AuthorTopic: Art/Multidisciplinary Team-Partnership  (Read 2749 times)

Offline astraldata

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Art/Multidisciplinary Team-Partnership

on: May 17, 2014, 09:18:35 am
About me:

I've been doing pixel art on a professional level for more than 8 years, and in that time I have accumulated skills in a wide variety of pixel art styles and techniques, including animation. I've been composing illustrations most of my life (25+ years) in various media, so I know my way around composition and design too.

For the past 15 years, in addition to art and animation, I've been studying business, marketing, programming, and game development nearly every day on my own time. I'm the programmer of the Zero Engine (aka Ace) too, in case you've heard of it, so you can check that to verify my programming abilities. I'm the lead designer, software planner, and project manager of a game called MUGEN ZERO, which I started designing years ago as a hobby, but I've put it on the back-burner for more pressing things in life at the moment, although I still plan to resume it at some point when I've got the funds to finance another artist to give me a hand. I've got an extensive list of skills, but art and animation is one of my true passions. Unfortunately, I can't afford time-wise to do an entire game's art all by myself, so I have to choose my projects very selectively.

I have recently been studying 3d art and animation, as well as playing with unique visual styles and gameplay elements. I'm really into experimental game concepts, preferably smaller ones at first, so if you're interested in stuff like this -- drop me a line! I'm also a huge fan of experimental games with little (but very impactful!) story -- and how using narrative with very limited elements (visual, gameplay, and otherwise!) can still create meaningful experiences, not unlike how many games (now considered old-school) impacted me as a child. I was always a big Nintendo and Capcom fan, so anyone who loves their games/designs might truly enjoy working with me! I've gotten these companies' approaches down to a science to understand exactly how and why they worked so well! I'm interested in the future of the video game industry and would love to make an impact on that, however little, in my time here as well!



What I'm looking for:

I'm looking for, at the minimum, a fellow artist who enjoys creating backgrounds, tilesets, and environments to work with me on creating fun and unique games in general. A programmer/artist who is also passionate about games would be ideal, as I haven't much time to offer work -- but I still work great in heavy bursts (i.e. I can produce 6-12 sprite assets a day, for example!) so my work ethic is golden.

I am looking to form a group of moderately-skilled *independent* artists, preferably with other passions (such as artist-designers or artist-programmers) with whom I can contribute my own art and animation skills to in order to publish promising game designs (with initially low asset-requirements) in order to ship many well-designed games that will eventually position us as masters of game-design in the industry.

Ideally, these games would have little overhead costs, both in project time-tables and asset-creation, offset only by the top-notch design, planning, and execution by the highly-skilled creative team that both of us would be a part (think of what old-school Super Mario Bros. did with its bushes and clouds to save time, and you're on the right track!). The only thing that would increase our development time would be our own love for our projects, and of course, any sustained popularity of the games we create. We would aim for a Nintendo level of quality at all times, although shorter projects would usually be preferable to longer ones, since each of us volunteer our time towards creating the greatest products we can create in the time we set aside to create them (i.e. if I can offer 16 hours this month to the project, and you can offer only 8, we may decide to tackle only a project whose scope would account for those 24 hours). Depending on the team we form, and the hearts (and minds!) behind it -- this could very well become very lucrative for us all, as the things we create are, at the utmost-importance, a product of our own love and passion for the project and the time we have to create it. What separates us the most from indie startups today, however, is that we have the know-how to do it efficiently and we already know exactly what we are capable! If you are an artist that has failed or indefinitely-delayed projects under your belt, then you, my friend, are our dream partner.

Why? It's simple. Because you have experienced the soul-crushing defeat of a project of passion's failure, -- with that -- you now understand just what exactly will take a project of passion down the road to failure a hundred times better than anyone who has not failed so gloriously. So don't give up. Join us. We will make something great together. If this kind of thing sounds like your cup of tea, then hit me up yo~!

I am currently working with another artist/programmer on his project right now, and I won't divulge his username until I am sure he doesn't mind, but we're (tenatively) 2 members in at the moment. Pixel Pile Driver worked on this project for a while, and it's definitely got potential, so I'm helping flesh it out in PPD's absence, as this is a project I really want to see finished.

The idea with the project I'm working on now, and any near-future ones I work on with the team, is to get a few very manageable projects off of the ground and make a name for ourselves in our spare time. My current partner and I are working great together right now despite my time disparities, but we are both determined to get it off the ground, and we'll prove that by releasing it.

I'm a firm believer in the "you get what you give" philosophy.

