Help Wanted: Pixel Artists

Update: see what the community has contributed so far!

I have no idea what I’m doing.

The game has a lot of gameplay programmed, but except for the main character the artwork is barely started.

Coding the game I have under control. For music, I have a selection of musically inclined friends who are contributing great tracks. But pixel art? See for yourself.

Cave tiles by someone with no artistic training

OK, so it’s not terrible. But it’s hardly great, and it takes me way longer to accomplish than someone who knows what they’re doing. That’s the main problem: just designing the game world and programming the interactions is a monumental task. And if I want to finish this game, I have to be realistic about how I spend my time.

I actually really like these ones

I need all the help I can get in the art department.

So how can I help?

I’m accepting contributions of tilesets, backgrounds, and enemy artwork. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The tile size is 16×16, upscaled to 64×64 for a pixelated aesthetic.
  • All collision tiles are strictly square — there are no sloped surfaces. Foreground and background tiles can be any shape.
  • There are three tile layers: background, collision, and foreground, each of which support an alpha channel. There’s also a tiled, parallax shifting background image for each room.
  • Background and enemy art is also displayed at 400% of its native resolution.
  • The game runs at a resolution of 720×1280. This means that each screen is 11×20 tiles.
  • There’s no palette for the game, but each tileset should try to use a limited palette to enhance the pixelated style.

A worm enemy that inches along

What do you need?

Here’s a list of art assets I’m sure I will need:

  • An icy, snowy tileset for the moon’s surface
  • Various alien creatures that crawl, hop, or fly
  • An indoor tileset for an abandoned research laboratory with high-security elements.
  • Several assorted “cave” tilesets.
  • Graphical embellishments, such as vegetation and abandoned machines, to place throughout the game world.
  • Total redoes of existing game art assets. I’m not married to anything I have, and would love if someone improved it!

Basically, go nuts. I don’t have the artistic / thematic direction of the various game areas planned out very well, but I will be updating this list as I go. It’s very likely that the nature of the artwork I receive will steer things in one direction or another.

A cute little beetle. You’ll be killing a lot of these things.

What do I get out of this?

You get mentioned in the game credits and on this website. I do not expect this game to make any money, and unfortunately cannot offer to pay contributors. It’s a labor of love for me, and I’m really only interested in volunteers with the same attitude.

That said, if somehow the game does sell any copies (and I do plan to distribute it everywhere I can), I’ll be contributing 50% of the net proceeds back to the community who helped make the game.

Where can I start?

The entire game is an open source project hosted on GitHub. Useful directories include:

How do I contribute?

Get in touch with me however you’re comfortable: Twitter, email, leaving a comment on this page, or sending me a GitHub pull request if you know how! I’m happy to hear from you in any medium!

Useful tools

Some of the asset files you find are for specific programs that I use to create them.

Now get out there and make some pixel art!

I’m excited to see what folks come up with!

10 thoughts on “Help Wanted: Pixel Artists

    • Holy shit, that looks amazing! How are you making these so fast? I’m gonna have to hurry up and put these into a video!

    • Hey thanks, Michael! I’ll try to get these plugged in once I’m back in the US!

      Did you draw these up just for me, or are these from something else you’ve been working on?

      • Drew them up just for you, wanted to get some 16×16 practice in and saw a nice opportunity to. If you want I can do some more.

  1. Looking good, as usual! I’m working on finalizing the themes of the main game world areas in the next few days, so I’ll have some more ideas for you soon.

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