Rick Davidson & Tim Ruswick* are joined by Reece Geofroy to talk all things pixel art and how to get good at it. We also have a new Pixel Characters course from Reece, you can check that out here. You can also check out Reece’s pixel art game Monster Tribe on Steam.

(*Rick has more than 14 years experience in the game dev industry, working on IP's that include Mario, Transformers, Captain America and Mortal Kombat. He's done it all, from Game Designer, Producer, Creative Director and Executive Producer to GameDev.tv's very own Instructor extraordinaire).

Listen to the whole chat here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95mYW-Zkgu0

Our 'AHA' moments

  • Pixel art is easy to get started in
  • Pixel art is a cartoony aesthetic
  • Consistency with your pixel art is important
  • Tilesets vs Hand crafted pixel art

Getting Started With Pixel Art (17:40 - 19:11)

Pixel art requires a low barrier of entry compared to other aspects of game development. Anyone can get started with no prior knowledge. The beauty of pixel art is the simplicity of it and how you can create professional looking assets with very little practice and time.

Shading and Flipping Characters (47:22 - 51:40)

When shading pixel art characters you may consider creating a flipped version of the character with the appropriate lighting. However, when it comes to pixel art, changing light direction on flipped sprites/characters isn’t that important.

Pixel art is a cartoony aesthetic, it’s more important to create sprites that are familiar and consistent. Players will mainly be focused on idle, walk, run and attack animations.

Should Pixel Art Backgrounds Be Created With Tiles or Created Whole? (1:17:21 - 1:22:02)

You can use both, every person will have their preferred way to create background art.

Most open world RPG games use tilesets as it’s easier to create good looking backgrounds for larger worlds and is more time efficient.

Smaller and more focused games may hand craft the pixel art to be more visually appealing. Because the locations are smaller, artists can spend more time creating pixel art. This is something that would not be possible in an open world RPG (unless you are willing to spend many many more hours creating the art)

Image from Steam

We hope this livecast helped you understand how easy and fun pixel art can be and how using it can help create amazing looking games.

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Remember, we host live develogy livecasts every Tuesday at 10pm BST on our YouTube channel. You can catch all the recordings, including this episode, in the Devology Livecast course - it's free to join, and also on our YouTube Channel.

Until next time, happy dev'ing!