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What should I do???

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questccg
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It has come to my attention that a design that I have been working on is TOO BIG for my current budget. Specifically artwork.

Q: What should I do???

The first solution is to "shelve" the project and move on to another design which is more feasible financially.

The second solution is to "continue" to design and prototype the game knowing that I will not be able to self-publish or produce much art for this game. And just try to make a great game... And then see what could come next for this design.

By my current calculations there are over 120 original pieces of artwork. And then there is Box Cover & Back, Card Layout, Logo Design, etc.

So what option do you think I should choose?

Jay103
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Not still working with that

Not still working with that publisher? Was hoping a benefit of working with a publisher would be the ability to push some costs off onto them :)

Fri
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Couple of other ideas

Here are a couple other ideas:

You could try to trim the game so that it needs less artwork.

You could try to find an artist that is willing to work for a future share of the profits. I am not sure how to structure this arrangement or if it is even feasible, but don't try to gouge the artist

IMO you provided the criteria to apply in this situation:

questccg wrote:
..it depends on your PERSONAL GOALS

Do you need this as an income stream or are you content to work on it as a hobby or something in between?

Good luck.

questccg
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Already extended with TradeWorlds

Jay103 wrote:
Not still working with that publisher? Was hoping a benefit of working with a publisher would be the ability to push some costs off onto them :)

Right now, my Publisher is already over-extended with art investment for TradeWorlds... The other fact is that they are mainly a Science Fiction Publisher (Space, Abstracts, Futurism, etc.)

My current idea is a Fantasy-themed game. So it may not be compatible with the rest of their catalog.

Fri wrote:
Do you need this as an income stream or are you content to work on it as a hobby or something in between?

Well not as immediate income, but at some point FEASIBLE. Over 100+ illustrations is a fairly large project and very costly when it comes to art. See I don't necessarily feel like investing time into something that will never come to a "reality"... To me it's like wasting time.

That's why I am asking the opinion of other designers.

Q: Do you design just purely for the sake of designing???

wob
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remember a game, like most

remember a game, like most things should be function over form. the art work is one of the last things to worry about. there are stop gap solutions though like using your search engine for images that are free to modify, and use even comercialy. for play testing it just needs to look good enough.

questccg
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Around $15,000 for ART only

wob wrote:
remember a game, like most things should be function over form. the art work is one of the last things to worry about...

The way I look at it, if it's going to COST $15,000 in artwork, no Publisher would ever be interested in making the game. The costs are simply TOO HIGH.

I realize that "artwork" is one of the last things to worry about, but if you don't plan for something "realistic" nobody will be interested in publishing your game.

Do you understand what I mean???

Jay103
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Okay, so.. question. How

Okay, so.. question. How unique are these pieces of art you need?

I suspect particularly in the fantasy realm, there are artists with portfolios that might overlap what you're looking for. Maybe even just as bits that could be clipped out of larger works.

If you can find an artist who ALREADY drew what you need (or five artists who, together, drew 95% of what you need), then you're just licensing art, rather than commissioning art. Would be a lot cheaper.

twoeyedcyclops
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good question

It's a good question about what to do in this case. It doesn't only apply to the art being too expensive, but any idea that may not be feasible, either because it requires so many components that it would cost too much for anyone to buy, or because it would be too complicated to actually make and put in a box, or because it would take too long for anyone to actually play, or really anything that raises questions about whether the game is actually realistic and do-able.

If it was me, I would work on something else. You probably have a lot of other good ideas. Pick one that grabs you, that has something unique and special about it, and that is feasible. This way you're spending your time on something that has a chance to find an audience.

At the same time, there's no harm in continuing to work now and then on the game needs 20,000 for art alone, as a sort of dream project. You may find over time that what's good about it can be done more simply, or you may find that it needs even more artwork and needs to be even more complicated. I personally would not focus on something that isn't feasible, unless it's something you just want to do for fun.

questccg
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I am wondering...

If the game is FUN to play (once I playtest the prototype and iron all the bugs out of it...), the question that I now would like to ask is:

Q: Are there any "creative" ways of producing said artwork???

I get the licensing bit, but as you know most artists are paid-for-hire and the artwork belongs to a Publisher... I don't want to get in a situation where I use art from another game and then someone knocks on my door saying: "Hey you're using artwork from OUR game!"

But what if somehow you could have the "players" finance the artwork?! Like fund the artwork for Card #001 = $120 USD needs to be raised. And do this for all the cards. So for Card #001, it would be $2.00 per "backer". And you would be credited as a "backer" of the card (so 60 "backers").

Another Card #010 = $120 USD but $8.00 per "backer" because it's a Rare card and requires 20 "backers"... Mythic cards could be like $12.00 per backer and therefore require 10 "backers".

I don't know, I'm just thinking "on-the-fly"...

questccg
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Something like this:

Something along the lines of this:

  • Common cards: $4.00 USD per backer, requires 30 backers.

  • Uncommon cards: $8.00 USD per backer, requires 15 backers.

  • Rare cards: $12.00 USD per backer, requires 10backers.

  • Mythic cards: $20.00 USD per backer, requires 6 backers.

