One of the biggest benefits of making a 2d game is that in regards to technical aspects there is one parameter that has to be monitored and kept in budget – video memory, as opposed to 3d games where polygon count, level of detail, draw distance, animation complexity, lighting complexity as well as video memory all have to be balanced.
One of the biggest problems with making a 2d game is that its video memory consumption can easily explode. All animations, objects, characters – everything that is visible on screen ultimately ends up in a texture atlas, with few ways to optimise them.
However regardless of difficulties, optimise we must.
One of the ways to do such optimisations is to look at animations of all characters and monsters and make sure they take as few frames as possible. However this has to be balanced with making sure they still look smooth.
After latest set of such optimisations a typical character animation atlas was reduced from over 7000 frames of animation to about 5000. During that process all animations were improved to look less jerky and have a unified look.
There will be more work needed, but at this point only smaller improvements and polish will be necessary.