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Pixel Sprites for HD help

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Good day everyone. This is my first post of this account. 
I actually had a GDN account before but I forgot my account so here I am starting over because I these days I have the free time to pick up game development again with my friend. 

So, we're trying to experiment with new things.

And seeing games like Shovel knights, the Wii U game(or was it 3ds), being done and Mutant mudds, 
we wondered how the sprites were done to accommodate HD platmorms. 

Is it drawn pixel but scaled up in photoshop(or whatever youre using)?
Is it drawn pixel in like 20x20 px sheet and then scaled up by programming?

We're pretty new at this and we're trying hard. Can anyone give me any input on how to approach pixel sprites for HD?
Thanks

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Shovel Knight's sprites appear to be 100 pix tall and 96 pix wide:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/000/425/630/1732ff10725f448d1d4ab6dff235d01d_large.png?1362536390

 

So if anything, they'd have a scaled-down set for a lower-resolution screen.  And probably the scaling down would be done in Photoshop or equivalent.  Disclaimer: this is my best guess but I'm not an expert on this subject; I am a vector sprite artist who has only ever worked on PC games, not a pixel sprite artist who has worked on console games.

 

BTW you can probably recover your old account if you know either the email or the account name, you could PM a staff member requesting help with that.

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