Skip to Content

Artists for game design

25 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

I am developing a card game with a fantasy/sci fi theme, and I was wondering where or how I should go about finding artists to help me.

Bozonoir
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Artists for game design

Archaos:

I would recommend doing a google search for fantasy art websites (or conversely sci-fi.) Artists within those communities are pretty tight knit and interested in those communities. You may be able to find some help with somebody interested in collaborating on your project.

Unless you are interested in hiring somebody freelance, where you'd have a different set of options. There's also always clip art and old magazines to get your demo completed.

(this, by-the-way, is my first post after stalking this forum for a few months.)

CIDIC
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Artists for game design

I have done lots of art for game components, i would be interested in helping.

Anonymous
Artists for game design

Bozonoir wrote:
(this, by-the-way, is my first post after stalking this forum for a few months.)

I'm honored to be your first ;P And good suggestions. I will look around.

CIDIC wrote:
I have done lots of art for game components, i would be interested in helping.

Great! I will contact you via your aim sn.

Edit: or maybe I won't, as the link isn't working for me. Do you have a site with any of your work on it?

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Artists for game design

How are these artist communities generally want to get paid. Do they set a fixed price for all the artwork you need? Or is there some artist that want to participate in the game creation and only ask for a fee on each game sold.

gpetersz
gpetersz's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2009
Artists for game design

Larienna wrote:
How are these artist communities generally want to get paid. Do they set a fixed price for all the artwork you need? Or is there some artist that want to participate in the game creation and only ask for a fee on each game sold.

No they don't. They usually like to be paid upfront, and not interested in royalties. Naturally, there are younger or starting out artists who might help (but they are usually unproved, on the other side they can be damn good sometimes). Or there might be ones like me who's been already published but who think that the whole freelancing system is a trap.
These type might be willing to risk some more to achieve more. Okay, I am not fully honest, because I don't live from art, but I made my hobby for a while a part-time job, beside my full-time one, with an income that showed that by freelancing I could make the same income as from my daily job, but there would be 7 workdays a week and a workday would consist of 10-12 hours. No thanks. :)

There are the top 50 artists (where I do not belong) who work for Wizards, WhiteWolf, Hasbro, bigger publishers who make a convenient amount but the "average" are don't.

I might even have some price data if somebody is interested about what to expect.

(I am on my own projects with partners at the moment, so unfortunatelly I can't help.)

Bozonoir
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Artists for game design

Larienna:

I agree with gpetersz. I work with a lot of contemporary artists as well as having a history with Illustration. Mostly, Illustrators, unless paid well, aren't likely to take their creative freedom and contribution too lightly. Art work for games is pretty intensive, moreso if you're illustrating different monsters etc.

My suggestion was that perhaps the best way to get some help for his game would be to find a community of younger artists (or designers) that are already interested in the genre (fantasy or sci-fi) that are looking for a project to help with. On a level where their contribution could be negotiated.

Of course sinking any money or sharing ownership at the demo stage is a bit premature. I think you'd have just as much luck going through old issues of Starlog ,Fangoria, Tales from the Crypt, Eerie, etc. and photocopying things for your own personal use until you have somebody else footing the bill for production.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Artists for game design

So unless I found someone to join me making a game like if we were both designers as a team, I need to become become an artist(^_^). I already done some artistic stuff, but I have not succeed in drawing living people. I have a book at my job that teach how to draw Japanese Manga characters. If I could draw not so bad Anime characters, it could be really cool. And I like the style.

Bozonoir
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Artists for game design

Yes, but at least you can program like the wind. ;) I can draw but am fighting to finish my first game and have already launched myself into a second.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Artists for game design

I was asking my friend, who is currently studiying in multimedia art, if sophiticated graphic tool could make it easier to draw something good even you lack of talent when drawing something handmade. But It seems that today's software does not necesarily make it easier in anyway.

Emphyrio
Emphyrio's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/10/2010
Artists for game design

There are a number of online "galleries" which show samples of artists' work and provide contact info. I hired an artist who I found on one of these (he also has his own site at www.jeffdurham.net ), and he's done a great job. Of course your mileage may vary, but it can't hurt to take a look. Here are some of the galleries I came across:

http://www.epilogue.net
http://www.pen-paper.net/artgallery/main.php
http://www.gatewaymonthly.com/galleries.html

Bozonoir
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Artists for game design

Emphyrio,

I was wondering if you could share with us your process of hiring Mr. Durham, and how you went about discussing what you needed for your project?

