Are Chibi Style MV Sprites Looked Down On?

Are Chibi Style MV Sprites Looked Down On?


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TypicalPlayer82692

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Hello, I believe this is the correct place to post this but please move it if not.

I'm an aspiring dev trying to figure out what kind of pixel artstyle would suit the game I have in mind. I was okay with MV's character chibi sprite style that the game maker came with, but most artists I see go for a more complex and taller style for commissions and their own projects.

Because of this i'm considering going for the latter pixel style. However, I wonder if I have to change a lot of other sprites just to make the character sprite not stand out like a sore thumb, but that's another topic.

Are chibi style MV sprites disliked or looked down on commercially?
If not, are there a current handful of pixel artists that can do such a style?

I've tried looking around personally on different sites but couldn't find many recent results.
 

rue669

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I personally can not stand the MV Chibi sprites. What I did was get a template for tall sprites that I liked and then hired pixel artists to make custom sprites using the template as a base. It can be costly though, but if you are going commercial and can’t do the pixel art yourself, then get that chequebook out.

Now having said that, the VX Ace sprites which are also Chibi are nice looking in my opinion. They have more of an ff4 classic look to them.
 

Insomniac_Warrior

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People tend to give a bad rap about chibi-styled mv sprites on a mv project because it reminds them of the default rtp. Common consensus looks at the use of rtp as lazy, but I think they're more or less fools and are missing the point of the rtp; Rtp is meant to be used, and it's actually a good quality resource, so why bash it or anyone using it? Sure it's a quick fix, but so is using any resources that you didn't make; it's all fair game.

Chibi, being a very cartoon and adorable art style, is hard to look at seriously. So be sure you're not trying a set a serious mood using chibi models as it will be harder to set the immersion using said sprites. People with more serious projects have to get the mood across with more detailed and fleshed out sprites for the sake of being able to use more animation and expression.
 

FiercestPixel

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When steam gets flooded with low effort games using the same assets over and over, most diehard players of the genre (usually other rpg maker devs) will see the similarities and create a sterotype. Good or bad. Many people will make assumptions about your game if you use RTP. Unfortunately, rpg maker is notorious for bad games. Probably because the engine is so easy to use for newer, younger, inexperienced devs.

I personally don't mind the MV chibi sprites, but I can understand why most people do. I really liked the art in Skyrim, until I looked at them for 1200 hours. Now I need visual mods for everything.

A few ~32bit pixel artists youtube channels i'm currently subbed to: AdamCYounis, David Browne, Pixel Pete.


Here's to the thinner, slightly less chibi MZ sprites!
 

Dororo

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Usually pixel art artists do other kind of showcase than rpg characters, they seems hidden but you can find plenty of them around. I hired one three years ago from DeviantArt (she showcased other stuff entirely...). There's a related section for recruiting there too, but you'll access later with more forum credentials.
"Commercially" speaking the whole basic RM is a grey area: in a given sense you are the final user of the engine, the fun is making the game and basic assets are enough for your homebrew. If you want to sell something, you should do that extra step. Who want to spend for something they can do on their own?
 

Skurge

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No one seems to like them, so I don't know why they keep releasing them as such in almost every new RPG program, to me it's pretty inconsistant too because the face and battler sprites tend to deviate from the chibi style anyhow.

Then again I suppose it's best suited over world style to fit the grid restrictions.
 

Quexp

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I don't mind them but I'm also newer and haven't seen them over and over...and over. I can see why people don't like them. I don't think the style itself should be looked down on though.

As for the tall sprites, most of them look funny to me but they match RMMV's tilesets better than their own generated sprites. Chibi sprites would probably look funny to me too if I used the tall ones first though. :)
 

Proxxie_Desu

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Who cares? If you like chibi sprites, use them. If you don't, don't. Make what you like. It's the only thing that will get you through a long project.
 

Schlangan

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I got used to those chibis, and I chose to draw my characters in the same format. But well, my game is free. I can understand that seeing a game only with the basic RTP and not free may be kind of repulsive, though.
 

Hyouryuu-Na

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I don't dislike chibi sprites in general. I just hate MV's chibis. Why must the head look like it can belong to non-chibi sprite (pretty detailed for a chibi... with the sclera and all) but the body is too tiny compared to the head (I mean, chibis are supposed to be like that but I feel like it's a bit too tiny) You can't even see the clothes properly and at that point, you know the sprite needs more work. Really loved VX Ace's chibis though. Aside from that, I don't like chibi sprites in serious games. If the game is cute and easygoing, then sure chibis fit right in. But in most cases I just feel like the chibis shouldn't belong there.
 
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Kes

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I use the chibi sprites of VX Ace, but I dislike those of MV. To me they are so grossly disproportioned that they look bizarre, and I cannot take them seriously in a game which is not aiming to be a light-hearted romp. My dislike has nothing to do with any sort of disdain for the RTP (otherwise I would not use the chibis in my Ace games) but is entirely because I think the style has been pushed too far.

