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Making Games

Do people love pixels?

I’m an old retro geezer, so I like pixel art.

It reminds me of the days we hunted dinosaurs with only pixels as our weapons and as a way to hide some parts of our naked hunter bodies. (Nowadays there’s better weapons for dino-huntin’, but people still use pixels for the other thing.)

In addition, I like pixel art because it’s 1) quick to create and animate and 2) it lets your imagination fill in for the missing parts (nice throwback to the first chapter there!) – much like reading a book makes your imagination imagine things instead of just accepting the pre-made visuals like when you watch a movie or play a game with high-end AAA-quality graphics.

BUT, I don’t know what the average game playing gamer thinks when they see yet another cheap pixel art game. Is it a prequisite to be old and/or naked to like pixels, or does your average citizen feel fine about them?

While mulling over this conundrum, I drew a simple version of Cosmo the Cosmonaut, a.k.a. the Hero of Operation Balaika, a.k.a. The Soviet Savior, and put it next to the sprite from the game to compare. Here:

In a surprising turn of events, I actually like the hand-drawn version more than the super-retro pixel version, but I’m not totally convinced yet that after being already around 3 years late, I should add 3 more years to the production schedule. I think I could manage drawing all the things, but animating everything in glorious hand-drawn high def is not my forte.

And now, Mr./Mrs./Other Reader, if you know which style would get more downloads *), let me know too in the comments section below. Or by thinking about it extra hard, so I can separate your telepathic message from the other noises in my head.

*) It suddenly struck me that if I make this game, it would be fun if someone played it too. It’s been a magical day filled with revelations!

3 replies on “Do people love pixels?”

I’m a totally not made-up comment person, just wanting to comment that yes, the comment system indeed does seem to work. Also, I love Planet Jone and Operation Balalaika and everything related to those two things.

Hand drawn brings a lot of sweet love from retro fans as well – but 3 years extra dev time brings no love from anyone because we can’t play it. Still, for me, Bring you home is a lot more enticing than Tiny tower. Sorry!

Data says it,

Shovel Knight sales on PC, half a million
Hollow Knight sales on PC, one million

And Shovel is pixels and Hollow not. As you can see, even the names are similar so that aspect has been controlled. I say this proves it: 3 more years of development would double your installs. Also sameish genre as you. HK was published last year and SK many years ago, so I’d there are no questions left unanswered in this analysis.

Sources:
Shovel, https://www.pcgamer.com/shovel-knight-has-sold-2-million-copies-most-sales-on-pc-but-most-revenue-on-switch/

Hollow, https://www.reddit.com/r/HollowKnight/comments/8w7jp8/hollow_knight_has_sold_1_million_pc_copies/

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