SenorOcho
SenorOcho's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/24/2009
Artists for game design

Larienna wrote:
I was asking my friend, who is currently studiying in multimedia art, if sophiticated graphic tool could make it easier to draw something good even you lack of talent when drawing something handmade. But It seems that today's software does not necesarily make it easier in anyway.

Good artistic hardware/software only really helps if you're wanting to make a finished picture without traditional media (paint, colored pencil, etc). But there isn't a substitute for good line art. Most artists will start with a sketch or inked image and scan it into the computer, then finish the picture in the image-editing software of their choice.

If you're really interested in that aspect of it, check out Digital Fantasy Painting Workshop, by Martin McKenna. I found it to be a pretty interesting read.

gpetersz
gpetersz's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2009
Artists for game design

I don't recommend Epilogue if you don't have money. Their is a strong gallery, I was only able to post 6 images of mine. There are "bloody" pros, so you'd better check some more half-amateurish sites like:

www.deviantart.com or
www.artwanted.com
www.renderosity.com
art.rpg.hu (hungarian site for the best of this country, might be cheaper, but some works even for Wizards of the Coast, so not everybody will be cheaper...)

(on these sites, the amateurs mingle up with semi-pros and pros)

Naturally if you have enough funds then go for the best and choose:

www.epilogue.net or
www.gfxartist.com

Some guidelines:
1.
It is always welcomed if you don't have money then you offer something that you can give (HTML code, website design etc.).

2.
Be very exact about the payment. If you don't have money then state it at the very start and make it clear that you can only give royalty.

3.
NEVER EVER offer publicity and avoid such statement as "it will look good in your portfolio". No artist gives away hers/his work for these. They have much better publicity at the gallery where you find them and they'd better fill up their portfolio with paying (even if low-paying) works instead.

4.
Be prepared, if even if you kept these in mind, there will be some more
tempered artist who will take it as an offense that you want to have somebody to work for royalties. Don't care about them, but avoid
arguing. Usually they are from the best of the site (not always) and have influence on things. Just don't heed them.

seo
seo's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Artists for game design

Larienna wrote:
I was asking my friend, who is currently studiying in multimedia art, if sophiticated graphic tool could make it easier to draw something good even you lack of talent when drawing something handmade. But It seems that today's software does not necesarily make it easier in anyway.

Combining Poser and Bryce might give you some pretty acceptable fantasy illustrations. Much better than a bad or mediocre drawing, but never as good as a good illustration made by a pro or semi-pro artist.

If you want a nice looking prototype, learning how to work with Poser and Bryce might give you what you're looking for. If you want a publication-ready product, you'll need an artist. An artist will give you not just a trained hand (which some aplications can replace, up to some level), but an artistic vision of your ideas (which is most important, and no computer program can replace).

Seo

gpetersz
gpetersz's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2009
Artists for game design

Yes, Seo knows what he is talking about. ;)

Many artists use Poser or Bryce to have a base to work on (my fav is www.robertocampus.com , search the tutorial for the thunder godess) , but if you want pro-looking illustrations these tools are just not enough. At the moment, at least. But for example Poser 6 renderer (Firefly) is a way better than the ones in the previous versions, so there might arrive a time when these tools will provide you with decent art (a good enough art).

I have to admit that recently I've seen some very good Poser renders those were just in the zone where I realised that they are renders, so possibly it is
close to our grasp to have a good human renderer at a fine price <$500.

Bozonoir
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Artists for game design

Another recommendation for inexpensive line art is to contact any art school in your area and place a want ad on their bulletin board or with their job placement office.

If you hire anyone, make certain that you both understand the terms of the arrangement and that you have a contract so that there aren't any disputes about overseas copyrights or additional printing of the art work for later editions or advertising.

Emphyrio
Emphyrio's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/10/2010
Artists for game design

Bozonoir wrote:
I was wondering if you could share with us your process of hiring Mr. Durham, and how you went about discussing what you needed for your project?

