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  Graphics Artists  (Read 4774 times)
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Offline zparticle

Senior Member




Thick As A Brick


« Posted 2002-12-18 23:44:47 »

Just feel like complaining a little. Is there no other computer related job that, like programming, attracts people that love to do what they do? I mean I code because I love it and because I have a vision of what all the work will bring in the long run.

I have worked with and been friends with a number of fantastically talented graphics artists. None of them seem to have any love for what they do. None of them seem to be able to look beyond the next five minutes to see what could be.

A few months ago I had an excellent artist all set to help me on projects. He understood what I wanted to accomplish and agreed that the plan was a good one. Just as things were getting into gear he apparently talked to someone that convienced him that java couldn't be used for gaming. He basically disappeared off the face of the Earth after that and completely left me in the lurch.

Now I posted a project definition and request for help on a web site that caters to pixel artists. People that like to draw sprites for games and that sort of thing. I got a few positive responses and thought things might get moving again.  However I have yet to hear back from any of the four people that seemed excited to come onto the project.

This is just so frustrating. I feel I have to ability to do what I want, start a childrens game company. I certainly have the drive. I'm not making any money off the uncountable hours I've been putting in but I see the potential. Frankly there is NO way I can acheive this dream without the help of artists, I simply don't have the skills required to make my own graphics.

Anyway I just needed to rant a little.

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #1 - Posted 2002-12-19 09:01:05 »

I too have this problem Sad I wish I could spare the time to learn to do it - I can actually do art but the tools are so radically different these days and the expectations so high that I really think my time is better spent doing the programming bit...

Cas Smiley

Offline dian

Junior Newbie





« Reply #2 - Posted 2009-11-10 04:14:37 »

Confusing...
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Karmington

Senior Member


Medals: 1
Projects: 1


Co-op Freak


« Reply #3 - Posted 2009-11-10 04:25:27 »

I tell you a little story, maybe it helps. I started off drawing. One day some girl saw me draw and asks if i ever made a comic, I said no, but I'd like to, but I dont have the stories. She says, I'll make you a story. So I say, if you send me a storyboard layout, like all the panels and pages with stickfigures and I like it, I will make the comic. One month later, I get a thick envelope A4 in the mail. One year later my first and only selfpublished 64 page comic was finished.

Years later, I'm doing code mainly because hardly anybody else has the skills. Even though I'd prefer to be doing graphics, coding takes up most of my time. Now I have some graphic guys, one is a bit lazy, the other will work hard for money up front, one is unreliable etc.
My plan now is to make a co-op. Legally, it's like a company but looser structure, democratic, and can be non-profit. I'm getting double the graphics guys, from all sorts of skillsets. Vector guys, traditional, 3-d, all unemployed. And when I have a prototype ready, like the stickfigure storyboard, I'm going to show it to them and say, 'whaddaya think, fellas? who wants to work on this sucker?'. and those that do, I intend to split up the work very carefully. Give one piece of the puzzle each first, get that done, only then give the next assignment piece. Careful not to overload, careful not to give too much responsibility or pressure. Careful not to expect too much and be disappointed. Making some graphics can be very tiresome, repetitive. It is not all blazing inspiration. So there you have it, that's my plan.

P.S finish any Facebook games?

Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 51
Projects: 4


I always win!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2009-11-10 15:48:38 »

I agree with what you said.


I once put together a team of 6 people to work on a game, some 4 years ago. I put up a domain, forums for us to communicate, a svn repo for the code, ftp server, and then expecting the project to move forward.

People chatted about the project for a few days and weeks. But when it came to actually DOING something, ..... NOTHING happened. Somehow everyone were expecting me to micromanage everyone, I guess without telling me, because I got no complaints. I felt like I had recruited a bunch of observers.

Within a month the project was dead. All that had been done were some simple graphics and rough game design docs.

The programmers hadn't even logged on to the svn server to check out the source code.


I learned lessons from this.
Never rely on someone else, unless you're 200% sure that person is dedicated and all in for the job. (even if they tell you they're dedicated, they're lying)
Fewer people the better.
Getting something started is a miracle.
Finishing it is virtually impossible.


