Making Apps: Art and Animations
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You have finished your requirements page. Now you need to understand how the art and animations should work. I have used .png format for all my artwork. This is a graphics format that you can save pictures in on your computer. You can also use .jpg format but that is a lower quality format.

For static characters like for example drops of rain falling down you only need to have one rain drop created and the programmer will create the movement (the drop falling from the top of the screen to the bottom). When the drop hits the floor, you will need a new image of a splatter right? This also works for characters that come into the screen that are not animated but move. For example, the moon coming into a game screen is not animated because it does not change shape but the actual moon would move from point a to point b. Think about it. You don't need to create several moons to display that movement. Your programmer would create the movement of the moon from point a to point b. Also, for animations like say a character walking, your artist will need to create the individual .png frames of the walking animation (legs moving, limbs swinging) but your programmer will create the movement from point A to point B. These two elements will create the animation you need for your game. I am over simplifying things here but trust me, I wish I knew this prior to starting my games. REMEMBER, your programmer will create animations from individual frames of .PNG.

All of this is important to know before you hire a artist so you understand what you need from him or her and what the programmer will do. For example, in my game Bomb Block, the color blocks have no animation. They are just single .png files of red blocks, blue blocks, etc. My programmer created their movement which the player manipulates with his or her fingers. However, other elements in the game like the lightning when the lightning block is tapped had individual .png files that created the lightning animation.

In addition, your programmer can add all text with any font you want to use (as long as you can download the font and provide it to the programmer). You are not ready to hire a programmer yet but you simply must keep these things in mind so you understand what your future artist will and will not have to make.

A SUPER IMPORTANT POINT: You need all items as separate files! For example, on your main menu, you will have your game logo, buttons and a background right? You DO NOT want your artist to provide you one .png file that has all of this already laid out. You want the background separate, the logo separate and the buttons separate without text on them. Your programmer will then put all these elements together. This is important because you need the ability to move buttons or change logos, etc. in the future and you cannot do that if you have just one image file with all items together and no ability to modify.

Don't forget the marketing images: In addition to game art, your artist will also need to create marketing images for you so think about this also. You need the marketing images for the Apple store for regular iphone (iphone 3GS, 4, 4S), iPad and iPhone 5. These are all different sizes (you can easily do a quick search online for iphone app store image sizes). You can use these same images for Android. Don't forget that Android also has an additional large size image (which is optional) and you may also need images for your website if you choose to create a website. I suggest looking at other games you like in the app stores and see what they have used which you like. Also check their websites so you can decide what marketing images you want from your artist.

*Note, my experience is only in using .png files to create games. You might be interested in creating sprite based games or 3D games which are a different thing and outside of the scope of this blog post.

SECRET BONUS! Want to learn a secret on getting game art at literally dirt cheap prices? I will share my secret but I need a favor from you- please honestly rate and review any of my games including this app. Then send an email to with the name of the app you rated, your username in the App Store and the words "cheap art." I will write back with a great secret to getting your game art at such low prices you will slap yourself about the face and neck from so violently having your mind BLOWN! Look for other secrets in other posts.

Making Apps: Art and Animations