I've spent the last few days recreating Mei from Overwatch in the style of a Duelyst general. It was primarily just a fun project to get better at pixel art in my spare time, but my first experience of creating a mod has given me the taste for more. You can watch the video above to see how she looks in-game (against a bot), and the gif below shows all the animations I had to make.
To get Mei into the game I decided to re-skin the Vanar general Faie, who's a snow-themed character that has one deck archetype all about building ice walls. Note that the changes are only local, so any opponents I play won't see a difference. I made the art and all 70 frames of animation in a program called Aseprite, then lined up the corresponding frames on Faie's original sprite sheet file with my custom ones and replaced them.
I feel like I did a good enough job replicating the Duelyst art style for my own satisfaction, but I now have new admiration for the animators at Counterplay Games. They cram an amazing amount of detail into very few pixels. I didn't have the skill to make Mei's arms and legs only one or two pixels wide like they do, but it was a fun challenge.
Combining two games I love for my first ever mod was a great motivation to learn. The whole process has given me an even bigger appreciation for the amazing work modders and artists do. I never really thought about how many different animations a character needs until I had to recreate them, and in this case I was able to use a few of Faie's base animations as a template for some of the harder stuff.
Honestly, you should try modding one of your favorite games. It's not nearly as hard as I was expecting it to be, and it's a unique way to feel more connected to a game you like. Avoid the idea that you need to make a perfect mod that will get a million downloads and just try making some fun tweaks for yourself. The results are definitely worth the learning curve.
Decided I wanted to get back into doing pixel art last week. My first project: I made Mei from @PlayOverwatch as a @PlayDuelyst general: pic.twitter.com/v21Vx5eDlUOctober 10, 2016