A pretty wise interview from the lead programmer of the original Gex game:
Mira had already been working on the graveyard art set and it became clear that 32bit art was a much harder process than 16bit art. Here’s an example why. On a Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis, most side scrolling games use 1000 8×8 pixel cels or less. 1000 8×8 pixel cels all will fit on one 320×200 pixel screen. In other words, go into any paint program, make a 320×200 pixel document. Fill it with graphics. You’re done! You’ve just drawn all the graphics you can have in one level of a 16 bit game. Now go to a 32 bit system. We now have memory for 6 to 12 320×200 screens of graphics per level and we have a CD so we could have even more graphics per level if we loaded graphics from the CD or at least we could make each level use a different 6 screens of graphics.. In simple terms that means each level has at least 6 times the work of an 16bit level…
Soon to come will be a post on Gex 64 and the pitfalls of game porting.