Chess Set for GBJam

Chess Set for GBJam

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This is a Chess Set meant to fit in similar specs to the original Nintendo GameBoy: 4 color monochrome and 160x144 pixel resolution. It's all the art you need for an extremely simple Chess game in one kit.

I include two versions of the Knights and Bishops for games that want to use specific facing.

Here I used the palette #333333, #666666, #999999, #cccccc. It should be easy to recolor to other palettes.

I'm not making a game for GBJam, but I wanted to make this art and share it with the community. If you use this to make a chess game please link it below!


Technical notes:

I wanted to see Chess fit into an interesting perspective on this tiny screen. Orthographic or Isometric would make it hard to distinguish between tall pieces. I experimented until I found this unusual dimetric grid shape that is a specific fit for this screen size. The pieces stagger in a way that lets us read the piece in each position.

When styling the pieces I put more highlights on the head than the base -- so that the distinguishing part of each piece has the most visual detail/noise.

The strong outline was necessary to distinguish between pieces. With only four colors to work with and the board being medium colors, I had to stick with mostly white/black on the pieces.

I exaggerated the proportions for the identifying features of each piece, to whatever size was necessary to read those elements at this pixel size, e.g. the cross on the king's crown.

The shading style I used on the black pieces made them seem thinner, so I also made them slightly taller.

The final pieces are 11x30 pixels and the board is 154x91. I managed to find a grid that fit the requirements and took up nearly all of the 160px available width!

I worked on this 16 hours total, from original idea to posting it here. About 4 hours of that was figuring out the grid, 8 hours drawing the pieces, and 4 hours polishing the style.

chess_pieces.png chess_pieces.png 1.7 Kb [847 download(s)]
chess_board.png chess_board.png 1.4 Kb [591 download(s)]
chess_white.xcf chess_white.xcf 53.9 Kb [223 download(s)]
chess_black.xcf chess_black.xcf 79.4 Kb [167 download(s)]