Today I put my test sprite into the RPG Maker MV game engine. I followed some youtube tutorial videos to figure out how to do it, and got this neat plugin for photoshop called Grid Builder to generate the grid sizes. Photoshop doesn't really have great grid support, so this made it much easier. Other creators use software called GIMP or Game Character Hub, but I didn't want to learn more software if I could use something I'm already familiar with. Earlier I was using Aseprite but it may be easier to use Photoshop it turns out, especially since I'm so familiar with it.
The above picture is an example of my sprite in the game. It's blurry because it's a blown up version of the game size. This reminds me that if I want clear graphics I may have to create a larger map or maybe even make all the assets myself at a larger size. It was useful to see how her sprite overlaps other objects in the world. The engine uses a 48 X 48 grid system. Her sprite is 48 X 72 with a transparent background, so she overlaps objects she can't walk on by an entire grid space, which is useful because it makes her appear closer to the forward facing objects such as walls and desks.
This is a screenshot of my sprite sheet. Typically these sheets for individual sprites are 4 X 3, with four different directions (forward, backward, left, right) and three different animation frames for walking in those directions. In my final game I would like additional animation frames to create a smoother walk cycle, but I'll need a plugin for that, so I'm just going to focus on figuring out these basics first.
Above is a screenshot from Serial Cleaner, a game that uses the top down style perspective that RPG maker uses. It's not made in RPG maker, but it's got a very unique art style, so it's good reference material. It's also quite relevant to my game, since my character is also a cleaner (but not the kind that clean up murder scenes). It's giving me ideas about how a button press could change my sprite to have a vacuum for certain scenes in my game where she'll need to do her job as well as investigate the mystery I've yet to write (MUST WRITE THAT, DAN). I don't know how that will work yet, but I'm positive somebody on the internet knows how, and I'll find a tutorial. This makes me want to play around with different styles more, even though I'm quite content with the pixel art style I've started with. We'll see I guess.