This is the twenty-fourth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1704 1741 games and game-related things included in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,175,279.81 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Readers, it took twenty-four tries for the random number generators to select an entry in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality that is not actually a game. It’s Anime RPG Tile Pack – Vol.1 School [PIXEL OF LIFE], by rbatistadelima AKA Raphael Batista de Lima. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

modern / minimalist

That’s right, we’re about to get into some minimalist modern art here, folks.

Just in case it wasn’t clear from the name, this is an asset pack, containing sprites that can be used when making one’s own game. They are styled after old-school Japanese-style role-playing games, with their traditional 3/4 top-down viewpoint. The pack contains sprite sheets for male and female students and teachers (yes, we’re very much in binary gender role territory), including sprites for facing four different directions while standing or walking. There’s even a sprite sheet for a student riding a bicycle. To allow for more varied looking characters, male and female students are given ten different hairstyles each, with whole new sprite sheets for each.

In addition to the character art, there are several school building exteriors, and locations like hallways, classrooms, an auditorium, gym, swimming pool, and running track. Some props like chairs and blackboards and included as well to add detail to these settings. All told, there are 37 files included, all in .png format, although many of these contain several sprites.

The style certainly is minimalist. There are a lot of solid colors and simple lines throughout, with no dithering, color gradients, or accenting at all. The result reminds me of very early games from the 1980s, rather than the 1990s art that is often mimicked in modern pixel art, and it was clearly a stylistic choice by the artist. Personally, I prefer my pixel art with a little more texture, but others may like the clean look of this pack.

Owners of the asset pack are free to use it and modify it in both commercial and non-commercial works. The only limitation is that they not re-sell the pack or any derivative work from it (e.g. modifying some sprites and then re-selling them as assets is not allowed). So if you’re planning to make an old-school top-down game set at least in part at a Japanese school, and you bought the bundle, check out the Anime RPG Tile Pack – Vol.1 School [PIXEL OF LIFE]. If you are making such a game but didn’t buy the bundle, the pack is on sale separately for a minimum price of $1. While the title lists this pack as Volume 1 of the PIXEL OF LIFE series, it appears to be the only Volume currently available, although the artist does have some other asset packs for sale including a pixel art farm set.

That’s 24 down, and only 1680 1717 to go!