AuthorTopic: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.  (Read 7948 times)

Offline DesignerMichael

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Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

on: September 05, 2008, 05:55:55 am
A question I have is... How do you find pixel artists and artists which match the style your looking for? I have just spent two hours scouring DeviantArt, this and other websites looking for artists to bookmark for potential future games...

There is a lot of good artists, yet not very many have examples of cute/happy art. With my current game that currently under development... I just lucked out with a pretty darn good pixel artist (In my opinion) who did sprite work in Ragnarok. I pay him way too little to critique his work and have him do cleanup yet...

http://designermichael.com/share/myPixelArtistsWork.png
He has done approx 300 sprites/images so far, and when he's done it will be around 500. What do you think would be an "actual" fair payment for this type of work? He did all this work for a mere 1.5k... LoL! Indonesians who work for too little... If my game gets off the ground I will be sure to give him a bonus. Game formulas are pretty tricky...

As a social game developer... I'm going to be looking for people who I'm sure can do what I would call "mass appeal" pixel art. Eg: Secret of the Solstice, MapleStory, Ragnarok, and etc... Well, also... I am also kind of targeting the female demographic. I wish more people would at least have some examples of simple cute stuff, besides their advanced shaded pixel art and experimentals.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 06:04:21 am by DesignerMichael »

Offline Sabata

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 03:27:16 pm
I think that the best way to find an art style you wish for is make good description of what you need, how would you imagine it, what it is for and who is it targeted for... this way the right artist will find you. For example a simple notice that you are targeting a female audience changes a lot in work style....

Also don't forget that "cute" is also a style of artist, some work in great shading and details others work whit lovely colors and cute look...

As for "mass appeal" its a hard work which requires a lot of time and effort... its usually motivated by a good payment or by a very good idea where the artist takes close participation part...say like co owner or even owner.

Offline Froli

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 03:58:12 pm
I just lucked out with a pretty darn good pixel artist (In my opinion) who did sprite work in Ragnarok. I pay him way too little to critique his work and have him do cleanup yet...

http://designermichael.com/share/myPixelArtistsWork.png
He has done approx 300 sprites/images so far, and when he's done it will be around 500. What do you think would be an "actual" fair payment for this type of work? He did all this work for a mere 1.5k... LoL! Indonesians who work for too little... If my game gets off the ground I will be sure to give him a bonus. Game formulas are pretty tricky...

Please don't take this the wrong way but, looking at the picture.. I believe you didn't hire a guy who made sprites for Ragnarok online.

Offline DesignerMichael

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #3 on: September 05, 2008, 04:48:39 pm
I asked him to change his style quite a bit from his normal work. He normally does skeletons and monsters and stuff... In fact, thats where I will eventually have him fix a few things. Some of the eyes, etc... Still look evil! lol... Btw, he only did like a few RO sprites.

But, really... The question is, what is a fair price for work like this?

I'm having him mock-up some 2d sprites that are "similair" to maplestory to see how good he is at that. A friend of mine might have a job for him. :/

I just lucked out with a pretty darn good pixel artist (In my opinion) who did sprite work in Ragnarok. I pay him way too little to critique his work and have him do cleanup yet...

http://designermichael.com/share/myPixelArtistsWork.png
He has done approx 300 sprites/images so far, and when he's done it will be around 500. What do you think would be an "actual" fair payment for this type of work? He did all this work for a mere 1.5k... LoL! Indonesians who work for too little... If my game gets off the ground I will be sure to give him a bonus. Game formulas are pretty tricky...

Please don't take this the wrong way but, looking at the picture.. I believe you didn't hire a guy who made sprites for Ragnarok online.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 05:03:25 pm by DesignerMichael »

Offline Sabata

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 05:21:26 pm
Well at first I didn't wanted to say it..but since its been told...its true, you didn't hire the person who made Ragnarok online sprites...even if you made him change style he is just too bad in comparison... sorry

Offline DesignerMichael

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #5 on: September 06, 2008, 02:37:59 am
Now, this will be interesting... What do you think of the graphics of someone who will be my main competition? Well, not really, as mine is an actual full game based upon a totally different style of play...

