If you’re an artist looking to start in the pixel art scene and you need some good references, try aiming at making your work look like Glauber Kotaki and Hunter Russell’s in the new Duelyst.
Duelyst is a squad-based tactical combat game in the vein of Hearthstone meets Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics. It’s got 100 characters and spells you can choose from to decimate your opponent in battles that channel the classic tabletop games of yore, without the need to do the math with pencil and paper.
The character designs are what caught my eye (for a change), partly because a game like this usually makes use of cards like in Magic The Gathering or Hearthstone, but instead, this one chooses to use little pixelated avatars that are akin to the miniatures you play the game with IRL.
Veteran animator, Glauber Kotaki, is the mind behind the character animations, although he’s quick to point out in his website that the character designs were done by someone else in the dev team. Kotaki has been animating pixels for more than 10 years and already carries successful games like Rogue Legacy, Deep Dungeons of Doom and the upcoming Chasm to his name.
Hunter Russell, another illustrator whose work can be seen in Delver and Super III, is also putting his talent to the test in order to speed up the process and hit the game’s deadline. His work looks very cool and you should check out his tumblr to see more of it.
I’m interested to see what’s up with Duelyst and how diverse the combat units will get, which are already looking very original. This game had a successful run on Kickstarter, but they’re still taking in backers through their official website.
Duelyst is set to launch in December 2014 (that’s this month!) for PC, Mac and Linux.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS9GZQCPlis