The artist Baiyon ("PixelJunk Eden") told me at GDC that he'd like to see more games with graphics that look out of the ordinary.
Leave it to the man behind the kaleidoscopic techno-garden graphics of "PixelJunk Eden" to call for more unusual game graphics.
Last week at the Game Developer's Conference last week, I spoke to Baiyon, the multimedia artist who produced the graphics and music for "PixelJunk Eden" and its April expansion "PixelJunk Eden Encore." I wanted to know how he created the visuals for "Eden" and what he thought of other games' graphics.
"PixelJunk" series creator Dylan Cuthbert translated for Baiyon, from Japanese to English.
I pressed for his thoughts on what he thinks when he sees so many games rendered in the traditional realistic styles of the west or that appear to be drawn from the same manga and anime styles in Japan. "People who make games," he said, "should believe more in gamers and games themselves -- and not worry so much about conforming.
"A lot of games really fall into rigid patterns because of the way they had to be made in the past," the artist said through Cuthbert. "You know, you had limitations with hardware and graphics chips. People should look to break down the borders more."
The translation continued: "He thinks that people in general should keep looking for inspiration. They should go look for a much wider range of experience; see a range of expressive movies and art, not just look at other games."
Baiyon also revealed to me how he crafts the visuals that are rendered in the "PixelJunk Eden" levels, particularly all of that unworldly vegatation. Cuthbert translated: "He uses real ink and paper. He kind of sprays ink on paper. And he can see the shapes come out. He sees a branch, for example, and pulls it out... When he creates an inkblot it is like getting a flash of inspiration. It is like a photo. It gives him a feeling of reality."
The new "PixelJunk Eden Encore" includes five new levels styled by Baiyon. It will be released as a downloadable expansion exclusive to the PS3 next month.