Guidelines

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This article is for reference purpose

The features described in this article are already implemented in the game. The article should describe how a certain aspect of the game currently works. You may of course edit this article to improve the description of the circumstances. Your opinions or improvement suggestions about the described aspects themself are of course appreciated, too. But please put these on the discussion page of this article to keep facts and fiction separated.

When creating pixel art for TMW, please make sure to follow these guidelines. Pixel art which does not will have a much-lessened chance of getting into the game.

General

  • All graphics must be released under the GNU General Public License or a compatible license.
  • Try to hang around in our development IRC channel #tmw-dev on irc.themanaworld.org whenever possible.
  • Do not be afraid to show us your pixel art, we are here to guide and help you. Pixel art being worked on (Usually tagged with [WIP], for work in progress) can be posted on the forums.
  • The pixel art must be made by you or derived from TMW's existing graphics. We will never accept pixel art ripped from other games nor from undisclosed sources.
  • The following games can be used as inspiration:
    • Secret of Mana 2
    • Final Fantasy VI (Named Final Fantasy III in North America)
    • Chrono Trigger
    • Ragnarok Online

General Guidelines

  • Light Source: Above, from South-West. For tilesets, this roughly means from the bottom-left corner; for items, the top-left. (Example)
  • Perspective: top-down 45° view angle. (Example)
  • Dyeable Images: Images can be dyed, see Image dyeing for more information
  • Outlines: 1px, coloured. We use 3 kinds of different outlines:
    • Ground level: should have the dullest colors (no outlines everything blends into each other) (Example)
    • Objects level: stands out from the ground level (with more contrast and maybe even a light outline)
    • Sprites (characters, monsters etc.) and item icons level: stands out the most (heavily saturated with dark outlines)
    • Objects should be fully lit (Example)
  • Wind Direction: From West to East
  • Proportions: A character is approximately one tile wide (32px) and two tiles high (64px) (Example)
  • Drop Shadows:
    • Large objects on outdoor tilesets have a drop shadow to the northeast
    • Flying creatures have a drop shadow (Example)
    • Shadows should be pure black (#000000), and have a opacity of 30%, the edges have a opacity of 15%
  • Anti-aliasing: Only if it does not look smooth without it
  • Blood: May only be used if it spice up certain environments that needs to be extra creepy. (Example)

Creatures

Monsterset development

  • Mirroring the shape of a sprite is acceptable, provided the shading is correct on each frame.
  • There is no size restriction, although the "attackable" area of a monster is only 1*1 tile.

Icons

Icon Development

  • Use other icons as examples if possible (Example)

NPCs

  • NPCs must be in the same style as the player sprites.
    • NPCs do not and should not be constrained by player pose and body shape.
    • Shadows should NOT be used for NPCs, shadows are reserved for large objects or flying creatures.

Tilesets

Tileset development

  • All tilesets should have the same amount of texture. Use the New Forest Tileset as reference
  • Do not use visible outlines
  • Do not use vanishing point projection. All objects have to be drawn in zero-point perspective (Example)
  • Use pure black (#000000) for "nothing"; eg, the tiles surrounding indoor or dungeon areas.
  • Try to match the brightness and contrast of the reference tileset
    • Outdoor: Woodland tileset
    • Indoor: Woodland Indoor tileset
    • Dungeons: Cave tileset
  • All tiles on a single tileset should have the same warmth to them, unless it should specifically be otherwise.
  • When adding to an existing tileset, try to use the same colours as much as possible to get the same feeling

How to get your content in to the game

  • Start a thread in the forum, with a subject line beginning [WIP] (work in progress).
  • Discuss it and edit it a few times until it's ready.
  • Change the [WIP] thread's title to [WIP]>[FND] (finished), and make it clear which is the final version.
  • Wait for the thread to marked [RC] (release candidate) by a developer and then pushed and marked [GIT] by another. Your work will then be included in the next update.

Tutorials

If you are not very experienced at creating pixel art, you should take a look at the following tutorials. You can learn many interesting tricks from them.