I think that my competitors graphics appeal to the demographic a little better, but that mine are a little higher quality

http://designermichael.com/share/lpg.gif
http://designermichael.com/share/lpg2.gif

That game has between 500,000 - 950,000 players a day, and pulls in 2mil+ a month net profit. Well, a lot of the reason it does so well is because it's practically a fake charity. Ill be very very happy if I pull in 100,000+ users a day...
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 02:48:10 am by DesignerMichael »

Offline Frychiko

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #6 on: September 06, 2008, 03:34:03 am
He did 500 sprites for $1500 dollars? That's $3 a sprite. If it takes 30mins to an hour for one sprite, then that's $3 - $6 an hour. A Fair payment would be well above this.


And yes, it's clear that your artist was not an artist for Ragnarok Online.

Congratulation this story is happy end. Thank you. - Ghost & Goblins

Offline DesignerMichael

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #7 on: September 06, 2008, 04:01:28 am
Actually, it's more like 5-10 minutes for mose of these sprites according to him. The animations only have 20-35 pixels changing per frame.

So, on average it would be 20-30$ an hour. For an Indonesian worker, that's a good salary, but for a pixel artist... That's a different matter!

He did 500 sprites for $1500 dollars? That's $3 a sprite. If it takes 30mins to an hour for one sprite, then that's $3 - $6 an hour. A Fair payment would be well above this.

Btw, I'm still really curious what you think of my competitors graphics I posted above.

I wish I had the money to invest in redoing the pixel art to be professionally shaded with bright happy colors. Ill be sure to post a job offer in the forums when I do. :) Not sure it's worthwhile though, those graphics do get the job done well enough! I would expect the wages of actual professional pixel artists are similar to what I have gotten for web development jobs. Eg, 80-200$ an hour. I mean, basic web designers pull 35-65. Professional artists must be way up there above them... Ill need to eventually hire an illustrator too.

I really like this guys digital painting...
http://jacob-johnson.com/index.htm

I don't have too good of an idea what to pay for stuff yet.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 04:30:40 am by DesignerMichael »

Offline Sabata

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #8 on: September 06, 2008, 12:49:45 pm
I am sorry to tell you but I like your competitor graphics more than yours... they have a little bit more quality. :(

As for prices... in my experience pixel artist price starts from around 20$ per hour... and may go up to 100$, it all depend on artists skills and disposition... maybe instead of spending 1500$ in poor quality art you should rethink the project and strat smaller, an spend the money on more professional artist? If you agree to 20$ per piece..you'll have a total of 75 sprites... well there is a thing whit animations...

I think you should think well your project before spending too much, are you so sure it will work out? And if people wont play it?

Offline DesignerMichael

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #9 on: September 07, 2008, 02:30:42 am
I have 230,000+ users on other applications I can push to this one to see how it does. 10-20k daily traffic! Ill quickly be able to discover if it's going anywhere. My female friends think it's it's pretty awesome, and my marketing friend who is spending 80,000+ on a fantasy sports app thinks I'm going to make more than him. It honestly doesn't matter if most people even play the game, it just has to spread via the gifting part. He should have probably gotten a grant from the Facebook fund for his app, thats a bit of an investment, whatever... He can afford it! He's an affiliate marketer like I use to be.

One thing about social applications is that quality doesn't matter much... 90% of viral is in the wording of notifications and invitations. Theres also shady tactics like force invitations, hidden notifications... Etc... Hopefully I don't have to do that. I managed to boost one app from 26-40% accept rate with a wording change! I am going to be using the same invite style on this app as the one I managed to get to a 40% accept rate. If you know how to work it, you can make crap fly... lol! I have never lost $$ on an app yet. I swear apps are just like affiliate marketing with all the split testing of notifications and invites involved...

There is plenty of crap that flies, and some quality stuff too. Social apps...
http://adonomics.com/leaderboard/apps

This is just fun a side project besides my partnership with a interactive company in developing NRT games with SmartFoxServer. :) Initial tests of 35,000 users on the first NRT game went decently... It's holding level. Now we just have to re-ajust the game formula and the HoRRIBLE game controls I thought up, and get non-placeholder graphics... Put in the leveling/ranking system and lobbies! And our first one should be launched next month!
« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 03:02:42 am by DesignerMichael »

Offline DesignerMichael

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #10 on: September 07, 2008, 03:12:23 am
Another example of a big game... 320,000 users/month. It may have a decent formula... But, damn thats a lack of quality for a game that pulls thousands a month net profit...

http://designermichael.com/share/Armies.gif
http://designermichael.com/share/Armies2.gif

Although, that "GET TO THE CHOPPA!" Part is funny as hell...

