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Pixel art referrences and possible inspirations

Posted: 25 Apr 2006, 16:52
by Rotonen
Here is something that I think every pixel artist should at least sacrifice a hour or two of their lifes. Excellent examples on what looks good and what could've been done better.

Long story short:

Tool Assisted Speedrun videos.

The point of this is that most of these games are using pixel art and in videos you see it in action. As we've started to work more and more on animated things, this should be more than useful.

Also all of you should pay attention to the concept of early games of a console versus late games of a console. Good examples of this are Super Mario Bros. vs. Super Mario Bros 3 and the Megaman series. I think this should give more insight on how to improve the quality of the graphics in general to just about everyone.

I would recommend for you to watch all the Mario and Megaman (Castlevania highly recommended too) videos on that site if you ever have enough dull moments. Static pixel artists should especially pay attention to the SNES and Gameboy Advance games. There are some really fine examples of how to do good and immersive sand, rock, ice and dirt texturing in the SNES Megaman games, especially Megaman X2, if I recall correctly. Also you should pay attention to how effects are made, especially water effects and so. I think we can surpass those easily with the particle driven system we're planning. Sonic the Hedgehog games are nice for that "overly bright and naivistic, but yet immersive" style.

Even downloading and then skipping and searching for good referrences afterwards should be a valuable tool for you if you're not interested in watching the speedruns entirely. Watching them entirely just ensures that you see everything that is there to see.

If this works as intended, you can combine fun and personal gain (work would be too intense of a word to use here, I think).

Watch, enjoy and report good referrences and inspirations into this thread! :)

Posted: 25 Apr 2006, 19:49
by Pajarico
I will start myself:
-Symmetry (tree leaves) is not that bad as long as you place something that "breaks" it (the trunk).
-Albeit it may be done on purpose, the patterns of rocks at the bottom doesn' look very sweet when cut with the grass line. We should avoid that. A transitional tile between rock and grass would have worked better.

- You don't need too many colours to make something look right: look at the water and the brown bricks at the top right (althought the picture is indexed!).

Hust look how simple they did the ruins and looks so good. I guess is thanks to a good palette selection.

Posted: 24 May 2006, 01:51
by yosuhara
simply beautifull (although isometric, ISO collaboration from Pixelopolis)


Posted: 31 May 2006, 18:00
by Modanung
Tiles by some guy named Wiz.
I think they have a pretty nice and nostalgic feel to 'em.

Posted: 02 Jun 2006, 12:55
by Crush
a video made with custom animated Ragnarok Online sprites. some very nice animation and effect ideas:

(some animations are in-jokes you won't understand when you don't play ro)

when you want to look at the animations in detail you can find them on this page:

Posted: 07 Jun 2006, 12:16
by Modanung
Found some artist's homepage, he's really good.
Three pages full of wonderful pixel-art.

Posted: 07 Jun 2006, 19:13
by ElvenProgrammer
I suggest you take a look at the link section of

There you can find interesting tutorials and artist web pages and much more.

Posted: 09 Jun 2006, 11:04
by Modanung

Posted: 07 Jul 2006, 22:04
by Crush
Here are some monster sprites from ragnarok online i consider quite original. maybe they will lead some of you to an idea or two.

some rather unique critters:

no idea what these are is supposed to be, but nevertheless they work:

inanimated objects made dangerous monsters:

these boss monsters are really fucked up. i wonder what kinds of drugs they take to get those ideas:

of course i don't want you to copy directly. i just wanted to show you that no idea is too wicked, bizarre or unconventional when it comes to monster design.

Posted: 07 Jul 2006, 22:36
by Modanung
The fact that RO uses monsters like these doesn't make it good.
Actually I stopped liking RO (played the beta) after I saw wacky monsters like these. I loved the graphics of the insects, rabbits, birds, bats, reptiles and a golem now and then... But then I saw grasshoppers with hats and walking sticks and I was like "errr?". It just totally threw me out of the whole fantasy world. And the monsters Crush showed (or most of them) would have the same effect, but worse.

Posted: 12 Aug 2006, 19:53
by Seelenfeuer

Posted: 13 Aug 2006, 17:14
by Crush

Posted: 13 Aug 2006, 22:28
by Crush
didn't i say that ragnarok online is the commercial game with the most advanced eastern style spriteart? well, i think Talesweaver might be a good competition: ... verss.html
although it is iso.

i wonder how the gameplay is like. too bad that there is no english version of it.

Posted: 29 Sep 2006, 23:19
by yosuhara
some really amazing pixel art works (checkout that monsters!)

Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 23:43
by yosuhara
lol look at this...