This way each card has a backer and you can FUND how much you want... This will drive down the "overall" price of the product since "artwork" will be all paid up for. Only thing remaining is to produce and sell the game!

And each card can have "credits" thanking "backers" for their funding and support...

IDK... Just thinking!

Update: Say you have $20 USD to spare. That means you could help finance partially 5 Common cards! Or instead 1 Mythic. Any way you want to donate to the cause...

Fri
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Why I design/leverage exsisting art

My short answer is I design for the sake of designing.

For me game design is a hobby. My aspirations concerning design are pretty low. Getting published is not a priority. I like to design it because I like to think critically about how to solve problems. This forum provides me with additional chances to do so.

But this is the answer for me, at this point in my life. Its obliviously not the answer for everyone.

As for your game, can you have it set in an existing universe (preferably one that your publisher has made). If you could figure out a way to do this then there would be a lot of art assets already in existence.

questccg
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The breakdown looks like this

5 cards x 8 sets = 40 Common cards
4 cards x 8 sets = 32 Uncommon cards
3 cards x 8 sets = 24 Rare cards
2 cards x 8 sets = 16 Mythic cards
1 card x 8 sets = 8 Legendary cards

Total = 120 cards.

40 Common cards x 30 backers x $4.00 = $4,800
32 Uncommon cards x 15 backers x $8.00 = $3,840
24 Rare cards x 10 backers x $12.00 = $2,880
16 Mythic cards x 5 backers x $24.00 = $1,920
8 Legendary cards x 4 backers x $30.00 = $960

Total cost = $14,400 USD.

Now IF each backer spends $30 USD, we would need = 480 backers!

Seems FEASIBLE to me... I know, it's not obvious how to MANAGE this. But the idea would be that EACH card would have "X" UNITS.

For example: A Common card would have 30 units @ $4.00 per unit. The availability of this card would be set to 30 units (quantity on-hand). Each time someone "contributes" to this card, he/she does so in increments of $4.00.

So let's say I decided to spend $20 USD on this one card. That means 5 out of 30 units would be satisfied, leaving 25 units before the artwork for this card could be made.

Q: Do you think something like this could get funded?

questccg
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You must be saying...

"Why the worries??? This seems like it could FUND. $30 USD is reasonable!"

The problem this ONLY covers the cost of the "artwork". If I add everything that has to go into the game, that's +$75 USD!

So that means each backer would have to pay $105+ USD to own his copy of the game... Not to mention, ADDING shipping to that amount too.

See where I have the problem?

Just funding the art would be amazing. BUT it doesn't cover the price of making the game using Print-On-Demand like "The Game Crafter". It's cool that with the art I COULD have a product to SELL... The problem with it is that the price is so HIGH.

Nobody is going to pay such a high amount for a copy of the game. Sure I guess I could explore some other options (manufacturing). And maybe get a price which is less expensive. Just with bulk, I can get the price down to $65 USD. So that means $95 USD in TOTAL...

I really ENJOY designing games... but bringing them to consumers sucks all sh!t.

Fayzwel
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A tip

You would be right if you say I am not the right person to advise something here. Nevertheless I write what I have in mind and you decide whether to make any use of it or not. There we have a large artist resource: http://illustrators.ru.

X3M
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questccg wrote:Something

questccg wrote:
Something along the lines of this:

+ Common cards: $4.00 USD per backer, requires 30 backers.

+ Uncommon cards: $8.00 USD per backer, requires 15 backers.

+ Rare cards: $12.00 USD per backer, requires 10 backers.

+ Mythic cards: $20.00 USD per backer, requires 6 backers.

This way each card has a backer and you can FUND how much you want... This will drive down the "overall" price of the product since "artwork" will be all paid up for. Only thing remaining is to produce and sell the game!

And each card can have "credits" thanking "backers" for their funding and support...

IDK... Just thinking!

Update: Say you have $20 USD to spare. That means you could help finance partially 5 Common cards! Or instead 1 Mythic. Any way you want to donate to the cause...

Once I got my copy of tradewars. I might consider this.
I would love to have my name on one of the cards. Even if it is only to troll someone on work ;)

You still have plenty of time, right?
Try to see who might be interested in backing the design of cards? Ask the question in your list of connections. That is, if and how much, they are willing to spend.

You can start by writing me down for one Mythic card. Just to get your hopes up.

Just see if you can get the list to complete, before asking for the money for real. Try to see how far you get with this. Maybe you get only 2 backers in total. Maybe you get 2 backers per card. Who knows.

Jay103
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questccg wrote: I get the

questccg wrote:

I get the licensing bit, but as you know most artists are paid-for-hire and the artwork belongs to a Publisher... I don't want to get in a situation where I use art from another game and then someone knocks on my door saying: "Hey you're using artwork from OUR game!"

Well, you'd license it with a signed contract, of course.

There are a lot of artists who do art for its own sake and post someplace like deviant art.. Some people might just have a handful of fantasy pieces where you could clip out faces and characters and whatnot. Dunno.

