Pixel Perfect: The Visual Style of The Last Goddess

The art style of The Last Goddess uses a retro-inspired pixel art feel. Why was this look chosen for the game?

Seiko and Colin walking to a cafe in The Last Goddess.

Seiko and Colin walking to a cafe in The Last Goddess.

Here's what the Kickstarter page has to say about graphics for The Last Goddess:

There's something about this art style, reminiscent of early computer and console games, that I find really appealing. The graphics are detailed enough to make out what's being represented—a tree is obviously a tree, a cup of coffee is a cup of coffee—but there are still gaps, and that's where our imaginations start to fill in the missing pieces. It's a bit like the brain's response to reading a good novel: kind of magical, and I wanted some of that magic in this game.

In choosing a look for The Last Goddess, I was heavily influenced by the graphical style of early computer adventure games from the late 1980s. The art isn't completely abstract (unlike some games, that used symbols or letters to represent characters and objects), but it still isn't too detailed. Of course, this was due to technical limitations of the time. Limited disk storage, small color palettes, and limited video memory constrained what could be done. Below are some examples from these games.

King's Quest II (1985) from Sierra On-Line.

King's Quest II (1985) from Sierra On-Line.

Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter (1986) from Sierra On-Line.

Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter (1986) from Sierra On-Line.

One thing you'll notice in the screenshots above is that there are a limited number of colors in use—sixteen, in fact, was the limit. One method to "cheat" this limited number of colors was developed by Mark Ferrari (working at Lucasfilm Games) and was called dithering. Below are some examples of dithering as used in computer games of that era.

Loom (1990) from Lucasfilm Games.

Loom (1990) from Lucasfilm Games.

The Secret of Monkey Island (1990) from Lucasfilm Games.

The Secret of Monkey Island (1990) from Lucasfilm Games.

Of course, for The Last Goddess, we aren't limiting ourselves to only sixteen colors or 360K of disk storage. We're taking advantage of modern graphical hardware—mixing the best of old and new to make magic.

Driving through Central Florida in The Last Goddess.

Driving through Central Florida in The Last Goddess.

The Last Goddess is now on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight. We appreciate your support in helping us finish this game.