Hi everone. I am new here and just installed the free version of C2 an hour ago. I am blown away by the UI and have to just give a big thumbs up to the Scirra dev team - not sure how many there are.
I'd like to know what what software you're using to create all your image assets and sprites and why you prefer x over y. I have Photoshop, an old Flash MX copy which i love for vector drawing and painting. Also had a look at Spriter which i think is geared at game designers.
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I honestly think that Photoshop and Flash MX are all you need to create the art assets you would want. I also use Toonboom for doing my animations, but everything you would do in there can be done with Flash MX. And I wouldn't dismiss Spriter. I think that will probably be more friendly towards artists than you might think.
Good luck with your project.
My current project is pixel art based, and as far as I'm concerned there's no better program for that than GraphicsGale. It's interface is a little idiosyncratic, but it's free and has pretty much every feature I'd want from a pixel art program.
Develop games in your browser. Powerful, performant & highly capable.
Consider Anatomy Sprite Animator spritetools.com
user friendly and simple enough. At the website you can find video tutorials of how to create animated character from scratch.
As already noted, graphicsgale is a consideration for pixel art. The free version doesn't allow saving (or opening?) of gif's, but that's not an issue, as you can export it as a spritesheet for C2 to use.
Photoshop is good if you have the money of course, but it's lacking a bit on the animation side.
I hear Gimp has limited animation support now... Haven't tried it.
Also would recommend a tablet for most graphics projects... Wacom is a good brand.
Other than the ones mentioned, here are a couple I use
PyxelEdit - Great for making tilesets.
ASEprite - Sprite and animation editor.
PyxelEdit as mentioned bu Thndr is great for pixel art in my opinion.
For sprites, I'm surprised no one has mentioned Spriter. Still in beta, but there's a free version and it's getting closer to release.
Other than that I use Photoshop for all my editing needs, but GIMP would do the trick as well.
For the actual drawing of the sprites I use Adobe Illustrator (CS6, CC), Inkscape (Free), and once in a great while if really needed I use Adobe Photoshop or GIMP (Free). However lately Illustrator has become my main tool. And I have also found that if I take my work in illustrator (depending on the type of graphics being done) opening them in Adobe Fireworks and Exporting the PNG from there can save more room as well. Fireworks seems to have some better PNG compression than some of the other tools.
For actual animation of my sprites I use Spriter. You need to know that Spriter is not for drawing your characters. You draw their parts in another app like illustrator, then save them as separate files and then import them into spriter and put them together and animate them. You then have the option based on your preferences to export the animation frames as PNG files which can be imported as frames into C2, or export the whole animation as an .scml file which C2 can support using the Spriter plugin.
Yeah Spriter is light years ahead of that thing qvatra keeps spamming the forums with.
Thank you everyone for your helpful answers. Seems like there are a few good options here. My main concern with C2 now is how well i can use large animated sprites as i am looking at interactive children's book apps rather than games and i know this is unexplored country and maybe not something C2 was ever designed for. There are memory issues with large background files on mobile - maybe 20 plus 1024px - but i am thinking of just targeting iPad and kindle fire which should be ok.