Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1371915 Posts in 64682 Topics- by 56815 Members - Latest Member: funisfun8

January 23, 2020, 12:02:11 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessCan low resolution games sell well?
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Can low resolution games sell well?  (Read 8731 times)
BenH
Level 2
**


Dirty boy, wash your hands!


View Profile WWW
« on: February 25, 2007, 12:04:54 PM »

I'm in a bit of dilemma. Usually I would make my games in a 640 x 480 resolution (which is already low by some peoples standards), but quite often I find myself struggling to get the graphics done because they take so much time at this size. When I worked on my 4 colour shooter which runs at 160 x 100 I found myself able to produce the graphics at the same pace as I was programming the game.
So many of my games have failed to get completed in the past because the sheer amount of graphics needed were far too high, mainly because the time it would have taken to get them done at the higher resolution of 640 x 480.

What my shooter game proved to me was that when some of the load was taken off of
the graphics department, I was able to focus on the game itself and actually produce something fairly decent and playable in only 3 weeks. I would quite happily continue to go along this route when making future games (albeit in full colour), but then I feel I have a problem when it comes to wanting to make money. I would quite like to sell some of my games I have planned, but I'm worried that taking this route would impair their chances of selling even more than what usually comes with the indie territory.

Will a good game be enjoyed whether or not the graphics are hi-res, or do people hate seeing pixels these days?

What do you guys think?
Logged

jaredbloom
Guest
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2007, 12:40:00 PM »

I can enjoy a game with low resolution graphics. Just look at every game created with Adventure Game Studio or the RPG Maker Series. I do prefer crisper graphics, but it isn't necessarily a defining part of whether a game is good or not.
Logged
Terry
TIGSource Editor
Level 10
******



View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2007, 12:49:04 PM »

I'd be quite happy to buy a good game that's at a low resolution. But then I don't normally care all that much about graphics.

If you think working at a lower resolution helps the game come together, than that's what you should do. You can always bump up the resolution later!
Logged

guille
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2007, 12:59:38 PM »

Depends on who the audience for your game is. I don't think 'indie gamers' would really care, as most are all love for retro and stuff.

Casual gamers wouldn't take it too well and I doubt casual portals would accept a low-res game.

You can always make your game with low-res graphics and just apply a filter over that, like a lot of console emulators do.

A trick I have used to save some time is to draw all my tiles and characters as if they were for a 320x240 game, then I resize them 2 times (without any antialiasing) and I pimp the enlarged image to get rid of the big ass pixels. You get a nice enough result that takes less time than drawing for high-res from scratch.

And don't forget that GBA/NDS games are low res, yet I see lots of people buying'em and even playing'em on emulators where the low-res is more noticeable. There's a lot of love for Cave Story too, so you'll be fine as long as the game is good.
Logged

PoV
Level 5
*****


Click on the eye and something might happen..maybe


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2007, 02:36:43 PM »

Right, it all boils down to whom you want to buy the game.  The question of "If" they'll buy it is another story.

The Puppygames titles UltraTron and Titan Attacks are examples of great low res games.  Though your opinion of selling well might be different than what he gets.  They sell enough for him to want to continue making games, but not well enough to do it full time.

Also, low resolution graphics don't have to mean the game is low res.  It could be a style choice for example, to create game graphics that are geometrically rigid.  Starting with something clearly pixel art, and rounding it out.

Like so.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2007, 03:17:48 PM by PoV » Logged

Mike Kasprzak | Sykhronics Entertainment - Smiles (HD), PuffBOMB, towlr, Ludum Dare - Blog
Kornel Kisielewicz
The Black Knight
Level 1
*

Madman for hire


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2007, 05:38:40 PM »

My games are 80x25 resolution and people still play them xD.

And on a serious note -- PoV is right. I also recall some programs to automaticaly convert pixel graphics into higher res... if you're interested I might even google for them.
Logged

At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (@epyoncf)
ChaosForge -- DoomRL and AliensRL
Jupiter Hell -- DoomRL spiritual successor!
BenH
Level 2
**


Dirty boy, wash your hands!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2007, 06:42:27 PM »

My games are 80x25 resolution and people still play them xD.

And on a serious note -- PoV is right. I also recall some programs to automaticaly convert pixel graphics into higher res... if you're interested I might even google for them.

