"I love pixel art," writes Blake Reynolds, the lead artist of Dinofarm Games. "But in the last year, I’ve come to a very different conclusion. It’s not about what I like. It never is."
In an extensive post on the game developer's website, Reynolds explains why their team decided to stay away from pixel art in future games: Contemporary gamers simply don't understand it.
He walks readers through an excellent deconstruction of what pixel art is and does, why it's valuable—and why he believes the high-definition preference of modern gamers have rendered it commercially obsolete. Games that decide to use pixel art pay what he calls a "pixel tax," where even very sophisticated images and animations are considered more rudimentary than inferior works created in higher definition.
I could write you an entire book on why that is absolutely not the case, but that’s the thing – it’s not the audience’s responsibility to read that book. It’s my responsibility deliver them quality in a language they understand... My job was to make Auro’s art polished, inviting, and clear to the audience, not to also educate the audience that pixel art is a deliberate style. It’s not their problem that they don’t know what pixel art is, and it’s not their fault. Choosing pixel art was ultimately self-serving and wound up confusing and even frustrating people. This is all because we failed to embrace the medium.
While this certainly isn't a universal sentiment among pixel artists or people who play games, it's a bit of a sobering and saddening one for fans of pixel art. (Rob Beschizza and I still love it, too.)
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
Call it retro. Call it a throwback. Even call it kitsch. But the 80s are still a singular time in pop culture history. From Ghostbusters and Back to the Future to your neighborhood arcade and the Atari 2600, artifacts of that seminal decade still resonate, evoking audible excitement and sighs of pleasant yesteryear remembrance. But […]
With millions out of work, the global economy in a sharp recession, and legitimate fears for the future abound, you might think this is absolutely the worst time to strike out on your own and be your own boss as a work-for-hire freelancer. But according to numbers compiled by financial services company Payoneer, the current […]
For years, dirty countertops, appliances, or bathroom fixtures were just kind of gross. But unkempt corners of your kitchen and bathroom aren’t just a sign of laziness anymore. Now, they’re a potential breeding ground for infectious disease. You can’t just limp through cleaning these days. You’ve gotta get rigorous about it, which means it’s no […]