WIP Monday: February 26, 2024

WIP MondayWIP MondayWIP MondayFebruary 26, 2024February 26, 2024February 26, 2024

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Hi everyone, I’m here for a Work-In-Progress Monday!

Once again my schedule has been thwarted, but this time by covid-19. I got sick last week and tested positive, and basically lost a whole week of work time while I recovered. I’m feeling like I’m around 90% better now. I was able to get the paxlovid anti-viral, which I think helped a lot. It was my first time with the virus after nearly 4 years of playing it safe. I feel very lucky that it wasn’t worse!

Anyway, this is a quick look at what I’ve been working on. Let’s dive in!

Impact FX Pack 2

The next asset pack is underway, although it’ll be delayed until next week due to me getting sick! Above is the first animation in the pack, a “toon impact.” It’d be perfect for a Kirby-esque game, or for a comedic moment in a more serious game. I’m looking forward to doing some dust puff impacts and more!

Continue reading for lots more WIP goodness + puppy pics!

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Welcoming Zephyr!

Welcoming Zephyr!Welcoming Zephyr!Welcoming Zephyr!

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Hey everyone! This is part 2 of today’s DOUBLE-POST! Looking for the new asset pack? Check out part 1 here.

I’m very happy to announce to everyone that we have a new member of the family: Say hello to ZEPHYR!!

Above: Day one! So tiny!

Zephyr joined us on January 26. She’s about ten and a half weeks old and her ears just popped up recently. She’s a corgi, but has a fluffy coat, which is a first for us!

Above: This past Monday on a walk around the park. Zephyr’s waving “Hi!”

Read on for more pictures!

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New Asset Pack: Super Pixel Props: Sci-fi Pack 1

New Asset Pack:New Asset Pack:New Asset Pack:Sci-fi Props Pack 1Sci-fi Props Pack 1Sci-fi Props Pack 1

This post is also available on my Patreon. Join up and get pixel art for your game!

Hey everyone, I’m here today with a new asset pack! This is part 1 of a special DOUBLE-POST today! Part 2 is here, with lots of puppy pictures of Zephyr!

Let’s dive in to some sci-fi goodness.

This asset pack includes a wide variety of computer terminals, monitors, gadgets, and industrial props that you might find in an evil laboratory!

Read on for some awesome screenshots and a download link for patrons, or purchase below!

Continue reading »

WIP Thursday: January 25, 2024

WIP ThursdayWIP ThursdayWIP ThursdayJanuary 25, 2024January 25, 2024January 25, 2024

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Hey everyone, I’m here for a Work-In-Progress… Thursday?! Better late than never!

All jokes aside, I’ve been super busy this week with my family. For weeks now we’ve been adding to a memory project for Garnet, and this week we’re putting the finishing touches on it. We made lists of everything we love about her, everything she loved about life, and a list of all her tricks and nicknames. The amount of butt-related nicknames is off the charts! It’s bittersweet, and I’m finishing up a picture collage for her today before we put her on the shelf in my office together as a family.

That’s not all that’s kept me busy, however… I’ve got some very good news: I’m happy to announce that we’ll be adding a new spark of joy to our family tomorrow! She’s an eight-week old corgi puppy, and we can’t wait to give her a wonderful home and all the love in the world. There’s been a lot of prep work for her- We did a bunch of cleaning and planning, picked her out a collar and her first toys, and set up a pen area where she’ll have access to her kennel and pee pad, plus some space to have fun. I’ll share pictures and her name next week! (I’ve been keeping her name a family secret until she hears it herself.)

Pixel Art Progress!

Even with all the goings-on, I’ve been continuing work on the next asset pack. Here’s the latest progress:

Above is a view of some of the more industrial sci-fi props in the pack. There’s gas canisters, wire decorations, machinery, and more! The monitors I’ve been drawing all have a few different animations or displays, including (of course) the infamous blue screen. This pack is going to be very fun!

The pack is nearing completion, but with everything I still have to do before the new puppy arrives (she’s coming a day earlier than we first thought!), I need to reschedule the pack release to sometime next week. I’ll be in touch as soon as I can with puppy pics and the finished pack- See you then!

– Will

WIP Wednesday: January 17, 2024

WIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayJanuary 17, 2024January 17, 2024January 17, 2024

This post is also available on my Patreon. Join up and get pixel art for your game!

Hey everyone, I’m here with the first Work-In-Progress Wednesday of the new year! Here’s a quick look at the next pack.

Sci-fi Props Pack 1

Here’s the first look at some sci-fi platformer props! You’ll be able to make anything with this pack from a mundane office to a mad scientist’s laboratory. I started drawing a little bit of both- Oldschool CRT monitors and a tower PC, and a “supercomputer” straight out of the 70s or 80s. Next I’ll be drawing all sorts of machinery, crates, barrels, and several more computers and computer terminals. One of the challenges in this pack is color- So much of this kind of equipment is gray, so I need to figure out ways to add splashes of color without making it look too cartoony. I’m thinking for some of the props, a yellow/black caution pattern will be a big help in that area. Looking forward to completing the pack for next week- Stay tuned!

Poll Results!

