Retro-styled games are super popular right now. Make it look like an NES game, or GBA game, and you get a look that brings out that nostalgic feeling in fans.
In fact, we just released some new tunes for retro-styled games, the 8-bit Perfect Collection!
You can get it here on Steam, or here from our store. Check it out on our store for some sweet samples. But enough of the blatant advertising, let’s look at two things you need to keep in mind if you are going Retro with your game.
Retro is Not Easier
Sometimes, people get this idea into their heads. That retro-styled art and sprites are really easy to make, and anyone can do it.
No, just no. Old school looking sprites are tricky, the problem isn’t in getting all the details right like it is with larger formats, the problem is that you are trying to communicate a LOT of information in a tiny amount of space.
Not only that, but your palette is even MORE important than with painted or even larger pixel styles. Just look at how much Jason Perry conveys with just a few pixels with his Time Fantasy Pack.
At this level of detail, every single pixel matters. Don’t pick a retro-style just because you think it is “easier”.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!
Ok, another thing we need to talk about is consistency. If your graphics look like they are being pushed out by ’92 hardware, and your sound seems like it is coming out of 2017 hardware… well, it is going to seem kind of mishmash and not cohesive.
Make sure every part of the presentation of your game matches the style you are going for. The whole thing needs to be retro. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your gameplay more modern, but the look, the sound, those should all be cohesive.
So that means, all your graphics, sprites, battlers, tiles, parallaxes, animations, etc, etc. All your sounds, SFX, Music, etc.
Personally, I would even suggest getting a retro-styled font.