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Sprites! (Not the soda...)


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Hey guys,


Hopefully my last lame thread topic (getting over the noob stage...), but I was wondering what everyone's attitudes and methods are to game sprites or the characters, backgrounds, objects etc.


What program do you use to create your sprites and why?


I'm in two minds at the moment. I'm thinking either photoshop or Illustrator, but leaning more towards Illustrator so I can create scalable graphics cause just because you think a sprite would look good at a certain size, then you code it and demo it and eek.... Too big or too small. With the vector graphics of Illustrator, I can resize the images perfectly to any size I want and still keep a great quality. Plus with layers, I can make a base and then add different layers for different stages of movement.


Or is that all wrong?


Thanks in advance!

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Illustrator all the way for me! Vectors win hands-down for everything from the game assets to the gui and logos. You never know what high resolution devices will exist in the future so having the option to go back and re-export the same graphics at any resolution is a great safety net. It's also great in the drawing stage to be able to scale and edit things endlessly without worrying about degrading quality.


I would go for Photoshop if I were going for a pixelated retro look though. 

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Ah I thought as much. Definately agree about scaling to your needs.


I quite like the pixelated look tho for some things.


A game I'm currently playing on iphone is "Storm the Train". It's an addictive 2D side scroller shooter to see how long you can go for.


Quite like the graphics of that so yeah i think Illustrator would work better for me cause I quite like the graphics quality of games like that and Angry Birds...


Thanks Barry :)

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Photoshop and Illustrator do compliment each other nicely and I use both regularly even though most of my work starts in Illustrator, sometimes Photoshop is useful for creating promo screenshots etc. Depending on budget and needs one of the cheaper Creative Suites that contains both might be a good option. Especially if you're eligible for the education discount  ;)


Best bet is to download both as 30 day trials and get a feel for them. 

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  • 1 month later...

I've used MSPaint for more than 10 years now! The Vista and later iterations of it are horrible, though, and I could only endorse XP's version. I have graphicsgale on the side when its features are handy (the grids are great to lay out and design a GUI components in) and for games with pretty graphics I draw the assets by hand with a tablet in painttoolSAI.


It is great to be able to scale vector assets though, Illustrator is great if you have it and are comfortable using it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The game I'm currently working on has a very pixel-centric design. The tiles are each 9 x 9 pixels and I stick to that grid pretty strictly.


So I made my own sprite drawing app http://blacktunnel.github.io/draw/. Obviously this is very specific to what I'm working on. But if you're going for simple why not?


Besides the output of the drawing app is the actual JS array of the pixel grid. This is done so I can resize the size of my tiles later. When I initialize my game I draw the sprite from the 9x9 array of colors and cache it as an image.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For pixel-art there most of the guys I know use GraphicsGale (http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/) - it's free to use, you need to pay $20 to unlock the pro version. I use Photoshop myself for the pixels and all the bitmap editing and Flash for vector drawings / basic animations. For more complex 2D character animation - the Spine (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/esotericsoftware/spine) looks like the dream come true;)

And you have Texture Packer at the very end - to pack the graphics into a nice spritesheet.

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