VVVVVV > General Discussions > Topic Details
Sharza Jan 1 @ 12:00pm
Is retro style more of an excuse...
... for a lack of artistic talent?

I get that some people really dig the "retro" style but this game looks like a graphically rather poor (!!!) NES game.

Now I get that not all programmers can also have great drawing abilities as is the case with the dev of Dust: An Elysian Tail, for example, but shouldn't they be hiring an artist then? I can't help but feel that retro has - not always, but too often - become an excuse to present people with ♥♥♥♥ty graphics and just claim it's supposed to be retro.

Your thoughts?

Edit: Just for clarification:
- I'm not saying VVVVVV has bad gameplay mechanics because its looks aren't to my liking (that wouldn't even make sense)
- I've been "educated" that VVVVVV has the C64 aesthetic to it because of concious choices of the creator; I still don't like it but that's just personal preference
- I am fully aware and just as much of the opinion as many others: "good graphics" (whatever that means) don't equal a good game
Last edited by Sharza; Jan 2 @ 3:24am
Showing 1-15 of 82 comments
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Dirk the Daring Jan 1 @ 12:02pm 
Not much of an opnion from me, but I would say the lack of resources to make something nicer or simply a design choice.
Jay Jan 1 @ 12:04pm 
It's just too obvious that you're one of the butt-hurt people who voted for the other games.
Sharza Jan 1 @ 12:05pm 
Originally posted by Dirk the Daring:
Not much of an opnion from me, but I would say the lack of resources to make something nicer or simply a design choice.

While a lack of resources is a good point I can agree with, I can only partially agree on the design choice.

Yes, there are retro-styled games that look great, but more often than not in recent times I felt it is an easy excuse to promote your game even though it looks like the dark side of your grandfather.
markoh00 Jan 1 @ 12:05pm 
This game is not about graphics at all (seems to be hard for some people to like it if the graphics are not good) but all about gameplay and game design. It is SUPPOSED to be minimalistic and challenging - there is absolutly no need for good graphics in this game.
Sharza Jan 1 @ 12:06pm 
Originally posted by Jay:
It's just too obvious that you're one of the butt-hurt people who voted for the other games.

It's rather obvious that you're not looking for a serious discussion :P
Sharza Jan 1 @ 12:07pm 
Originally posted by markoh00:
This game is not about graphics at all (seems to be hard for some people to like it if the graphics are not good) but all about gameplay and game design. It is SUPPOSED to be minimalistic and challenging - there is absolutly no need for good graphics in this game.

I'm not saying it should have state of the art technology. I just think it looks (and this is obviously only my personal opinion) god awful and even with a minimum of ressources it could have been improved a lot. And about... what is it now, 15 years back, they could have made it nicer looking.

(EDIT: forgot part of the sentence)

Edit 2:
Also, to me the most important factor that decides whether I will like a game or not are its gameplay-mechanics, not the graphics or even story-line, etc.

My point being that I don't mind lower end graphics as long as they are good looking, they fulfill what is needed to create a certain atmosphere. Best case scenario: even with low end graphics you can convey atmosphere, maybe even a story.

Which takes me back to this game (and similar ones). They look awful and the supposed retro style in my opinion actually takes away any appeal this game might otherwise have had.
Last edited by Sharza; Jan 1 @ 12:15pm
TLPD-AVW Jan 1 @ 12:27pm 
It doesn't look like an NES game. It looks like a Commodore 64 game.
TheMonkofDestiny Jan 1 @ 12:35pm 
The game is reflective of Terry Cavanagh's style. After playing Don't Look Back, the man can choose to do "retro" or "modern" as long as the gameplay is fun and challenging and the story is engaging to the fullest.
markoh00 Jan 1 @ 12:43pm 
Originally posted by Sharza:
I'm not saying it should have state of the art technology. I just think it looks (and this is obviously only my personal opinion) god awful and even with a minimum of ressources it could have been improved a lot. And about... what is it now, 15 years back, they could have made it nicer looking.

Yes, it does look like a C64 game - but why is this important if the game still is fun and able to transform its story and atmosphere?

Originally posted by Sharza:
My point being that I don't mind lower end graphics as long as they are good looking, they fulfill what is needed to create a certain atmosphere. Best case scenario: even with low end graphics you can convey atmosphere, maybe even a story.

