Full disclosure: I don’t know very many pixel artists by name. It’s almost a Banksy situation: Paul Robertson’s the easy one to namedrop, but after that, everyone else kind of blurs together.
Well, almost everyone. If you don’t know Army of Trolls (Gary Lucken) by name, you’ve probably seen the dude’s work: he’s highly prolific, and has done work for mainstream clients as diverse as Wired, Honda, Sony and Nestlé. Of particular note is his incredible work for Edge magazine, including this fantastic poster containing a nearly unfathomable number of game references. In short: this guy is good with pixels.
So it should come as no surprise to anyone that Lucken would flourish within the constraints of Minecraft character skins. In keeping with the game’s minimalist pixel art style, the limits for characters are incredibly restrictive: you get 8 pixels by 8 pixels for the face, and even less for smaller body parts like hands and feet.
Luckily, Lucken is the man for the job, as he’s been able to cram an awful lot of personality into these tiny skins. Here are a few of our favorites below:
The full pack contains 15 skins for your crafting pleasure: In addition to the 6 above (Mario, Toon Link, Viewtiful Joe, Ken, Ryu, and Servbot), you get Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper, Tingle, and some sort of Cactus Man. In addition, there are monkey, panda, and penguin costumes, plus a wolfman and skeleton. That’s a lot of free stuff!
If a couple of those costumes seem Halloweeny, it’s because they’re also part of a Halloween pack Lucken is working on, presumably to fit in comfortably with Minecraft‘s upcoming Halloween update. The new skin pack is set to include pixelized reimaginings of Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare On Elm Street, Jason from Friday the 13th, Ash from Evil Dead, and more. Get excited!