If I could I would choose only to work on projects like this with people I know in real life, where we could actually come together and work on it in the real world, so it would be something like "work" but also casual enough to be fun and as a hobby, as long work gets done.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline Alric

Junior Member


Projects: 1



« Reply #5 - Posted 2009-11-10 16:30:21 »

I half way agree, I have often sat and thought how there is quite a lot of high quality programmer-work out there, in usable form and well maintained. People complain about stuff like lack of video tutorials!
Whereas artwork, sound etc. there's a fair bit of material out there but to get it anywhere near usable form you need to do a ton of work.

But if you flip it around, there's another side to it. Programmers generally see the project as their work. Indie programmers even often see graphics as some sort of necessary evil. In fact, the visual character of the game is a huge part of it, more closely interwoven with the story and gameplay perhaps even than the code is. It's also a big chunk of the overall work.
Even on this thread though, everyone talks about their project and the people who were helping with it.

So look at the other angle and imagine an artist comes on here, and says, I've got these graphics and this great idea for a game, just need someone to code my game for me.

Ever seen that? What sort of a response did it get?

Bet it wasn't "I'd love to do that because I just love programming".

Just a bit of devil's advocate Grin

Offline teletubo
« League of Dukes »

JGO Ninja


Medals: 48
Projects: 4
Exp: 8 years



« Reply #6 - Posted 2009-11-10 18:38:29 »

I also tried to persuade some artists of joining my projects, no success, tough . So I just spent 2-3 months learning Blender and now I can do some average looking graphics by myself (see Hellevators), but I'd really prefer spending my free time coding  ..


So look at the other angle and imagine an artist comes on here, and says, I've got these graphics and this great idea for a game, just need someone to code my game for me.

But you have a damn right point there . But I think it's even worst , it's more like
" I've got these graphics stubs and this great idea for a game, just need someone to code my game for me, while I do the real graphics"

Because no coder here gets to the artist saying "I have a 100% coded game, now I just need the graphics".. Most of the time the coder has nothing more than 'sketches' to show the artist


Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2009-11-11 09:46:12 »

Most of the problems that amateurs have is a complete lack of understanding of the real amount of work involved in producing a game (something that really only comes with a few real projects under your belt); then a general lack of ability to curb a project to keep it in a reasonable, completable scope. I only say this as a semi-professional though, having never made a living from games, but we do have 6 released titles out now, each of increasing complexity, and we've got a handle on the complexity. Chaz works full time on the graphics for Puppygames, and that means, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for months on end; and I spend a similar amount of time on the coding.

Cas Smiley

Offline delt0r

JGO Knight


Medals: 27
Exp: 18 years


Computers can do that?


« Reply #8 - Posted 2009-11-11 10:06:24 »

I think princec hit the nail on the head. You hear a lot of people that want to make a game, yet the experience they bring to the table is that the play games.  So there really is little idea of whats needed. To compound this about 1/2 the "programmers" i see claiming they want to write a game, come up with a concept of say, WoW only 10x better, and oh by the way I though a project like this would be a good way to learn to code!!!

But I have seen the same thing with artists. In particular if they lack commercial experience they have a tendency to expect the job to be all about what they want to do --right now. So its not just the programmers.

In fact you can sum it up with one simple thing. Lack of experience. Even if its a hobby as in my case there are a lot of dirty boring details that can only be described as a chore. But they still got to be done.


I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.--Albert Einstein
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #9 - Posted 2009-11-11 12:16:25 »

Of course the only way to get experience is ... to do it.

Cas Smiley

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Online kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 163
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #10 - Posted 2009-11-11 14:18:40 »

With the little experience I have of writing games I've found that quite often if you're doing hobby projects, finding the graphics first and letting that drive the "skin" of the game works pretty well. There are many good free sources out there, especially of more recent times.

This doesn't mean you have to change what you want to code up, but the look and feel.

