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.
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- Use other icons as examples if possible (Example)
- 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.
- 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.
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.