If my player will only take up about an inch on a computer screen how many frames would I need? I've read some people suggesting 8 or even 12. The game I am working on will be a platform. Kinda like Mario.
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I think 2 or 4 are enough. But it's depend on you animation, etc.
The tutorial qantip suggests is a very good one. All that guy's pixel art tutorials are worth reading. Basically, it depends on how much detail you want to put into it. I'd also recommend looking at the following: