Twitter is a constant source of great knowledge and great advices for all game developers, and in this case, a very interesting thread about the low-fidelity art styles in games.
Low-fidelity art styles in games Original tweet
Low-fidelity art styles in games edited tweet
hi folks! here is a little thread 🧵 on the benefits of low-fidelity art styles in games, such as pixel art and low poly. i think that, beyond just nostalgia, these styles can positively contribute to the experience of games! #gamedev #indiedev
1. players are forced to use their imagination to fill in the blanks & interpret what they’re experiencing. our imaginations can create something more vivid than a realistic depiction ever could. i think this is why PSX horror is so popular! (images from Hollow Head & Faith)
2. it is obvious what you can/can’t walk on, since the geometry you see can match the collision exactly. this enhances exploration & navigation as you won’t write off potentially explorable areas as background noise. very good for adventure/platformer games!!
3. you can be more ambiguous visually. what does this green texture from mario 64 depict? is it organic or manmade? when it gets blown up to a certain size, it has this surreal ambiguity that i find very appealing-
-and this rad art from the Metroid NES manual shows that sprites (especially lower bit ones!) are very much open to interpretation. again, you allow the player to use their imagination more, which i think is awesome.
4. abstractions & visual shorthand are less noticeable in lower fidelity environments. a rotating 3d model representing a collectible, that you can just touch to collect, looks normal in a PS1 game but might be immersion breaking in a PS5 one!
5. of course there are technical benefits too – generally faster to make low fidelity assets than high fidelity ones, easier to render, etc! please feel free to point out anything i’ve missed or to challenge these points 🙂