AuthorTopic: What is an 8 bit  (Read 1768 times)

Offline zorro

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What is an 8 bit

on: March 06, 2016, 02:59:12 am
I'm kinda new on pixel art,sometimes I see a game and they promote the game as an 8 bit game or maybe 8 bit art.I don't think they mean they're using the color from nes era.So what do they mean by 8 bit?

Offline surt

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Re: What is an 8 bit

Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 03:07:31 am
"8-bit" is mostly trendy/marketing nonsense.
Usually they mean in the style of 8-bit era consoles, but people who use the term to mean that usually seem to have little understanding of what that actually implies.

Offline Ai

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Re: What is an 8 bit

Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 03:24:17 am
Mm. Frequently they use 8-bit to refer to art that is actually more like 16-bit (SNES era). Other times it just refers to some vague 'retro' idea with no coherence, happily plastering gradients and lighting effects on top of it.

Basically the same problem as with 'roguelike'. Marketers either don't know or don't care what roguelike actually means, either.

8-bit is not super meaningful in reference to pixel art anyway, due to the large range of hardware in that era, all that you can really say identifies it is 'not very many colors -- 32 max, and significantly less than that per-sprite.'
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 03:27:43 am by Ai »
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Offline doimus

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Re: What is an 8 bit

Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 11:29:44 am
Yeah, whenever you see the 8-bit buzzword, you can most certainly be sure it won't have 8-bit graphics or philosophy in it...

But if there is anything that's common to most 8 bit system it's the locked palette with ... how should we say it politely... weird-ass color choices:crazy:

Once you get the ability to choose your colors, you're most likely well into 16-bit territory. Unless you belong to PC EGA master-race...

Offline ptoing

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Re: What is an 8 bit

Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 11:42:18 am
doimus: define "choose colours". The PC-Engine has an 8-bit processor but a 16 bit graphics chip (which handles 9 bit graphics, meaning a total of 512 colours to choose from), so I guess that is halfway.

Also, 8-bit would generally refer to the processor of a machine, and there it just means how big a single instruction can be or something, from what I understand. It really has nothing to do with the graphics as such.

And if you go into graphics 8-bit could mean different things:

It could be the size of the indexed palette, allowing for 256 colours at once (which is the case for VGA games.)
Or it could be the bitdepth, which then would mean either 233, 323, or 332 bits per pixel, or possibly even other combos like 2321 or 2222 with an intensity or alpha bit.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline 0xDB

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Re: What is an 8 bit

Reply #5 on: March 07, 2016, 12:15:07 pm
Also, 8-bit would generally refer to the processor of a machine, and there it just means how big a single instruction can be or something, from what I understand. It really has nothing to do with the graphics as such.
That's true, it does not usually refer to the graphics unless used in the context of Bitmap & Bitdepth. On machines/processors, saying such and such is an X-bit CPU usually refers to the width of the Address Bus and the size of the Registers inside the CPU. A well known 8-bit CPU (with a 16-bit address bus) is the MOS 6502 for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOS_Technology_6502
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 12:29:08 pm by 0xDB »

Offline Ai

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Re: What is an 8 bit

Reply #6 on: March 09, 2016, 12:34:09 pm
Once you get the ability to choose your colors, you're most likely well into 16-bit territory. Unless you belong to PC EGA master-race...
PC EGA was already 16-bit. only the 8088 was 8-bit; the 8086 (CGA era) and 80286 (EGA / early VGA era) were 16-bit, processors after that 32bit.

There were various 8bit systems that allowed you to choose your colors, albeit from a very small colorspace. CPC, NES, SMS.
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Offline ptoing

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Re: What is an 8 bit

Reply #7 on: March 09, 2016, 01:07:07 pm
PC-Engine is, as I stated before, also technically 8 bit as far as the processor goes, and has 9-bit colours. Same as the Mega Drive/Genesis. It even can handle a lot more palettes at once than the MD. So yeah, CPU vs Graphics hardware makes all the difference.

Oh also, all the Atari 8 bit machines (consoles and computers) have palettes of 128 -256 colours (not counting the PAL versions of the 2600 which has a bit less, or the SECAM one which has like 8 colours, lol)

And the Commodore +4, C16 and C116 also all have 128 colours (technically 121, because you get 8 shades of black)

All of those are 8 bit too.

And then you can look at a lot of 8bit arcade hardware which has more than just 8 or 16 colours to choose from as well.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.