Most of my time at the moment has been devoted to learning how to create pixel art and animate pixel sprites.
As you can see from the gifs, I've had some mediocre success with the project. The protagonist (with the red jack and sunglasses) is the most polished. The other one was an attempt at a different body shape and character. I have to work on the shadows and angles of movement, but the basic run animation is complete.
I have a few more base characters that I would like to animate. At my current level, I can complete a frame of animation in 1-2 hours, this is starting with a generic frontal pose picture (the idle in both the images). It takes 8 frames to animate them in this way, so that's about a week a work if I pace myself for one frame per evening. Afterwards is the polish, which I imagine is about equal time.
This has been an interesting lesson for myself. If you also want to get into creating your own art assets, I used GIMP and slowly taught myself about layering and tools via online Youtube tutorials.
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