If their artist would hang around this place, he/she would improve immensely..
Because I think they're just not used to the medium.. I mean obviously the artist has experience but he's skipped on the basics and never learned "proper" techniques.
Much like myself before I found this place, I was not aware of all the mistakes I was making.

It also comes down to preference, I tend to prefer minimalistic use of colors and low levels of noise.
While SoG has quite noisy wood and rock textures which seem kinda random and undefined.
There also seem to be little to no hue shifting, which is what I think made those old rpgs look so magical with blue or purple shadows.

Some better screens:

« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 12:20:28 am by Seiseki »

Offline Dusty

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Re: Am I going crazy here?

Reply #19 on: September 06, 2012, 12:28:21 am
It has a very cartoony appeal and the overall appearance is very welcoming and aesthetically solid... it's just the pixel technique that's atrocious. I quite like the path regardless; very natural looking.