Thank you for voting in last week’s pixel art poll! The results are in, and there’s a lot of love across the board for different kinds of art. The most votes went to platformer props, effect animations, GUI/HUD elements, and platformer tilesets. There’s also some interest in platformer heroes and monsters, as well as game items and looping backgrounds. I’m looking forward to visiting all of those art types this year! I’ll factor the results into my schedule and let you know what’s coming up this spring!

That’s all for today- Aside from art, I’ve been doing some pretty dry programming work on my game engine and code generator. I enjoy it, but there’s not much to show off! Long story short, remember last time when I mentioned saving/loading entity relationships in the engine? Turns out I only had it half working. Whoops! That’s why it’s a good idea to write tests…

– Will

Starting A New Year!

Starting A New YearStarting A New YearStarting A New Year

Hey everyone! I’m back with the first post of the new year.

A Little Thank You

I’d like to thank you all for your support and the kind messages regarding Garnet’s passing. It’s been very tough, but we’re hanging in there together as a family. We’ve been taking turns adding to a list of things we love about Garnet. It’s been bittersweet, but has been a wonderful way to reminisce about her together. Folks around the neighborhood have also been sharing their condolences, and I don’t know what I’d do without them! A few have been asking about the future, to which I say: We’re not done having dogs in our lives, so stay tuned.

Poll Time!

I’m starting to get back in action now. I have a lot of ideas for pixel art packs this year, and I want your input on them! What kind of stuff would you like to see or use in your games? Want more props? More effect animations? Heroes? Monsters? Icons? The list goes on- Let me know what you think! Vote here in this special patron-only poll: https://www.patreon.com/posts/96291113
(Not a patron yet? What are you waiting for? Join up and get awesome pixel art for your games!)

Stuff I’m Working On…

This year I’m also planning on finishing the redesign of my game engine and completing and releasing SparkBolt Studio, an all-in-one sprite/tileset/level editor. Work is going well- I did have time to do some over the past few weeks. The redesign is using EnTT, an entity-component system, instead of the previous object-oriented approach. There’s still going to be a bit of that where I need it though. This past week I got serialization and deserialization of data (saving and loading) working for the first time. It can successfully save objects to a file, and then restore them. It can also preserve the relationships between entities- For example, a parent entity and a child entity, or an entity which “knows about” another entity by storing its handle. Those types of relationships can be saved and restored, as long as all entities involved are saved together. A good step forward, but still a lot to do!

What’s Next!

Here’s the tentative schedule for January and February.

I’m looking forward to bringing you lots more pixel art this year as well as SparkBolt Studio!

Thanks for sticking with me, and see you soon with the next asset pack.

– Will

Remembering Garnet

Remembering GarnetRemembering GarnetRemembering Garnet

Hello, everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and were able to ring in the new year with friends and family.

Garnet, my ten and a half year old corgi, had a fantastic two weeks on her new medication. She felt like a puppy again and was able to go for good walks, run around, play, and (of course) get into trouble. She had a wonderful Christmas with us. Unfortunately, I have sad news to share.


Above: The last picture I ever took of Garnet, after opening Christmas presents.

It’s with a very heavy heart that I say that we said goodbye to Garnet on the morning of December 30 at the vet. She entered a series of seizures and could not come out of them even with last resort medication. My folks and I were able to say goodbye to her together as a family and it was very difficult but I’m glad we could all be there. My heart is broken and I am utterly broken and devastated. There are just no words for how sudden this is to me.

Hug your friends, your family, and your pets. For me, they are one in the same- Garnet was, is, and will always be an important member of my family, my best friend in the world, and my little pup.

As for me, I’m an utter mess and need to take some time to pick up the broken pieces of myself. I’ll be on break for at least another week while I figure out how to live a very different life in this new year, with Garnet in my heart instead of at my side.

Thank you for your support.
– Will

Here’s Garnet on her 10th birthday earlier this year, on a sunny Summer day. I miss you so, so much.

WIP Wednesday: December 20, 2023

WIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayDecember 20, 2023December 20, 2023December 20, 2023

This post is also available on my Patreon. Join up and get pixel art for your game!

Hey everyone, I’m here for a quick pre-holiday Work-In-Progress Wednesday! This is gonna be a bit more of a chill one since Christmas is right around the corner. But… It’s not that chilly here in Minnesota this year! Where’s all the snow?! At least it’s not icy outside- That’s a big deal for me and Garnet when we’re out walking, so I’m happy with that! Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to the past couple weeks.

Christmas Card

Here’s my family’s Christmas card for this year! We do one most years, but I think this year’s turned out the best yet. I picked out some of my favorite pictures of my folks and Garnet and me to work with, and the collage look turned out nice. Garnet likes the Santa hat!

Garnet

I’m happy to report that Garnet is doing a lot better since last week. She turned 10 this summer, and began having seizures in October, which became more frequent in November and December. We first tried a medicine that stopped them, but it made her extremely tired and groggy. Last week we switched her meds and unfortunately had a pretty bad day because the new med didn’t work for her. However, since switching meds again last Thursday Garnet has been very VERY good!


