Wadjet Eye Games

Author Topic: Why the decision to go Lo-Res?  (Read 4282 times)

Offline Zeejet

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Why the decision to go Lo-Res?
« on: June 30, 2014, 09:54:30 PM »
I really hope this question isn't taken with offense from fans of WJE games (especially those who enjoy the art direction and choice of lo-fi gfx).

Having said that, I would like to know if this is a design choice by the art/design department, or if it is due to the desire to keep the games accessible (low system requirements). Or is it budget?

I ask because it is the one thing that kinda ruins my experience with WJE games (I am enjoying the story and narrative styles immensely). Don't get me wrong, I love the art as well...but I can only take so much pixelation and muddy/blurred textures (I often cannot distinguish interactive objects from the backgrounds). I have found the winsetup executable, which helps by allowing me to bump up resolution in Primordia for example, but the game is still an eye sore.I think the option of higher resolutions wouldn't hurt, but I could be completely missing the idea here with your lo-fi graphics.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 08:44:15 AM by Zeejet »

Offline DaveGilbert

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Re: Why the decision to go Lo-Res?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 04:43:52 PM »
It's totally a budget thing. HD graphics cost much more money, and take significantly more time. Low-res graphics are cheap to make, take much less time, and a talented artist can make them really sing. Ironically, the few times we have attempted high-res graphics, they always ended up being called cheap!

Offline elend

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Re: Why the decision to go Lo-Res?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 09:54:35 AM »
I was actually also thinking about this. I thought it's an AGS engine limitation, until I saw that there are also highres AGS games. :D

The thing is, I was always assuming the graphics for like Primordia, the later Blackwell games and Resonance were originally created in a higher resolution anyway, just to scale them down later on. Thus resulting in kind of more blurry graphics, whilst hand pixeled backgrounds from old 2D games look much crisper. Especially Primordia looks that way, since it's really detailed and blurry in parts. It still looks gorgeous, but I think it also would have benefitted greatly from just a bit more resolution (640 x 480). Nobody expects it to be 1080p, I think.

Blackwell Epiphany on the other hand is just gorgeous in 320 x 240. While it also looks handdrawn and resized, it clearly shows some kind of "optimization". No pixel is unnecessary blurred, no line is accidentally too thick, etc. It's the most gorgeous looking game in your catalogue, imho. I really can't wait to see the artist's new work... which I hope, is in 320 x 240 again.

Offline DaveGilbert

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Re: Why the decision to go Lo-Res?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 10:14:34 AM »
You are right about Primordia, at least in terms of the backgrounds. Hi-res backgrounds are just as easy to make as low-res backgrounds - even easier, in most cases! Hi-res character sprites and animations, however, are NOT. Each frame takes much longer to make, and each animation requires many more frames to move smoothly. That is the biggest reason to go low-res.

Offline elend

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Re: Why the decision to go Lo-Res?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2014, 04:36:19 PM »
Hmm okay, that sounds reasonable of course. But then, I'd even try out lowres sprites on "highres" (640 x 480) backgrounds. Should be worth the additional graphical "impact" with something like Primordia. Like I said, Blackwell Epiphany is just awesome and imho quite perfect. Especially compared to older Sierra VGA adventures, which tended to look quite mushy and blurry, too. Ben Chandler really optimized his style by now.

Can't wait for Technobabylon. Can I send you 20 USD already and preoder ist? :D