Saturday, June 28, 2014

The first Pixel Myth set is finished!

Once apon a time I decided that I wanted to make all the art for an RPG.  I was quite young at the time and doing the typical young teen thing of trying to recreate the things I liked but I was also fully aware of just how very much work that would take.  I figured that if I was really stubborn and just worked at it a little at a time I'd eventually get there.  I firmly believed at that stage in life that all I really needed was to spend enough time polishing something and through sheer effort it would come out amazing.  This meant that I believed that no effort was wasted which is totally true, but I also didn't take as much time planning things out as I should have and I spent a little too much time on things I should have abandoned.  I spent a lot of time editing sprites, trying to create my own from scratch, and trying to figure out animation.  As I worked my focused shifted from making this one game to getting good enough at pixel art to make it and then to just enjoying making pixel art.  But the desire to make that RPG art stuck around.

Eventually I did get reasonably not awful and decided it was time to get to work on those RPG tiles.  I studied every tile making tutorial I could find.  I downloaded XP's RTP and stared at it for hours trying to figure out how it was done.  I looked at rips and screencaps of beautiful pixel art from famous console games.  Then I did something super smart and didn't look at any of those existing tiles and instead used real life references and started drawing tiles.  I also hung out at a community of amazing and professional pixel artist and with a lot of really great feedback and some hard work managed to make this:


 At this point real life interfered.  I had officially gotten enough skill in pixel art to have people coming to me with job offers and got too busy to spend any time on my personal pixel projects.  Through working on those commissions I learned a lot more about the non-artistic side of the process, how the programmers worked and what they expected and what they liked to see.

Around this time I found my way into the RPG Maker community (that's another long story of it's own) and found out how the whole "graphics packs" thing in the official store worked.  I was so excited about the possibility of doing it myself.  I could make the graphics that I wanted instead of catering to the demands of my clients.  I wouldn't have to keep track of my hours, and in fact could work when I wanted.  I applied, was accepted, and immediately got to work.  For my first pack I decided that the obvious choice was to remake the graphics I'd done years ago into the Ace format and make a whole set out of them.

As I worked I applied all my new knowledge to the old tiles.  I made lots and lots more.  Knowing from experience that I had to limit myself somehow or I'd never finish I limited myself to one inspiration source and didn't make anything (well, rarely) that wasn't part of that set.  I silenced all the other ideas by telling myself that it'd be better in another pack and that I could do it later.

Now, finally, I have finished this first pack and it is on sale at the official RPG Maker website and will also eventually be available on Steam as a DLC for RPG Maker VX Ace.  You can buy a license for the tiles for use in just RPG Maker products or you can buy a license to use it in any engine you'd like.

Needless to say, I'm super excited about this.  I have plans for so many more packs like it too, I hope to get out at least one a year from now on.  This is the artwork that I'd always wanted to make but had never had the ability or chance to do until now.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

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