Well, it was the first time I've done anything like this, so don't take this as gospel... First, I decided what artwork I wanted (box cover and card illustrations) and budgeted a certain amount that I could afford for it. I also put together the basic physical parameters (image dimensions, colors, formats) which were based on other games and manufacturers' specs. And I came up with some conceptual ideas of what I wanted it to look like -- style and thematic elements, and some possible scenes.

I looked through online galleries, gaming magazines, copies of Spectrum, etc., to get a list of artists whose work seemed similar to what I was looking for. I narrowed it down based on what I perceived to be their experience -- obviously, more experience is better, but I figured the pros who work for Wizards, etc. would probably be out of my price league. I happened to find Jeff Durham, who had posted some illustrations which were exactly the kind of thing I wanted. He said on his website that he worked for a newspaper (lots of practical experience with illustration) and did some freelancing, so I thought he would be a good candidate.

So I sent him an email introducing myself and the project, and asking how much he would charge, using similar illustrations on his website as references. He quoted a price which happened to be in line with my budget, so we didn't have to do any negotiating there, but I was prepared to alter terms like the level of detail or the number of card illustrations to bring it within my budget.

Since it was a significant sum of money, I wrote up a simple contract based on a couple that I found poking around online, just so that we would both be clear as to terms of payment, delivery dates, ownership, etc. I sent him the concepts I was thinking of, and some links to illustrations by other artists which were similar in tone and theme. He did some rough sketches, I sent my feedback, he made some changes, etc. until I was satisfied. He had an excellent feeling for the style and theme (which I could tell from his other work), so it didn't take that many iterations.

So it seemed to go pretty smoothly -- maybe I was just lucky. I was honest about my lack of experience, and tried to budget for what I thought would be a fair price.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Artists for game design

By thinking about it, I think the best software for non-artist would be something like "Hero Machine". I had a lot of fun making characters with this software ( My avatar was made with it), and it gave interesting results (besides the fact that all character has the same position).

The concept is simple, you take a drawing and you split it in various parts. For example, a template for a sword, could split the item in : Handle, Guard, Blade, Aura. Each of these parts is a different picture that you can change. If each part has 5 pictures, it allow you to create 625 types of sword.

Making a generic software where artist could make templates and non-artist use them, could be interesting. Still, I think it would be pretty hard for artist to make these templates, especially when drawing on real paper, because all the parts must match. Maybe they used transparent sheets, stacked all parts one over the other and then draw the missing part.

Another easy type of software would be to use different pictures and stick them one over the other. For example, you could take a mountain background, add a stone tower with a wall as fortification. Take a tree image and paste it in many place on the picture at different size.

All pictures would be black and white. But painting with a color or a pattern each area can give interesting results and it is not so hard to do.

Of course, you cannot make something if nobody made a template for it. But them again, it's much better than nothing.

Unfortunately, Hero Machine keeps their copyright on their material, so I don't think their pictures can be used.

seo
seo's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Artists for game design

You're a programmer, aren't you? Maybe if you're thinking about hiring an illustrator to draw your cards you can hire him to draw the template images instead, and you do the programming. That way you'll have plenty more combinations available for a lot less money spent on illustration.

And you'll have the softawre ready for the next project, so you can add a few new images and combine them with te ones you already have.

Not sure about how practical that would be, but it's an idea.

If you decide to give it a try, however, you should explain your intentions very clearly to any illustrator you hire, and be sure he is giving you the right to use the resulting images any way you intend to.

It reminds me of a net.art project of mine from some time ago, Scherezada Lovelace Project. It's in spanish only, though. :-( but it's based on that same principle: an image divided into a few areas, and several interchangeable versions of each piece.

Seo

PS: You can use this link to skip all the intro and configuration features, and simply see the images as they form randomly. (The page reloads after minute or so, with a new combination)

gpetersz
gpetersz's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2009
Artists for game design

Hey. Seo that ROCKS!

