Discussion: Why retro?

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  • like someone said before, because retro games have an unexplicable quality to them. It's very difficult to give a high res game this quality. It's like asking: why do some people love vintage cars? they were loud, ineffiencient, bulky, and inferior to todays modern sportscars. Well some people just don't like those modern cars, or maybe they do, but they still hold retro in their heart.

    I also beleive that people like retro in the 2d gaming scene because it has proven itself ( with releases like metroid,mario, megaman etc.) to be fun, and able to tell a tale with simplicity.

    high-res 2d is still a bit more niche, and is only starting to prove its worth (world of goo etc.) as having the ability to create a "great" game with heart and gameplay as the main features.

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  • I've often wondered about this myself... and I still haven't worked it out. I love maximum resolution, with elaborate graphics... why make a game that plays good but looks like a turd when you can make a game that plays good and looks more like a polished turd instead?

    I say make it big. And if it doesn't fit on your monitor, then buy a bigger monitor.


  • Certainly, I think lot of it is to do with the designers graphical abilities, or at least the time it takes to produce them. Most indie devs are one or two people with little to no budget, and are unwilling or incapable of creating huge amounts of hi-res artwork for a game. The smaller you make your graphics, the faster you can produce them. Certainly, for some of my projects I've used incredibly tiny screen resolutions in order to build much bigger worlds, with very low-res graphics. Look at Nifflas' games; they're about as small as they can get whilst still being visable, and yet he's used this to create intricate and absorbing worlds and an engaging art style.

    Another problem, certainly in my case, is familiarity. You know where you stand with traditional low-res sprites: 16 x 16 blocks making up rooms, and the user simply scales the game up to their monitor size and it's all fine. With a high-res game though, you lose these restrictions, and then where do you start? Do you make the game at its maximum resolution, then somehow scale it down to fit smaller monitors? Or do you design it to fit the average monitor (1024 x 768 is, I think, still the most widely used resolution) and scale it up, risking the graphics looking blurry on high-res displays. How do you go about making it scale anyway? It's certainly something I'd like to look into. I'd like to do a high-res game, with lovely high-def artwork 'n all, but I wouldn't really know where to start. It is certainly a large technical barrier that may persuade the majority to stick with what they know, low-res retro graphics.

  • Certainly, I think lot of it is to do with the designers graphical abilities, or at least the time it takes to produce them.

    For a while I thought I was alone in that thought. Phew.

    With a limited indie budget (usually consisting only of allocated TIME) one has to choose carefully. Since gameplay is what really matters, graphics usually get a big cut (and audio too).

    I did release some unfinished work here (rocket-days) with fullscreen effects (two alpha blended layers) and whatnot and was told that it ran too slow and I should take em off.

    Also, there's the long-standing argument over motion blur.

    I'm all up for stunning 2D look. Scaling up is not really an issue (unless that bug of enlarging window still remains ) as there are tools to scale to any resolution. Of course it doesn't improve as 3D does, but it's just as it would look on the original resolution but with better edges.

    All that said, once you go commercial people apply commercial standards, which are running sky high.

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