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Can 2D art in big fighting games return? (+ GIF porn)

Belmonte

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I saw an interview where the Guilty Gear team explained why they decided to switch to 3D. It wasn't just because well animated 2D is a laborious and difficult task but it is because the public doesn't value 2D as much as 3D. It feels cheaper for them for some reason.

As a 2D fan, specially classic Capcom games, I find this depressing. IMO Street Figher Zero has the best art style in the franchise and Street Fighter III the best animation. Darkstalkers, Marvel Super Heroes, Gem Fighters, Vs series are wonders if you don't mind pixels.



I appreciate a lot what Arc Systems is doing in the Guilty Gear series. Instead of using 3D to make the task easier, they did to add some cool camera angles with an art process as laborious as doing 2D, perhaps even more laborious since they need to adjust the image frame by frame in the software. Their results are incredible but I would love to see what today's artists could do with high definition animations.







Skullgirls have beautiful, well made animations, Cuphead is a huge success, Streets of Rage 4 proved that there is space for traditional animation in brawlers. Do you think there is space for 2D in big fighting games also? I would love to see it in Street Fighter VI but I don't have much hope.



 

Alexios

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Not when ArcSys shows how good 3D can fake 2D yet, tricks and tech developed for this style aside, keep the workflow artists and developers in the industry are actually familiar with these days.

I'm good with 2D being for smaller productions. From the low res pixel art of Cave Story or the Momodora series to Skullgirls that you mention it can be glorious.

The pinnacle of 2D fighting art to me are SNK's Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Last Blade 2 and Samurai Shodown IV, Capcom's Street Fighter Alpha 3, Vampire Savior and Marvel vs Capcom (not 2). Special nods to stuff like Waku Waku 7. Other stuff like SFIII, MvC2 or SvC are just too incosistent.

Of course there are plenty more great 2D games for gameplay, or even also great looking stuff I adore (SamSho2, Fatal Fury Special, Cyberbots, Red Earth, Jojo's, Pocket Fighters, older Marvel/vs games, etc.) but I feel the games above are a notch or two above most in art and maintain gameplay.
 
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Dec 20, 2018
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Won't happen because selling costumes and skins isn't feasible in 2D. Unless they develop some insane A.I deepfake technology that draws skins over existing characters somehow, but that's probably not happening anytime soon. I don't see any AAA dev going back to 2D now that 3D is the norm.
 
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NeoIkaruGAF

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it is because the public doesn't value 2D as much as 3D. It feels cheaper for them for some reason.
*weeps in pixel art*

Imagine thinking art like that in SNK’s Neo Geo fighting games and Metal Slug is cheap.
Unfortunately most modern indies aren’t even remotely of the same quality and are just reinforcing this opinion.
 

Belmonte

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Not when ArcSys shows how good 3D can fake 2D yet, tricks and tech developed for this style aside, keep the workflow artists and developers in the industry are actually familiar with these days.

I'm good with 2D being for smaller productions. From the low res pixel art of Cave Story or the Momodora series to Skullgirls that you mention it can be glorious.

The pinnacle of 2D fighting art to me are SNK's Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Last Blade 2 and Samurai Shodown IV, Capcom's Street Fighter Alpha 3, Vampire Savior and Marvel vs Capcom (not 2). Special nods to stuff like Waku Waku 7. Other stuff like SFIII, MvC2 or SvC are just too incosistent.

Of course there are plenty more great 2D games for gameplay, or even also great looking stuff, but I feel the games above are a notch or two above most of them in terms of art quality, consistency and animation, and also match it all with great gameplay too.

Do you mean there are not many modern artists who could match previous 2D quality? I remember devs like IGA saying how hard and costly is to find enough artists to make Bloodstained in 2D.

I like the emulated 2D of Guilty Gear a lot but I don't think the technique is superior to what a well made 2D could do in HD. And their 2D emulation process is so manual, that you need deep understanding of 2D to make it work either way.


Won't happen because selling costumes and skins isn't feasible in 2D. Unless they develop some insane A.I deepfake technology that draws skins over existing characters somehow, but that's probably not happening anytime soon. I don't see any AAA dev going back to 2D now that 3D is the norm.

The first time I saw Guilty Gear Xrd I though they switched to 3D to make it easier to create new skins/characters. But judging by Guilty Gear Xrd making off videos, the process is so laborious that I'm not sure if it makes skin creation easier.
Even the shadows and polygons are adjusted frame by frame by hand to get the desired effect.

But aside from Arc Systems, I think you are right. I don't know if other studios do the process like them.

*weeps in pixel art*

Imagine thinking art like that in SNK’s Neo Geo fighting games and Metal Slug is cheap.
Unfortunately most modern indies aren’t even remotely of the same quality and are just reinforcing this opinion.

Yeah, this part hurt me also. :pie_neutral:
 

Pejo

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OP, you and I have different definitions of gif porn.

