I'm starting to get the itch to put a few civilians into the city and see them walk around. With the need for variety and filling out the city, I'm trying to find the most efficient way of creating assets and NPC's. I was looking into Spriter, and while I'm sure it will work great for large characters and Boss battles, it will look too weird with the civilians.
The fault is really my own. In order to keep file sizes down, I long ago decided to keep my art small and pixelated. If you attach small, blocky objects onto a Spriter Skeletal system, it will look like garbage. So it looks like I'm going to try and animate the characters in Flash and then export sprite sheets from there. I can use the software's built in bone tool to animate character elements and then just draw new elements for each civilian. Once, the art is scaled down, it should look pretty seamless. Right now I'm trying to figure out the different states that the Civilians will be in so I can plan my animations. Looking forward to getting started.