Hi-Bit Era - The Future of Pixel Art Games // HeavyEyed - revartsgaming.com

Hi-Bit Era – The Future of Pixel Art Games // HeavyEyed

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**This video is inspired by an article written by Jo-Remi Madsen of Dpad Studios @JoeyGames **

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We’re at the dawn of a new era of games, The Hi-Bit Era. Hi-Bit games are a new form of pixel art that is starting to crop up more and more frequently, the term coined by Jo-Remi Madsen of Dpad Studios, the team behind Owlboy. So let’s take a look at this dawning new era.

Footage of Alx Preston taken from the Vice Documentary –
‘Hyper Light Drifter’ – Inside the Video Game Inspired by a Life-Threatening Illness //


SteveOHobo //

Perrydactyl //

Owlboy OST

Philanthrope – Things Fall Apart//

Given Names – Monday //

Zencha – At the End of Days //


  1. i was expecting you to have millions of subscribers cos you deserve all of them

  2. Have you heard of a company called Nitrome? They made a lot of flash games on computers in the 2000's, moved to mobile games, in the early 2010's, and have new game coming to Steam and Nintendo Switch. They make amazing games and have very distinct style. Are they part of the High Bit Era?

  3. Y'all please check out Rain World! The game itself might be too punishing and not explain its mechanics to the player (which may turn some people off) but holy shit does it look good. The environments are incredibly detailed and all the creatures are animated in such an authentic way. I love it

  4. Whats the name of that "Street Fighter" type of game?

  5. Amazing concept and amazing video! It's going to help me a lot through my graduation project! Thanks a lot! Your channel is amazing!

  6. 5:25 I come from the future(2018) , and while nintendo didn't developed traveler octopath, the nintendo switch is the only console in where you can play it…for now at least

  7. I'm glad to see content about PixelArt. We are in the final phase of Furwind development, a fun action game and platforms with colorful pixel-art. We have a demo, if you want to take a look and play you can download.

  8. These games look gorgeous! Definitely gonna have to look a bit more into Owlboy and Hyper Light Drifter when I've the funds (SV however, I've got and yeah, gooood stuff…) — makes me shake my head a bit when you've got people these days putting up a fuss about games like Octopath Traveler just cause it's "sprites" … seriously. Polygons =/= nicer by default. I welcome this hi-bit era~

  9. awesome background information and great insights. Thank you.

  10. I gotta say I thought it was really dumb to assume that resolutions hold games back from release or success. I don't know where you came in with the assumption that games without 16:9 support can't sell or that VC games are held back by people not wanting black bars. Patently ridiculous, both claims. VC games are held back by licensing and Nintendo not seeing value in it until such a time that they need filler content.

  11. I'm late to this party, but I felt like chiming in.

    While it's definitely cool to take established mediums and push them into new areas and experiment with the building blocks that make them what they are, I feel like there's a ceiling for what should be called pixel art, and it generally comes down to resolution.

    All raster art is technically "pixel art" by the most literal definition. Any time you take something into Photoshop, or GIMP (etc), and alter it, you're creating an image that was generated through a pixel-based process–pixel-based art. But, in most cases, the resolution's so high you don't really make out the pixels, as you're seeing up to thousands at a time, and as such, raster art is seldom refered to as "pixel art" as an interchangeable or blanket term.

    From the old school perspective, video game [pixel] art was a technical, very specific type of raster art that relied heavily on palette tricks and screen blurring to create convincing, interactive cartoons. Resolution was low on target screens, so pixels would have been obvious if not for the inherent blurring of the screens at the time–this is the idea from which most of the techniques used it pixel art originated.

    These pieces of art, when viewed with modern technology, took on a slightly different, more obvious look, which bred interest from a new perspective. "Pixel Art" was the name given for these piece, through the lens of this new perspective (being able to see individual pixels), and that is more or less the cornerstone for the aesthetic and concept.

    Some of these "Hi-Bit" games start to blend these two concepts–hi-res raster art and low-res, blocky "pixel art"–to a degree that, I think, things start getting lost in the translation. For instance, many of the backdrops in Owl Boy are just low-ish resolution, traditional raster art renderings, using traditional raster art techniques, and that's what they look like. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, they're great renderings, but sometimes it feels like "pixel art" is less accurate than "kind of small raster painting." I feel like some aspects of the aesthetic are lost in that approach (like the ability to make out most of the pixels at a glance).

    Again, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with, or aesthetically displeasing, about the art in any of these games. They're all amazing looking. I just feel that, once the pixels in your art become too small, and your palette too vast, you've crossed out of the "pixel art" aesthetic, and into more general raster art.

    Owl Boy, the character, manages to maintain some of the classic pixel aesthetic due to his comparatively (to the backgrounds) small palette. The lack of shading/aliasing colors draws attention to his pixels, which are just large enough to make out. He looks like he's assembled from pixels, which is what the whole aesthetic, as the name implies, is all about. Conversely, the backgrounds use such an expansive palette, and huge resolution, that the pixels aren't as easily deciphered, making them feel more like small, raster paintings than art pieces assembled from individual pixels.

