I suck at a lot of forms of drawing and sketching, especially sketching. Spitballing ideas and doing it quickly just evades me.
Except when doing pixel art of spaceships.
A while back I started a bunch of ship silhouettes, working at 2x magnification with just one color. I filled in the silhouettes I made with more detail in a SNES-level sort of style and found the silhouettes made it easier to come up with designs, as I was just filling them in, and had different ways to fill in each silhouette.
That top image is all of the results of my original silhouettes being filled in. The parts at the bottom go on the sides of the “body” parts at the top to make complete player ships. These parts are able to be mixed and matched and recolored, as seen in the middle image.
But what about enemies? Those will use some of the player parts, with “elites” looking like player ships and most others using the body parts without sides added. But that’s not enough. I wanted more variety.
I got to work doing more silhouettes, but not working based on the pattern of the originals, which were meant to be mixed together. These could be anything. The result is the bottom image, which has enemy designs with tons of variations, especially in size.
I had so much fun working on them, and filling them out is going to be a blast. I could make these all day.
The trick here, though, is these ships will actually be 3D. Simple blocky-modelled ships that closely follow the original pixel art, but add depth to the appearance, especially in differences in height, allowing me to keep the SNES feel but do some interesting things with it. Hopefully I can show that off soon.