How do you want the character assets..?


There are currently 20 different character animations / actions.
These total 211 individual frames of animation! 

I have a question about how you use - or want to use - the character assets.
Currently I've mocked up 7 hairstyles, 6 of them also include subtle hair animation. 

Saving out the animations with the different hairstyles baked in would total 140 sprites, or 1477 frames of animation - much of which is duplicated action - which is a very very veryyyy inefficient way to use assets! - it is however simpler for some devs to utilise assets that way. 

On the other hand, I could seperate the animation into 3 layers. A base, the hair, and the tool animations. If you used this alongside palette swapping (eg https://marketplace.yoyogames.com/assets/1661/retro-palette-swapper), or whatever equivelent technique works in your dev environment, then you could keep the use of assets very small, tweaking the skin tone of the base and tool layer and simply swapping out whatever hair layer you want! This way you could have tons of hair colour vairents, any combination. 

I could also simply animate a single pixel anchor and you use that to pin hair/hats etc to the character head, instead of animating 211 hair position for every single hairstyle. 

Some of these options are extremely time consuming to produce, so would be good to see how most people want to use the assets, so I know which route to go down. Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

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An 8 directional top down sprite sheet would be wonderful because it would work in top down & isometric gameplay but it is twice the amount of work.

I have a question, i want to buy these assets and use them for commercial projects but when you update these assets, am i able to download for free because i have bought it earliyer?

Great update with separate layers for the characters hair. We need it for clothes too 🙂

But more importantly.. We need animations for walking up and down, currently there is only left and right. 

Thanks 😊

The style of these assets is just left and right so there wont be any up or down sprites. Still works perfectly fine for up and down movement - check Forager or Atomicrops, they use the same technique! I don't think I'll do clothes - at least not pixel animated as that'll be huge amount of work. I might do some basic clothing items you can attach via code on top, but wont be pixel perfect. 

Thanks for getting back to me :)

For the clothes, we just need a base character with no clothes, and a few example outfits, then we can draw the rest ourselves, just like different hair styles. That's how i would do it at least. It's a much more dynamic approach in my opinion, because we can mix up assets and easily make new NPCs etc..

It's too bad there won't be up or down animations, i think it adds a bit to the dimension of the game, and it wouldnt be too much work. I know it's a 'style', but it just looks weird to me when you walk up some stairs - sideways ;-). I hope you'll reconsider. It would only be for walking, everything else is fine sideways. :) 

Separate layers that can be combined dynamically would be best for me!

I too like the Frakensprite idea.  It gives me more flexibility to build out.

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I vote for the sprites being split up. Saves time for everybody IMO.

Keep up the great work!

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Really loving this asset pack and how its grown. Top work really it is so good. Ill add my voice to the Separate layers is cool for the characters.  im happy to compile them together if needed. 

In my game, I use 3 layer with color swapping.

But I have another question, the hand is with the tool, or with the base?
When it's with the tool, color swapping of the hand may be a problem
When it's with the base, it may be harder for you to make (depth problem)

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Any decent dev is going to do sprite swapping! Please do that method for your and devs sake. If I can make a request it would be less character stuff & more town / environment stuff <3

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Personally, I won't be using palette swapping or hair style swapping and instead I'd like more animations like a sleeping animation. Also another version of each character looking at the camera, for menus and maybe a large portrait (just 1 frame and could be top half only), for something like a character selection.

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I love the progress you have made; I'm glad that I paid early :) Not to parrot everyone else, but allowing everyone to frankensprite pieces together is the way to go; if they were baked as separate frames, a lot of us would just go back and cut out the various elements and reformat them to be separate anyhow (>^_^)> Sadly, I haven't had much time to work on my two dozen or so projects recently because of the mass buyout of everything not bolted down (I work in online fulfilment) soon though... Soon...

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separate them out, saves you work. Users can piece together the assets need be, whether that's at run-time or in photoshop.

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Separating it out would be fine, I would just piece together the ones I wanted.

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3 layers is the way. I have spoken.

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I don't care, I can work with anything. all possibilities sounded good. What do you think how Long you need?

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Modularity is my baseline recommendation for most, if not all, projects, even if they have no plan for using more than 1 character. This method allows for better control/management in the long-term.

Someone else mentioned the performance aspects of using separated sprites. However, unless I'm misunderstanding the situation, a user could still bake the assets into one image as needed using art software that provides layering. That's essentially a feature of modularity, it still provides the original option of a single sprite. On the other hand, if you start from a baked in approach the time required to separate out the pieces could be significant depending on the user's art expertise, let alone inaccurate to some degree as most users will probably cut off a few unintended pixels in the process of separating them .

For me personally, I've already had to separate out the hammer from the main character's sprite for my purposes, so this would be of benefit for me, but I don't want to speak for everyone of course.

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but the only downside to modularity is the time it takes to bake them into one image if needed. If the individual pieces are exported with the origin point already in mind, then the transition from modularity to baking them into one image is as simple as opening the files, stacking the layers, and then exporting as a single sprite.

Focusing on your own benefits as the artist, from a programming perspective, any time you find yourself having to repeat the same process for different objects  (in this case using the same base sprite against a varying amount of hair styles), if there is a method in which you can reduce this repetition while providing the same effect it's recommended to do so. Otherwise, it becomes difficult, borderline impossible to continue to manage the project as it expands.

***Apologies if I've misunderstood what's being discussed here.

I'm unsure on things like Unity, but at least with GMS2, you are able to simply draw images and the like on top of other images, so you can 'paper doll' the separate animations together in the combination you want.  That said, if the hair animation is specific to the tool, I'm not 100% sure on the benefits one would get from them being separate.  You'd still need to swap out the layer the hair and such is on if you change hair, regardless of if it is on the same piece as the tool or not.  Which theoretically means the two ways would be functionally the same.  But that is also for people that don't merge them prior to adding them to their game.


Not to say there aren't cases where people would prefer it separated from the tool, but from an optimization perspective, having them together would lower how many draw commands you are calling, as well as lowering the usage of your texture sheets.  In that sense, it comes down to if merging them would result in less frames and assets overall or not.  Since if it doesn't result in less, then it could still be better to go with them separated.

Yeah you might be right - if you are using palette swapping, the hair and tool could be flattened and you just target the hair and hand colour in one layer. But then if it’s separate maybe it’s easier for some to edit. Tricky ! 

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3 layers. A base, the hair, and the tool animations.  Seems like the best approach . 

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I like that approach too with 3 layers.