Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Long time no post

I've not touched the tileset in a long while, and it will probably be a bit longer before I return to it. I've just had to much else on my plate in recent months.

Anyway, I'm still alive, and to prove it here is an animated doodle. If anyone wants to make a game out of this little fella let me know.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Still in space

Another planet. I had stopped making these, but then I thought of a combination of filters that would let me light up night side cities. All the planets I have posted do far have been hasty mockups but at some point I'm going to take a little time to make 6 or so high res well themed globes.

Sunday, 10 June 2012


Here are some graphics for a project currently in the works. Not much to say about it for the time being except its gonna be a good one!

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Here are four Heroes (click to see full size), depicted carrying a range of weapons. from left to right: unarmed, club, crook, fork, staff, spear, knife, sword, bow, crossbow, hammer, axe, mace, flail whip.

This is a bit of a fools errand but was quite entertaining. Next I get to try and add a shield to each of these poses.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

got it licked now!

experiments in space

This is a small test piece for another potential project. knowing no 3d programs I had to use Photoshop to make my revolving planet - turns out it makes this kind of thing pretty easy.

anyway - just a small technical victory for me that I wanted to share.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


Here are a small selection of clothes to go with the small items I have made. The top row consist of various peasant and warrior outfits, the second row are just a few slightly silly costumes. Can I get a 'hell yea!' for my red warrior bikini set?
I originally had trousers in the set and was considering making some gloves as well but have decided there isn't much point - Aside from being pretty dull to draw, Three armour slots seem to be sufficient for a player to customise their load out (would those plus 1 leather pants of the dragon really add that much?)

Anyway - at some point I still intend to make multi tile weapon and armour graphics - in which case the most generic of these items would be used to represent items of their kind in the play field. I guess it all depends on what kind of a game you want to make....

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Check it!

Howdy folks,

So far, for the latest version of the tileset I've had 148 downloads, that’s pretty phenomenal from my point of view and I'm proud that so many people have taken an interest in my little project. I've had a few people get in touch to let me know that they are working on something, and one Heroic Champion has even been sending me regular builds of their game!

Over at  Droidgnome Cursed Dungeons is gearing up for its first official release, and while still in the very early stages I think it’s shaping up to be a pretty tidy roguelike for Android. Droidgnome has done a great job of implementing touch screen controls and a nice minimal interface (half the battle for a mobile game) and solid level generation that throws up a nice variety of levels. You should go check it out, and if you have an Android device pile on the pressure for that public release.

It has been incredibly helpful for me to see the tiles in action, seeing the sprites shuffle around, watching fires crackle and making doors and chests open and close has been more gratifying than a grown man should admit. It’s also given me a chance to see whets missing from the tileset and what needs more work. All in all, its a world away from staring at my static Photoshop files for hours on end.

So people, what are you working on? Show us your screenshots, send us your early builds, blog it, leave a comment or send me an email. I’d love to see what your making of the graphics and to hear what you need to complete the epic games of wonder I know you have hidden away.

Remember folks - Sharing is caring!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Revised cliffs

I've just tried to tweak the cliff tiles a bit for improved readability. To help get the perspective across I have added a layer of shading to the cliffs to darken them at their base, I have also added a very slim shadow (all there was room for) to help differentiate the different levels in the terrain.

What d'you think? any improvement?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Cliffs of Insanity

...well not quite that bad, but they did give me a headache when a power-cut lost all my work and I had to start again.

Anyway, here are some cliffs for the overworld. They follow the same perspective as the indoor tiles (roughly) but are designed to work on a slightly larger scale. Because of this there are a few rules for their deployment. Front facing cliffs take up two rows of tiles and the tale ends of cliffs also take up two tiles. i have also included varients for each piece to insure the rock formations look relatively natural.

I want navigating the overworld to have a different pace and texture to the dungeon levels. Partly to add variety to the environments, but also to accentuate the claustrophobia of subterrania.

Hopefully when I have tiles for buildings, roads, rivers, plant life and ruins some of you fine folks will be able to make some exciting world gen algorithms.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Last week I took part in the 7DRL challenge collaborating with Ido Yehieli of Cardinal Quest fame. It was my first time being directly involved in developing a game and I am immensely proud of the results.

Is a coffee break roguelike set in space - the player has to traverse an abandoned asteroid mine in search of monopoles to repair their ship, collecting ice crystals to power their equipment along the way.

For the competition we knew we needed a tightly focused gameplay mechanic and the hook we went with is a side-on game with gravity. To get around the player uses an anti-gravity belt, temporarily giving them free movement. Energy supplies are limited and your only chance to recharge equipment comes between levels so resource management is key to success.

