Have you noticed that a large number of 2D games are being released now? It would seem that now is the era of 3D, and two-dimensional products have nothing to do on the market. But this turns out to be untrue. What is the reason for this phenomenon? The fact that 2D does not stand still.
Modern 2D designs are not at all what you’ve seen before. The path from hard-to-recognize pixelated objects to realistic and vibrant levels that are hard to distinguish from 3D was long and curious. As a result, some basic types of 2D styles were identified. Stay with us and find out which of them are used by every self-respecting game art company.
A Few Words About 2D
The concept of two-dimensionality implies the presence of two dimensions of width and height, within which objects are located. When the third dimension of depth appears, the objects become three-dimensional.
There is a misconception that 2D objects cannot look as interesting as 3D ones. Of course, they will not become voluminous in any way, but they can beat their counterparts through the play of light, color palettes and style.
It all starts with pixels. Everyone who still remembers the old games on consoles knows about this. They were something made up of squares or other elementary shapes that folded into objects and surroundings. All the most famous classic platformers are made with this style. It was relevant due to its simplicity and small hardware requirements. Now, this style is often used in a more modernized way, evoking nostalgic vibes and sometimes causing players to ignore exciting 3D designs.
The next stop is vectors. As you probably know, vector graphics allow you to create works of art that can be enlarged to any size. This is possible due to the fact that in the case of a vector, it is always known where the start and end points are and what the length of the directed segment is. Game objects no longer need to be pixelated. Thanks to the vector, they all gained a clearer look with more saturated colors. Moreover, the size of vector images is much smaller than pixel ones.
Black & White Art
This style stood out for a reason, thanks to the particular game Limbo. Its unexpected success with low creation costs and absolute monochromaticity of the picture was a real breakthrough in the gaming industry. Black and white style has become a household name: now, seeing something like this, players all the time compare the new project with Limbo. The lack of colors other than black, white and shades of gray adds mystery, mysticism and ominousness to the game. At the same time, if you supplement the graphics with the appropriate soundtrack, you can get a product that will capture players no worse than advanced 3D games. Modern game art studios are well aware of this, so sometimes they use this style to create an atmosphere of a certain level.
This style tells the story of primitive figures that, in combination, can turn into quite addictive gameplay. Squares, triangles and lines in bright, acidic shades against a dark background are very successful in catching the eye. For example, this happened with the multi-directional shooter Geometric Wars, which gained good popularity, despite its elementary image and even primitivism. This proves once again that elementarity is often not inferior to advanced graphics.
The name of the style speaks for itself. There are no special styling requirements here. It’s just important to make art as realistic as possible. It remains 2D and may look cartoonish, but due to its high details, shadows and very realistic rendering, it is very different from other styles and attracts players to the gameplay. For example, video game design company Nintendo very often uses this style to create their games.
Knowledge of 2D styles is very important in order to roughly navigate how you want to see your game. But knowledge alone is not enough. You need to start acting. And the best option is outsourcing. Companies offering 3D animation services are well versed in modern 2D graphics and will be able to tell you if the chosen style is right and if your project has a perspective.