Great idea, you could even sell it Larienna.
There is a huge demand for something that is a compromise between royalty-free clip-art and original, hand-made art.
(self-publishers in many area, rpgs, books, boardgames, cardgames and alike)

seo
seo's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Artists for game design

I think it might be usefull, some flexible, easy to use, customizable image generator. Many people here would love something like that, that's for sure. My programming skills are a bit too limited fort such a project, as I only deal with web programming, but maybe someone else is brave enough to take the baton.

It should allow for users to add their own images for backgrounds and image pieces. PNG images would be great, with progressive transparency and 24 bit support. It should take care of image resampling, so you can use and produce images both in low and high resolution.

It shouldn't be too hard to do, I guess, if you manage to define a good set of templates from which to create the illustrations. There are a few members that I'm sure could help with the images.

The key question is: how hard would it be to program and prepare the base images. The cost (even if not monetary, there's always a price to pay, i.e. time devoted to the project) might trun out to be too high, I don't know. There's another thread about software or templates for card design. This idea might, for some people, be the perfect companion, don't you think?

Seo

gpetersz
gpetersz's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2009
Artists for game design

Don't forget one important thing about importing their own images into the system. On your site the proggie looks good because all images
have (as I remember) the same lighting and same geometry (perspective), so nothing is distracting. A badly drawn piece could ruin the whole.

Well, it is not an easy project, and all is up on the templates. If they are good the final product can be good.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Artists for game design

I could make a software like hero generator or even a card generator like MTG editor. I am currently lacking of time, so I don't want to start something I can't finish(my speciality).

The idea would be to make a software for users and artist. The software would manage template (image permutation) and image overlap. The software need to allow any artist to make their own template to increase the number of template available. If a template cannot be made easily, nobody will make templates. Artist would also be able to make libraries of drawing to be used for making a picture.

Making the software is possible, it's just a matter of time, but the problem is:

Are there people on the net that are willing to make drawings or templates that will be distributed for free?

I don't know if an artist could need this kind of software. if they need one, it can create some kind of service exchange : I make the software, you make the pictures and we are both happy (^_^). Else it's more like if artist are giving their time and getting nothing in return.

For the technicalities, I intend to use black and white only drawings made of outlines. The transparent color would be [R255, G0, B255]. Colors or textures would be painted after. But by thinking about it, doing so will remove the possibility to do shadings. So I though of something that might work.

Instead of recording as only Black and white, the artist would make a normal drawing with shading. Then, on his compiter, he paint the borders of each area with color( R0,G0, B0) and paint in pink the transparent areas. Now, I would modify the paint routine of Allegro to make sure that the paint only stop on color (R0,G0,B0) and that any other tone of gray indicate the light level for the painted color.

In this way, if you draw a cloak with some shade in it, painting the cloak in red will keep the shades in red(need to do some tests first). So it will create less "comic book style" characters like hero machine does. Same thing could be done with textures, but the problem is that texture are mapped as 2D flat object, so it does not consider that the waves in the cloak will change the orientation of the texture. But it could still worth it.

Allegro offer also other interesting stuff that could be used. Of course, image stretching, but also many color blenders and translucency. It also offer a file archive system with compression. So a template or library will hold all the necesary files making sharing easier.

If I ever work on a project like this, I'll make a post when it is at least half way done. Like a card editor, this software could be interesting since beside helping every body on the forum, I could need those softwares.

If I have some time, I might make some test to see if what I stated above(color shading) really works. Same thing happen when I made some test on sound waves, then I got cough by a "coding frenzy" and develloped "Sound Wave Generator" within 3 Week (my record). Still need some adjustment to do, but it works.

By the way Seo, your web page is cool.

gpetersz
gpetersz's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2009
Artists for game design

A shade mask could be used. I made a coloting book to my children where they fill in with one color but the filled area becomes shaded because I stored a mask where and with which amount a pixel is darkened.

It can be done easily. :)

reinx
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Artists for game design

Sorry, I'm new so I'm posting a bunch. I'm an artist who comes from a more experimental / painting background, but I also do comics and am pretty well educated in art. I'm working on getting into doing things like card games etc and just thought I'd throw that out here. So if anybody is looking for an artist, let me know, I'll send samples or draw something or whatever. Particularly if somebody wants something not necessarily sword and sorcery.

Just saw this post and thought I'd mention that :)

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut