What is Abcya?
Abcya is a multi-award winning Indie Pop Rock music video game. It was first released as a demo last year, and was later re-released in its original form by ONEMAN Games in September of this year.
Abcya is all about using an array of simple tools to create complex shapes. Using these tools, players are given the ability to create bold and clean shapes in less than 10 seconds. And this is the power of the pixel art.
This game pixel art piece was created by the most talented pixel artist from the gaming world, a person whose work can easily be recognized throughout the online gaming community. The pixel art has been able to move thousands of gamers to give a very high rating on game reviews. It also won Abcya a “Reach the Top” Indie title award for the year 2014.
The Creative Process Behind Abcya’s Game pixel art
Share. From black and white to photorealism. From black and white to photorealism.
2D sidescroller Abcya’s world is visually striking. The game’s characters and settings are rendered in a photorealistic, yet abstract way, and Abcya is no slouch in the art department himself. That’s why we asked two of the game’s developers, Sean Hester and Ben Merriam, to detail how they brought their art to the world of 2D game art. Read on to learn about the graphics wizardry they used to pull it off.
Sean Hester is the game’s art director and has been actively creating pixel art since 2008. He worked on games such as Heavenly Sword and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. He also has extensive experience in 2D animation and visual effects.
The techniques used in Abcya’s game art
I got a chance to talk to Eddie Olivares, the game developer of Abcya, who gave us an insight into how the game’s art was done.
I’ve never really experienced art-design-directed game development, so I asked Eddie what this kind of experience is like. “Designers might create a concept of an object or character, an environment, and a mood, and then we all do our own bit”, he said. “These have been the approaches that Abcya uses. On a basic level we talk about the aesthetics of an item and its positioning in the game, but then we get into quite detailed level designs, the textures for character portraits, and working out what objects should be there.”
In short, Eddie says he uses the games’ level editor to place elements like buttons on the player’s starting grid.
What makes a good game?
For many who make their living in the video game industry, that’s a hard question to answer. The passion that drives those who make games is evident; it’s hard to deny that the “love of the craft” is something that makes great game making a positive experience. And it’s that positive experience that gives back to the creator, and then to the players.
This is the art of Pixel, a four-part video series by Pixel, an independent game development studio based in Pittsburgh. Featuring behind the scenes access to the studio’s offices and creative process, The Art of Pixel takes viewers through the steps and ideas that go into creating games from the initial idea to the finished piece.
Follow Pixel on Twitter, or find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Where to find inspiration?
In games, we’re always encouraged to be resourceful. From an educational standpoint, one of the most famous textbook examples is Geoff Nunn’s “Do More Than They Tell You”.
“They” in this case is a little girl who is given a dollhouse and told to go play. Instead, she draws on the walls with crayons and leaves heartwarming messages for her doll to find.
In games, we are often told the same thing, but it’s usually followed by a seemingly unrelated instruction. “Always think outside the box”. “Think of something nobody has ever thought of before”. “Never forget that there is no limit to what you can do”.
“But Scott! There’s no limit! There’s no limit! I’m an artist! This is what I do!”.
Well, not quite.
Head on over to
When the 8-bit RPG Abcya: The Days Of Emerald, entered the gaming world, it was met with a mixed response. Of course, this was all based on the fairly basic graphic design of the game, a type of RPG that the developers thought was too easy to play, and not very satisfying to look at. Perhaps we’re a little biased though, as we thought it was great! What with the epic setting and the cartoony style, it wasn’t very often that you come across a really good pixel based RPG these days. Indeed, in our eyes Abcya was the clear winner of the first ever award for gaming pixel art, the E3 Digital Graphics Awards, back in 2005.