Creating quick tilesets, part 1

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So let’s start again using an imperfect palette. For this one, I used some pictures of aztec codex and ruins, to get some earth tones and maybe (fingers crossed) some greens.

Again, a very limited and random color table. I always begin by creating a basic floor tile which will be the direction of all following tiles. For this example, the game’s impassable walls will be filled with black for better readability. I also add some tiling backdrop and a first draft of the main character.

Then I start working on the side walls and the top wall. Once I have these, I can do the rest very quickly by copy-pasting parts of the existing tiles. Remember, pixel art is about going fast and cheap, there’s no point in over-rendering; if that is your direction, you better draw your tile using high-resolution digital painting brushes.

I can then create the remaining corners, stumps and narrow walls using the work I’ve done so far. I end up with a 16-tiles tileset.

Some tweaks are needed, to better connect some of the walls without the need for more tiles. Displacing a few pixels to create ‘creases’ at the edge, while keeping the connection to other tiles, often does the trick.

Testing the tileset in my level generator, it works pretty well.

Now to add some variety to the backdrop and shading to create depth, see you in part 2.