This week was largely spent developing a dirt tileset, the second of the three main tilesets I’ll be using in the first section of the game.
It’s not perfect. If you’re used to looking at tiles, the repetition in the solid areas is rather noticeable, and some of the edges are a bit off still, though mostly they’re alright. The low-color low-res style I’m using here makes it possible to conceal a lot of transitions which would otherwise be really obvious, something I’m coming to appreciate more and more about pixel art the more I work with it. There’s a power in abstraction to make bolder transitions and changes while maintaining a sense of consistency. I’m trying to experiment with colors: There’s a lot of blue in this dirt for how brown it is, leading to the bright pink highlights which suggest an unusual light source.
To help myself along, I also went ahead and made it so I could reload tilesets while I’m working, which should be a real timesaver in the long run, especially when I’m doing the finicky work of making sure the edges all line up.
I’m still playing with these colors to see what works best, and likely won’t make a final decision until I have all three starting tilesets complete and can see how they play against each other. Right now this whole tileset is just 5 colors, and each of those colors has a very specific meaning about where the tile is and how the player can expect to interact with it. Even if I were to go much higher resolution, I think I’d still keep this low color count approach.
Meanwhile AnxEdit is getting close to completion, though I’ve also been slowing down my work on it as other tasks come up to take my attention. I fixed the problem that was causing occasional frame loss when converting animations, streamlined a few operations, made things a bit more consistent… at this point it’s largely a matter of just using the program for a while, figuring out what bothers me, and fixing that. Probably once I finish the third tileset, the stone tileset, I’ll go back to the prototype animations I have and start preparations to turn them into the real thing: Add new frames to smooth out the motion, make sure everything’s consistent, remove extraneous feedback stuff like that white bar over the feet, and then export that out from Photoshop to Aseprite so I can start doing the actual pixel art part. Once I’m back in the thick of working with animations daily, any remaining flaws in AnxEdit will quickly become apparent.
Also, it’s still really ugly, so I might try to fix that too.
I mentioned this in yesterday’s post, but I still haven’t pulled the trigger on making the new site live, partially because it’s a lot of money for me and partially because I’m worried about losing the meager following I have here in the transition to a new site. It may just be a necessary evil and one I should deal with sooner rather than later, but it’s a concern nevertheless.
Anyway, next week another tileset and revisiting animation, probably.