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AbsolutSurgen

PC Rogue Legacy 2 -- Early Access Trailer (Steam/EGS)

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One of the few games that makes flash-style artwork look like a genuine improvement over pixel art.  I like what they've done here, it was the correct choice.

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2 hours ago, crispy4000 said:

One of the few games that makes flash-style artwork look like a genuine improvement over pixel art.  I like what they've done here, it was the correct choice.

I couldn't be more sick of pixel art.

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7 minutes ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

I couldn't be more sick of pixel art.


It’s easier not to fuck up though. Or maybe there’s just more vg artists that do it well.  I hate bad flash art animation.

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1 hour ago, crispy4000 said:


It’s easier not to fuck up though. Or maybe there’s just more vg artists that do it well.  I hate bad flash art animation.

:shrug:

I view it as a lazy art style that is trying to prey on the nostalgia of gamers.

Just do good art.  We no longer are limited by the hardware of the 80's and 90's.

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56 minutes ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

:shrug:

I view it as a lazy art style that is trying to prey on the nostalgia of gamers.

Just do good art.  We no longer are limited by the hardware of the 80's and 90's.

 

You can’t just do good art.  You have to do good animation

 

Pixel artists generally have a much better command of good animation principles than devs who resort to this:

 


That’s the standard bar for 2D indie action games that don’t use pixel art.  It’s not a good look.  And is, factually, a lazier animation process than pixel art.

 

I’m much more sick of it.  And am more likely to dismiss a game that uses it as crap.

 

Sure, it can look good if it’s developed with a keen eye for avoiding the ‘cheap Flash game‘ effect.  Rayman Origins and Legends are good examples.

 

But generally, I see this as the shortcut.  Especially compared to indies that target a 16/32-bit aesthetic.  Which does take more effort, time and talent.

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5 hours ago, crispy4000 said:

One of the few games that makes flash-style artwork look like a genuine improvement over pixel art.  I like what they've done here, it was the correct choice.

 

Looks like a mixed bag to me. The smooth frame rate looks nice, some of the backgrounds and effects look good but the characters look kinda bad. Like if you turn pixel smoothing on.

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41 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

 

You can’t just do good art.  You have to do good animation

 

Pixel artists generally have a much better command of good animation principles than devs who resort to this:

 


That’s the standard bar for 2D indie action games that don’t use pixel art.  It’s not a good look.  And is, factually, a lazier animation process than pixel art.

 

I’m much more sick of it.  And am more likely to dismiss a game that uses it as crap.

 

Sure, it can look good if it’s developed with a keen eye for avoiding the ‘cheap Flash game‘ effect.  Rayman Origins and Legends are good examples.

 

But generally, I see this as the shortcut.  Especially compared to indies that target a 16/32-bit aesthetic.  Which does take more effort, time and talent.

Something older, like Dragon's Crown looks infinitely better, to me, than that.

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1 hour ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

Something older, like Dragon's Crown looks infinitely better, to me, than that.

 

Dragon's Crown follows the same approach as that game, technically.  So does Rayman Origins.  It's just that the gulf between good and bad implementations is massive.  Pixel art doesn't quite suffer the same gap, because it can hold up to fewer frames of animation depending on the controls and genre.

 

You need a lot of moving pieces, hand animated touch ups, and knowhow to avoid the flash game effect.  To do it right takes a ton of effort:

 

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There's probably more people good at pixel art.  Though it's also a daunting amount of work if you take it to similar extremes.

 

But for corner cutting?  Modular animation is the easy choice.

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The bigger, smoother and more detailed the sprites the less it looks like pixel art despite being pixel art. I mean I don't think anyone would say these look bad

 

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I'm pretty sure Skullgirls is hand drawn in everything but the coloring, which doesn't even pretend to be shaded like pixel art.

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9 minutes ago, Keyser_Soze said:

They're still considered pixels since they are sprites

 

I don't agree with that definition at all.  You can put high resolution FMV in sprite containers.  It doesn't make it pixel art.

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In any case I think Absolute Sturgeon mainly means 8 bit art style not necessarily pixel art. Maybe he will see the error in his ways from this point on.

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I don't think pixel art is done to prey on nostalgia. I think it's because it's very precise and easily measured, so you can create templates easily and not have to eyeball things quite as much. It's also much more friendly to less frames of animation. Non pixel art that has the same amount of animation as typical pixel art looks like absolute shit, and triply so if they use tweening rather than hand animating movement. That said, I think being sick of any type of art style as a whole is kind of weird. "Pixel art" is such an incredibly broad thing that I wouldn't even quantify it AS an art style.

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42 minutes ago, Xbob42 said:

I don't think pixel art is done to prey on nostalgia. I think it's because it's very precise and easily measured, so you can create templates easily and not have to eyeball things quite as much. It's also much more friendly to less frames of animation. Non pixel art that has the same amount of animation as typical pixel art looks like absolute shit, and triply so if they use tweening rather than hand animating movement. That said, I think being sick of any type of art style as a whole is kind of weird. "Pixel art" is such an incredibly broad thing that I wouldn't even quantify it AS an art style.

 

Sometimes it's the opposite, when it's too smooth.  You need impact stall frames for a game not to feel like you're slicing through butter.  Also for wind up pauses, etc.

 

What I like about Rogue Legacy 2 is that it seems like they've got a good balance so far.  Smooth animation, but not strangely so. Same with Hollow Knight.

 

I also like what Dead Cells does, with 3D animation translated back into a pixel art style.  That also works out pretty well, when the 3D animation is good.

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7 hours ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

I couldn't be more sick of pixel art.

 

I couldn't be sick of good pixel art :p

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1) I think people should be smart enough to recognize I was talking about the style of pixel art used in the original Rogue Legacy, not anything that has 2D art.  Can anyone clarify what the commonly accepted term is for this, so I don't confuse people going forward?  