It does not look awful it looks like an old game and still have atmosphere.

Originally posted by Sharza:
Which takes me back to this game (and similar ones). They look awful and the supposed retro style in my opinion actually takes away any appeal this game might otherwise have had.

I disagree - the game mechanics are pretty retro/simple and so are the graphics. Upgraded graphics would not fit to the quite simple game mechanic. Since there is no atmosphere lost (just the great 8Bit soundtrack will do its best to assure this) I still see no problem. BTW: Have you even played the game?
Sharza Jan 1 @ 12:45pm 
Originally posted by TheLohoped:
It doesn't look like an NES game. It looks like a Commodore 64 game.

Well, you got me there ^^

Originally posted by TheMonkofDestiny:
The game is reflective of Terry Cavanagh's style. After playing Don't Look Back, the man can choose to do "retro" or "modern" as long as the gameplay is fun and challenging and the story is engaging to the fullest.

I don't know the guy's style. I haven't played his game. I've just taken a look at this game here for a bit and thought to myself. This looks so bad it might actually drive a lot of potential customers away. But it's good to hear that he seems to know what he's doing (at least in terms of gameplay).

Hisophonic Jan 1 @ 12:48pm 
Originally posted by Sharza:
Originally posted by TheLohoped:
It doesn't look like an NES game. It looks like a Commodore 64 game.

Well, you got me there ^^

Originally posted by TheMonkofDestiny:
The game is reflective of Terry Cavanagh's style. After playing Don't Look Back, the man can choose to do "retro" or "modern" as long as the gameplay is fun and challenging and the story is engaging to the fullest.

I don't know the guy's style. I haven't played his game. I've just taken a look at this game here for a bit and thought to myself. This looks so bad it might actually drive a lot of potential customers away. But it's good to hear that he seems to know what he's doing (at least in terms of gameplay).

Yes it might look bad but some people prefer this style to other styles. Also you can't really say "It looks so bad it might drive a lot of potential customers away" because its 0.39.. Its 0 point 39, that is a a price you shouldn't even question regardless of what it looks.
Sharza Jan 1 @ 12:52pm 
Originally posted by markoh00:
Yes, it does look like a C64 game - but why is this important if the game still is fun and able to transform its story and atmosphere?

If he really manages to do it, it may not be all that important. I just find the game very unappealing from an optical standpoint - it just isn't for me.

In addition I wanted to not only focus the discussion on this specific game. As stated in my OP, I often get the feeling that devs call their game "retro" just because they don't know how to do any better. I'm not implying that this has definetly happened here. It just seemed to me like that.
Drowning witch Jan 1 @ 12:56pm 
0.39, thats an hourly wage in Nike factories, you never know if OP works there.
Sharza Jan 1 @ 12:56pm 
Originally posted by Hisophonic:
Yes it might look bad but some people prefer this style to other styles. Also you can't really say "It looks so bad it might drive a lot of potential customers away" because its 0.39.. Its 0 point 39, that is a a price you shouldn't even question regardless of what it looks.

I seem to not have been aware of how conciously and with which history of his own the dev of this game has chosen the style for this game.

Bringing the price-point into the discussion is a bit moot in my opinion. I won't even play a game for free when it has no appeal to me.
Hisophonic Jan 1 @ 1:10pm 
Originally posted by Sharza:
Originally posted by Hisophonic:
Yes it might look bad but some people prefer this style to other styles. Also you can't really say "It looks so bad it might drive a lot of potential customers away" because its 0.39.. Its 0 point 39, that is a a price you shouldn't even question regardless of what it looks.

I seem to not have been aware of how conciously and with which history of his own the dev of this game has chosen the style for this game.

Bringing the price-point into the discussion is a bit moot in my opinion. I won't even play a game for free when it has no appeal to me.
His style is mainly retro.
http://terrycavanaghgames.com/
Its not a style for everyone but again that is just one of his games, he made Super Hexagon and that link also has some freeware games that he has developed with a similar style.
I guess everyone has a different taste in games but i just hope that people will give them a try, i mean in all honesty it can be fancy graphics all the time as sometimes you just want to sit back and go back a few years where graphics wasn't key.
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