After seven days I was feeling the strain, so my respect to all those who participated. I know Ido busted a gut to get a solid game in such a short space of time, but all the work he put in really shows in the quality of the finished article. The project was capped with original chip-tunes by John Cleary

Anyway, thats enough from me - go check it out.

Monday, 12 March 2012

v0.3 ready to download

Hi all,

Version 0.3of the tileset is good to go. To save you from playing spot the difference the change log is as follows:

Level assets

Brightened floor tiles
Fixed campfire animation
Added gold brasiers
Added anvil
Added gold doors
Added water barrel
Removed duplicate drawers
Added sideways lectern
Added small table
Added animal rugs
Darkened spells
Added blood spatter
Added weapon racks

Monster sprites
Adjusted colours on devils
Added colour variant knights
Added winged apes
Bellhop monkeys
Added  6 boss monsters

All new item and interface tile sheet - this includes single tile items and some basic interface elements.

All new ttf pixel font - I am new to making fonts so let me know if you find any issues with the ttf. At the moment it's just basic Latin glyphs, but I will expand it over time.

In previous downloads I have included a plain text index for each tile sheet. I ran out of time this time round so I have included a copy of my index spreadsheet instead - let me know if this is more or less helpful.

Over and out!

Friday, 9 March 2012

New Bosses

Got a couple of new bosses here. I'm not making these in any particular order, so I still have most of the obvious creatures to do (dragons, cyclops and whotnot).

It occurred to me that these large monsters could act in more ways than being harder than average enemies, they could also serve as vehicles or avatars for the player - It's an obvious thing to say about the giant robot suits but it could work quite well for other creatures as well. I'm thinking about the hobbits riding Treebeard in the Lord of the Rings, or the mounts in Goldenaxe. I'm not making any promises mind you...

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Small Items


It just occurred to me today that as some of you fine folk may be planning 7dRL entries for this year, I should make a last ditch attempt to woo you! With that in mind, I'm going to try and get the next release of the tileset out this weekend.

One of the main things that the tileset lacks at present are items. While I still intend to soldier on with my grand plan for a System shock inventory system, there will always need to be symbols for the stuff that is actually on the dungeon floor. While I'm never going to depict 50 different swords within the space of a single tile, I at least need a symbol for swords as an item type.

Anyway, here is what I have so far, If you cant make out what something is, or if you have any specific requests leave a comment and I'll try and get a reasonably complete set of bits and bobs ready for the weekend.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Hi Folks,

I'm going to do a couple of minor posts on things I have shown but haven't blogged in there own right.

First up is blood. Although I don't want to tempt people into making gore fests I've found the splashes of blood in Dweller are nice touch. They let you know where you've been and help you feel your making your mark on the environment.  A few additional uses that could be nice would be tracking wounded monsters through a dungeon, or as an aspect of magic - magic spells could have greater potency in areas were blood has been spilt, this could open up a few interesting stratagies.

Any way, here are the tiles - they are intended to be used sequentially - meaning that each column represents a pool of blood as it gets wider as a fight progresses. Of course that's not really necessary, you can just spray blood all over town if you like.

Friday, 2 March 2012


These might not be that useful to the majority of people - perhaps they would be best suited to touch screen interfaces, I dunno. At any rate, if you need a menu arrow, I should have you covered.

The second image is just to show the drop shadow - the next version of the sprite sheets will come in with shadow/without shadow flavours for sprites and furniture. 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Exploring Type

Please excuse my crappy pun.

When making screen mockups for this blog, I found I needed a font to use for message log entries. After a half-hearted search on line, I decided it would be more fun to make my own - this being the result.
When designing the font I wanted it to work on the same scale as the tiles, having a maximum height of 8 pixels. I also wanted it to be as compact as possible horizontally and legible at small sizes.

I've had a rough draft in photoshop for a while that I would tediously cut and paste into sentences, but this week I took the plunge and tried my had and creating a proper ttf font. This meant coming up with the additional punctuation and symbols needed to make up the standard Latin glyph set, and then redrawing the whole lot as vectors in font creation software. I've still a bit of work to do to get it rendering crisply at all the point sizes, but it should be ready to include in the next download. If anyone knows anything about font creation and 'Hinting' gimmie a shout, I could use the help.
It's amazing how many Pangrams [a sentance that contains every letter in a language] there are, whats even better is how many of them fit a roguelike theme. Here are a few of my favourites:

Jumpy halfling dwarves pick quartz box.

A wizard's job is to vex chumps quickly in fog.

Painful zombies quickly watch a jinxed graveyard.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Clash of the Titans

Here are a few mock-ups of four tile boss monsters, like you get in Legends of Yore. I know its not orthodox roguelike, but it's kind of an inevitable consequence of having such small tiles. Try as I might, I'll never fit a convincing dragon into a single tile, will I?

