AuthorTopic: The History of Pixel Art  (Read 113720 times)

Offline Friend

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #50 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 #51 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 #52 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 #53 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 #54 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 #55 on: February 04, 2016, 05:40:00 pm
Yeah, this is a wonderful resource. Thank you, Cure

Offline ||||

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #56 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 |||| »

Offline pipster818

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #57 on: February 05, 2016, 11:52:54 pm
I think sprite and pixel art webcomics should be included in the timeline, like 8-Bit Theater, Kid Radd, or Bob and George. The comic A Modest Destiny is particularly good, and is a pretty early example (2003) of pixel art as a deliberate medium of its own and not just a technical limitation. I think webcomics like this played an important role in spreading the style and the terminology to a wider audience.

http://www.squidi.net/comic/index.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Destiny


I also think more recent indie games should be included. Minecraft is pretty popular, but I don't think it fully represents pixel art, because the graphics are three dimensional, and honestly, not very good. (I mean I absolutely love Minecraft, don't get me wrong, but the art is pretty meh.) I think Swords and Sworcery might be a good example, because it also came out in 2011 but is much closer to what's considered "real" pixel art. It has also had a huge effect on the art styles of a lot of new pixel artists.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superbrothers:_Sword_%26_Sworcery_EP


That's my two cents. This is my first time posting to this website, so I've got my fingers crossed that this isn't formatted wrong or posted to the wrong thread or something.

Offline Cure

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #58 on: February 06, 2016, 05:52:30 pm
Russel Kirsch, Cave Story added.

@pipster: I'll wait and see what others' experience with sprite comics are. I've had no experience with them so can't say how influential they've been. They've always turned me off with mixed resolutions and artwork that is generally terrible.

about minecraft- yes, it's primarily a voxel-based game, but makes extensive use of pixel art textures, and is incomparably influential in broader society compared to any recent game sporting pixel art. If enough people don't think it's significant enough, I'll remove it from the list. But remember, you couldn't buy a pixel-art pickaxe from a toy store before Minecraft, nor did you see kids dressed up as pixelated monsters for Halloween.

- - -

I was reading the comments on Helm's recently-submitted piece at PJ and learned he works for Nitrome. Which got me thinking- should Nitrome make the list? They've produced 10 billion games with pixel art since 2005 after all. Probably had a hand in popularizing that bright, poppy style of pixel art that you also see in eBoy.

Which reminds me- I should put eBoy on the list.
edit: How does one turn an image into a link on this forum? I'd like the thumbnails to link to larger images.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 06:11:34 pm by Cure »

Offline 0xDB

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #59 on: February 06, 2016, 06:21:44 pm
Which reminds me- I should put eBoy on the list.
Only if you want to make a History Of Crapxel Art. </harsh personal opinion>