This week’s cool thing isn’t new, not even close in fact. It is actually 3 years old and has a few thousand alternatives, also freely available. So then, why the hell am I show casing it? Frankly because a) it’s damned good work b) programmers are always looking for alternatives to programmer art and this is the perfect source!
Without further ado, let me present to you a Free Airplane Sprite Pack (download link). Years ago, 2008 in fact, Gamedev user Prinz Eugn released a selection of hand painted airplane sprites for free use in this thread. I mention it again because the links have recently been re-established. The work is very good, much better than a lot of freely available sprite art and includes a number of angles and frames to work with. Below is one such sample sprite sheet:
So, if you are looking at creating a 2D game and are looking for some artwork to start out with, this is a very good place to start. It is a lot easier to keep yourself motivated when your game looks good.
Again, the download link.
EDIT: As was rightly pointed out in the comments, there is a condition on using the sprites. If you use them in a released product, contact and credit the author. I think you will agree this is a very small thing to ask. For more details on the author, you can see more of his work here or you can ( or at least, could ) email him at prinz_eugn [@] hotmail.com. Frankly, if you use his sprites even in a non-shipping project, I highly recommend you send him even just a quick "thanks man!" email. In running this site I have received some of those and I can't begin to explain how nice they are to receive.
Cool Thing of the Week