Monthly Archives: July 2009

On Pixel Art and Design Decisions

I got a comment from David that I’d like to highlight and address, because I believe it highlights a misconception folks have about pixel art and the style of my games. I’ll cut the comment for length, but try to retain the intent.

I’m a visual artist, so critiquing your visuals is all I feel arrogant enough to do. They were well executed and suited their purpose in “Bars of Black and White” and in Exploit (and in the “Majesty of Colors” they were exquisite), but in “Sugarcore” and “How to Raise a Dragon” they cause the games to suffer. In “How to Raise a Dragon”, the pixels are not a bad idea, but they are also sort of sloppy looking. They are used in lieu of more detailed graphics to avoid having to draw, right? They are probably better than the alternative, but the use of pixels should not become your crutch. Instead it should be used to artistic effect.

The art style in “Dragon” was definitely chosen for artistic effect, not to avoid making art. Continue reading On Pixel Art and Design Decisions

Interview with

Italian-language indie games site just posted an interview with me! They asked a bunch of interesting questions, including one about my next game.

In case you (like me) don’t read Italian, I’ve included the original English questions and answers below. A warning, though: this is just copied from our correspondence, and hasn’t been edited by them, so any mistakes are mine and it may not match the Italian version perfectly.

Continue reading Interview with

“How to Raise a Dragon” News and Updates

It’s been a little over a week since “How to Raise a Dragon” was released, and it’s been played almost 650,000 times, linked by Jay is Games,, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Play This Thing, Auntie Pixelante, Kotaku (Australia), Bytejacker, and sundry others. I’m pleased by the responses, although I’d probably be more well-received if I cut down on the lo-fi pixel art, as folks often seem to find it ugly or overplayed.

As I was going back to get the game ready to post on other portals, I put in a few updates. I made it possible to create a Fiery Watcher in-game, added Y as an alternative jump key for my QWERTZ friends, and added a new behavior that really should have been in there all along. These updates are present in the ArmorGames version. I’ve put up a copy here on Ludus Novus and one on Kongregate. Other portals will follow once I work out some difficulties with a new ad provider.

The Video Game Album

My latest column has gone up at GameSetWatch. It’s about a rare and intriguing animal: the Video Game Album. Occasionally, several games will be released as one package. In the article, I discuss Odin Sphere, Kirby Super Star, and The Orange Box.

One work I didn’t discuss in the column, because it seemed a bit incestuous, is my recent IF piece, The Bryant Collection. Continue reading The Video Game Album