Why is every indie game made with Pixel Art? - revartsgaming.com

Why is every indie game made with Pixel Art?

Out of Sight
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The indie dev love for pixel art grows by the year – in this video essay I look at why the style has made such a comeback, the technical shortcuts and challenges it poses, and at the unique ways that developers have evolved the form.

I’ll look at games for the Switch, Ps4, Xbox One and PC all the way back to the NES and SNES.

Let me know what your favourite recent pixel art games have been in the comments below!

Slip – Geographer
Sundays – R.LUM.R
Lake George – William Rosati
Lullaby – Yung Logos
Mad Science (Sting) – MK2
Marlboro lLite – Spazz Cardigan

Games featured in this video;

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening – Nintendo
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Switch – Nintendo
Katana Zero – Askiisoft / Devolver Digital
Celeste – Matt Makes Games
Game Dev Story _ Kairosoft
Super Mario Galaxy – Nintendo
Hyper Light Drifter – Heart Machine
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – Nintendo
Stardew Valley – Eric Barone / Sickhead Games
Axiom Verge – Thomas Happ
Papers Please – Lucas Pope
Skyrim – Bathesda
Conan Exiles – Funcom
Assassins Creed Liberation
Mass Effect Andromeda – EA / Bioware
Street Fighter 2 – Capcom
Wargroove – Chucklefish
Dead Cells – Motion Twin
Fez – Phil Fish
Super Mario Odyssey – Nintendo
Octopath Traveller – Sqaure Enix
Pokemon Red – Nintendo
Dragon Warrior Monsters – Square Enix
Survival Kids – Konami
Unchartered 4 – Naughty Dog
Faster than Light – Subset Games
Super Castlevania IV – Konami
Final Fantasy III – Square Enix
Mega Man X – Capcom
FTL: Faster Than Light – Subset Games

Contact: [email protected]

182 Comments

  1. Ah yes,my favorite character:Kris from Undertale.
    (Other than that little nitpick,this video is actually very good and informative.)

  2. I still play classic doom, I have it on my Chromebook.

  3. Far from nostalgia. MOST new pixel games won't run on a nes or snes, they take advantage on newer more powerful hardware to keep bringing amazing and original experiences under an aesthetic that simply won't die, it is an artform that wasn't fully exploited back in the day.

  4. I'm making my game pixel art because i find pixel art cute and fun

  5. To me its the nostalgia image and to appreciate how they make it look amazing with the limit of pixels.

  6. I'm getting really sick of 80% of indie games being pixels, they dont even look good on modern displays pixels were made for crts

  7. it is so popular because it leaves plenty to the imagination, new games with high detail graphics do not become fond memories and nobody experiences nostalgia for high res games, because their brains have not had to fill in any gaps and make the experience their own… instead if anything they are over stimulated and block half of it out!

  8. This is true because pixel art in modern times is EXCLUSIVELY limited to Indie. And conversely 99.99% of Indie games use Pixel art.
    It's a relationship.

  9. I may be younger but I grew up playing on a gameboy advance and Nintendo 64 so the nostalgia is real

  10. love pixel art games, grew up on NES and SNES

  11. Pixel art games shows that graphics aren't necessarily make games enjoyable, content does. This what I like pixel arts games, larger contents. From weapons, armors, story, enemies, battles and especially the ability to put mods on the game. When I saw a pixel arts games in the google playstore thats is above 500mb size, I already knew that this will be a really good game because it always happened to be.

  12. I wish for more realistic AAA style indie games instead of this "aesthetic" stuff. Yeah, it was cool and cheap for a while, but it became a trope at this point and I am getting tired of indie games with the same pixel style.

  13. Pixel art requires the viewer to fill in the gaps which requires imagination. This automatically makes the player more invested than if all the details were just presented to them. It’s why a highly realistic game can feel dull and lifeless even though it imitates life perfectly.