In Legends of Yore boss monsters pursue you, breaking down walls when necessary, but the opposite approach of having them trapped into certain areas could also work provided they have some means to attack hiding snipers. It would make the player nervous if they descend to a level with lots of double width corridors, especially if there are little scorpions scuttling about. Although giant monstrosities aren't a must, I think if used sparingly they add some scale and variety to the bestiary.

What do you think peeps, is anyone interested in having more of these?

P.S. - on this bottom image of the scorpions I have experimented a little with the representation of corpses. A quarter turn of rotation and a bit of desaturation and darkening does the trick quite nicely I think.

Fun with monkeys


I've just been tinkering with the monkey sprites I already had to make some cheap (but fun) variations.

Whats more terrifying than a vicious blood thirsty ape? A bloodthirsty ape with wings! I might do a colour change on these to make some gargoyles or something later on.

...I don't know how you could justify the bellhop apes in game, but I'm sure someone will find an excuse.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Setting the Scene

No real topic for this post, I've just been playing around with the tiles.

I quite enjoy setting up little dioramas using the various charicters and scenery, I don't know how hard it would be to duplicate this kind of theming using procedural generation techneques but I think it would be worth the effort. With a well made quest generator, it could breath a lot of life into a tiny game.

There are a few extra bits and pieces in these images that i haven't blogged yet, some from V0.2 and some that will be in the next release.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Raising the alarm

I'm sure alarms are included in a fair few roguelikes, and if not they should be. A simple thing like having to fell a monster before he calls his mates, or drawing a tough beast to one side of a level while you sneak down a side passage adds a great deal of immersion and drama whilst playing.

So far I have only thought of a few objects to act as alarms, bells gongs and horns. If I can think of more i'll add them.

Drums....that didn't take long....

Monday, 6 February 2012

Version 0.2 ready to download

Hello folks,

After quite a long delay the next version of the tileset is ready to download. Version 0.2 is a modest update, but  the additions should be pretty useful. Included in v0.2 are:

  • Brightened wall tiles (following feedback)
  • Floor depression tiles
  • Animated floor tiles for lava, water and mist (for use with floor depressions)
  • Doors!
  • Some other furniture bits and pieces including some with fire
  • New race of Ratlings
  • A few NPCs
Head over to the download section now to have a butchers for yourself.

As always your feedback is much appreciated, and if you get anything working with the tiles don't forget to let me know, I'd love to hear about your project.

Monday, 30 January 2012


I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with doors and the way they opened. I tried foreshortened doors that fit exactly with the perspective of the walls, I tried doors that were shown front on or side on depending on their position. In the end I decided that utility should come first, so I opted for the front facing variety with a collapsed version to indicate an open door and a alternative graphic for broken doors.

Below are a selection of doors intended to cover a range of durability and visibility options. So a curtain would offer no protection when closed but would block line of sight completely, a wooden door with a peep hole would offer some protection whilst allowing a line of sight when next to it and a metal grill would offer a free line of sight, good protection against melee attacks and no protection against ranged weapons.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Roof geometry

Of all the tiles I am making, without a doubt the hardest to program for will be roofs. So if you planned on having towns in your game sorry in advance.

I am still working on the roofs but the images below show the layout I will be using for their geometry. I'm making three sets of roof tiles. the first will be for thatched buildings, the second will be steeply pitched tiled roofs (churches and such like) and the third and simplest will be ramparts.

The templates below are mock ups intended to show every possible angle juncture. I will texture them and slice them up into 8 by 8 tiles, keeping one of each unique tile. I've not counted how many this will be but it will be it'll be loads.

Hopefully these tiles will allow you to place a roof on any procedurally generated building footprint (within reason). I feel like I'm going overboard on this but its quite fun.

Click to see full size images.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The murkey depths

New year new update, and today we are going to be talking about recessed floors! how exciting.

Basically I have added tiles that allow for depressed areas of floor in dungeons, these depressions can then be filled with various entertaining elements, like flaming hot magma, fuming acid, filthy sewer water or swirling mists. In addition to looking pretty snappy, these should open up some nice new game mechanics: equipped armour could rust if you wade through water too long,  floor tiles could drop away into lava the second you step off them, yawning gulfs could be spanned with flammable rope bridges, etc etc.

In addition to the more dramatic effects the depressed tiles can also be used on top of a solid floor to create slight height difference. This could be purely aesthetic or it could give you a slight advantage when beating down on an enemy. All told these should interrupt what would otherwise be a level and uneventful playing field.