Video Game Pixel Art Assets and Tutorials for Game Designers
Making your own video game is one of the most exciting and rewarding digital art projects you can engage in, and thousands of creators are producing new low-res adventure, action, and puzzle games for their fans to explore. And although modern epics tend to focus on gigantic 3D worlds, hundreds of meticulously designed NPCs, and soundtracks scored for full symphony orchestras, there are still dedicated enthusiasts developing 2D pixel games with classic 8-bit soundtracks that are among the most enjoyable games on the market today.
These old-school adventures never seem to go out of style, and their classic look and timeless gameplay makes them one of the most popular and accessible formats for new and experienced creators alike. But whether you’re developing your tenth pixel game in a series or embarking on your very first project, creating video game pixel art that’s compelling and fun still represents a gigantic design challenge for any maker.
Fortunately, there are plenty of video game pixel art assets and tutorials out there that can save you time and make your game look sharp—even if it’s 640x360 resolution. Whether you’re looking for backgrounds for your outdoor adventure, sprites for a gothic thriller, or just some pixelated cyberpunks to hold down a futuristic street corner, these assets and tutorials will make your game come alive.
The first thing any pixel game needs is killer characters, and this Photoshop tutorial by Dominique H. takes you on a 2.5 hour journey from start to finish for creating a pixelated Metroid-style hero. You’ll cover outlining, basic coloring, and how to add all the finishing touches that make your 1080p creation pop on the screen.
With this tutorial, you’ll get:
- Real-time video from start to finish so you can review every step
- Photoshop pixel art tips and tricks to bring your character to life quickly and easily
If you’re committed to a futuristic cyberpunk vibe, this collection of game-ready pixel characters will give you everything you need to flesh out your story. All five have their own unique look, and come with animation for up, down, left, and right walking. The pack also includes idle options for each of them, and the 64x64 sprites are created in PNG+Alpha format. At just $5 dollars for the entire set, it’s a small investment in high-quality video game pixel art that will save you hours and hours of animating for your next futuristic game!
Wanting to build your own pixel platformer but not sure where to start? This set gives you everything you need to create an outdoor platforming environment—including a character to test everything when you’re done! Featuring both dirt and ice 32x32 tiles plus all the character animations you need for idling, running, and jumping around the screen, this kit will give you a solid foundation to start customizing your next outdoor platforming adventure.
With such low resolution to work with, pixel games rely heavily on variations in colors and environments to make a splash with gamers. To differentiate your masterpiece from the pack, you’ll want to fill both your foregrounds and backgrounds with interesting textures to keep things fresh.
This bundle gives you 50 different textures to bring any scene to life, including metal, wood, rocks, stairs, water, snow, lava, plants, and many more. Whether you’re exploring a dilapidated factory, a murky swamp, or a frozen ice planet, this kit has the tiles you need to build it out.
If you’re a fan of the Metroid or Castlevania franchises, chances are you’ve been blown away by the multi-layered scrolling backgrounds and intensely absorbing architecture video game pixel art can provide. This asset pack allows you to start designing in creepy gothic style with a game-ready collection of 16x16 dungeon tiles, coffins, cages, skeletons, candles, props, and backgrounds that will make bosses from Medusa to the Grim Reaper feel right at home.
All files are saved as PNG with transparency and editable PSD files, so you can customize your levels to create your own unique look.
From Dragon Warrior to The Legend of Zelda, the legacy of pixel gaming is rooted in fantasy, and that’s never going to stop. And what does any great fantasy pixel game need? Incredible magic users, mages, and a host of mana-managing minions to murder.
This tutorial takes you through the basic techniques to create a Frost Mage for your next adventure, and the essentials you learn here will set you on the path to developing all the characters your next (or final…) fantasy game needs. Designed for Photoshop, this 1080p step-by-step guide takes you from the initial stages of design and conception to putting the finishing touches on this icy enemy in just 45 minutes.
Begin Your Low-Resolution Evolution with Cubebrush
Video game pixel art may seem simple, but as any artist knows, the more limitations you have the more inspired your work has to be. It can be tough getting started in the format, and these assets and tutorials will give you the boost you need to find your creative footing in the pixel art genre.
For more great 2D pixel content and assets, visit Cubebrush and connect with our community of digital creators and content to make all your projects come alive!