Sure, that would be helpful. Smiley
Logged

Slash - Santiago Zapata
The White Knight
Level 4
*


Java/Javascript Game Dev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2007, 07:57:25 PM »

Well, I must confess when I readed the thread title the thing that came to my mind was "800x600".

As others have said, there's different kind of people nowadays, with different tastes... the fact that people keeps playing roguelikes is the alive proff of this

Also, if you feel the graphics work is slowing you down, consider contacting an artist, either via internet or from your local frienship network... if you can convince him on your game (and boy, these guys are hard to convince Tongue) you have a big advantage there.

I think most of the people who wouldnt mind lo-res graphics would also enjoy a hi-res version as well, the contrary may not be true.
Logged

johanp
Level 1
*


88 mph


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2007, 12:24:24 AM »

Quote
When I worked on my 4 colour shooter which runs at 160 x 100 I found myself able to produce the graphics at the same pace as I was programming the game.

Exactly! It's a great feeling! Also pixels are yummy. Wink

Personally, I think that resolution doesn't matter as long as the graphics are good and fit the gameplay. I hope that players think the same, but it probably depends on who your players are. Alex 4 is getting downloaded an awful lot for being a 160x100 game.

Of course it will also depend on what platform you're trying to sell your game to. Try to publish a game on XBLA and all they say is "give us HD". :/
Logged

BenH
Level 2
**


Dirty boy, wash your hands!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2007, 02:17:19 AM »

Alex 4 is getting downloaded an awful lot for being a 160x100 game.

Alex 4 is awesome! The competition it spawned from was really good too, shame I didn't manage to finish my entry back then. Glad to hear a really retro style game like Alex 4 can be just as popular as anything else. Smiley

Of course it will also depend on what platform you're trying to sell your game to. Try to publish a game on XBLA and all they say is "give us HD". :/

I'm only going for PC, so the whole XBLA thing isn't a problem. High-def graphics are nice, but I really don't care about them that much. I'm more interested in a good game. Smiley

Logged

Derek
Bastich
Administrator
Level 10
******



View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2007, 02:36:48 AM »

People will pay for pixels, sure!  But you should also understand that they will then, in turn, expect a LOT more in terms of other content.  I think people would pay money for Dwarf Fortress even if it stayed ASCII, just because they are getting so much value in terms of gameplay.  Likewise, people would pay for a 4-color shmup, but it would need to offer much more gameplay than another shmup with full-color graphics.

In the end, I feel like for a game to sell it's going to require a minimum amount of hours put into it.  Whether you want to put that into the graphics or the gameplay is your decision, but if you take shortcuts on one end, you'll have to make up for it on the other end. Smiley

Quote
The Puppygames titles UltraTron and Titan Attacks are examples of great low res games.  Though your opinion of selling well might be different than what he gets.  They sell enough for him to want to continue making games, but not well enough to do it full time.

Both those games are great fun and quite polished, but my opinion is that they would both require a lot more features to be successful financially.  IMO the gameplay is too similar to other games to really get by without having an insane amount of content.
Logged
BenH
Level 2
**


Dirty boy, wash your hands!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2007, 04:32:40 AM »

In the end, I feel like for a game to sell it's going to require a minimum amount of hours put into it.  Whether you want to put that into the graphics or the gameplay is your decision, but if you take shortcuts on one end, you'll have to make up for it on the other end. Smiley

Oh definitely. I'm more than happy to put the same amount of hours into a game project, I just feel most of those hours are better spent on making the game fun to play rather than making it all about the graphics. Graphics lure people in, but they don't make people stick around!
Logged

Anthony Flack
Level 5
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2007, 06:22:51 PM »

Quote
Both those games are great fun and quite polished, but my opinion is that they would both require a lot more features to be successful financially.
I don't know the exact figures, but my understanding is that Titan Attacks has done reasonably well. The thing that Cas was trying to do, business-wise, was trying to find a happy medium between the number of sales and the amount of time spent making the game. In other words, in financial terms it may be better to create two games instead of spending twice as much time trying to make one game sell twice as much.
Logged

Currently in development: Cletus Clay
Alex May
...is probably drunk right now.
Level 10
*


hen hao wan


View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2007, 03:23:26 AM »

Yeah, that's what I recall him saying too. It's a good idea I reckon, as soon enough you'll have tons of games which is great for any games web site - the more games that are on it the more impressive it looks. I guess that's why loads of indies do affiliate sales etc.
Logged

Anthony Flack
Level 5
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2007, 06:25:37 AM »

Well... it's not so much about looking impressive as it is about selling more stuff to people! Let's say that you have a game like Titan Attacks, which one person likes enough to buy and another person feels is not feature-packed enough. You could put in extra work in the hope of convincing that second person, who maybe wasn't that serious anyway... or you could make another small game, which the first person will most likely go and buy as well. In the end, you can say, hey, I spent x months making it and it brought me x thousands of dollars; result! And with each release, your audience ought to be at least a little larger than before.