The more work you put into yourself, the more work I (and I expect the team as well) will put into your development as a partner, a fellow artist, and even as a friend. There isn't a lot of incentive to do other people's art for free, therefore you have creative control over the art you do, and, as a partner, we would only expect you contribute that to the project we are working on together, before your own personal projects (at least at first!) so that we may all make a name for ourselves, and ask that you simply don't offer us more hours than you will devote. We're all independent, and we all respect that in one another. That being said, we all pick the projects we do as a unified whole. If we aren't passionate about the project -- (through ALL stages of its development!) -- we pull the plug. It is up to us to give all of our projects the 'shine' each deserves. Above all, we create only awesome games we already love ourselves. Nothing more. Nothing less. If we can't do that, there's no reason to even try. The world's full of shitty games already. Why add more to the pile?

I'll give more specifics as to how the partnership would work exactly if you decide you want them. This is an arrangement between independent artists designed to empower you with the group's name and resources to help you make a name for yourself as an artist/designer/programmer/etc., by being part of a top-notch team who has shipped actual game titles. Monetary stuff should just be considered a side-effect, as our focus, at first at least, would be in creating a strong team to act as the backbone behind some very recognizable games of course. :)

We will need to see examples of your work as a game artist (not just pixel art!) so consider this as you would an application to any serious art job (in the sense that you'd be not only sending us your work (i.e. a portfolio), but the process/steps/tools in which it took you to arrive there, if applicable). Regarding your secondary passions, please, show us whatever proves you are also passionate about these other interests as well. Remember, this is a small team, so we can only accept a limited number of people. We're not big right now, but if you're interested even remotely -- now's your chance to join us. :)


Contact Info:
Send samples of your art to me via PM to apply. Tell me about yourself and your goals in art/games and in life in general. I'll get back to you asap.



Some other info about myself:

mixed and newer examples of my work:  http://imgur.com/a/d4BR4

random examples of my work (very old art,  MZ-related art, and recent-ish art):  http://smg.photobucket.com/user/aceallen/slideshow/portfolio
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 05:31:22 am by astraldata »
I'm offering free pixel-art mentorship for promising pixel artists. For details, click here.

     http://mugenzero.userboard.net/

Offline jams0988

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Re: [Offer] -- Pixel Art/Animation Mentorship

Reply #1 on: May 21, 2014, 08:26:30 am
You should upload your screenshots somewhere else - right now, you need to log in to that forum to see any of the images. You might also want to post some examples of your work, so people feel more motivated to do free labor for you in exchange for your guidance. I tried checking what you've posted on here, but all I found were a few health meters and a black blob, which doesn't tell anyone much about how much they could learn from you. You've worked on pixel art "on a professional level" for over seven years. What projects are you referring to? If you're allowed to post examples of your stuff from the games you've worked on, that would probably be best. If not, a list of projects you've worked on professionally would still be good to know for people on the fence about working with you.

Interesting concept, though. I can see someone jumping on this if you post a little more work! =)
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 01:17:48 pm by jams0988 »

Offline LarkoftheRiver

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Re: [Offer] -- Pixel Art/Animation Mentorship

Reply #2 on: July 07, 2014, 02:57:20 pm
I agree with jams0988, I would like to see the examples before applying, and the forum doesn't allow guests to see images. I am, however, very very interested in this. I know the thread is old, so that brings me to my first question- are you still taking applicants?
Secondly, I'm still a student in high school, and in the marching band. This will (especially in the fall semester and the entire month of August) take up a lot of my time, so I might not be able to work on pixels until the weekend. Would this effect you taking me as an apprentice? (If that made any sort of sense, I was having trouble wording the question.)
Also, I mostly work on animals now, but I've been doing a bit of human anatomy practice over the past month and I've gotten a bit better, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to pixel human(oid)s yet. Will that make me inelegable for this?

I hope that this is still open, and I look forward from hearing from you about it soon!

Offline astraldata

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Re: [Offer] -- Pixel Art/Animation Mentorship

Reply #3 on: July 08, 2014, 09:26:59 am
No problem. Added a link to some samples of my work. It's only fair that I show you mine if you'll show me yours. ;P

Most of my work is not available to share, but I have enough there to show you some sense of my skills. I don't have much animation to show aside from edits I do on here for people, but until I get more time to find and upload stuff, hopefully you can take my word that I know my way around it well.

---

@LarkoftheRiver
To address your first question -- yes, I am still interested in mentoring promising pixel artists. I will update the subject line / topic when I feel I've had enough.

