I've been sitting on this stuff for a while and thought it was time to share them. This is some character work I've done for my personal project which I worked on in between my contract work, it's the same project that these environment concepts are for. I've been designing a side scroller shoot'em style game that's akin to the classic Metroid, Contra and Megaman games.
Before starting the project I had never work in pixel art but I've always had a tremendous respect for the style. In the modern age of gaming with stunningly realistic graphics, pixel art has proven to be a viable art style for games and it will always have a fan base. Learning to push individual pixels has been fun but often not as easy as I expected.
This was my first animation test, I chose the simplest creature to learn how to animate. My roommate during my time at the Academy was an animator and I picked up a lot of helpful animation tips from him.
Here are some character sketches where I explored various shapes for the protagonist. I knew that a lot of detail would be lost when converting the design into pixel art so I focused on pushing the silhouette and shape contrast of the body and limbs.
These are the creature designs that I took to final polish. Although rendering these concepts to this level wasn't really necessary, I did want to flesh out these creatures to get a better idea of how they would move and interact with the player.