Art References

Art References

In this document, I thought I’d describe the kind of art I am looking for. Some works will describe what I am looking for in quality, and some describe what kind of style I am looking for and some even both. To make it easy to follow, I tagged all of the references with an acronym and made a legend below. 

DQ = Desired Level of Quality 

DS = Desired Style

DQS = Desired Level of Quality and Desired Style

I’ll also split up the references in different sections, so you know what exactly I am looking for in the art.

As you look through this document, you might notice my standards are pretty high, which is completely fair. However, I am not willing to settle for this project. Like I said in the post, this is a game I want to be proud of in the end. I don’t mind waiting longer for the right artist while I keep working on the mechanics of the game itself as I’m not in a rush.

I would love to go into enormous detail for every art I present, or list of every single reference I can think of, but I would lose a week on making this document alone and would rather keep working on the game for now. I believe the artworks and explanations I presented, display pretty well what exactly I am looking for and my passion for games in general and hope that anyone who takes the time to read this, feels the same.

In any case, thank you for taking the time to read through this document, you can find the references in the pages below!



Love the fluid animation on this one, clearly shows all the actions of the player character with the body reacting to each action..

Also love the minimalist style of the design. Not too complicated of a design, which makes for great recognizability and an amazing design for a platformer/metroidvania.

Made by: Thomas Lean


Amazing effects on this one, very fluid combat animations.

Made by:


The timing is great on this one, from the slow charge up to the immediate and fast slide back after.

Made by:


Amazing animation work here, great on all accounts. Fluid combat animations and effects and the body reacts to the actions performed.

Also love the design which is again not too complicated, gold armor with a blue skirt and instantly recognizable.

Side note: When I say ‘not complicated’ I don’t mean that this doesn’t take an enormous time to make or wasn’t worked on with a passion. I mean that it is easy to remember and sticks in people’s minds. Just wanted to explain that.



Very big fan of Hollow Knight if you haven’t noticed by now, just amazing artwork all around. But the best moments are these tranquil, but still dark moments.

Again not the most detailed artwork (which is not to say it wasn’t worked hard on, but more so realism) but it is still amazingly powerful.

Game: Hollow Knight


In this one, you can clearly see the dark fantasy aesthetic, and the different candles and props in the background, bring the game to a new level, but still don’t distract the player too much to the point that they can’t focus on anything else.

Game: Ender lilies


It’s not mentioned in the original post, but dark souls is also a pretty big inspiration, both is style and gameplay mechanics such as the scarce amount of save points and enemy/boss structure.


Pretty much the same explanation as the previous one. Love the earieness in the majority of the art, but then there’s a single point that brings a feeling of safety, the classic bonfire.

Final Fantasy XIV HD Wallpaper | Background Image | 1920x1080
Final Fantasy XIV HD Wallpaper | Background Image | 1920×1080


Have always loved the concept of fighting angels as opposed to devils, where they are the main enemy of  your journey. Then FFXIV shadowbringers came along, ran with that concept and executed it to near perfection.




Love the style here, there are quite an amount of varied tiles, but the entire level still looks cohesive. This is pretty much what I am looking for in a style, though I would love if the resolution was a bit higher and there were more varied props.

Made by: Sam ->


Here’s something I really like, the color palette just works. I can already imagine a whole game in this style.

As well as the beautiful robot-face, which sets the theme for the game with a single glance, something I aspire to do -telling a story using the game assets and environments rather than copious amounts of dialogue-.

My only complaint would be the lack of variety in tiles and lack of props which makes it look boring to look at for long periods of time, which is not something you want in a metroidvania where exploration is a big part of the core game design.

Made by: Sam ->


Though not a fan of the player character. I love the feel of the background and tiles.

Again just lacking a bit of variety in tiles, but the props definitely make up for it.

Also really like the way the background blends in with the foreground, but doesn’t distract the player. You can clearly still see where you can actually walk, and what is just a background.

Made by: Nauris ->

Some general notes

  • Animation wise: Fluidity and semi-realistic reactions from the body to the actions the player or enemies are performing are the main points I am looking for.

  • Design wise: I am not looking for a cartoonish look, nor an extremely realistic look. More of a mix of both. Some examples of what I am not looking for below

If you sat through this document to the end, you clearly have a passion for playing and making games, and that’s great! If you like my ideas and thoughts, and think you’re up for the job, don’t hesitate to contact me! Contact details in the original post 🙂

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