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Derogatory term for the artstyle commonly found in 2D indie games starting around the late 2000s. The style generally shows up when a developer tries to mimic the appearance of old 2D graphics, such as those from the NES, but uses the style as a crutch to excuse poor graphics rather than a limitation to inspire creativity.

It's important to note that not all modern games that use pixel art are considered "pixelshit". Owlboy and Cave story are examples of modern games that feature well-made pixel art. The term is reserved for games that use the style poorly and lazily, and unfortunately, that applies to the vast majority of 2D indie games.

Examples of games often referred to as pixelshit: Undertale, Fez, Hyper Light Drifter, and most games released on Steam Greenlight.
Tips for avoiding making "pixelshit":
- Keep all pixels the same size. The best way to do this is to draw your sprites 1:1 - in other words, 1 pixel in the sprite = 1 pixel on the screen. Then, run the game at a higher resolution so that the sprites are enlarged evenly throughout the game.
- If aiming for a strictly "retro" style, pick an old console or computer - such as the NES, SNES, Genesis, Commodore 64, etc. - and look up its capabilities and limitations, such as which colors can be used, how many colors can be used per sprite, how many background layers there are, etc. Try not to mix eras. There's nothing more jarring than seeing a simplistic Atari 2600-style sprite against a detailed, sprawling parallax background.
- Don't combine modern effects like smooth gradients with rough pixel art. It causes severe style clashing. (Looking at you, Hyper Light Drifter.)
- Git gud at pixel art, or hire someone with experience.
by JonBon3311 December 05, 2016
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