Monday, October 19, 2009

Free Graphics For Indie Developers!

Here's the link: Download The AI War 2.0 Graphics Library

And here's the contents of our readme file:

AI War 2.0 Graphics Library: Free To Use For Indie Developers

I'm going to keep this as brief as possible, for the sake of clarity. This library contains the graphics for the indie space RTS AI War: Fleet Command, as of version 2.0 of that game. This readme is written by Chris Park, AI War's creator.

Whoever you are, an indie developer or otherwise, you're free to use the graphics in this library for whatever purposes you want. Don't sell these graphics by themselves, but you can include them in your game, your pictures, whatever, and then you can sell your work with this art intact. You can modify them as much as you need for your purposes, as well. Make a new RTS, make some other genre of game, whatever. Just please be sure that you attribute the art to the artist(s) that created it.

Who Created This Art?

The original art for AI War 1.0 was all by myself (and not that good), or by Daniel Cook (mostly the ship graphics, but also some other aspects, and quite good). For almost everything that is by Daniel Cook and included in this library, it has also been modified by myself (Chris Park) to a greater or lesser degree. But the work is still primarily Danc's (I mostly only bring up my involvement so that some of the... less appealing... compound works that are in the Daniel Cook folder are not mistaken as something that he put together. If it looks a bit lesser quality, that's probably my hand at work).

After release, an AI War player named Hans-Martin Portmann, who is also an artist, was gracious enough to donate some art to help improve the game. His suggestions also led to a lot of the improved special effects, even for those where he did not directly contribute images.

After version 1.013 of the game came out, Philippe Chabot joined the Arcen Games team and upgraded much of the art, replacing a huge amount of it outright. He also did some significant upgrades to some of Danc's/my work, making it larger, or animated, or more detailed in certain ways, or whatever.

So here's how you know who the artist is, looking at the folders in this archive:

The work in this folder is original to me, and there is not a whole lot of it left at this stage.

DanielCook (
Everything in this folder was created by Daniel Cook, and probably also altered to some degree by Chris Park. A few things that were orignal to Chris Park might have been stuck in here as well, but that's just things like numbers or a check mark, etc.

Iron Plague:
Hard Vacuum:

The work in this folder started out as Daniel Cook's work, and then way probably also altered to some degree by Chris Park, and then was altered to a much more significant degree (in most cases) by Philippe Chabot.

The work in this folder is all original to Hans-Martin Portmann.

The work in this folder is all original to Philippe Chabot.

Why Are You Releasing This Art For Free?

As I mentioned above, AI War started out with just unimpressive programmer graphics mixed with the excellent work of Danc. The game went on sale in this state, and sold into the four digits of units sold without any art upgrades from Philippe. The primary determinant of our sales was the game itself, of course, but having graphics that weren't all as terrible as they would have been if I had had to make them all myself was a huge boost, I think. I couldn't afford to pay for art at the start, as I was developing AI War in my own spare time and had no budget to speak of.

Danc releases some of his old pixelart on his website -- some of it is from Tyrian, and some of it is from some other older games of his that were not actually ever released -- and it's safe to say that AI War wouldn't have existed in at all its released form without his having decided to do that. His generosity helped get AI War off the ground, and once AI War was to the point where it was making enough money that I could afford to hire an artist, I knew I wanted to give back in the same way.

All of Philippe's art in this library was done as work for hire and so belongs to Arcen Games, but Philippe was very much on board when I pitched him the idea of making a library for other indies to be able to reuse from. There simply isn't much out there aside from what Danc puts out and maybe four other sources for free pixelart that indie developers can use in commerical products, and so hopefully you'll find this library useful. It's our way of giving back to the indie community, in hopes of bootstrapping some other talented developer the way that Daniel Cook bootstrapped Arcen Games.


Twad said...

Awesome! I did notice that the sprites were from Tyrian when i played AI War demo (i played Tyrian SO MUCH, and i still have it)

Hey, nice move to realease your own version of it, will be of great help for those of us working on our own little projects.

Thanks too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. These will improve my little games no end.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much.

I was looking for a sprite pack to use whilst prototyping my game, and didn't dream of the possibility of having access to something as nice as AI war's sprites.

I love your game, and I'm very grateful for your generosity.

bdgscotland said...

You sir, are the future.