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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGeneralInterest in new, NES-style games?
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jkd
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« on: March 20, 2007, 04:48:05 PM »

Personally, I love the NES. It's my favourite system of all time. I love the blocky graphics, the 8-bit sound, the incredible difficulty, and the feeling of accomplishment when you finish a game.

My question is: do you think there is much interest in new, NES-style games (in terms of graphics, sound, and gameplay)?

Do you find 8-bit graphics and sound off-putting, or endearing?

Do you enjoy limited continues, difficult stages and boss battles, and having to replay the game over and over to gain the skill required?

Suppose a new game was released, in the same vein as Mega Man, Castlevania, Metroid, Duck Tales, Ninja Gaiden... Would you buy it, if it was on par with those games?
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Caio
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 05:10:10 PM »

My question is: do you think there is much interest in new, NES-style games (in terms of graphics, sound, and gameplay)?
Much? No. Commercially? Probably none.

Do you find 8-bit graphics and sound off-putting, or endearing?
I don't really care, as long as the game is good. I prefer 16-bit style, though.

Do you enjoy limited continues, difficult stages and boss battles, and having to replay the game over and over to gain the skill required?
Not at all. Nothing against difficult games, but having to play everything from the beginning is a major turn-off for me.

Suppose a new game was released, in the same vein as Mega Man, Castlevania, Metroid, Duck Tales, Ninja Gaiden... Would you buy it, if it was on par with those games?
I'm not a big fan of any of those (never having seen an actual NES may have something to do with it), so, I guess not.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 05:36:13 PM by Akhel » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 05:14:40 PM »

I think that I possibly would. Look at the Wii Virtul Console; I expect that's making a pretty penny. I would love to see more retro graphics (I mean really retro) but what I'd also love to see more of is these old games being essentially freed from all the constraints that there were at the time, like on-screen sprite limits, and the total length of the game. I think I'd be more interested in 16-bit games, as Akhel says, but the principle is the same. That, to me, was the Golden Age of gaming.

Obviously, it also depends on the price ;P
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olücæbelel
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 05:51:00 PM »

Kind of a tough egg to crack commercially, but in terms of a project I think there's a lot of really great ideas that would still work in an 8-bit world. The key would be to make it stand out from the crowd, there's plenty of side-scrollers out there that are already doing the Metroid, Mega Man thing (not that that's bad).

VC games are popular mostly for nostalgic reasons. There's a whole group of gamers who've never heard of emulation so the idea of reliving the classics at $5 a pop is a no-brainer. In terms of trying to fit a new product into that area, again, that's going to be tough since you're fighting 20 years of great childhood memories.

As for the difficulty thing, I'm still a huge proponent of a 'hardcore' mode that forces perfection but also adequately rewards (diff ending, unlockables, etc.) That way you're not frustrating the player. People tend to look back fondly on the difficulty of games and completely neglect how many controller-tossing, fits of rage old games routinely induced Smiley

focus on making a great game, then worry about selling it  Wink
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jkd
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 06:39:43 PM »

there's plenty of side-scrollers out there that are already doing the Metroid, Mega Man thing

Are there really? I only know of Cave Story, and The Underside. What others are there? I was under the impression that 2D platformers are pretty much dead.

VC games are popular mostly for nostalgic reasons. There's a whole group of gamers who've never heard of emulation so the idea of reliving the classics at $5 a pop is a no-brainer. In terms of trying to fit a new product into that area, again, that's going to be tough since you're fighting 20 years of great childhood memories.

That's a very good point.
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 07:34:52 PM »

Are there really? I only know of Cave Story, and The Underside. What others are there? I was under the impression that 2D platformers are pretty much dead.

I was kinda alluding to cave story, underside, knytt, darkside adventures, etc. etc. games out there. I'm sure someone could provide a much better and thorough list than me.
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Anthony Flack
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2007, 08:13:36 PM »

Most "retro" game art tends to focus on the 16 bit era, when pixel art peaked. The only recent 8 bit-style game I can think of off the top of my head is La Mulana.

So yeah, there would be interest I guess, if it was a good game. But it would possibly be less interest than in a 16 bit-style game I would expect. But commercial interest would be basically zero either way, so do whatever floats your boat!
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2007, 08:57:20 PM »

I like games. Smiley

I'd certainly buy a game of the old NES quality for a cellphone; those things are seriously lacking in game quality.
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2007, 09:43:21 PM »

I find NES style graphics extremely appealing. As for the gameplay that forces continual trial and error, I loathe it with a passion. It seems like, rather than forging skill, it just makes way for frustration. I mean, if you can manage to get the challenge of overcoming obstacles without the frustration of overwhelming failure or the sense of accomplishment without the feeling of "holy crap that game was so not worth it."
But 8-bit graphics = YUS! Feeling of accomplishment = YUS! Absurd difficulty = NAW!
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2007, 07:30:38 AM »

In the indie/homebrew gaming scene I believe you'll always find people interested in your project if it's "NES" like. A lot of the people who like indie games tend to be in the age range of "I grew up with the NES", some even going waaay back. I believe that you only need a solid game, it won't really matter if you do it 8-bit or 16-bit style or whatever floats your boat...

