The following shall guide you through planning the basics of a new character. Opening up a character sheet of LF2 can be discouraging, but it doesn't look quite as much if it's sorted and reduced to a minimum. And this is what I have done for you. One sorted template stripped of all actions that are not used inside the original template data, and one that is reduced to a sensible minimum:
If you open up the sorted sprite sheet you will notice that I have colored the character actions. The colors represent the 4 different basic action groups each LF2 character has:
I will try to give you all the important information on each group and single character action. From basic design advices and general animation sequences to important data settings and how I reduced the required amount of actions for the minimum template.
There is also a fifth bonus section including all the template actions that are not used in LF2:
Concluding the introduction, this guide will neither teach you how to sprite, nor how to write complex data. It is rather supposed to give you a good overview on what really needs to be done and what can be left for polishing once the character is already playable. If you know these things you are much more likely to finish your own character to at least a playable state instead of dropping it halfway without having the essentials done.
On with the first group: