It took me awhile to really zero in on the visual style I wanted with Spoxel. Once I settled on a visual style I spent a lot of time in photoshop really figuring out how to recreate that art style. I’ve somewhere north of 1000 textures and icons at this point in this style.
It seems with programming that I usually completely rework a lot of my code several times before I arrive at something that meets the standards I have. Much like that, I’ve also spent a lot of time reworking most of the models multiple times. This is the 3rd or 4th rework of the main character model for example. Much like software, art can be a very iterative process.
For example, this is the previous version of the character model:
And this is the original when I first started working on the game:
Beyond that… I can’t stress how important reference material is. When i’m working on a new biome, for example, I spend a lot of time on google looking up pictures to pull ideas from. I grab images for everything from unique patterns that I think would fit to images that convey the atmosphere I am going for.