Thanks so much dude! Heh I actually came up with the concept for this while watching Halfcoordinated's run of NieR during SGDQ, so ya got me lmao.
Also, thank you for praising my drawing! I absolutely do not try to be an artist, I'm primarily a programmer too. And this, is a very very hard question to answer.
I have a lot of artist friends who give me great advice, but I guess the way to hack together good looking stuff, is:
- Using refs? Like, check out games that do simple pixel art well. Some games like Cavestory and the Momodora series (all great games). Not copying them, or even following in their footsteps, but just see the way they fit their art onto the tiny canvas they have to work with. What features can be cut out etc. (mouths, noses) and how they simplify everything so much, yet make such definable characters. Check out something like spriters-resource and just, zoom right into cool stuff to see how it was put together.
- Use colour palettes. (I know this is really ironic that I'm saying this in the comments section of an entirely black and white game, but please hear me out) If you're like me and haven't taken an art class and don't know much (if any) colour theory, it's hard to understand why something looks meh. A lot of the time, the colours you choose make a big difference. You can find tons of preset palettes online that look nice. Stick to a small colour range. Try and keep the same sort of "vibe" throughout the whole game, but feel free to switch up palettes
- Get the shapes down first! Don't get jammed with drawing eyes or faces or anything, get just like, simple shapes together. The girl in this game, is literally a circle for the head, triangle for the body/dress and two triangles for the legs. That's the shape. Animate with just the shape, and add in detail later.
- Just doodle a lot! Just practice fundamental stuff. Learn very basic stuff first and work your way up. A lot of people think "oh, I'm gonna start learning to draw, so I'll start by learning how to draw a face" like no that's pretty much endgame for drawing. Learn to draw circles and squares really well. Learn the very basic shape the body and head etc, and all the details are secondary. It's easy to overcomplicate stuff, but don't try and push yourself to a high standard, especially if you're just starting out. Just make something you'd be able to keep up with. Take it step-by-step and keep it nice and simple. Keeping it consistent is more important than making it pretty imo. Inconsistency is more offputting than good-looking-ness is attractive (if that makes sense).
Other than that, just, make games. Make tons of tiny, silly games. I used to make dozens of small games for me and close friends to enjoy, and when you start doing something often enough, you'll get pretty good at it. You end up drawing in a way that's comfortable for you, and it sticks with you and adapts with your games. That's your style. Make the games you want to see.
Sorry I don't have much good advice, but there isn't really a secret formula I can give you besides "practice a lot". Wish you luck in your future jams, i'll be sure to check them out. Hope that helped! Peace!