Pixelart happenings and opinions

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Art, Gamedev | No Comments

In these last months, other than working on Goscurry, fighting bureaucracy and other stuff, for once I did only the graphics for a couple games, both in pixelart (or “pixel art”, but I like the loose portmanteau version better). They are Earthling Priorities — a mini adventure game — and People In Love — a city sim where positive planning and people’s happiness are the most important factors — both still under development.

A very short opinion on pixelart

I believe that pixelart is a fantastic style. It forces you to reach an enormous synthesis, transforming each of your drawings in what might be considered a metaphor. Also, you can use your mouse while drawing, which is a great deal for me considering that I have only one tablet, and my lady uses it.

That said, I don’t like retro pixelart much. I find it reductive, as if copying some old game’s style was its only purpose. In my humble opinion, pixelart is a style, not a nostalgic artefact, and deserves to be treated that way. Which doesn’t mean that there’s no space for retro remakes: it’s just to state that there’s also so much more.

People In Love

People In Love 01

Led by Mr Kindness Pietro Polsinelli, People In love is a tile-based game, where each tile represents a building of some kind. I have only 31×31 pixels to represent each building, in both a negative and a positive version. As with many things, drawing the evil stuff is easier, but after many tries (color-wise) I think I am now satisfied with both approaches. I tried to keep everything as abstract as possible, while also keeping it understandable and attractive. I developed an approach where I start painting with “big” 8×8 brushes to shape things up, then refine them with different colors. It’s great fun and Pietro is lovely, and I can’t wait to see it in action.

Earthling Priorities

Earthling Priorities Monorail

Written and developed by Konstantinos Dimopoulos (also known as Gnome) with music by the always impressive Chris Christodoulou, Earthling Priorities is a supershort adventure about Life, the Company, and Everything (yes I like to quote book titles, kill me). Konstantinos’ directives were to use a style inspired by the old Space Quest games. So I worked on a 160×100 screen size and tried to keep the feeling of those lovely (and cruel) games, while also trying to be somewhat original. I’m still not sure how I managed, but at least I can say that I learned a lot from the experience, and there’s a big difference between the initial — now scrapped — scenes and the final ones. This one is being great fun too, and the team, once again, is just lovely.

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