AuthorTopic: What to offer?  (Read 1637 times)

Offline xhunterko

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What to offer?

on: August 24, 2017, 10:23:18 am
So. I'm looking for pixel art to make a game with. I recently fell into a job and had some spare cash lying around. So I shopped for pixel art assets and bought a couple. THEN I did a double think. This tile set only cost this much for this one time buy? Hey! If I'm making money now I could do x per month and let's crunch some numbers!

So, the problem was was finding the numbers to begin with. I looked at several portfolios and only a few provided numbers. They were mostly within the same range of each other. And I did some math, and, a decent small game budget would be about $100? Really? So I got all hyped and was about to make a job offer here.

BUT then I began to think, well, is that FAIR, though?

If my budget is only $100 a month and I'm getting nice assets out of it, is that fair to the artist? They're getting paid, but is it average pay? Fair pay?

I mean, one of my games grid size is 12x12. While the pixel art set I'm using is fairly decent, it's, plain generic sci-fi. What if I want another building? A new tower? Something else? Okay, let's do math, a 12x12ish tower in today's market is, lemme guess, 15, 17ish? Granted, that's only five or so buildings under $100, but, oh, my game only needs 5 or so. Oh. Whole game done then for under $100 a month? Er? Why do kickstarters want $35000 per pixel game project then? (I know, I know.)

So, I never posted the job offer cause I think my offer is too low and wouldn't be taken seriously. Then another problem. Who do I hire? I thought, maybe I could do a remake this game contest for $100, pay the artist for rights, then hire them to do more art?

I dunno.

What do you guys want to see in a job offer?
What would you have thought about the contest idea?

Any thoughts?

Offline 32

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Re: What to offer?

Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 10:45:17 am
That really depends on what you expect to get out of the $100. No one is working for $100 for a full time month of work but if you want to pay someone for a half day once a month I'm sure you'll find some takers.

I think I would have to see what these towers look like but 12x12 is so small I can't imagine anything drawn in that space taking more than 5 or 10 minutes. If you have an extremely low resolution low detail art style then yes you can fund that on pretty low resources.

That same $100 wouldn't go anywhere in a larger project though. $35000 is not much. Consider a full sized game project will require several people to be employed full time for years. Even at entry level wages $35000 is barely going to pay for one of them for a single year.

Competitions which are for your profit are not really something I'd advocate. You're expecting people to essentially do free work for you so you can pick the best one. That's not good for the artists and you definitely aren't going to be getting the industry's finest turning up to make art for you under that system.

Just post up your offer, say how much you are offering and how far you expect that to go. Leave it up to the artists to decide what is fair. Take a look at Cyangmou's guide to see how many hours $100 can buy.

Offline eishiya

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Re: What to offer?

Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 12:54:41 pm
Seconding everything 32 said.

When you buy pre-made assets, you're one of dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of people who pay that $100. They become worthwhile for the artist only when enough people buy them. When you commission custom artwork, you have to make it wortwhile for the artist with just this one purchase. It will cost much more, but you can lower that price by making the job easier for your artist.

In your job post, make sure you're clear about what the game should look like. Tile size, projection (RPG view? Isometric? Side view? etc), the sizes of key game objects, whether you want a blocky tiled look or a more organic one, etc. Mention what sort of game it is, as different styles of gameplay have different conventions and requirements for the artwork.
It'll also help if you explain what sort of feeling you're going for with this area (dark and gloomy, bright and happy, desolate, lively, realistic, alien, etc). Provide examples of games you like the look of, so that the artist has an idea of what you're going for.

The clearer you are about what you want, the quicker and more easily an artist can make it for you.

Later, once you've found an artist, you'll probably want them to spend their paid time drawing rather than asking you questions. To this end, you should try to provide as complete and detailed an asset list as you can once they've accepted the job (or in the original job posting, if it's a very small list).
For example, if you're making a top-down RPG-ey game and need tiles for a typical grass-dirt-cliffs-trees environment, don't just say "environment tiles" or even "forest, grass, cliff, dirt tiles", except perhaps as a summary - explain what sort of transition tiles you need if any, how many of each tile type you need (variants), provide a list of objects you need drawn and how big (in tiles or pixels) they should be.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 10:18:06 pm by eishiya »

Offline MysteryMeat

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Re: What to offer?

Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 04:06:01 pm
In these cases, it helps to think of the minimum wage then add a bit to that for your calculations. Art can be VERY time consuming, and is both skilled labor AND a luxury good.
I tend to underprice myself a bit, and I'm still pretty expensive at ~50-70 bux for something like this:


That's not even considering differences in stylism, medium, and even the brand recognition certain artists can bring.
Getting the Scott Pilgrim guy on your artwork, for example, would probably sell half your game for you right there. So naturally he'd be a more expensive choice, not even COUNTING his outstanding skill and appealing art style.

Art's 'spensive, yo.
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