- Digital Art ServedProject Featured On:Digital Art Served — 8/30/12
Metal Force Brigade - An experiment in 16-bit graphics
- An experiment in 16-bit graphics and pixel art.
- What stands before you is an attempt to explore what made the iconic arcade and console games of the 90's so intriguing by conceptualizing an action platformer from scratch with the same hardware limitations of the time. While retrospecting, I noticed that the titles I enjoyed the most, and that influenced my artistic preferences had a few similarities. A huge majority were 16-bit games that made amazing visuals and presentation their top priority. The games were fast, didn't waste their audience's time and pushed their hardware to the limit. I'm referring to Metal Slug, Thunder Force IV, Alien Soldier and Gunstar Heroes, and many, many more.
These games were designed to offer a unique adventure, and everything, from their graphic design, to gameplay and soundtrack were so carefully arranged that it didn't matter that everything happened on a pixelly surface. The authors of these works of art embraced the limitations of their medium to create a new visual language. And it rocked.
- First of all I needed an image. A glimpse into what a rich, colorful setting could be. BAM! How about an island?
- You got the beach, palmtrees, regular trees, exotic houses, the sun, a blue sky, and sweet emotions attached to it! Great! You also got the sea. And who rules the sea? Pirates! This sounds better and better! What should those pirates look like? How about characters with instantly recognizable silhouettes? How about making one large pirate, and one short pirate? And for even more distinction, how about making the large one an Ottoman general type of character, with an amazing moustache? And the short one should be a fox, and he should wear an eyepatch with a smiley on it! Amazing! Oh, how about the bad guy? Well he should be this huge, genius admiral type! He should invade the island with an army of robots and zeppelins, there would be a treasure hidden on the island, and our pirate heroes would storm through the island to steal the treasure first, and save the island from the mad admiral along the way!
- There would be boat and motorcycle chases, a seaside stage, a palace stage, an ancient temple stage, bosses covering half the screen and lots of explosions. BAM! KPOW!
- As you might have guessed, the conceptualization process was a bit more intricate. It took a lot of trials and errors, a lot of discarded designs and ideas. I wanted to incorporate everything that had visual appeal and somehow worked together with the rest of the setting. Hence I found that mixing mosques and zeppelins and palmtrees and those white Mykonos houses proved to be interesting solutions. I'd like to believe that it all boiled down to a clean, visually appealing world, which you'll see in a few moments.
But first, here are some delicious sketches for your viewing pleasure.
- Those are delicious, but where are all the video gamey visuals?
- Now here's a faux trailer for your viewing pleasure. Why? because it's the best way to showcase graphics in a fun way.
The amazing piece of music you will hear in the video is titled "My skateboard will go on" and was composed by Anamanaguchi.
- And that's it. I hope you liked what you saw, because I sure loved working on this. If you liked this and can't get enough of pixelly rockity-rolling art, head over to the Pixel Joint galleries to discover the talented artists of the medium. Also check the magical Paul Robertson, who had quite a hand in making pixel art awesome again and whose animated films encouraged me to work on this here project.
And finally, thank you for scrolling all the way down! You're probably a good person!