Above: “Stumped,” from earlier this year

The new meds are working fantastic, and she’s seizure-free and acts like she’s 4 or 5 again. She feels great and wants to walk, eat, play, and have good ol’ corgi fun! She is drinking a lot of water (one of the med’s side effects is thirst) and needs to go out a lot more, but we’re making it work. We’re all hoping she’ll continue feeling her best for a long long time!

Programming

I had the past couple weeks earmarked as “programming time,” but honestly I haven’t been able to get as much done as I wanted. Between Christmas prep / shopping / wrapping and Garnet’s health issue, it was a lot to manage and there were many sleepless nights. I did get a useful thing done though:

This is an addition to a small library I’m working on with a friend, and like it says, it lets you hook up editable variables with controls. That’s not special in and of itself, but it tries to make it super easy and has support for custom validation functions and for drawing special widgets.

For example, the code to edit the above variables is just one line for each property. It automatically handles limiting the min/max values you can input. For the most part it “just knows” what kind of input widget to use, but you can explicitly tell it to treat certain things as colors or sliders.

Using custom validation functions, it’s easy to restrict the input to what you want. Errors and warnings print automatically. Invalid values never get pushed to the actual variable, so dealing with invalid input is a thing of the past.

At the end of the day it’s really just a different way of doing things- This can all certainly be done with just Dear ImGui. I like to think this is easier and cleaner though, so I like it! It’s going to be useful in a lot of my projects.

Other than that, that’s pretty much all for now! I still want to swing around and work on my game engine, and I think I’ll have time for that in the new year. Maybe I’ll do a little before, but I’ve got to take some days off too! After all the stress of Garnet not feeling well, I really feel like I need to rest and reset. So glad she’s feeling better!

Long story short, happy holidays, and I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the year! I’ll possibly see you sometime around New Year’s with a year in review video, and I’m already really looking forward to the first pixel art of 2024. I can’t wait to make more amazing things this coming year! Thank you all for being a part of it and following along on my journey.

– Will

New Asset Pack: Super Pixel Fantasy UI – Viking Hearth

New Asset Pack:New Asset Pack:New Asset Pack:Fantasy UI “Viking Hearth”Fantasy UI “Viking Hearth”Fantasy UI “Viking Hearth”

This post is also available on my Patreon. Join up and get pixel art for your game!

Hey everyone, I’m here today with a new asset pack! Very happy with the way this UI pack turned out. Let’s have a look!

Read on for more awesome screenshots and a download link for patrons, or purchase below!

Continue reading »

WIP Wednesday: November 29, 2023

WIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayNovember 29, 2023November 29, 2023November 29, 2023

This post is also available on my Patreon. Join up and get pixel art for your game!

Hey everyone, I’m here today with another Work-In-Progress Wednesday! Hope you’ve all been well- I took some time off for Thanksgiving and it was great. I’ve been playing some games, hanging out with my family, putting up some Christmas decorations, and finally taking a chance to relax. Hope those of you who also celebrate Thanksgiving had a good holiday!

Unity Update

First off, I’d like to just let everyone know again that I’m creating Unity packages for my asset packs! They’re sure to be useful for those of you creating games in Unity.

A full list of them is here: https://assetstore.unity.com/publishers/18465

New since last time we talked about Unity:

  • Super Pixel Impact FX Pack 1 (approved since last time)
  • Super Pixel Item Pickups: Sci-fi Pack 1 (approved since last time)

Coming soon (in approval queue):

  • Super Pixel Blood FX Pack 1
  • Super Pixel Fantasy FX Pack 1
  • Super Pixel Item Pickups: Fantasy Pack 1
  • Super Pixel Projectiles Pack 1
  • Super Pixel Projectiles Pack 2
  • Super Pixel Props: Mansion Pack 1

For patrons who use Unity and want to get the Unity version of an asset pack that you already have access to on itch.io, send me a Patreon message. Let me know which Unity packs you’re interested in, and I can send you a link to download via Dropbox.

Next Pixel Art Pack

Coming up next after the sci-fi UI pack is…. You guessed it! A fantasy-themed UI! Here’s a look at some of the progress so far.

For this UI pack, I’m going for a sort of Viking-esque theme. I still have to test this out to see if it looks alright in action- The window title area is a lot more centered than the previous theme and the window area is a little narrower as a consequence. I’m thinking it’ll look nice with centered title text. As for the palette, I definitely wanted to make a wood-colored one this time. After all, that’s what Vikings typically used to build things! I’ll have to tinker a bit with my export process to get that palette in there, but I’ll make it happen. I might also enlarge the gems or fill in the title area with the secondary color, because I want a two-tone color theme here and there’s currently a lot of brown. Anyway- Still very much a work in progress!

Other Cool Stuff

I’m doing more pixel art for Veridian Expanse! Here’s a look at some new UI I drew for the game recently. Gotta love that sci-fi look!

Check out the game on Steam here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/2137670/Veridian_Expanse/

Try out the demo: https://howlingmoonsoftware.itch.io/veridian-expanse

That’s all for today! I’ll see you next week with a full look at the new UI pack and a look at the second pack for December: sci-fi props.

– Will