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Indie Games and the Shift Back to 8-Bit

Why the trend in independent games of 8-bit graphics and music? What started it, and why has it continued for so long? Why would game makers and game players want to regress to a time when video games were stripped down and basic? Is it just pure nostalgia? It is a reflection on the decline of clever game design in AAA video games over time? Look at games such as Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami, Gunpoint.

  • It's a good topic but it would be better to also put focus on some the indie games that popularized the shift back to 8-bit to the mainstream such as Braid. It would also be interesting to consider the financial reasons for using 8-bit and how that limit can force them to be more creative when developing the game mechanics. – Matt Hatjoulis 2 years ago
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  • Though 8-bit games are often easier for low-budget indie projects to animate, narratologically, traditionally 8-bit genres like platformers offer an interesting challenge for game developers. The trick is to make a game that is fun to play (like "Crawl") and/or has an interesting story (like "Gods Will be Watching") without relying on cheesy effects and graphics to wow players. In any case, I expect the nostalgia for 80s graphics will cease once the 30-year cycle shifts to a fascination with the 90s. As far as 80s games go, they tend to be a bit more reliant on gameplay than narrative, at least among American releases. So, I hope we'll see more of a 90s ideological optimism in storytelling as in titles like Final Fantasy VII or Chrono Trigger. – Samir M Soni 2 years ago
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