Insights into Short Pixel Art

For the "Mystery of the Houze" leaderboard, I threw together some quick pixel art icons of the participants in the style of Final Fantasy Tactics A2. The colour choices might not pop as well as the A2 sprites, but that's because they serve different purposes (and I was lazy with the palettes).

As FFTA2 is a tactics game for the DS, the character colours and contrasts are very important for distinguishing features for otherwise very small sprites for the sake of readability. This is why, for example, the Gria Hunter sprite has black eyes and bright green wings, despite her eyes being yellow and wings a muted brown in the art.


The pixel icons for the event however were created quickly and designed to be recognisable at an increased zoom level. As such, it was more important to make colours recognisable than symbolic, so they were approximated to the character colours rather than to a consistent style. Characters with bright irises were preserved, despite the lack of contrast with sclera. Additionally each colour was only given 2 tone shading rather than a2's minimum 3 tones to keep shading work down. 

Something that helped speed up the process a bit is that, despite FFTA2 only having functionally equivalent sprites for Hyurs, Vieras, and Lalafell, squenix actually did create Miqo'te and Au Ra sprites as one-offs seen briefly in their Tactics Alexander april fools video, which were very handy to base off.

Overall, it's not the best (colours could be more refined for starters, and more shading tones would be really nice) but for something thrown together in about 30 minutes it does the job fine, I think. This write up was mostly just for fun, and to demonstrate what kind of thoughts I put into these quick scribbles. Perhaps you found it informative, or you can just judge me as someone who puts way too much thought into things like this.