Quote:
But what if somehow you could have the "players" finance the artwork?! Like fund the artwork for Card #001 = $120 USD needs to be raised. And do this for all the cards. So for Card #001, it would be $2.00 per "backer". And you would be credited as a "backer" of the card (so 60 "backers").

Sort of like getting a kick start to your game development.. great idea! ;)

chris_mancini
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Can you share artwork across

Can you share artwork across multiple cards? Repurposing may not give the game the completely custom feel you'd like it to have, but if it gets a great new game out there for you, it's worth putting the gameplay first and letting it shine.

You can rather easily do color variants to help differentiate the repurposed artwork; say you have a green/red/blue/yellow goblin character which can serve a range of classes/elements/types with just a color change and perhaps one unique piece of equipment between them which can be overlaid on the main character art. You might be surprised at how much you can do with a strategic and well-crafted approach like this.

If you find the right artist and carefully plan the artwork for maximum impact at a reduced cost, you may be able to cut down that expense by a good margin.

questccg
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Doing some more math

Well maybe I could get a better price based on a budget. What I mean is that if I need more than 120+ illustration, I can maybe get a discount.

Like $100 CAD per illustration. That means $12,000 CAD or $9,000 USD. It's still DOUBLE the budget... So I mean the budget could be $10,000 USD for just the artwork (which is about $13,000 CAD which allows for a few extra pieces like the box cover, box bottom, logo, etc).

This could be do-able since I could have a $20 USD reward and expect to maybe get 500 backers and make the artwork possible.

I guess my only option is to go with Chinese Manufacturing since POD is too expensive. IDK — I wanted to keep it simple. And right now, that's not happening. I need some more time to think about it...

But thanks for all the input. There are some good suggestions.

I Will Never Gr...
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Fri wrote: You could try to

Fri wrote:

You could try to find an artist that is willing to work for a future share of the profits. I am not sure how to structure this arrangement or if it is even feasible, but don't try to gouge the artist

No no no .. never this. Never offer an artist the "potential" for profit.

You either pay them for their work (up front, in installments, 50% up front 50% upon completion or whatever works best for both parties) or don't ask for their work at all.

Future share of profits and/or exposure are a sure fire way to get any artist that has a modicum of respect for themselves and their work to immediately put you on ignore forever.

I Will Never Gr...
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questccg wrote: I guess my

questccg wrote:

I guess my only option is to go with Chinese Manufacturing since POD is too expensive.

Yes, POD is far too expensive for anything that you're not doing essentially everything up front yourself with no outside expense. Even then the pricing can get a bit hairy, though for cards alone it's not horrible.

questccg wrote:

IDK — I wanted to keep it simple. And right now, that's not happening.

Cut the art down to a reasonable number of unique pieces. It's got to be possible somehow.

120+ unique illustrations for one single game (without including expansions over time to rack up that number of illustrations) is a crazy huge amount!

questccg
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Fulfillment and shipping to backers

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
Yes, POD is far too expensive for anything that you're not doing essentially everything up front yourself with no outside expense. Even then the pricing can get a bit hairy, though for cards alone it's not horrible...

I have 202 parts which cost $22+ USD. And so there are a lot of "bits" to this particular design. And they are very "relevant".

To explain briefly (I you have not read my blog recently), the game features a "Build Engine" where you go through a phase of gathering resources to bolster your forces before the looming Battle Phase.

So there are a lot of markers/tokens used to keep track of the "Power" of each card. Think ten (10) cards and three (3) tokens = thirty (30) tokens... And it could be more/less depending on the player's chosen configuration.

Plus there are "bits" used in the Combat Phase too which are above and beyond the original resource tokens. Yes gradually you will "lose" tokens (and resources) based on what happens in the Combat Phase.

I guess making a "custom" product could allow me to "add elements" to the game that would be "real cool"... But the again there is that whole minimum quantity (MOQ), handling the fulfillment too... That concerns me also...

Note: I guess what I am saying is that via POD the game is rather expensive when you add up all the parts that are used... And so it's not just the "artwork" which is pricey... The game with all of it's components is more expensive than anything that I have worked on in the past.

That doesn't mean that it's not realizable... I have some "fresh" ideas about how to go about "funding" such a product... But I do have my own personal challenges too!

questccg
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I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
...120+ unique illustrations for one single game (without including expansions over time to rack up that number of illustrations) is a crazy huge amount!

I agree it is... But it's a "flagship" product: Quest Adventure Cards(tm) — Second Edition.

This design in particular is supposed to be a culmination of what I have learned about TableTop games in "general". I'm not saying it's everything, no I'm saying it has a lot of concepts central to the game and could be something of a modern day "Euro" ... with the exception that I take it one level higher with a second phase which "builds" upon the previous one.

So I guess it's permissible to be a more "complex" game (in a way — sorta).

But at the same time, I don't want this to be a "dream" project. I would like to make it available (when it is ready)... But obviously the "size" of the project is more than I have worked on in the past.

X3M
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This might have been suggested before.

What if you mix existing art from an artist with new art of that same artist?

Could that make things cheaper?

Maybe you can make a version 2 of your game in a reprint. After earning money. To replace some art with new art?

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