Andrey Listopadov


@gamedev pixelart game1 ~4 minutes read

As I stated a month ago, I’m going to force myself into game development with a personal game dev marathon1 that will span over the next five months. Technically, nothing prevents me from jumping off at any point, so I do want this to go as smoothly as possible, so I won’t burn out until I get out at least two games. Well, we’ll see, of course - life often has its own plans for me, so… yeah.

The first game on my list is a platformer, which I wanted to be as simple as possible, e.g. basically run and jump. I have no prior experience in making platformers, so this will be an exciting thing to try! I’ve decided to go with TIC-80 for this one, to further reduce friction, as this game engine/fantasy console has everything I need to design a game.

In the previous post, I also mentioned that I was traveling, and while I wasn’t able to get to my laptop at all, I’ve decided that I will allow myself to draw some sprites for the upcoming game in advance. The only problem was that I had to do it on my phone, which is a challenge on its own, and I don’t know what software to use.

I’ve tried a bunch of options, and settled with PixelStudio by hippogamesunity. Sadly, it’s not open source, but it is common for a lot of software for pixel art, and art in general. The only open-source free software pixel art app I know is LibreSprtie, which itself is a fork of Aseprite which changed its license some years ago and is no longer FOSS. Since I was considering paying for either of those, I decided to go with PixelStudio because my phone has a stylus (S-Pen) that is supported by the app, and drawing on the screen seemed nicer. I can always bring LibreSprite on my laptop in case I need more, and TIC also has a sprite editor. TIC is also available on the phone, but unlike TIC, PixelStudio gives me the ability to do animations, which is what I was mainly looking for. If not for animations, I would probably stick with the phone version of TIC until I’ve returned.

So I went on and started working on characters for my Game1 project. Game1 is, of course, a work-in-progress title, but it’s not far from the truth, as this will probably be the first thing that I will consider something like a real game made by me. Anyway, this is how the app in which I drew my character looks:

The interface is a bit cluttered, but I find it useful enough if the screen is big enough, which is my case. But, back on character animations, here’s what I’ve got so far:

This is just a mockup, testing around how animations would look in-game. The blue fireball was added to show the damage animation, I’m not even sure if the projectiles will be in the game. And starting from tomorrow I will actually start putting things together in the TIC. I’m now realizing that by using too much color in the character sprite, I kinda limited myself on the number of colors that I can use for the background, and terrain because the default palette in TIC is quite limited on colors:

So I may need to do a bit of redesign on the character part. Actually, I’ve always liked pixel art for its limiting nature - the ability to express a lot of ideas and small details in such a low amount of pixels and colors always fascinated me. I don’t know much about pixel art, and it probably shows, but hey, this marathon is to learn new stuff, so give me some time! But, right now I’m not even sure how do I program such animations, so I’ll probably start with just drawing a rectangle for the player, enemies, and platforms.

I will be posting updates as soon as I get more progress, so expect this as a kind of dev-log, but honestly, it is mostly for me, as I find this kind of activity encouraging to keep on.

  1. You’re welcome to join, of course, but I’m not going to organize an actual event ↩︎