@Schlangan was too modest in his post to draw attention to his generator, but using it you get the choice to use a different body type. The only thing to remember is that your actor battlers would have to be in the same style in side view mode.
 

TypicalPlayer82692

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Thanks everyone for your replies and votes! This was all very informative and helps me make my decision regarding this for sure.

From what I can gather there is a place for the MV chibi style, however that place wouldn't be sensible in the game I have in mind. I feel like it could also be a lot more visually interesting and fun to work with the taller sprites as well.

Thanks again!
 
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I think that the disproportionate chibi style is at least sensible for a light-hearted, comedic game.

It really depends on the tone of gameplay/storytelling that you're trying to set imo.
 

Starmage

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I have seen rpg maker games that are using the Chibi battlers and I loved a number of them, because they mostly make up to it with a great gameplay and battle mechanics, as well as super cool action sequences! :) What comes to mind are; Trailblazer, Eternal Twilight, Oathkeeper, Radiant Arc, Swimracer X, The Lost, Mana-Raiders, The Last Chronomancer, Abound the Aether (a private closed alpha game I played) and many others I might have forgotten to mention. They mostly use MV Chibi battlers, but the devs have put so much life into their game mechanics and action sequences that you're not going to mind the chibi. xD

A game that I know so far to have almost everything (tall custom animated battlers and super cool action sequences) would be Lie of Caelum. :D

Though tbh, In my eyes, when you use MV Chibi battlers, you really kinda have to do a lot to compensate for it so that it will stand out from the rest of the MV games and not look like "just another MV game using chibi RTP". :D But default chibi Sv is still much much better than default front view, at least... in my opinion.

So I cannot vote really... If there was an "It depends" option, I wouldve picked that. ;) On one hand my eyes kinda hurt looking at the MV chibi battlers as they look like floating heads with huge eyes lol, I honestly thought they were cute when I first got MV, but in time, they just started to hurt my eyes. I thought there was something... Robotic and empty about them... Almost artificial and lifeless... Like a hearth without fire, a body without a soul... And I have ever only felt this way on MV RTP. The previous RTP's were fine to me. I am sorry MV Degica pixel artists. x(( On the other hand, the games I mentioned above has really made me ignore the chibi artstyle as I enjoyed the way they made their battle systems and action sequences! And they made the effort to breathe life into the chibi art style both in maps and in battles. ;) ✨

With that said, im just gonna say that RMXP still has the best RTP style for me. ;)

And MZ will come with a lot of cool stuff too, so I can at least enjoy even if they are still reminiscent to the MV-ish chibi look. xD
 
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duty

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There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the RM chibi style, itself. They're just so prevalent, that people have already played games with those assets and learned to hate them.

Now they're somewhat of a warning sign, like bright markings on a reptile.

If the dev went with the lowest effort art assets, where else may the game be deficient? Is this gaming experience worth my time?

As long as you can overcome that initial reaction, you're good to go. IMHO, using original art assets is actually the lowest effort, "look I'm not a trash project" flag. The game may still be bad. The player just hasn't learned to hate those graphics, yet.

It's usually just enough to show that you've created a polished product. Even if it's just the stock starting party and equipment, the player can tell if you balanced the enemy troops, tested, and refined the playing experience.

Or you could start your game with a short, 30 second song and dance number called "gettin' chibi wit it" and see if that wins the player over.
 

JosephSeraph

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I personally find chibi sprites generally endearing. I personally will also lose interest on a game that uses MV chibis, and specifically MV chibis, and the game will have to make up for it elsewhere lol. I still get offput by MV tall sprites when they use the same weird MV heads though. But I understand; making characters that look endearing and make sense perspective-wise in such an extravagantly, luxuriously high resolution is expensive and it's very easy to fall short of it.

edit:
(pretty detailed for a chibi... with the sclera and all)
i guess that's what makes me absolutely loathe MV's sprites. It hits this sort of uncanny valley. The chibi sprites want to be simple, and you can see that by the simplistic shading in the hair, but it's as if the artist started drawing the face and was like " hmmm... so much space... i can add so much detail!!! let's add sclera... and a pixel nose"
The odd head shape doesn't help it either... But anyway, it's not actually hard to adjust MV sprites so they look less uncomfortable and/or cuter. and it isn't expensive either. so idk if you're doing custom art or hiring an artist, just revising the base style would get you far for cheap
 
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Tamina

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Chibi style is fine, in my opinion. I've made screenshots with default RTP and chibi then showed them to diehard JRPG players that aren't familiar with RM games, the feedback that I got was positive.

I think the biggest issue is how game developers use them. Whenever I see chibi in a serious/dark story it feels wrong all over the place. It screams laziness. Chibi works best in a cute/light hearted story, and it looks really wrong in a dark/serious story.

All the chibi hate probably came from developers wanting to create a more dark/serious story but lacks budget for custom art, so they are stuck with chibi and the entire game looks and feels wrong.
 

Nekohime1989

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It's hit or miss. Chibi Style is cute. And I for one like it.
 

LovelyFlower

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Do not like chibi-style. Looks too simple amateur.
RPGMAKER XP looks much better.
 

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