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The reality of game artwork!

clintdeveloperclintdeveloper Posts: 18Member
Hi everyone,

I have recently regetered here, and thought this would be a great place to meet other game developers and designers. I have met some very good people so far, and can see most are willing to give advice!

I have also noticed that their seems to be a big gap in what developers think they can accomplish, when it comes to the design/artwork/illustration etc, with the amount they expect to pay for good design! I don't think most here actually realise what a good game should look like, and why an attractively designed game (artwork) is so vital to the success of their game!

When you look at games like "angry birds" or "trenches" or "panda warrior" or a whole load I cant think of now, they have a very high standard of art and illustration, that has been carefully thought out and created by some illustrators! And that does not come cheap! Believe me, that those studios had to pay a decent price for that look! The artwork is also coherent throughout the game, from main menu to UI to scoreboards and gameplay screens! You cannot have a game with multiple types of styles from different contributing artists, and expect your game to look like the top selling games out there!

A programme like GS is fantastic that it opens up the market to the average guy/girl, but being able to put it all together with this software does not mean you will get the same results by doing your own design/illustration (unless you are a professional). It takes skill and time to create that high level feel and consistancy in illustration, and sometimes that will cost allot more than you think!

I hope to try and show some on here developing games, that there is allot more to it than just knowing HOW to put it together. Go look at those top selling games and ask yourself what about them from a design, illustrated, artwork angle makes them so appealing.

Hope to here some comments.
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Comments

  • MotherHooseMotherHoose Posts: 2,456Member
    edited January 2012
    Naturally, being a free-lance illustrator (beautiful art you make!) … you would have strong feelings about using/paying professionals for high-quality artwork.

    Using professionals for all aspects of game assets would probably produce more high-quality content on all our games.
    we mayhap should hire a professional do even the game-play coding for our ideas.

    all the big name game producers started as small one-man,two-man developers with a game idea and a dream
    that point-in-time is where most GS members are! we have our idea and our dreams and our GS to make them a real game

    most of us will struggle to learn how do the artwork, how to make the music, how to get the behaviors to work as we want.
    just as you struggled to become a professional illustrator

    we know: if something is really frustrating us, we can ask for help or suggestions or critiques
    or … we can buy a template, artwork, music, sfx … we have great resources available!
    that's a decision we make based on our progress and finances

    have you started your game? it should be lovely to look at! … keep us posted on your progress!

    @};- MH
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    Absolutely agree but the reality is, as you said, it costs a lot to get that level, most people cannot budget for it. So what does that mean? I see a few options;

    Make games to your budget, hope to make enough that one day you invest into getting the level of graphics you are talking about.

    Settle for not being the 'best' out there but still hope to do ok.

    Settle for crap all round just because you're proud to have a game out there.

    Or ...

    Make a good game, a fun game, an addictive game that is all about the gameplay. Art doesn't really play a part here. Look at all the stick games or doodle games that are doing well because they are 'good' games.

    Sad realities are, you could take my 1st option, invest a lot of time into your game, a lot of money into art and never stand a chance of making that back. The good games aren't always rewarded.
    The last option is the ideal one for people on a tight budget but the reality here, is that people don't get to test your games or even see a demo, they get your icon, description and screenshots and if the look doesn't appeal, people aren't likely to take a chance ... even if its the most fantastic game to play ever.

  • clintdeveloperclintdeveloper Posts: 18Member
    You both make good points. I understand that I'm looking at it from a different angle, and that as I make a living this way, that I see it differently.

    I don't mean to imply that just because you can't get the artwork done professionally that your game won't be successful in some way. I think I just want people who are developing to realise that if they want that high level of work, then it will cost something.

    I am in development with 2 games at the moment, and I am working purely on commission when we begin to sell, if we sell! So I understand that most of us here are starting from nothing and doing it the hard way. I suppose that I am lucky in a sense, that I am able to do what I do, and do it at that level for my games.

    One thing I will say is very important, is to try and keep the look of the artwork the same throughout the game! Because nothing looks worse than having to many different visual styles, when moving through a game.

  • SAZ_1SAZ_1 Posts: 397Member
    your advice is sound from an art perspective but as beefy_clyro said and i am pretty sure as well its mostly a budget thing with the people on gamesalad... i've seen your site and artwork and thought it would be cool to work on a project with you with that sort of art style etc.. but i cant budget for $25/h or so for a complete project of art ... it would probably go in the thousands... pretty much everyone here also doesn't have a huge marketing budget that they can go all out and pay for super advertising to try and force the app to be successful hence they weigh up their own situation and work that way... heck if i had the money i wouldn't even do the programming either.. i'd throw my ideas around and get a team of coders/artists to do it... it seems to revolve around is it feasible.
  • clintdeveloperclintdeveloper Posts: 18Member
    @saz ---- Ya, I do agree. Teaming up seems a good way to go. I have teamed up with 2 guys in Italy, and we are working everything over the net. It's a tuff process, with language and not being able to discuss things face to face, but were getting it done! And hopefully it will pay off some when they begin selling.

