Here an essay describing what it was like to make pixel art in Japan in the late 70s and 80s.
When I was a kid poking away with BASIC, one of the things that discouraged me was the seeming impossibility of making games with graphics. Based on my limited knowledge of programming, I assumed that the only way anyone ever did it was by visualizing a grid, and then programming each pixel for each visual element as they go. I thought this was just a skill that people had that I never would.
I wish I could send the pictures of Nintendo designers drawing Mario on graph paper back in time to myself.
@matt What I want to send back in time to myself is a memo saying just to rip off the D&D rule books I owned when trying to make CRPGs. That's what all the early CRPGs did anyway.
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