Maybe I should make a text based game in a couple months after my two current projects are live and cleaned up... So easy, and they do pretty well.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 03:15:46 am by DesignerMichael »

Offline DesignerMichael

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #11 on: September 07, 2008, 08:35:35 am
Honestly, I'm not even sure graphics really matter in game dev, except to be recognizable and non-confusing. Formula/wording seems to be the big thing.

Look at how big kingdom of loathing is... They have a reported profit of around 1-2mil from this game in the last two years. That is one of the funniest games ever... It's got Moxy! LoL! It has around 60,000 users/month. Pretty good for a game with stick figures. :)
http://kingdomofloathing.com
http://www.quantcast.com/kingdomofloathing.com
« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 08:41:02 am by DesignerMichael »

Offline Larwick

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #12 on: September 07, 2008, 03:08:46 pm
Honestly, I'm not even sure graphics really matter in game dev, except to be recognizable and non-confusing. Formula/wording seems to be the big thing.

Look at how big kingdom of loathing is... They have a reported profit of around 1-2mil from this game in the last two years. That is one of the funniest games ever... It's got Moxy! LoL! It has around 60,000 users/month. Pretty good for a game with stick figures. :)
http://kingdomofloathing.com
http://www.quantcast.com/kingdomofloathing.com

The difference may be that they realise that their art is 'crappy'. It's bad because it's their style, almost their talking point or trait. When you're making a game, if you aim to produce low quality graphics that may be okay, but if you go into it expecting to produce decent graphics and yet they turn out as something like that, you're in trouble.

In fact, they're not even necissarily bad, just different. Because they were aiming for that 'style'. When you aim high but hit low, it's more noticeable.

Offline DesignerMichael

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #13 on: September 08, 2008, 05:55:03 am
Interesting...

Well, I don't think it's a matter of "Aiming high and hitting low.", as it's a matter of people building games where the graphical quality doesn't match across the board. Eg, they hire a high quality illustrator, and a low quality sprite artist. Then it makes the game look bad because the illustration was so much better than the sprites.

Any thoughts on that?

It's like where Daniel-Day Lewis absolutely was such an amazingly good actor in Gangs of New York and out shined DiCaprio so bad it hurt the movie... lol


Edit: For some reason this made me think of when I use to play tibia... Oh my god that game was awesome... Talking to cast a spell! Then I pissed off the wrong guild and got hunted down to level 1... LoL! That was the bad thing about the game. Don't even remember how that all went down... Hunting dragons was soo crazy fun!

I never liked fighting in runescape... I was even a member. I did lots of fishing and smithing, but fighting in RS never appealed to me. I guess it's because I only player ranged characters... Achers/mages... And non-melee classes were just not that much fun in RS.

Maplestory is just plain incredible across the board...
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 06:21:49 am by DesignerMichael »

Offline sharprm

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #14 on: September 14, 2008, 08:37:04 am
edit: for reference, here is some good cute isometric art

http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=3923.0
« Last Edit: September 14, 2008, 10:59:43 pm by sharprm »
Modern artists are told that they must create something totally original-or risk being called "derivative".They've been indoctrinated with the concept that bad=good.The effect is always the same: Meaningless primitivism
http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/Philosophy/phi

Offline DesignerMichael

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Re: Few Questions / Comments from a new game dev.

Reply #15 on: September 14, 2008, 02:23:36 pm
Edit: Job offer posted. Might as well just bite the bullet and have them redone now...
http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=7095


Yea... I kinda did eventually figure that out. Some of the latest stuff is too crappy to even use. He also send me examples drawn by a different artist that were not his originally, they were actually made by Evo3... I think thats who he ripped his examples off of.

Ill be sure to post a job offer in a bit. I'm going to finish off the game code within the next couple days and send a few thousand in traffic at it to see if it virals. If it doesn't... Ill put up a job offer here for a couple grand to have a bunch of the sprites redone and improved. :) 2k would be like... $2000 / $30 = 66 Hours * 2 = 100-130 sprites? Even if it does virally spread with the current graphics... I will still eventually have all the graphics redone within a few months.

Btw, the other job I mentioned was for a different game. Me and my partner are searching for a good vector artist for that one. We decided vector art would be better for that game. He's not partnered with me on this virtual farming social app.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2008, 03:37:02 pm by DesignerMichael »