    We also have a contract to split profits 3ways, which at the end of the day, is really only good on paper, if the guy controlling the payments does not pay out to the rest of us. So we are really relying on each others honesty! It's going to be interesting when it's finished, to see if they will stand up to their part of the deal!

    I have been looking through the forum, and came across some GREAT tuts by "spriteattacks"! He has showed what can be done at a high level, but with basic software aswell! Good to see stuff like that here!
  • ShadowMoonShadowMoon Posts: 146Member
    Good artwork makes your game popular(like angry bird, to have brand/license/patient ). Good game-play makes your game fun. Actually, both are very important. If you invest a lot of time on your game-play, why not make your game complete with some kick-**** artworks. Ive seem some people just want to make a game out, hoping there are some people will buy it and make some money out of it, but they forgot they have competitions. There are so many studios from all over the world try to take a share of the market. Just ask yourself would you buy your game while there are so many games in the market made with professional people? When you are checking games in app store, you tend to look at the icon see if its appealing, then check the game play. If you do this, then you should really think of art first. Because art guides people to see you game play. Correct me if i am wrong.
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,906Member
    edited January 2012
    Heck your theory is moot, as Walt Disney a sub par artist started doing it himself until he could afford to hire UB Iwerks to do some real art work and after that Walt did his brilliant story work and guiding the designs. I guess your advice to a young Walt Disney would have been " hey kid nice try but you'll never make it!" looks like you have something yet to learn from history Clint. And BTW I own a successful Golden Book property and I would never speak down to these gritty and talented people here.
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    @FryingbaconStudios I didn't take his post as talking down to us mere battlers! I believe he was trying to point out that art is important to the consumer. Lets be honest, we only see screenshots, if the art looks horrible, you're likely to move on!
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,906Member
    It seemed that way to me, maybe I was just being crusty today.
  • RPRP Posts: 1,990Member
    edited January 2012
    @clintdeveloper


    I can understand where FryingBaconStudios is coming from. I kinda did a double take when I first saw this post and thought something similar. I'd say this 'graphics savior' approach was not exactly the best way to bring yourself into a community without knowing them a little better (hell, I'm still getting to know them). Believe me, there are plenty of qualified folks from various fields of expertise offering assistance to those whom need it without the "I'm here to educate the GS community" attitude. Some things you have to let people figure out for themselves. If they have questions, they have resources here and elsewhere, if we didn't we would not have time to work on own projects. It's also quite obvious that many of the people you are addressing cannot afford or are not willing to pay for the services (for various reasons) you are suggesting they seek. Regardless of their resulting product we should applaud them for their efforts. There are even youngsters here that do amazing stuff even though they got a ways to go, they are certainly pointed in the right direction.

    If you want to talk/debate game visual design, there are plenty of us here that would gladly talk to you about that, but that is something different than spinning your ideology about what game art is and how procure it. I can tell you right now that simplicity of the visual design is at times what makes a game what it is.


  • RPRP Posts: 1,990Member
    @FryingBaconStudios

    Nah, it was not just you.
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,906Member
    I didn't think so but was trying to be diplomatic.
  • MotherHooseMotherHoose Posts: 2,456Member
    @Fry and @RP … me too … crusty as an end of loaf slice!

    in general, think that the short time of hours (and not days) of being a member does not qualify one to tell those of us who are developing what we need
    as was the case with @Clock
    and @clintdeveloper has been around less than a week … and yes he is a good illustrator … and yes as he states he is working on a game or 2 …
    but think he is only working on the artwork

    sorta like we are dumb and don't know that:
    1. good artwork in screenShots can sell a bad game
    2. good game artwork enhances the user-experience in an okay game.

    but, our primary concern is gamePlay!
    3. great gamePlay, even with minimal artwork … makes great user experience
    that is what we want to do in GS … that is what sells games by-word-of-mouth and reviews.

    we know the value of great music and great art in games … do you know the value of great gamePlay?

    @};- MH
  • RPRP Posts: 1,990Member
    @FryingBaconStudios
    You don't beat around the bush. I like that.

    @MotherHoose
    Very true MotherHoose.
  • ShadowMoonShadowMoon Posts: 146Member
    edited January 2012
    Good artwork does not sell a bad game, but it does make people go into your app and look at your screen shots. As i said they both are important.
  • ultimaultima Posts: 1,207Member, PRO
    edited January 2012
    transformer is a great movie! all 3 of them. the storyline just makes me shed tears every time i watch it.
  • ShadowMoonShadowMoon Posts: 146Member
    Mini... Mini... Mai Ni
  • clintdeveloperclintdeveloper Posts: 18Member
    edited January 2012
    Looks like I stirred up a hornets nest here! You can all put your guns down, I was not being at all condescending! If you took it that way, then my apologies, but my intention was to open up a discussion and hear others opinions (like my OPINION) about gaming! There is no need to start hurling abuse at me or others because you got feelings hurt, keep your discussion cordial please.

    If you read my other post you will see that I know that I don't know much about programming, and know that I can learn from people here! I also say that I understand that I am very lucky that if I want to be able to create great graphics, I can on my own! I am not saying that everyone should be paying top dollar for artwork, just that they should consider how much it makes and impression on buyers out there. Yes, you can build a great game without worrying about the artwork, if that is what your aiming at.

