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When do you commission the Art?

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Wellspring Games
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Joined: 03/09/2016

I'm developing a relatively simple card game (think UNO but with a board) and have a great set of proxys I've been play testing with.
However, the images are just stock photos from Google. At some point I'll need to re-do the art, and most likely hire an artist. (I'm a different kind of artist lol)
At what point during the process do you commission the art? I'm thinking of 3 possibilities.
1) Prior to even starting a Kickstarter.
2) Have the artist create several samples for the KS and the rest after successfully funded.
3) Have all the art done once the KS is successful.

I Will Never Gr...
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2015
How much money do you have to spend right now?

Once you answer the question of how much money you have to spend now, you'll have a better idea of when to hire on an artist.

Assuming you're self publishing of course. If you're looking for a publisher they will take care of the art themselves 99% of the time.

All that said, you're best to have at least a decent amount of art already completed prior to running a Kickstarter campaign. People want to SEE what they're getting and if you have no completed art, they are far less likely to back. So .. have at least several samples ready prior to KS, minimum.

If you can afford to, and will in all likelihood publish the game even in the event of a failed KS, have it all done ahead of time.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Different perspective

I look at a bit differently. Once I have the NAME of the game and a GOOD idea about the THEME, I would:

1. Have a Graphic Artist create me a Game Logo.
2. Have an Artist do me some kind of Box Cover for the game.

The logo is a no-brainer. You'll need a logo with at least 300 dpi, IF possible go SVG so that you can easily scale it to whatever size is required.

The Box Cover is a little bit trickier. Why? Because this assumes that you already know the COMPONENTS that your game requires and the approximate SIZE of the box. In general, you'll want to decide is your game PORTRAIT sized or LANDSCAPED sized? Why? Because this way you can use the aspect ratio and resize it to fix MOST box sizes +/- some clipping.

Then when you have a SOLID game and know more or less what your game will consist of (which cards):

3. Select maybe 10 cards and have preliminary artwork done for those.

It's good to show off art on BGDF or BGG, your own website and even use for a Kickstarter. You don't necessarily need all the artwork to be finished - merely show samples of what you expect the game to look like.

4. After a successful KS, invest in producing the remaining artwork.

That's my take on artwork. This generally follows my process for making artwork. The difference is point #4, I am creating a pre-release of my game and making a limited set of artwork. So I am investing in about 1/3 of the FULL version's artwork - just to get the game out early!

But had I not done this, #4 would have been my likely course of action.

Cheers.

radioactivemouse
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Joined: 07/08/2013
Real litmus test

I would playtest the game with NO art. If the gameplay shines through without the art, then you're ready to PUT art in.

As far as WHEN...it seems like you're on the right track as far as when to get an artist, but for me, I would have already tested and secured the artist while I was developing. You want to check different art styles and rates for the best bang for your buck. It's not a fast process in any sense, so you need to get on the ball as fast as you can.

horusr
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Joined: 03/12/2016
Board?

1st option is bad idea, art is impoertant part of game and people want see something.

If you can choose #3. People can trust finished project because publisher can't cancel game for they have problem with finishing art part.
So I think if you have money to hire an artist or you know some artist can wait until KS fund, do that.

If you can't, do #2. Board art must done.

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