Designing Coal the Dragon

What would it look like if a little dragon wanted to grow up to be a knight? That was the thought that inspired this early sketch. We didn’t know then the little blade wielding hatchling would become the hero of our first RPG.


We had some pretty bad ideas for what Coal would look like as pixel art. This is one I was hoping would never see the light of day… but here I’m sharing it on the internet so you all can see just how far Coal has come.


Later we would have a more refined concept art idea of what he looked like. This greatly helped influence our later pixel art revisions.


In the evolution of Coal, he quickly went from being an idea, to being pixel art. Bad pixel art. The first pas was done over a weekend with some other basic game elements (all of which needed to be replaced later), but served to get the ideas rolling.  The first revision was to add more animation, and also edit the width of the character. He wasn’t vertical enough and it was causing issues with the programming. After this edit, he wasn’t amazing, but we had a better idea of his final shape, and size… and proper horizontal-vertical ratio.



This past week we set about to update Coal again. We started with improved shading and a few subtle edits, then kept building off of the tweaks till we had something much better. And a front view as an added bonus.


We’re pretty excited about Coals updated look. He’s come a long way from the sketchbook page, to staring in his very own game. We think his upgraded pixels are finally doing credit to the spunky character they represent.



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