    I was kinda hoping to have a discussion and not be shot down by a gang. Seriously people, chill!

    It was going well till fryingbaconstudios came in here and started hitting me with his spatula! (that's humor.)

    Clock makes the basic point I am on about. That both are important. This all depends on what you want your game to be as well.
  • David_GryphonsRealmDavid_GryphonsRealm Posts: 459Member
    edited January 2012
    @Clintdeveloper : Love your art bro, but i gotta admit that sometimes I'm intimidated by people that draw amazing and are work for hire, why u ask. because i looked at your portfolio and it seems that you work with top notch clients, as in money making clients, So thats what u are used to. Not saying i wouldn't spend a pretty penny on art because as i write this I'm already saving up from my job a little at a time so that when I'm ready i can dish out for art. but I'm always afraid to ask prices because i don't want to seem like i don't want to spend on art. its just sometimes prices are a little too hight at first till u make a couple games and can invest a little more. :D which makes me wonder what your prices are like, especially after reading this thread lol

    David
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,906Member
    edited January 2012
    @RP yeah I can dish it out! Clint, I wasn't offended I was pissed there is a difference.I used to be a Hollywood sitcom writer and I'm used to dealing with egos like yours. Yeah you can check that ego at the door.
  • LumpAppsLumpApps Posts: 2,865Member
    Clint, I don't think you have to take it personal, guys here are just very passionate (I've seen worse discussions here).
    I usually try not to get mixed in it. Oops, I am doing it now so I'll leave it.

    I like your artwork a lot. I hope you come up with great game ideas.
    This forum will help you with the technical aspect and will throw in some opinions if you like (and if you don't you will still get them ;))
    If there is any place for learning Game Salad it is tshirtbooth video's. He saved my day many times.

    Anyways, welcome!
  • LumpAppsLumpApps Posts: 2,865Member
    Okay, now it is geting worse. WTF!
  • clintdeveloperclintdeveloper Posts: 18Member
    edited January 2012
    @FryingBaconStudios Seriously guy!?

    @David Thanks for being civil here! That is a very interesting point you bring up, I have never looked at it that way. Contrary to what fryingbaconstudios thinks of me, I do not think of myself and my artwork as high and mighty! I am constantly trying to better my knowledge and skill, and have had to learn what I know on my own, I never had the privilage of going to college or art school. So I don't understand the hostility? I have worked with some "big" clients, but believe me, they don't always pay well!

    When it comes to pricing, I have had to slowly up my prices as I progress and know more. But I am def not the highest in my field! David, I can give you a very basic idea of what I charge, tho, when I am dealing with a whole game, then obviously there is allot more to consider and work into it. Just to take character design for example, I usually charge between $150 - $250 depending on whether it's a one off (mascot for logo etc) or a game (were the character will appear again with various poses etc). A basic animation walk of that character between $100 - $150. Like I say, these price are by no means set.

    @Ludwigheijden Thanks man, appreciate the welcome! And I dig what you have done so fare, great work!
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,906Member
    edited January 2012
    @clintdeveloper I guess you don't see how you come off in your posts. I though, do know how I come off as my intention was to be an a$$hole. So yeah, seriously. This is what happens when I go off my medication... ;)
  • RPRP Posts: 1,990Member
    edited January 2012
    Don't know if you have ever seen the movie How High. You know the part when the pimp is explaining to his pimp assistant about how to become a pimp, how great is it to be a pimp and all the benefits. Then tells the assistant that he could never become a pimp because he was not of pimp blood?

    Kinda like this: (be aware, one word at end NSFW)


    THAT is how you came off. Not trying to be a jerk, It's just that I, like Fry have been in industry professions where egos can stink more than a product and first impressions are EVERYTHING. That being said, probably explains why we are hard-shelled and direct like mean old crusty crabs. :)
  • SaladStraightShooterSaladStraightShooter Austin, TxPosts: 3,081Member, Chef Emeritus
    edited January 2012
    Let's keep things civil, as other members have suggested. I would rather not have to shackle an opinion thread because it turned into a flame war. If you don't agree with something and can't discuss it civilly, then by all means flag it and go elsewhere.

    To all: I take threats seriously, even if you're only making a suggestion or using a turn of a phrase. If it sounds like a threat, it's gone, and you may be as well.

    Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,906Member
    edited January 2012
    In all seriousness @SSS I hear you and obey. But on a lighter note, that was a very nice nonsequentor coming from a man with guns in his avatar...LMAO
  • LeonardDeveloperLeonardDeveloper Posts: 4,630Member
    :P
    Fire, fire everywhere......
    :P
    Rock on! @sss
  • SaladStraightShooterSaladStraightShooter Austin, TxPosts: 3,081Member, Chef Emeritus
    edited January 2012
    Haha...ok, I'll give you that one, FBS ;)

    ...in my defense, I'm from Texas. :D

    Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • ShadowMoonShadowMoon Posts: 146Member
    From art perspective, I agree with Clint. :P
This discussion has been closed.