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Stranger than fiction.

Crossing Souls is coming soon, DRM-free to GOG.com.
Looks like the summer of 1986 is going to be quite the (bicycle) ride for these five intrepid friends! Thanks to the properties of the peculiar pink stone they discovered, each can now pull off unique action-adventure stunts, fight off monsters or secret government agents, and generally engage in totally tubular 80s high jinks that would make all future kids super-jealous!

Try the Demo to get a taste of what's in store.
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CharlesGrey: Now if only the rest of the game was done in a similar style...
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muntdefems: ...it would probably still be under development, or the studio would have gone bankrupt. After all, they only raised about $50k with their Kickstarter from late 2014 (plus whatever financial support they received from Devolver Digital), and hand-made animation is pretty expensive. I agree that a game with that artstyle would be amazing, but don't know about you, I prefer it as it is rather than no game at all.

PS: Here's a comparison. Take Jenny LeClue: it's not really hand-made animation, but I bet its artstyle appeals more to you (and no doubt to Breja as well). It was also funded on Kickstarter a few months before Crossing Souls did, and it managed to raise twice as much (though, admittedly, they don't have a publisher). Well then, it's still being developed and their best estimation for a release date is ~2018.
Now don't get me wrong, I do believe they'll eventually release the game (they are showing progress in their KS monthly updates), but its development will take significantly longer than that of Crossing Souls and I've got the feeling it will feature less content and have a shorter playtime than CS as well.
*shrug* I don't really know anything about the financial situation of this project, or anything else going on behind the scenes. It's merely an objective critique of its visual style choices. I think it's a legitimate complaint that it does in fact look like most other modern "retro" Indie games. ( At least the in-game graphics. ) And there are ways to create unique visuals without blowing your budget, if you have some creative and skilled artists on the team. One option would have been to simply go for a true retro look, without all the fancy modern filters and post-processing effects. No extra work there, and at least it would have made for a consistent and clean visual style. Just look at Shovel Knight, Owlboy or the recently released Iconoclasts. And it's also perfectly possible to create higher resolution in-game graphics without a huge budget or artist team, if you stylize and simplify things.

And I suppose it's true that it's better to see it released as is, instead of never seeing the finished game, at least if it does indeed turn out to be good. On the other hand, is it generally a good thing if game devs and gamers settle for mediocrity? Isn't it better in the long run, to risk failure, for the chance to create something truly memorable and unique, with a lasting impact?
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CharlesGrey: And I suppose it's true that it's better to see it released as is, instead of never seeing the finished game, at least if it does indeed turn out to be good. On the other hand, is it generally a good thing if game devs and gamers settle for mediocrity?
Well, the thing is that whether this artstyle is mediocre or not is just a matter of opinion. I happen to like it, for one.


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CharlesGrey: Isn't it better in the long run, to risk failure, for the chance to create something truly memorable and unique, with a lasting impact?
Sure, as long as game development is not your only source of income. Obviously I don't know the particulars of these devs, but in the end it doesn't matter to me because, as I said, I'm totally OK with the actual looks of the game.

But still, judging the memorability and uniqueness of a game entirely by its graphics seems rather superficial to me. I'll take gameplay and story over graphics any day of the week.
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fortune_p_dawg: is also awaiting breja. :D
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Breja: Oh don't you even start :P I was so happy when I started watching the trailer. I thought it looks awesome... and then BAM! PIXELS, BITCH! I'm so sick of this. I though this looks really unique, but no, it actually looks like every other pixel game. Seriously, just by looking at the screenshots I would not be able to tell if it's this game, or Party Hard, or Beat Cop or something else. It's all so dull. Such a waste of a great opportunity.
You should learn more about how game production works, and then maybe you'll understand why pixel graphics are used.
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muntdefems: Well, the thing is that whether this artstyle is mediocre or not is just a matter of opinion. I happen to like it, for one.
Whether we like the style is a matter of subjective opinion ( personally I don't hate it, I just feel indifferent about it ). But I think it's fair to say that it does look like many other modern Indie releases, and could thus be considered mediocre, or at least rather uninspired. ( And I'd like to emphasize again that I'm only talking about the in-game style. The cartoon sequences and the general concept of the game seem quite original. )

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muntdefems: Sure, as long as game development is not your only source of income. Obviously I don't know the particulars of these devs, but in the end it doesn't matter to me because, as I said, I'm totally OK with the actual looks of the game.