Anyways, I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, I keep hoping that the eventual Darkstalkers revival will be exactly that - High def hand drawn 2D sprites. 3D in Street Fighter's style doesn't have the character to do the cast justice. While I like the Guilty Gear/GBVS style of fake 2D, it also would limit the animations and style of Darkstalkers. 2D art can be expressive in ways that just make it superior, and I think good 2D sprites are truly "timeless" when viewed through the scope of retro gaming. While stuff like 3rd Strike isn't considered top-tier graphics anymore, it's still gorgeous to look at regardless of age. I miss that.
 

Pejo

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I've grown beyond pixels but if they did more stuff like Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix...


*edit* I'll concede - maybe if scanlines are optional. This style is too "Adobe Flash" for me though, It doesn't handle animation well and looks very stiff, and the characters look like they're hovering over the background instead of actually in the game.
 
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JonnyMP3

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*edit* I'll concede - maybe if scanlines are optional. This style is too "Adobe Flash" for me though, It doesn't handle animation well and looks very stiff, and the characters look like they're hovering over the background instead of actually in the game.
If you mean these actual Udon drawings that were just used to make SSF2 look like it used to? Then I get your point. But I meant that type of 2D rather than Sprites. Obviously you can draw whatever you want instead of having to trace a 25 year old game. But mainly my point is I prefer the HD look. Just obviously something modern and not a remake.
 
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DForce

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Nah... They can make more money creating 3d models

And I think making 2D is not cheap.
 

Pejo

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If you mean these actual Udon drawings that were just used to make SSF2 look like it used to? Then I get your point. But I meant that type of 2D rather than Sprites. Obviously you can draw whatever you want instead of having to trace a 25 year old game. But mainly my point is I prefer the HD look. Just obviously something modern and not a remake.
Tastes are going to be different with that ultra clean style 2D, but I can understand that you like it. My big problem is that I have a hard time visualizing what a clean sprite game with proper animation frames would look like, since we often get stuff with few animation frames per movement.
I'd like to see an example of this gif in that style to see if it would look good or weird.
 

JonnyMP3

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Tastes are going to be different with that ultra clean style 2D, but I can understand that you like it. My big problem is that I have a hard time visualizing what a clean sprite game with proper animation frames would look like, since we often get stuff with few animation frames per movement.
I'd like to see an example of this gif in that style to see if it would look good or weird.
I do get what you mean because fighting games back in the day required you to pixel count the frames. So maybe adding in scanlines to help pinpoint the actual frames might be a good idea.
But because those old games were slower the frames were also smaller.
With the HD 2D art you could probably add more frames in the motion, adding towards the fluidity of moves.
 

Futaleufu

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*weeps in pixel art*

Imagine thinking art like that in SNK’s Neo Geo fighting games and Metal Slug is cheap.
Unfortunately most modern indies aren’t even remotely of the same quality and are just reinforcing this opinion.

One poster in this forum told me once that no games ever released by SNK were "AAA". Go figure.



 
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Ten_Fold

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No, it’s mainly due to the cost, and time also it’s gonna be a lot harder to sell costumes, I remember SNK saying that which is why KOF14 and probably 15 won’t be sprites. Capcom probably never going back to sprites
 

RoboFu

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Yes but why when you can make 3D look and play 2d nowadays and have much more flexibility and get it much faster?
 

Elcid

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As much as I love 2D sprites, I definitely don't want that in Street Fighter. If they created a new Alpha entry or some shit like that, then sure. That Terry you posted OP looks pretty amazing.
 

carlosrox

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I don't see why the fuck not.

Street Fighter should get back on it. 3D Street Fighter looks like shit IMHO.
 

K1Expwy

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A lot of HD 2d games end up looking like "flash games," even when they're painstakingly drawn and animated traditionally. And for gameplay purposes along with adjustments and updates, 3d is easier to manipulate without a loss or change in quality. Most of those old fighting games have updates that look like a different sprite artist worked on the game, for better or worse. I like 2d art+animation, but using 3d makes more sense for video games. Especially when the technology has matured enough for 3d to look reasonably 2d
 

Nymphae

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No it will never come back and that's a shame, a damn shame. Found this article just now about why 3's animation looks better than 4, pretty simple stuff






2D pixel artists used traditional animation techniques to breath life into their art, classic animation like looney tunes still looks vibrant and lively because that's what the medium is when you are controlling the individual frames, super expressive and has a human touch and feeling. Motion tweened and mouse clicked models just don't have the same punch. Maybe someone like ARC will get there someday, but the point is it takes a lot of work to replicate in 3D what traditional animation has been doing for many decades before computers existed. Yes a lot of current stuff looks good in it's own way, but there's a reason shit like SF3 and KoF13 still dazzles and resonates with people. We miss the expression we used to get from our 2D artforms.
 
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Nymphae

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Here's is the full article from the pixel artist who did the comparison, highly recommend this it's a really good read


It's sad because the article is him breaking down why 2D animation is superior (to him at least, his broader point is that it's a deliberate and amazing stylistic choice that is not appreciated anymore), and why his studio was ceasing production of pixel art games because the world just doesn't appreciate it as much due to a fixation on HD everything.




 
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