I believe in access to tools, particularly for young people. And if you are trying to expand a young person's perspective and possible futures by providing them this access, I want to help out however I can.
Even if that's just by drawing a bunch of sprites.
A friend of mine, Kord Davis, just passed along this techcrunch article about y-combinator alums who were starting a new venture aimed at teaching high-school students how to code (potentially for profit) by making games.
I think they're on to something by trying to reach out to young folks with this idea. It's exactly when they're making important choices about their future, and if anything they just need to know that more things (especially science, tech, engineering and math) are within reach... and can be fun at the same time.
So a couple emails later, I'm happy to ship Planet X, a set of spritesheets that are free to use for commercial purposes under the CCL attribution/share alike 3.0 license.
They don't prescribe a particular game, but a platformer would probably be the first thing to come to mind. Could also do a puzzle/matching game; and there's a lander in there in case you want to fly it around.
The style won't suit everyone's taste; there aren't any weapons or explosions; but it's got me thinking about a game, and if it does the same for someone else, it's worth it. Also since I assembled the sheets with SpriteHelper, they have primitive physics bodies, and I included those master files. So please do go nuts.
I'm looking forward to seeing makegameswith.us succeed- and anyone else who is working to give young people greater access to knowledge, tools and play.