"Sweet, Sweet automation."
"Life is like one big screwed up Merry-Go-Round, I get thrown off but I get right back on"
I like the Tab tile-testing feature and internal testing map - it makes development of tilesets really comfortable.
almost all art programs should be able to do pixel art. In order to do so try and find the anti-aliasing (or how ever you spell it) and make sure its cut off. This will allow you to do pixel art. just make sure your canvas is relatively small that way you will have a easier time working with pixel art.
You can use photoshop , paint.net or gimp.
I use a xp-pen art tablet for sketching and blocking in colours, and I use a mouse for detail, so yes, you can do that. Battery-free stylus is very good, because it is as light as a pencil.
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