    In essence, using resolution and large palettes to hide pixels is counter intuitive to the aesthetic and the modern perspective (of what defined "Pixel Art") from which it emerged. Like, it doesn't make sense to use an art style conceptualized around the idea of visible pixels, and then use a bunch of typical raster techniques to hide those pixels. At least, I don't really understand the point.

    Once again, I'll reiterate, this is all fantastic, nice looking art. My thoughts are more about whether or not it makes sense to call something "pixel art," when you can't really make out the majority of the pixels in a piece. At that point, it feels more like a gimmick than an art form–getting by on the buzzword, but not adhering to any of the limitations or dynamics that made it interesting, or even a style, in the first place.

  12. After the SNES era, I felt sad, but now we get to continue from where we left off.

  13. 𝔻𝕖𝕖𝕣 ℂ𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕟𝕖𝕝 𝕆𝕨𝕟𝕖𝕣
    I'm nAfter Dam have transcript, This video audio to English subtitle already!
    perhaps you will allow my subtitle to show on your video. . .
    May you Check it out? ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️


    I'm made it match your voice as possible and the accuracy also!
    If you allow my subtitle to show on this video, I will be glad and you will have my gratitude one!
    📹 And see you in the next video 📼
    Respectfully. . .

  14. This is perfect for me and my creation. Hi-Bit.

  15. In Roman Empire, there were frescoes and mosaics, which may be considered as analogues of traditional and pixel art. Because, you see, mosaics allowed for a much narrower palette, and mosaic tiles were essentially, well, pixels, with the difference that they may've been rotated a bit and were not placed on a grid. Now, there are few Roman paintings that survived till today, most famous ones were found in Pompeii, preserved in the ashes, but from them we now just how awesome they could have been.

    Yet paining and frescoes never drew mosaic away. For one, of course, mosaic was more durable: you can have a mosaic floor that will last for years, and lasted for centuries where all the frescoes dimmed and were washed away. But there should definitely more to it: otherwise the walls and ceilings of Byzantine churches wouldn't have been covered with mosaics.

    Why was it so? My guess is that mosaic is a challenge: how to achieve an awesome result with limited resources. See, pixel art is not that much about pixels, as it's about limited palette. And it is distinctive from from vector graphics in the sense that an artist's shapes are even more limited. And what's challenging, is attracting. That's why I think pixel art has a good chances to be here to stay, with vector, 2.5, voxel and low-poly art juiced with modern effects to accompany it. As genres in themselves, and not just millennial's nostalgia. Just as mosaics remained alongside with frescoes during the whole Byzantine times and beyond.

  16. The game at the beginning of the video on min 0:18 Owlboy by studio D-Pad looks amazing!

  17. I would say Owlboy is aesthetically more akin to a NeoGeo game than a snes one and I don’t just say that because of the higher fidelity, and you even alluded to it earlier on how Owlboy is inspired by Zelda AND Metal Slug

  18. you're confusing aspect ratio and resolution. neither of the games you showed are 1080p, its pixel art after all, but both are 16:9.

  19. What is the name of the fighting game in this video? And can it be played on a platform?

  20. Concept: A game can be made in a pixel-art style without it necissarily being an "homage" or "retro"
    A game could be pixel-art specifically for the aesthetics of that style in itself without leaning on nostalgia. I think THAT, moreso than simply resolution, is probably the TRUE meaning of hi-bit

  21. Cool. Good pixel art is timeless. One the best is Lionheart on the Amiga.

  22. Celeste, Hollow Knight, Freedom Planet, Children of Morta, Crosscode. Nuff said.

  23. And nintendo did it, those pixel levels in Super Mario Oddisey look pretty cool

  24. Have you seen Super Mario Flashback? that's what I'm hoping to see from Nintendo

  25. Seemed to point to widescreen as the main high thing that makes these games "Hi-Bit". But isn't it also the model's pixel density and color palette too? Hyper Light Drifter seems to stick closer to a low pixel count vs Owlboy. Both gorgeous games though.

  26. Hyper Light Drifter has got to be one of the most beautiful games I've ever played.

  27. "SNES but better", so, the Playstation? :/ I am glad to see modern indie developers helping pixel art continue to evolve. I really liked Jotun.

  28. The oldest example I can think of for a game in the hi-bit style is koumajou densetsu, although that game does mix in the occasional 3d model. It came out in 2009, and fez came out in 2012. Still, koumajou densetsu didn't get an official online release, and I only found out about it this year, so it probably was not very influential outside of the touhou fandom.

  29. For us retro gamers the new wave of pixel generated awesomeness is everything we hoped for his kids 🤘

  30. When you see footage or reviews on YouTube of NES or SNES games, and then look at games like Hyper Light Drifter, or Owl-boy, it makes you realize just how far animation and pixel graphics of come. It makes you appreciate indie games even more. Because you know they took much time and effort to craft such beautiful environments.

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