Kev

Offline TheAnalogKid

JGO Coder


Projects: 2



« Reply #11 - Posted 2009-11-11 15:53:29 »

I have the same opinion as Kev's one and I'd like to add that it's really worth the time learning the basics of Photoshop because you can find free images or images with a creative commons licence for commercial use and apply modifications to them using the various palette tools filters, and layers (of course). It's amazing what you can do if you invest time in learning Photoshop. I have a book I could suggest you when I'm home. Yes this will slow down coding tasks but it's better than nothing right?

Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 51
Projects: 4


I always win!


« Reply #12 - Posted 2009-11-11 17:02:28 »

One of the most difficult aspect of game development when you're a solo game developer is figuring out how to ;

1) Make all the artwork minimum so you don't require an artist, any special skills to make the art, or much time. Basically good enough art without it blocking you actually implementing the game.

2) Keeping the technical complexities at minimum but at the same time making the game fun and gameplay rich.

Essentially a game that you can actually make in a reasonable amount of work/time.

If you overshoot in either of those cases your project is doomed.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline Corvinex

Senior Member


Projects: 1


Work Hard, Go Pro.


« Reply #13 - Posted 2009-11-12 22:01:42 »

I had a slightly better experience with finding artists for my game. What I did was not worry about the graphics side at all, and focused on coding the skeleton of the game. I started the game just to test my skills, so I had no predefined notion as to what exactly I wanted. Then when the game got to a presentable stage:

Click to Play



 I searched for pixel artists on forums. I basically posted who wants to slap some art on this game. I got responses pretty quick and its all history from that point.

If you are going to make a game, you basically have to be the fuel for the whole team. And you can't expect top notch stuff unless your paying them. Right now I have two dedicated pixel artists waiting on me to finish coding an updated version of the same game. I don't allow them to make any art for me until the base code is done, even if they want to because a lot of things can change fast.

And there are a lot of artists that are passionate about their art, heh some a little bit too passionate. It's great when you've found the right mix of people to work on a project. We have basically started working off of inspiration from each others contributions to the project.

"Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life."
Android: Pac-Ball
Web Applet: Virus Effect
Old Games
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 51
Projects: 4


I always win!


« Reply #14 - Posted 2009-11-13 14:06:28 »

So, where do you guys hunt for graphic artists that can work for free?  Grin

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline delt0r

JGO Knight


Medals: 27
Exp: 18 years


Computers can do that?


« Reply #15 - Posted 2009-11-13 14:14:22 »

Family... really my brother is the 3d artist for my game. Perhaps not so helpful for you however. Sorry

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.--Albert Einstein
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #16 - Posted 2009-11-13 14:19:44 »

Chaz is my captive slave. He lives in a cupboard, and I feed him bread and water in exchange for sprites.

Cas Smiley

Offline TheAnalogKid

JGO Coder


Projects: 2



« Reply #17 - Posted 2009-11-13 14:43:04 »

hahaha!

Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #18 - Posted 2009-11-13 15:17:56 »

Chaz is my captive slave. He lives in a cupboard, and I feed him bread and water in exchange for sprites.

Cas Smiley
How does a computer fit in there?

See my work:
OTC Software
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 378
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #19 - Posted 2009-11-13 16:09:45 »

Computer!!

He uses graph paper and coloured crayons, and slides the paper under the door. I scan them in.

Cas Smiley

Offline fletchergames

Senior Member





« Reply #20 - Posted 2009-11-14 16:18:27 »

I think everyone has the same problems with finding artists.  If your game is basically finished, you can probably pay someone $5000 or so to do the art.  Amateur artists might be willing to work for royalties, but professional artists aren't.

Try approaching someone who has a website with a portfolio and offering them a bunch of money.  Just make sure you have some kind of contract.  It's probably best to use a service such as rentacoder to insure that the work is ever actually done.

Right now, I have a business partner who does the artwork.  He's working in his spare time like me, so it takes forever for us to get anything done.  What happens is that he waits while I'm programming the game, and I wait while he's doing the art.  It's ridiculous.

We recently started working on an RPG, and the PC is currently represented by a rectangle. Smiley
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