WIP Wednesday: April 12, 2023

WIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayApril 12, 2023April 12, 2023April 12, 2023

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Hey everyone, I’m here for a Work-In-Progress Wednesday to show off what I’ve been working on!

I have a few different things to show off this week, so it’s a long one this time! First up, more skill icons from Skill Icons Pack 3, coming this Friday!

Skill Icons Pack 3

I’ve expanded my traditional palette a little bit to accommodate some more desaturated browns and some pinks. Some of those snuck into my earlier work already, so I decided to make it official and start using them a little more often! This lets me make the tree stand out more against the light ray background and lets me separate the candles from the candelabra. Sometimes you just need another color to stand out- That’s where the pink sand comes to save the day in the hourglass! Brown sand blends in too well with the hourglass edges and doesn’t pop enough. The pink also works well as a lighting effect on the rocks in the eruption icon.

I’m still drawing the final few icons and HUDs, but I’m still expecting it to come out on time Friday afternoon! I think the icons in this pack are my best yet.

New Game: Very First Look!

This is a little WIP art teaser for a game I’m just starting to brainstorm! I don’t want to give it all away yet, but it’ll be a little like a tower defense, with some unique mechanics and ideas. The project is right at the starting line at the moment, but you’ll be seeing more of it later this year, so stay tuned!

Programming Work

Recently I’ve been working mostly on art, but I’ve been able to sneak in some work on my other projects. My main programming project is SparkBolt Studio, an all-in-one pixel art tileset/sprite/level editor. That’s coming along well, and I’m currently in the process of decoupling it from my game engine.

For a test of the project setup and build process, I decided to take on a little smaller project first- A redesign of one of the tools I use: “MetaMaker.”

MetaMaker is a custom tool that helps me make meta images for the various store pages I sell my assets on, like itch.io, GameDevMarket, Unity, and so on. The trouble with all these different stores is that for each one, the image requirements are different! They all require different sizes, some support GIF and some don’t, and some require a watermark placed over the images. It’s a lot of work to do manually, and that’s where MetaMaker comes in.

The old MetaMaker is written in Java and runs on a wing and a prayer… By which I mean my old custom game engine, which I’m no longer willing to support. It uses odd hotkeys and requires you to put together a plaintext data file (above) with the info it needs to create the title and the text overlay. When exporting images, it’s hardcoded whether or not specific ones get exported as PNG, PNG sequence, or GIF. GIF export in particular is painfully slow. Basically the whole thing sucks, but I’m still needing to use it to make my store images!

Enter: New MetaMaker! Although this new version isn’t done yet, it runs on my new game engine and has been a good test of it so far. Right now I’ve been focusing on all the things my old version didn’t have- A good UI and full control of settings! A lot of the code is borrowed from SparkBolt Studio, which has allowed me to test some new ideas like the asset library area in the bottom of the screen. You can drag the assets into the work area to place them- I just got that working this morning!!

I’m really excited about the new features it’ll bring me, because a lot of those can be ported back into SparkBolt Studio. Most of all, I’m excited about how much smoother it’s going to be to create meta images once it’s done!


As some of you may know, I usually bring my games to demo at the local conventions here in Minnesota. Unfortunately, that all stopped during the pandemic, so 2020 was the last year I was able to do it.

…Until now! As you know I’ve been working mostly on art and tools, so I won’t be showing a game at this year’s convention… Instead, I’ll just be there as a normal attendee! If you’re in the Minneapolis area, see if you can spot me! I’ll be at VGM Con this Saturday (4/15), networking with my other local indie dev friends and maybe getting in on that Smash Bros tournament!

That’s all for now- Busy couple weeks ahead! I even have to find time to replace my work computer’s rattling CPU cooler… Anyway, I’ll see you soon with more pixel art asset packs!

– Will