What is retro?

Basically, retro means back in time. A retro game would be a game that was created years ago. Obvious examples of early retro games are Space Invaders, Pac-man etc…

What's so good about retro games?

Let's face it; games just aren't what they used to be. For many of us the words 'Spectrum', 'Commodore' and 'Amiga' will bring back fond memories of childhood gaming, which was as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable than gaming today. Sure, you have your characters created with polygons, and nice 3D surroundings that seem too good to be true. But what games lack today is playability. This is why Clickteams products are so enjoyable and addictive; they enable us to create a fun and simple 2D game, without having to learn a complicated programming language.

How can I make my games look retro?

If you look at a classic game (let's use Dizzy as an example), the graphics are simple but effective. Everything has its place. The screen is not stuffed with vibrant, colourful backgrounds, but instead is filled with what it needs and nothing more. The most important thing about a games graphics is that you keep the same style all the way through. If your main character is going to be carefully shaded, then everything in the game must be carefully shaded. If you have some things in your game that are shaded, and some that look like cartoons (black line around them), then it will not work well. Choose a style (preferably a simple one), and stick to it. Also, use 256-colour mode to keep the file size small.

How can I make my games feel and play retro?

Have a simple but effective story. Revolve the game around one particular event or character. Make the levels fairly big but simple. Include a few hidden areas with lots of collectables. This will make your game fun to play and last longer. If you want bigger levels but a smaller file size, draw your objects small and have a window size of 520 x 340 or smaller. Then enable the 'change resolution' mode. This will make the screen appear big, but the objects you have drawn are actually small so that you can keep the size of the game to a minimum.

Anything else?

Just a few things. Make sure your game is fun to play before you make loads of levels. Have some catchy music to add to the feel of the game. Have a few sound effects here and there when you collect coins or kill an enemy. Have varied game play, and remember that the game should be enjoyable, not perfect.

Thanks for your time.