My $0.02

~K
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2007, 09:11:47 AM »

Cortex Command is all 8-bit graphics, although not really nes style.
http://www.cortexcommand.com
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Mr Peckerston
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2007, 10:49:37 AM »

If you make a good enough game then there will always be a market for it. If you somehow actually manage to make a game on a par with Mega Man, Castlevania, Metroid and so on then you'll have absolutely nothing to worry about Smiley

As for the other questions I don't mind 8-bit graphics and I adore hard games that require loads of plays before you complete them as long as they're well designed - I love all the games you mentioned and various shmups and newer Capcom games, but I have no patience whatsoever for any game that results in any sort of "cheap" death due to bad design.
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2007, 11:15:52 AM »

---rant---
(This isn't really aimed at anyone, it's just my knee jerking as soon as anyone throws these terms around in what seems to be an incorrect fashion. So I can't help but to take action... I'm sure most of you know this stuff. Forgive me, and please don't reply to this Wink)

This is the point where I'll be an anal geek and point out that there's no such thing as "8-bit graphics" in terms of looking like NES. Bitmap graphics in arbitrary resolutions with 256 colors (mapped out using 8 bits per pixel) are obviously something entirely different.
Most graphical elements (sprites, tiles) on the NES are actually 2-bit, in that they have 4 distinct colors (chosen from a relatively restricted global palette, and of which one color is usually transparent). The entire display is built up from many of these with separate such 3-color palettes, making up a flexible color count usually somewhere around 15-20 colors or thereabouts. Graphics of the characteristic appearance emerge from using a limited high-contrast palette to emulate whatever visual look you're after.
The eight bits in question are related to CPU register size and has only a very indirect connection with graphical fidelity in that most state-of-the-art machinery at that time adhered to similar limitations as those mentioned above.
The case with sound is much the same, in that there can be 8-bit sampled audio (256 possible levels per sample point) but it has little or nothing to do with the programmed realtime synthesis of most game systems in the 8-bit era.
---/rant---


Anyway, on the actual topic I've been asking myself that question as well, and I firmly believe that one could indeed make a popular game sporting low-resolution 2D graphics. Restricting the color fidelity to NES levels would most likely take it below the limits of what "ordinary" gamers would accept though (forcing you to make drastic compromises in color choice).
"16-bit era" graphics, i.e. comparable to SNES games, should be plenty good however, as it means you can go ahead and use a practically unlimited palette.

If the gameplay really is solid (which is not necessarily the case for all or even most of the "classic" games of old) and the graphics are stylish (which is an area where I think low-res could potentially outshine high-res for various reasons), people should be able to appreciate it and buy it.
I doubt anyone would frown at something like Metal Slug 3, graphics-wise. A game looking like that and having accessible and intriguing difficulty/gameplay should be at least a minor hit if reasonably advertised.

Also, I don't think "the best retro game ever" has been made yet. None of the classics really have all the elements needed in my eyes - they always lacked or compromised in one area or another, and being a commercially strong business at that time I'm sure many were influenced by trends and other things instead of "pure" game design, whatever that is.
It's true that "you're fighting 20 years of great childhood memories" though. Many of the old games have been elevated to an untouchable godlike status because of memories, regardless of how "objectively" good they actually were.

Oh, and btw... phones need better button interfaces for games, clicky keys suck Wink
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2007, 08:25:57 PM »

Coincidentally, two friends of mine are working on an NES graphics RPG, but it'll be freeware.

I say go for it, regardless of how well it sells, it's better to make something than nothing.
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skaldicpoet9
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2007, 08:39:41 PM »

As for the difficulty thing, I'm still a huge proponent of a 'hardcore' mode that forces perfection but also adequately rewards (diff ending, unlockables, etc.) That way you're not frustrating the player. People tend to look back fondly on the difficulty of games and completely neglect how many controller-tossing, fits of rage old games routinely induced Smiley

Ah, yes...Mega Man I miss you so lol...

I would absolutely love playing new 8-bit games...

But I agree with some of the people above me...it would have to be a cross between the old and the new, I don't consider it an old school game unless you through your controller at the screen at least 4-5 times and yell out the phrase "I am never playing this shitty game again!"

only to continue playing it an hour later :D

...but what I'd also love to see more of is these old games being essentially freed from all the constraints that there were at the time, like on-screen sprite limits, and the total length of the game.

Exactly, I mean there is a ton of stuff that they did with the Street Fighter series in later years in regards to 2-D gaming...just think what they could do nowadays...I think that we are definitely being denied some new style old school justice!

Oh, well...I'll just stick to the indie scene...it's not like the commercial scene makes a lot of "Retro" games...(some but not with the same passion as their indie brethren)
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2007, 09:53:13 PM »

I would be interested in playing some, depending on what they were.

For me NES->SNES is equivelant to C64->Amiga and since I owned an Amiga, I was more into the whole '16-bit pixel art' sorta appearance, rather than 8-bit but I still enjoy an 8-bit style appearance when the gameplay is solid enough to support it.

I like tough difficulty and a good challenge, so that's no problem for me at all.
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