iSTEP Tanzania

Learn to be an Artist

Posted on: July 17, 2009

Almost everybody has gotten to the point where their projects are demo-ready. Hatem performed the literacy tools demo today showing off the basic soccer game, Dan did a demo for the social worker application a couple days ago and Brad will be testing our new method of mode-switching on the Braille Tutor in the coming week. The program is nearing its final weeks. We’re far from done but at least everything has taken shape.

A big part of my week has been spent on graphic design for the literacy tools game. Just as a preface, I’m not a graphics person. There have been many things I’ve had to learn on the fly for this program but few have put me more outside of my comfort zone than this project as I am far from an artist.

Suffice it to say I have read just about every isometric pixel art tutorial on the internet. Pixel art has been gaining a following, you may have seen examples of it if you play Habbo Hotel or have visited It utilizes the fact that digital graphics are displayed as a collection of small colored squares to make up a large object. When you consider isometric pixel art specifically you consider pixel art when shown at an angle to further illustrate the illusion of depth which when mastered can create stuff like this. However given my week of practice I am not quite at that level yet.

The idea we’re working on for the literacy tools game takes advantage of the immense popularity of soccer – or football – to encourage students to practice their reading abilities. In so doing we have the player in a penalty kick scenario facing off against a goal keeper. The player is asked a question and chooses from a collection of prompts. If the player chooses correctly, they score a goal. An incorrect choice and the ball is either caught or flies wide of the goal.

With that altogether, a large part of my week produced this:


It’s not the prettiest but hopefully it’ll get the job done. If you are a pixel artist and have any tips or know someplace where we can get some, please help us out and leave a comment!


1 Response to "Learn to be an Artist"

Great job on the animations Anthony 🙂

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July 2009
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