But still, judging the memorability and uniqueness of a game entirely by its graphics seems rather superficial to me. I'll take gameplay and story over graphics any day of the week.
The question is whether we want to view the medium of video games as mere commercial products, or works of art with a lasting value. This very website is full of games which weren't really commercially successful upon their release, but are now considered to be among the best and most original games ever made. Even if they were commercial failures for the devs/publishers at the time, they are now seen as valuable contributions to the history of video games, and major influences on current and future game releases. I think it's necessary to take risks to create something meaningful and of lasting value, especially for artists / creative types. It's either that, or the 25th sequel to Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed, which will be forgotten a few years after their release.

And the art direction and visual quality are certainly important aspects of a video game, but I was just generally speaking and this also applies to any other aspect of game design. Devs need to take risks regarding gameplay design, story-telling, music etc. too, if they want to create anything original and memorable. ( Whether this particular game succeeds in those sectors remains yet to be seen, but as I mentioned in an earlier post I do like the general concept, and will likely buy a copy. )
Post edited February 07, 2018 by CharlesGrey
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Breja: Oh don't you even start :P I was so happy when I started watching the trailer. I thought it looks awesome... and then BAM! PIXELS, BITCH! I'm so sick of this. I though this looks really unique, but no, it actually looks like every other pixel game. Seriously, just by looking at the screenshots I would not be able to tell if it's this game, or Party Hard, or Beat Cop or something else. It's all so dull. Such a waste of a great opportunity.
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UtterdarkSpectre: You should learn more about how game production works, and then maybe you'll understand why pixel graphics are used.
I don't care. I care about the result. And there's still a lot of indie games that don't take the low-res way out and create something new and unique. I think they deserve our money and recognition far more.
Digging that A E S T H E T I C.
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UtterdarkSpectre: You should learn more about how game production works, and then maybe you'll understand why pixel graphics are used.
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Breja: I don't care. I care about the result. And there's still a lot of indie games that don't take the low-res way out and create something new and unique. I think they deserve our money and recognition far more.
personally, when it comes to new, unique and enjoyment, I place a much higher value on game play then visuals. that may just be me, though.
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Breja: I don't care. I care about the result. And there's still a lot of indie games that don't take the low-res way out and create something new and unique. I think they deserve our money and recognition far more.
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amok: personally, when it comes to new, unique and enjoyment, I place a much higher value on game play then visuals. that may just be me, though.
Both are important, and either can make a game worthwile. But seeing a game that looks so generic is an immediate turn-off for me (yes, I know you disagree with that assessment of it's visual style).
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Breja: Oh don't you even start :P I was so happy when I started watching the trailer. I thought it looks awesome... and then [...] it actually looks like every other pixel game.
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CharlesGrey: I'd prefer if it actually looked like a game from the 80s or early 90s, rather than this modern Indie game look.

[...]the retro cartoon sequences are really cool and unique. Now if only the rest of the game was done in a similar style!
Agreed. Exactly my feelings... The game puts stock in the player's nostalgia for the eighties, why not making an effort for actually looking like the arcades of the time? :-(

It is not the pixels, it is the love/art/effort you put onto them...

That aside, it might well be a nice game, only that it might not work so well with (at least a part of) people who lived the eighties...
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UtterdarkSpectre: You should learn more about how game production works, and then maybe you'll understand why pixel graphics are used.
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Breja: I don't care. I care about the result. And there's still a lot of indie games that don't take the low-res way out and create something new and unique. I think they deserve our money and recognition far more.
Oh ok. Your opinion doesn't matter then.
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Breja: I don't care. I care about the result. And there's still a lot of indie games that don't take the low-res way out and create something new and unique. I think they deserve our money and recognition far more.
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UtterdarkSpectre: Oh ok. Your opinion doesn't matter then.
Sure, whatever. Don't let the door hit you on your way out.
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Breja: I don't care. I care about the result. And there's still a lot of indie games that don't take the low-res way out and create something new and unique. I think they deserve our money and recognition far more.
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UtterdarkSpectre: Oh ok. Your opinion doesn't matter then.
Why? Every opinion is a valid opinion since opinions will always be subjective. You might not share it but this does not render Breja's opinion unimportant or invalid.
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Breja: I don't care. I care about the result. And there's still a lot of indie games that don't take the low-res way out and create something new and unique. I think they deserve our money and recognition far more.
Darn right.

I saw the cartoon art and checked the game page then I saw the generic pixel graphics and immediately lost interest.