Why Low Poly Is Hot Again

If you want to develop a low poly game, then everyone at The Synty Store thinks you should go right ahead. There’s been a resurgence of low-poly art and flat design in recent years. It’s the visual style that does away with fine details and textures and it has found renewed popularity among your fellow indie developers; back in the day, that popularity was pretty much forced on game creators and had more to do with limitations of the hardware.  Today, it is more of a style choice, as developers and players embrace the retro vibe. 

Early 3D games were rendered on PCs and consoles that delivered pretty low performance compared to the standards we are used to today. They were only capable of displaying a few polygons while maintaining a stable framerate - it was enough for some basic models without any unnecessary detail. There wasn’t the capability to render detailed foliage or large environments;  meanwhile, a lot of objects had to be converted to 2D sprites that would always face the camera.

At the time, though, these low poly games were still thought of as being cutting edge. Think of games like Virtua Fighter, Alone In The Dark and Interstate ‘76. As far as 3D graphics went, they were as good as it gets. It’s only with the passage of time and the advancement in technology that we now see these games as low poly...and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

More of today’s gamers have a new affection for years past when hardware limitations meant basic graphics like low-poly models and pixel art. They see those times as a pioneering generation when game developers started this amazing journey we’re now all a part of. This probably accounts for the recent trend towards more basic graphics. It’s like a tribute to those revolutionary developers and their games. 

Of course, for you as a game developer, there are plenty of benefits when using the low-poly art style. Your models require fewer polygons for a start, and they’re very small in file size, so they can load quickly and run on low-end hardware. 

For all this, you have to be creative when using low poly modelling. You need to get as much out of the limited resources you have at your disposal to create complex compositions. But when you get it right, the simplicity and style with its distinctive shapes and colours will find a market that believes a game can still be highly enjoyable even if it’s a low poly one. And for all the low poly art assets you need, we’re the people to contact.

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