I noticed how well Minecraft did without high quality graphics. I realized I could create some crappy looking sprites with a simple 3D modeling program. So, I downloaded a copy of Google Sketchup and started putting some rectangles together and made a little blocky guy. This is what I came up with.
With a little copy and paste, and some rotating, I had a sprite sheet for a character with a frame for all 8 directions. The next step was to animate the arms and legs for the walking animation frames. After much more copy and pasting, and more rotating, I had a full sprite sheet made.
|All frames of animation.|
Now that every frame was done, it was time to arrange them evenly. I exported from Sketchup to a PNG file, and opened that file in Paint.Net. I made a square grid that was 64 pixels by 64 pixels. I lined up the frames so that each one fit inside one of the squares. With all frames facing the same direction in the same row of the new image.
|Final sprite sheet.|
This all didn't take long to complete, a few afternoons after work. This is the sort of filler sprite that I will be able to re-use also. It could be used for any number of map systems with minimal editing. For an orthogonal map system I would just use the North, South, East, and West frames, removing the others. For minimal effort I managed to create a sprite sheet that probably would have taken me more time to find a similar one on Google.