To be more specific, I am tired of pixel-art graphics that:

- artificially constrain the numbers of colours on-screen

-  use pixels (or voxels) that are visible, and way too big for modern resolution screens

- use excessive tiling of background elements

- use far too few frames of animation

Older hardware had physical constraints that forced this in the past (i.e. limited memory, limited colour pallettes, limited # of colours onscreen) -- modern gaming platforms don't.

 

2) FWIW, Rogue Legacy 2 is 3D made to look 2D

 

 

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On 6/23/2020 at 8:33 PM, AbsolutSurgen said:

To be more specific, I am tired of pixel-art graphics that:

- artificially constrain the numbers of colours on-screen

-  use pixels (or voxels) that are visible, and way too big for modern resolution screens

- use excessive tiling of background elements

- use far too few frames of animation

 

Older hardware had physical constraints that forced this in the past (i.e. limited memory, limited colour pallettes, limited # of colours onscreen) -- modern gaming platforms don't.

 

Can you give some examples of modern 2D pixel art games that uses “far too few frames of animation?”
 

I find that comment somewhat ironic after that RL2 gif you just posted.  They’re intentionally keeping the frame count much lower than that Die for Valhalla game I referenced earlier.

 

I’ve got no beef with indies trying to be throwback with their visuals, even 8-bit.  It just means that the design and controls have to do the heavy lifting for it to get attention.

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43 minutes ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

1) I think people should be smart enough to recognize I was talking about the style of pixel art used in the original Rogue Legacy, not anything that has 2D art.  Can anyone clarify what the commonly accepted term is for this, so I don't confuse people going forward?  

To be more specific, I am tired of pixel-art graphics that:

- artificially constrain the numbers of colours on-screen

-  use pixels (or voxels) that are visible, and way too big for modern resolution screens

- use excessive tiling of background elements

- use far too few frames of animation

Older hardware had physical constraints that forced this in the past (i.e. limited memory, limited colour pallettes, limited # of colours onscreen) -- modern gaming platforms don't.

 

 

On 6/23/2020 at 9:05 PM, Keyser_Soze said:

In any case I think Absolute Sturgeon mainly means 8 bit art style not necessarily pixel art. Maybe he will see the error in his ways from this point on.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

 

Can you give some examples of a modern 2D pixel art game that uses “far too few frames of animation?”
 

I find that comment somewhat ironic after that RL2 gif you just posted.  They’re intentionally keeping the frame count much lower than that Die for Valhalla game I referenced earlier.

Rogue Legacy, Spelunky, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2.

Just now, crispy4000 said:

The original RL was more 16-bit.

It was 16-bit plus.  I don't believe RL graphics would not be possible on a 16-bit console/computer.

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1 hour ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

Rogue Legacy, Spelunky, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2.

 

It was 16-bit plus.  I don't believe RL graphics would not be possible on a 16-bit console/computer.


Uh, Spelunky doesn’t use pixel art.

 

 

The animation there actually looks smoother than the RL2 gif you previously highlighted about doing it right. 


I don’t think RL1 had a particularly low amount of frames either. It’s not Metal Slug, but it doesn’t stand out to me as a game that could have used more in between frames. It feels plenty responsive and smooth.
 

Circle of the Moon 2 leans more into NES standards, outside of some boss battles.  Still looks good to me for the aesthetic it’s after.

 

These are 3 very different looking games, in art and animation approach. 
 

 

Edit: As for RL not being possible on a 16-bit console, I seem to recall some occasional burst effects on beating bosses that might not be.  But yes, a 16-bit console should have been able to otherwise.  Even if it did resort to the Super FX chip like Yoshi’s island, or had some slowdown occasionally due to number of sprites.

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2 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:


Uh, Spelunky doesn’t use pixel art.

 

 

The animation there actually looks smoother than the RL2 gif you previously highlighted about doing it right. 


I don’t think RL1 had a particularly low amount of frames either. It’s not Metal Slug, sure, but it doesn’t stand out to me as a game that could have used more in between frames.  It feels plenty responsive and smooth. 
 

Circle of the Moon 2 leans more into NES standards, outside of some boss battles. 

I am not putting up RL2 as a gold-standard for anything.  I'll wait to play the game to make any judgements.  However, I am excited to see what they do with it.

I am not an animator, so I am probably using incorrect terms.  However, what I see in a lot of "pixel art games" is the tendency to not have a "transition frame".  For example, in RL, when you fall off of a ledge, your sprite that has the cape hanging downwards is replaced by one with the cape pointing up.  There is no frame that transitions cape down to cape up.

The version of Spelunky I played (a long time ago, for a brief time) looked like what @Keyser_Soze posted.

Clearly, it is possible to put great animation in a 2D animated game.  It is also possible to put in great art.

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I think that goes back to what Xbob was saying earlier about precision.  A game that wants to clearly demark differences in character states will use less frames.  The purest form of that are instant cuts that don’t account for transitional animation. Even some modern 3D games use hard cuts for blocking on hit and the like.

 

It’s pretty standard in 2D games for jump/fall transitions to use hard cuts.  Same for character sprites flIpping around when you change directions.  You wouldn’t want the cape to spin around the foreground/background every time you turn.  That’d be overkill for a 2D game about precise movement.  Yet even 2D games with 3D models don’t bother animating turn arounds.  That is, unless they want to make the RDR2 of platformers, lol.  The Paper Mario series is the only example I can think of that tries.

 

It’ll always be a balance.  Some things will be hard cut, others won’t.  I suppose I’m just not as bothered by it as you when I notice it.  Because I see it more as a responsiveness and visual feedback choice.

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