Goonstation Spriting Guidelines

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Adapted from the Goonstation Spriting Guidelines hosted on HackMD.

Please also read this short forum post explaining what to put in a patch for new sprites. This wiki's Spriting page also has more practical advice, such as how to make an .dmi.

Basic Style

  • New sprites should be in ¾ perspective. Example here.
    • Handheld item sprites should be shown side on, see tool and gun sprites for examples of this.
  • Keep colour palettes simple and where possible sample existing colour palettes to create consistency within departments.
  • Hue shift your shadows and highlights. Example:
  • Do not use straight black for outlining, instead use a darkened version of the colour at the edge of the sprite. Example:
  • If you just shrink a jpeg and submit that you’re fired. Do not something like the old pancakes sprite: FoodPancakes.png.
  • Unique in hand sprites are encouraged for every new item, this is especially true for items that need to be visually identified in combat.
  • Referencing popular culture is allowed but try to be subtle about it. Commonly available content should be original.
  • Icon states should generally be centered on the middle of the canvas.
  • Keep the use of your sprite in-game in mind, it’s difficult and frustrating to click tiny sprites or sprites with 1px holes in them
    • To fix this, add a transparency 1 pixel in the hole.
  • Try to keep scale in mind in general. Things don’t need to be actually proportional, they just need to “feel” right in the game.
  • It’s good (but not mandated) to distinguish different objects by more than just color if possible, to accommodate the colorblind.


  • Keep the names of your icon_states simple but descriptive.
  • Use already existing .dmi files that fit your purpose if possible.
  • Use the widthXheight files (ex: 120x120) for larger-than-normal sprites.


  • Do not be precious about your work. Be open to criticism and change both from other developers and players.
  • Most untrained people can visually identify when something looks wrong or bad, it’s your responsibility as the artist to parse that criticism and find a solution.

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