A Noob uses Pyxel Edit

Alright now I’m not the best artist to walk the cosmos, well in reality I’m not much of an artist at all. However I do need to make some game art from time to time and where programs like Gimp and Photoshop are great, they have a pretty steep learning curve and may not be specific to the style you are looking for.

So I could set up a grid in Gimp, and make a 1×1 pixel brush, and then invert the planes to make a repeatable pattern… But I don’t need to, and I’m pretty lazy. Hence programs like Pyxel Edit.

Pyxel Edit Logo

This isn’t going to be a tutorial, more of an introductory to the program, but I will be making some score sprites for the game I have been working on. Before we get into that though let me run through some of the features and pricing for this program.

Try before you buy

They offer a free version of the program on there site: https://pyxeledit.com/get.php however I have not used it myself. I figured for 9 bucks I would take the risk. I did check out reviews online before buying it. So according to the site it lacks “many” features and has an outdated ui. I do not know exactly what that entails but it says animation as an example.

Post about free version

Alright, now the program itself

When you open the program you get a screen that looks like many editors.

Pyxel Edit home page

You open new, and you get this screen.

New Document

I will be changing these dimensions to fit my project.

Now whats nice about this, is I can set up these squares to to fit pretty much any project.

Tile map

Yes I know, I don’t make pretty pictures, but that’s alright.

So one of the things I like about this program is that you can put tiles next to each other and see how they will line up. Example the telephone pole ( YES that is a telephone pole!) would be pretty hard ( for me ) to make sure the pole lines up with the two different broken head pieces.

Connected Tiles

Why not just make two separate images for each? There is a few reasons that I do this way, and I’m not saying that they are right, its just what I do. But first being I can reuse that pole asset while still adding variation. And second is that when I slap these things in a grid on unity, it will make sure they line up every time I call them. These will eventually be pulled randomly to be placed inside a grid.

So back to the Score Numbers I wanted to make.

Pretty sure everyone knows this one already, but the Ellipse Tool for making well elliptical shapes. Neat. But seriously, doing this free hand would suck.

Ellipse Tool

Now I’m going to go ahead and make the 0 out lines for it, and then fill it in with a gray color.

Zero Lines

Next I’ll use the Paint Bucket tool to fill in the base color.

Zero lines filled

Then Ill add a new color swatch.

add swatch

Edit the swatch.

Adjust Swatch

And Pick a new color.

Color picker

Now I will pick the Pen tool and add some texture to it.

zero textured

So that’s basically it. I am going to go ahead and finish the rest of the numbers for the project.

0-9 sprites

Now that I am at the point I feel like I could put this in my game, I will go ahead and export it. There is a few options available to you. I wont be going into the difference between them, but I could elaborate in a later post if there is any interest.

Export Settings

Also don’t forget to save. You want to make sure you still have the project files in case you want to change the images later without having to import the image.

So that’s basically all I do for making game assets.

Now I don’t only use Pyxel Edit, I also use Aseprite, Blender, Gimp, but it all depends on what specifically I am working on. If its 3d I use Blender\Gimp, if its a character sprite that I need to animate I use Aseprite. I will do posts similar to this one for each program, and if there is an interest in them I could try my hand at making a full blown tutorial, or in depth look at the programs. However I am not at the level of experience I feel I would need to tell people the right way of doing things.

Pyxel Edit has some quirks that I don’t like, Say if I wanted to make a symmetrical object, I don’t know of an option that will let me automatically do that, where as other programs have this feature. Aseprite has a button really easy to find. But at the same time, I like Pyxel Edit more for say tile maps over Aseprite, because it seems to focus on it more, not a bunch of extra features that I wont use for a certain project.

I know that sounds incredibly dumb, but that’s how I work, dumb.

Do you use separate programs for different things? Or do you use an all in one like Photoshop or Gimp? Let us know in the comments, and I am always looking for programs that make my life easier!

See you guys next time!

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