A study in GUI aesthetics for modern pixel art games.

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för datavetenskap och kommunikation

Author: Emma Grahn; [2013]

Keywords: Pixel; Art; Games; Indie; GUI; Interface;

Abstract: The clarity and usability of the graphical user interface is very important for the enjoyment of a digital game. Pixel art is an art style with low resolution consisting of a precise placing of pixels, the smallest unit of colour that a screen can display. Pixel art has the potential of being cheap, easy to make and nostalgic, but it takes some skill to handle. However the great weakness of pixel art is displaying letters, and small details with clarity. So is there a place for pixel art in modern games? This thesis will discuss how pixel art games could use their GUI and HUDs to create beautiful games without losing clarity. The aim of this study is to is to compare different games GUI in a systematic way and discuss whether the artists have succeeded in their design of the GUI to give the player a pleasant game experience. A second aim is to find a series of recommendations on how to build a GUI with the least possible intrusion on on a narrative driven game. The main question is how can the GUI be designed and drawn to fit a modern pixel art game without causing a distracting discord to the pixel art style?

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