This has always been the goal of Lospec, but getting here took a lot of work! I didn't launch Lospec with this feature because I knew it would be hard and take years, and wanted to build up the site slowly and work towards this. I’ve also learned a ton since I started, so the quality of the site is much better than it would have been.
When it first launched, Lospec had just 2 features: The Palette List (which was updated by hand) and the Lospec Pixel Editor (which lacked... pretty much everything). Not only have both of those tools greatly improved, but I’ve added a lot of other tools since, like the tutorial database, pixel art scaler, software lists, and more. We even started a discord community which has been going strong for years!
Over that time we’ve also been slowly adding features that were needed before a gallery could exist: user accounts, content submission forms, a moderation queue, notifications, likes, comments, etc.
Now it’s all finally come together into the Lospec Gallery! Lospec can finally start to begin fulfilling it’s true purpose, which is to help people share their art, and unite the long-separated nations of low-spec artists into a single community.
Aside from being limited to just these mediums, here’s a list of other features the Lospec Gallery has to offer:
Pixel Art Optimized Viewer - Pixel art is automatically scaled up without being blurred, and viewers can zoom in or out as they wish.
Monthly Masterpieces - In order to promote artists focusing on quality over quantity, we offer a single monthly boost to each artist for their most important piece. We hope this encourages people to work on bigger more impressive projects, rather than lots of small daily pieces as social media demands.
Thumbnail Picker - No need to create a thumbnail for each piece, easily select a crop for your piece, without squashing or blurring.
Specs - When you upload your image, the resolution and palette are automatically detected and displayed on your piece
Method Categorization - Art on Lospec is sorted into categories based on how it was created, in order to allow all kinds of techniques, without unfair comparisons
Critique Requests - In order to promote improvement, artists can requests critiques on their submissions to get feedback on how to improve
Delayed Release - Rather than being release as soon as you post, or as we approve pieces, Lospec releases posts gradually to give everyone a more fair chance
Future of the Gallery
Yes there are some noticeable bugs, but the Gallery is in a working state, and we felt it would be better to release it now and begin to gain feedback, rather than continuing to delay the project in search of perfection. Now that it’s out, fixing bugs and smoothing out the experience will be my number one goal for the next few months. Once everything is stable, we can get back to fixing bugs and adding new features across the website. If you notice any bugs, please check out our bug tracker page!
The next big project will be a collaboration system for the gallery! Users will be able to host events which people can submit art to, which would be a lot of fun and will hopefully produce some great art.
I have a lot of ambitions for Lospec, there’s many other projects I’d like to add in the future, like databases for fonts, brushes, tilesets and software; social media management and tracking; low-spec game and video libraries; online editors such as chiptune or voxel. But each of those things will take a lot of work, and that’s where I need your help.
How We’re Created and Funded
Not everyone is aware that Lospec was created by a single person. I am very fortunate that since the beginning we’ve had enough generous Patrons who make a small monthly donation, which has been just enough to keep the servers running. Without them, Lospec would have had to close down years ago. Unfortunately making Lospec is a lot of work, so much that I had to quit my job in order to have the time. My savings supported me a for a few years which enabled me to start working on the big features.
As my savings ran low, I ran a Kickstarter for the gallery (exactly 2 years ago), which successfully raised $20k. The money gained from that was just enough help pay my bills while I worked on the gallery full time for the last 2 years, but unfortunately it’s nearly gone. Currently Lospec is still not taking in enough money to support my basic needs, and if I run out, I will have to shift my main focus to other projects (which I dont want to do, I want to work on Lospec until I die of old age).
The only way that can happen is if the site starts to generate enough to support me, so here’s what I ask: If you have found Lospec helpful in the past, are enjoying the new Gallery, and are excited about our future, please consider joining the Lospec Patreon (if you can afford it). Even our lowest tier ($1) is extremely helpful to us, and if everyone reading this joined, it could easily cover my costs, and possibly even allow us a little wiggle room to hire additional developers or do giveaways to promote art.
Thank you so much everyone for all of your support over the years, and I hope we can continue to provide you with tools that make your artistic journey easier and more pleasant, for years to come.
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