Geeks With Blogs
George Clingerman

If you haven't noticed, I've been playing a LOT with game development. Specifically game development using Microsoft's XNA framework. I love it. It's probably one of my favorite ways to spend my free time. I love to code, I love creating things and making games is just, well, FUN! I'm also fairly active in the XNA community and have been for quite a while. So being actively involved and helping out other struggling game developers, one common theme I hear is, "I can't make my game, I can only do programmer art".

Programmer Art. You may not have heard this term before, but it's commonly slung about in the computer industry. If there is the opposite of an artist's art it's programmer's art. It's a stereotype of course, but most developers have a very hard time visually creating (you may have used a few of the ugly applications we've made, or maybe you've read some of our comics). There's a lot of game projects that just never get off the ground because developers just can't stand looking at their own artwork.

I've always argued against this because, well I feel if you can't have fun playing the game with horribly drawn graphics then adding beautiful images just makes a bad game with good graphics. In fact, I've been working on a few projects where I'm just using a square to demonstrate that point. (I think Rory's comics demonstrate this point as well. They're fun despite the art and maybe even because of it.)

However, I'm having a hard time convincing people of that and I know no matter what, there are some that just will not let it go. They just can't keep working on their game because they can't stand looking at their own artwork. So I've done a little something to help with that.

First, let's get one thing straight, I'm not an artist but I do like to draw. I also like to help people out. I don't want these great game ideas dying in people's heads simply because they can't look past their own artistic ability.

Not one to just talk about a problem without at least suggesting some kind of solution. I present to you, sprites page. Every time I make a new sprite, I plan on adding it to that directory and making it available to the community. There's currently just a small sampling up now I was testing with, but now that I have all the code working I will make an effort to gather up all of my current sprites and add them all this week.

Hopefully that helps someone out. I'm interested in seeing what you making. I want to give a special thanks to Nick and Catalin for inspiring me to finally finish this project. Watching you guys use my sprites was a blast!

Now come on community, stop letting art assets hold you back and show me what you can do.

Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:57 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Programmer art holding you back?

# re: Programmer art holding you back?
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Great idea! I wanted to do this with high schools that have digital art classes.
Thanks for contributing to the community.
Left by Brian Scarbeau on May 20, 2008 9:19 AM

# re: Programmer art holding you back?
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Great stuff... keep posting sprites to that page, and I'll use them when I need to ;)
Left by Catalin on May 20, 2008 3:29 PM

# re: Programmer art holding you back?
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Sweet! These are some great looking sprites. Now I can start making the next blazblue!!

Left by Jonathan Paullin on May 21, 2008 6:47 AM

# re: Programmer art holding you back?
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you rock George-- this will be a real asset. - Mike T
Left by Mike T on Jun 05, 2008 2:39 PM

# re: Programmer art holding you back?
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Left by Dallas cowboys shop on Aug 23, 2010 10:29 PM

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