When creating pixel art for TMW, please make sure to follow these guidelines. Pixel art which does not will have a much-lessened chance of getting into the game.
This article may be a little out of date. If so, here is a link that may help. https://wiki.themanaworld.org/index.php/Dev:Joining_the_project.
- All graphics must be released with dual license, under the GNU General Public License and Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike, or a compatible license.
- Try to hang around in our development IRC channel #evol-dev on irc.libera.chat whenever possible.
- Do not be afraid to show us your pixel art, we are here to guide and help you. Pixel art being worked on can be posted on the forums or on GitLab.
- The pixel art must be made by you or derived from TMW's existing graphics. We will never accept pixel art ripped from other games nor from undisclosed sources.
- The following games can be used as inspiration:
- Secret of Mana 2
- Final Fantasy VI (Named Final Fantasy III in North America)
- Chrono Trigger
- Ragnarok Online
- Light Source: Above, from South-West. For tilesets, this roughly means from the bottom-left corner; for items, the top-left. (Example)
- Perspective: top-down 45° view angle. (Example)
- Dyeable Images: Images can be dyed, see Image dyeing for more information
- Outlines: 1px, coloured. We use 3 kinds of different outlines:
- Ground level: should have the dullest colors (no outlines everything blends into each other) (Example)
- Objects level: stands out from the ground level (with more contrast and maybe even a light outline)
- Sprites (characters, monsters etc.) and item icons level: stands out the most (heavily saturated with dark outlines)
- Objects should be fully lit (Example)
- Wind Direction: From West to East
- Proportions: A character is approximately one tile wide (32px) and two tiles high (64px) (Example)
- Drop Shadows:
- Large objects on outdoor tilesets have a drop shadow to the northeast
- Flying creatures have a drop shadow (Example)
- Shadows should be pure black (#000000), and have a opacity of 30%, the edges have a opacity of 15%
- Anti-aliasing: Only if it does not look smooth without it
- Blood: May only be used if it spice up certain environments that needs to be extra creepy. (Example)
- Quality of art required is relative to what it is meant to add or replace and content it is going to be paired with. Always reference the current art ingame as reference. Current Game Art for reference.
- PM Wushin on the forums to get added to the art trello Art trello for TMWA
- Mirroring the shape of a sprite is acceptable, provided the shading is correct on each frame.
- There is no size restriction, although the "attackable" area of a monster is only 1*1 tile.
- Use other icons as examples if possible (Example)
- NPCs must be in the same style as the player sprites.
- NPCs do not and should not be constrained by player pose and body shape.
- NPCs oversized objects (forges,looms,etc.) are animated tiles (see maps)
- NPCs should be a base nude model.
- Appearance is changed by adding clothing layers.
- NPCs clothing is a separate sheet.
- Shadow is either a particle effect or clothing.
- Fringe Items are to be added as either a particle effect or clothing.
- Shadows are NOT to be used on the Nude Models.
- Mob Sprites Can be used for NPCs as well
- Player Sprite Sheets can be used to create NPCs
- NPC Animations can be done by combining Player Sprite Sheet actions (i.e. chopping a log is the same as axe attack)
- Npcs are still not yet mobile.
- All tilesets should have the same amount of texture. Use the New Forest Tileset as reference
- Do not use visible outlines
- Do not use vanishing point projection. All objects have to be drawn in zero-point perspective (Example)
- Use pure black (#000000) for "nothing"; eg, the tiles surrounding indoor or dungeon areas.
- Try to match the brightness and contrast of the reference tileset
- Outdoor: Woodland tileset
- Indoor: Woodland Indoor tileset
- Dungeons: Cave tileset
- All tiles on a single tileset should have the same warmth to them, unless it should specifically be otherwise.
- When adding to an existing tileset, try to use the same colours as much as possible to get the same feeling
- Sets need to be mapping complete (i.e. indoor.png, indoor_x2.png, etc.) to allow for fringe layering and to fix Scythe & Christmas Tree hat.
- When adding a set naming convention should describe the terrain of the tiles not that location or content using all lowercase and - (i.e. woodland-graveyard-x2)
- Check Existing tilesets before creating a new tileset to see if you can extend current content.
How to get your content in to the game
- Start a thread in the forum, with a subject line beginning [WIP] (work in progress).
- Discuss it and edit it a few times until it's ready.
- You can bump your post if it gets buried too deep and reviewers cannot find it anymore, but don't abuse.
- If you don't want your art to get lost, submit it on GitLab directly.
- It'll be pushed to master once it's final version is approved.
If you are not very experienced at creating pixel art, you should take a look at the following tutorials. You can learn many interesting tricks from them.