  14. Anyone know the first song playing in the background?

  15. What i like most about pixel art is that the simplistic sprites allow your mind to fill in the rest, just like your mind imagines stuff when you read a book for example.

  16. I heckin love pixel art though, it looks great, it's nice to my potato computer, it's a good means of making art even if you're not good at drawing…

  17. Honestly if you need pixel art to tell a story then you don't know how to make a game. Games are meant to be fun no matter what style or game type you make. If you want to make a beautiful art piece then go make a movie or picture and sell it. Too many developers making games that believe that doing a art piece is a game. If there is no fun aspect to it then it's worthless to a average or casual gamer. There are plenty of ways to make a 3D game enhance fun and exploration or even a 2D game or a 2.5D game. Pixel art isn't anything but a faster and cheaper way to make a game as it uses less memory and power from a platform. 3D games are more complex but can be optimised and made correctly that they can do what a 2D game can do in all ways.

  18. "Why is every indie game made with Pixel Art?"
    FNaF, a survival horror indie game: you dare challenge me weak mortal

  19. I dislike the suggestion that the alternative to pixel art is only 3D. I mean, is it still pixel art if it is 2D, but with nice high-resolution textures? That is my preference, I deal with the janky shaders of emulators, I hate the jaggy edges so much. I love FFBE on mobile, but the character resolution makes it UNPLAYABLE for me.

  20. The first that appeared when looked at the video title – "What do you mean? There is so many indescribably magnificent relatively non-pixel art indie titles out there…"…

  21. I don’t like the glossy look it’s off putting

  22. love how when it said undertale it showed a picture of Kris from deltarune

  23. I must consult with the elder gods - says:

    pixel art is overused by most indie game devs now and that sucks, I'm gonna throw up if I see another indie game with pixel art

  24. the comment section here unfortunately proves pixelart indie game haters right. so many indie devs in the comments say that they chose pixel art because it's 'easier' than other forms of art, like it's some sort of shortcut to good art. there's a reason why so many modern pixel indie games look awful. pixel art is just normal digital painting but on a way lower resolution. all the same art theory still applies

  25. The reason indie games use pixel art are easy to draw and easy to code.

  26. Pixel art is simply amazingly beautiful and fun. After photo realism the industry will come back to it's roots. Pixel art and fun. People are tired of realism and even if you want realism virtual reality is what it's at.

  27. Pixel art is better! I make my games with Pixel art.

  28. Superb video Prod. well thought of with an overwhelmingly positive tone for the art.
    Greatly appreciated.

  29. Born in 05, and I'm so glad I grew up with the wii's virtual console. It allowed me to gain a passion for video game history, and eventually led to my love and adoration to old soundchip hardware and chiptune music. I always assumed the "it looks bad because pixel art" thing was a joke because it, of course, is amazing, just different. It makes me dread having children of my own some day because even with the difficulty of showing a new generation products of your time, I grew up in a way where I gained a love for things generations before mine. Of course that gives me hope that it'll work out but… wait, what am I talking about? this is a youtube comment section? no one cares lmao XD

  30. I just like how easy it is to start learning xP

  31. I personally see just normal digital art easier than pixel art but I still make my games in low resolution
    '

  32. Stoneshard, Blasphemous, Pocket Rogues, Katana Zero, Dead Cells, Hyper Light Drifter all shine so brightly on my Steam deck.

  33. I just loved how the pixels looked up close and now I am a pixel artist myself 😄

  34. I’m personally tired of it. People think it looks pretty but it really isn’t. I would take something more like Hollow Knight then Celeste. Pixel art only makes sense if it’s something like Sonic Mania where it celebrates the genesis games.

  35. i started out with pixel art because of my interest in the style.
    some games puts it into a different level and makes good references for me, lol.

  36. Hey everyone – Thanks a LOT for taking the time to watch! Amazed and super chuffed at how well this has done for a first video. I'm working on my next video so please subscribe and bear with my whilst it gets made! Stay tuned 🙂

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