It's basically the complete opposite of my strategy, but I can certainly see the appeal. Hopefully we're both right?
Logged

Currently in development: Cletus Clay
Derek
Bastich
Administrator
Level 10
******



View Profile WWW
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2007, 06:33:06 AM »

Well... it's not so much about looking impressive as it is about selling more stuff to people! Let's say that you have a game like Titan Attacks, which one person likes enough to buy and another person feels is not feature-packed enough. You could put in extra work in the hope of convincing that second person, who maybe wasn't that serious anyway... or you could make another small game, which the first person will most likely go and buy as well. In the end, you can say, hey, I spent x months making it and it brought me x thousands of dollars; result! And with each release, your audience ought to be at least a little larger than before.

It's basically the complete opposite of my strategy, but I can certainly see the appeal. Hopefully we're both right?

I'm not sure that I agree with your logic... but I can't really argue why exactly.  All I can say is that I'd be more comfortable buying a full game online at $20 than a smaller one at $10.  The reason may be because of the inherent "cost" of having to make a transaction online.  I want to feel like what I'm purchasing is going to last me a while.  With a smaller game it's harder to break past that psychological barrier, I suppose? Huh?
Logged
BenH
Level 2
**


Dirty boy, wash your hands!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2007, 06:51:30 AM »

I'm not sure that I agree with your logic... but I can't really argue why exactly.  All I can say is that I'd be more comfortable buying a full game online at $20 than a smaller one at $10.  The reason may be because of the inherent "cost" of having to make a transaction online.  I want to feel like what I'm purchasing is going to last me a while.  With a smaller game it's harder to break past that psychological barrier, I suppose? Huh?

I think subconsciously the price of an indie game instantly gives us an indication of whether its worth buying or not. Some indie developers did a test selling one of their games at $15 and then later at $20. They sold almost twice as many copies when it was for sale with the $20 price tag. It's almost as if selling a game for less is an indication of doubt in the developers mind as to whether or not its going to sell, and I think that doubt can end up transferring over to the potential customers.

There are obviously going to be exceptions to this rule, like people who actually know better than to rate a game's worth on based price alone, but I think you get the general idea.
Logged

Anthony Flack
Level 5
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2007, 07:09:03 AM »

I think Cas also found that he sold about the same when he put the price up...?

I don't think it's about selling smaller games cheaper. It's more about selling the smaller games for $20 as well - to people who don't mind that they are small, and not worrying about the people who want something bigger. Picking the low-hanging fruit, as it were.

All irrelevant to me, though, as I'm going to be going off on elaborate flights of fancy either way so I figured I may as well go all-out. However I do think that Puppygames have been very successful in devising a graphic style that is both distinctive and polished, as well as being quick and efficient.
Logged

Currently in development: Cletus Clay
Data
Giant Enemy Crab
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2007, 09:46:25 PM »

In response to the topic question: I sure hope so! I'm betting on it.

As has been said.. 'pixels are yummy'. There's a certain delicious representative aesthetic that clean pixel graphics conveys. I don't know if it's what the mainstream market wants these days, but I'm hoping there's enough out there to support my little operation.

Just for fun and nostalgia, my intro has some examples of good ole' low res games:
http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=45.msg1748#msg1748
Logged
ஒழுக்கின்மை
Level 10
*****


Also known as रिंकू.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2007, 02:30:42 PM »

The great thing about being an independent developer is that you don't have to make games which you think will have an audience, because no matter *what* kind of game you make, no matter what genre or what graphical style, there are always at least 1000 people in the world willing to buy that game, if only they could find and play it. I'm sure there are at least 1000 people aching to buy a low-resolution pixel game, they're out there, isolated all around the world, searching for it right now, and you can make it for them.
Logged

Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic