So over the past couple of day’s I’ve been working on some sprites for Johnny Neo – mostly background and junk objects which I’ll be using to build-out the space station with, in order to make it look like someone actually lived there and used it – rather than just an empty looking building with a few traps thrown around.
For me spriting/art is one of the hardest parts of game design. I’ve looked at purchasing art but often the licenses don’t really let you use the art freely (think RPG-maker UELAs here – I bought a lot of that stuff only to discover I can’t use it outside of RPG-maker – DOH!) or there simply isn’t any art that exactly fits my requirements.
Secondly I tried convincing artists to work with me for free (seeing as I’m a poor writer by day and have never sold a game I sadly can’t afford to pay an artist yet – though I absolutely will once I make my figurative-millions) but realistically they have to eat and pay bills just like me – meaning the time they can give to a free project is extremely limited. This is often made worse if the artist doesn’t understand the mechanics of game making – I actually know a couple of great artists but sadly neither of them has the time/know-how to convert their art-style to the pixel-sized-chunks I can actually use for a game (by-the-way: check out the awesome work of Gavin J Snell directly below – if you want any kind of illustration or concept art he’s bloody amazing and his work even featured in the recent film of the Alien Saga: Prometheus – message me and I’ll put you in contact with each-other).
Over the years I’ve done a lot of pixel drawings and have just about enough experience to what I can and can’t pull off – which is a key reason I’ve gone for a top-down style in Johnny Neo. The best advice I ever got was to make games with art that you can do yourself – if your style is basic make the game suit that style and vice versa… which leads me to today’s post! Below are the aforementioned first sprite sheets from my game (please forgive my watermarks!) so you can get a good idea of the style I’ve gone for – coupled with my lighting/shading system I hope these sprites will give a super-cool retro feel to the game, and even if their not great works of art, I do believe they’ll give great character to the story.
These are background objects and furniture – you’ll probably be seeing them in the social/living areas of the abandoned space station. I’ve gone with a gold/metallic theme for most of the objects as this isn’t often seen in games these days and I hope it gives it just a hint of steam-punk feel – the game won’t be steam-punk but I really like that aesthetic and wanted to mash it with my digital style to ensure my game has a really unique look and feel.
These (above) represent various pieces of junk and some very basic traps which you might encounter – they’re super simple but should look sweet when playing. Spriting sure is time consuming but there’s no better feeling than seeing your art in action once you slot it into your game!
And finally (above again) you can see some of the sprites I’ve designed for enemy robots and computers – again everything is very minimalist and easy-to-read and once their coupled with my lighting system I believe they’ll give some real atmosphere to the Johnny Neo’s quest!
If you’re looking for pixeling tutorials I highly recommend these guys! –
As usual, please feel free to comment or message me privately with your opinions and feedback – remember – I want you to enjoy playing my games so your thoughts are important to me! 🙂