Perhaps that's a bad habit. Additionally I could collapse him or blow him apart into his component pieces.
You can still break him into spawned pieces when he dies, they don't have to be there as the thing moves about.
I know that individual pixel differences are noise at the typical viewing size of a monitor, but in a game I'd expect him to be blown up 2x or higher.
Yes, bigger resolutions mean minute detail is easier to follow, but still, there should be some pattern to it besides 'random specular' from which your initial sprite I feel, suffered from.
That's why I wanted to have some details like the teeth, which could even be animated. Was that particular edit in the interest of removing noise? I'll have to experiment with more contrast in that area.
The way I saw it, you either had space for eyes and nose and an implied mouth, or you have space for eyes and teeth. I went with eyes and nose because I figured those are more important to convey a skull. But if you want the teeth pretty bad to make it appear more dangerous and stuff, then you'd have to put in teeth and take the nose out I think. I simply don't believe there's enough space for everything there - and have it read well, in motion, at 1x or 2x zoom- but if someone or you thinks they can do it, go right ahead.
Another thing I noticed in your edit was the ribcage. His midsection looks tilted away from the viewer a bit, when what I intended was more of a barrel shape in line with the head...although maybe I'm working too small for details like that. Showing each rib does make him pop more as a skeleton.
Right. I wasn't even considering the tilt of the midsection anymore, I was just trying to convey stylized ribs against darkness in very finite space, while also trying to not upset the whole. Small pixel sprites are tricky business! I'll let it be said that having seen the original, the edits, and the new versions, I don't consider the tilt of the ribcage important in any degree.
Oh, and I know my first palette was dull, I didn't intend for it to be the final color scheme anyway - I should've mentioned that.
Holy shit you didn't have to go and make it GOLD SKELETON, though! Unless... you want it gold, I guess.
I just started going and ran into the arm issue and wondered how it could be fixed while maintaining the style as much as possible. I do like your palette, though.
lightness and darkness separate. darkest line under the hand, whites specular along the top bone. The highlight should not touch any rib highlight of equal intensity, just so they don't merge. That's what I did in my original edit. For more look at what Arne is telling you.