I’ve been researching spaceship graphics for a mobile app game we’re wanting to concept out, and I’ve been really impressed with how some designers have approached a more flat-ish skew-morphism style which really comes across contemporary and professional. It also helped me to see all the various states and pieces these designers are putting in this sprite-type view of their graphics.
The other important element is the overall brand of the game, and before I even thought of a logotype or identity, I was worried about the color palette. Some designers were really pushing the boundaries of normal color convention and going with a wide range of colors and chromas. I expected to see some monochromatic ranges mixed with various grays and black, but most of the ones I saw were using at least 3 or 4 different colors and some neutrals or browns in the mix also. I love doing this type of research before I start just to help me step up my game and not re-invent the wheel, or don’t start way behind the industry when these examples can boost my starting point.
Is it as shocking to everyone else, over 30 years old, how basic the graphics were on Atari games? I seem to research them for various projects about every 3 years or so, and every time I look at them I can’t believe how simple they are. Especially in consideration to how amazing it seemed as a kid to have all these different games and talk trash on your brother or cousin on who was the best at which games.
I look across some of my favorites like Pitfall and Dig Dug, and think to myself, ‘I swear it looked cooler than that back in the day’. The UX (or game mechanic) seemed so much more complex when you were a kid and console games just came out. Would kids today, after having the amazing graphics and in-depth game features even appreciate the old Atari games?
What if I took the exact game mechanics of Pitfall and just updated the graphics to photorealistic 3D style, would it be fun in today’s world? I want to play all the games now, to really get a sense of what the UX is, what you really strive for (like points, levels, achievements) and see how it compares to even the simplest mobile app games these days. Boy how times/games have changed.