For your second question, I would work my schedule around yours if you'll work yours around mine. The important thing is to keep your word about when you'll show up. Apparently some of the people I've considered taking on so far aren't even reliable enough to keep a schedule with this thing, so I'm becoming a lot more selective about who I consider taking on now. After all, I am past the point of making games for a hobby -- I treat it like a job, and I expect you to also (i.e. show up when you're supposed to, and do your best while you're there in order to progress long-term -- after all, you're learning skills that you can truly apply when you're done, and you'll have a game title under your belt when you do).

Though I do feel I need to point out that "drawing animals" alone isn't enough to help anyone truly grow as an artist. That means you need to be flexible and also willing to try and fail multiple times on uncomfortable subjects because I will require you to draw everything from scenery and backgrounds to characters and animation of all kinds. This is to progress you as both a pixel artist and as a traditional artist as well, and understanding animation will help you learn traditional illustration better, which is helps to learn how to render pixel art -- it's one big harmonious loop of awesome that's as difficult as it is fun (once you get the hang of it at least -- and that requires a lot of time and patience).

I emphasize the "promising pixel-artist" portion because it's not for true beginners or the faint of heart. This is an intensive course geared to train someone who truly and passionately wants to get into the games industry with a title under their belt that they contributed to significantly as part of a team. That means you need to learn some of the basics of pixel art yourself -- and when you're ready and have something to show me you know the basics at least, we can then get started.

Things like hueshifting and basic form through value/contrast and no longer needing outlines to draw decent sprites are all considered basic skills. I can teach you color selection techniques and other advanced stuff as long as you can manage basic form and construction via pixels on your own. We will generally start out on static objects and environments before we get into more advanced stuff like characters and animation, so you need to be a good bit comfortable with this sort of thing before we even begin. You also need to have some sense of basic shading down. I'll help you color and light stuff with specific textures / materials later on -- just basic form shadowing is all that's required at first.

Once you get some of these things down enough on your own to feel like you've got a good grip, then send me some of your pixel art examples and we'll see if we can go from there. Though, if you've done pixel art consecutively (i.e. a pixel every other day or two) for less than 2 months, it's a good rule of thumb that you probably still need more time to study on your own.

Just some things to think about before sending examples of your work.


Also Note:  I will no longer be accepting less than 5 examples of pixel art when applying for the mentorship.
I'm offering free pixel-art mentorship for promising pixel artists. For details, click here.

     http://mugenzero.userboard.net/

Offline LarkoftheRiver

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Re: [Offer] -- Pixel Art/Animation Mentorship

Reply #4 on: July 08, 2014, 11:38:41 am
Thank you for your reply! Glad to know you're still accepting. ^^

In regards to showing up on time, I'm a very reliable person in that. I always try to keep my word on when I'm going to show up anywhere, unless something suddenly pops up out of nowhere and I have to leave quickly. I'll try to let you know what's going on in my life, however.

Animals are what I'm good at, but I'm honestly not proud of that fact. I've done some pixel landscapes but danggg.. they were bad.  I haven't attempted a human yet, but I think I'll try so today.

I've always been looking at the game industry (I have no game programming experience, but I'm taking a computer science class this year so hopefully I got into the class [schedules aren't posted] and it will teach me some. It was in the syllabus so I don't see why that would change..) and maybe even animation and design. Even if I don't pixel in my later life, this will still provide me with skills for animation, art, design, etc that I might need in real life, besides its basically a job and even though I might not be able to put it on my resume I can still use the experience.

Thank you for your reply, I will send my work in once I have something amazing to give you! ;D

Offline astraldata

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Re: [Offer] -- Pixel Art/Animation Partnership

Reply #5 on: April 24, 2016, 10:08:36 pm
I've updated this topic to note that I'm no longer offering free mentorship to any NEW students at this time as I simply don't have the free time available anymore to offer the intensive art help that most new students need.

I am, alternatively, looking for a group of moderately skilled artists with whom I could contribute my own art and animation skills to experimental game projects with initially low asset-requirements in order to eventually position us as masters of game-design in the industry by producing great games. Ideally, these games would have little overhead costs, both in project time-tables and asset-creation, offset by great design, planning, and execution by this highly skilled team that both I and you are a part.

If this latter thing sounds like your cup of tea, hit me up yo~!



« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 07:03:36 am by astraldata »
I'm offering free pixel-art mentorship for promising pixel artists. For details, click here.

     http://mugenzero.userboard.net/