The creation of our first game, Oniken, gave us a lot of feedback and it was pretty cool because we could see if people were enjoying or not our games and why.
Publishing Oniken on Greenlight was great too, because the feedback we got earlier was mostly from people that bought the game. In Greenlight, you try to convince people that your game deserves to enter in Steam catalog, with videos and screens. However, most of the negative feedback (almost all of them) wasn’t about our game as a whole but instead about the retro visual style, some users even saying the game is “from the time of my grandmother” or “if this game was released in 80’s it was be a success, but today it’s a waste of time and effort“.
Recently, a big brazilian website about game news mention one of our last blog posts about the new game that Danilo is working on. We got really proud of it since finally we could get some feedback from our country fellas, but the feedback was mostly negative, with jokes about “gamedev coming to Brazil with a 15 years of lag” and comments complaining about the game graphics.
We don’t take these comments seriously because the retro style adopted was a tribute and this don’t affect the fun factor of the gameplay. In Oniken, for example, we wanted to make a game with 8-bit graphics because in the 80s video games had to be short due to hardware and developing limitations, so the developers made them very hard so players played much more. That’s why Castlevania, Ghosts n Goblins, Megaman and so many other classic titles are hard, to make the experience last longer. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make other visual styles games (Oniken’s first prototypes had a 16bits art), that’s simply a obsession by pixels and the 80’s difficulty that made Danilo Dias and Pedro Paiva create the game.
I think that today games are all about the same thing. The first person shooters like the Battlefield series or the Call of Duty only have small changes in the gameplay and new maps, but essentially are the same game, version after version. Assassin’s Creed series make a new game every year with the basic same premise. The new Tomb Raider game doesn’t even have as many puzzles as the classic versions. Big companies create incomplete games and sell DLCs after release to finish the game and sell it sooner (and sometimes also ships DLCs “on-disk” too). Some of these games don’t even let the player think by himself or entertain, just ask him to kill anything that moves and try to enjoy the ultra realistic graphics.
Today, most of the gaming industry teaches younger players that games are all about 3D graphics and disregards fun. If your game don’t have this graphical standard, then your game sucks. It’s sad see so much game developers prioritizing graphics and putting the fun factor not as a priority.
Obviously, it’s great to have more and more powerful machines handling better resolution textures, more powerful shaders and polygons on screen, but we want to see fun games too, and no computer or videogame console can do this alone without the help of the game designers. Here we enter, to try to make the difference.
Yes, we love pixels, and we love to create games.