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Re: The Artists thing

Pieter Hulshoff wrote:

> Game Designers:
> Since game designers need a lot of imagination, and the ability to
> envision levels (strategy etc.) it might be a good idea to look at
> people who write books and people that enjoy role-playing (especially
> Dungeon Masters). The chance that someone is able to come up with a new
> game concept is pretty low, but someone that is used to setting up game
> situations for others (Dungeon Masters) or create situations in books
> (writers) may be very capable of creating a good setting for a game
> (other than solitaire and tetris that is;). Perhaps having a look at the
> role playing newsgroups might prove fruitful.

Yes.  I don't think we are really looking for people with new
game ideas.  A group isn't likely to form without them having
a pretty good idea of what genre of game they intend to write.

Game Designer in this context means "Level Designer".
> Draw Artists:
> Since draw artists usually have a pretty good idea of the type of game
> (levels) they'd like to be drawing for, it may help to let them come up
> with the initial idea, and then work it through with them. Either that
> or take a basic game concept, and let them in on the brain-storming.


> The
> best way to attract draw artists for your game is of course to have
> finished at least one successful game though. :)

<cue Sound of eggs coming before chickens...and vice versa>

> Draw artists have the same problem musicians do: they can't really use
> someone else's drawings, and don't like it when people take their work
> without giving them at least credit for it

...that's true for programmers too...

> (but preferably something greener;).

...that's much less likely though.  OpenSource is where we are at.

> Since drawings are also not easily reusable (I saw some
> programmers commenting on how little they could use from the things that
> are available), a failed project is usually lost time for draw artists.
> Hence they prefer a less open setting where they know the game will be
> finished around this and this date rather than 'we'll see if it ever
> gets finished'. Since the Open Source community often don't use
> deadlines, these projects are less interesting to draw artists.

That's rather depressing.

The ability to avoid nasty commercial pressures, deadlines, etc is
the major reason why I do this.

> Music Artists:
> Music artists are very similar to draw artists, but have the added cost
> of often expensive equipment.

I'm suprised that so much costly stuff is needed...and in any case, if
you are an amateur musician - don't you already have this stuff?
Also, it's not exactly cheap being a programmer.  We have to have the
latest, hottest hardware and fanciest graphics adaptors!

> A little bit of money for their efforts is
> therefore highly appreciated. I admit that the idea of Open Source is
> very good, but it's usually more associated with OS'es and applications
> rather than games.

And what we want to know is whether that situation can ever change.

Maybe (depressingly) the answer is "No".

> Since games that are to be sold often have a higher chance of being
> finished, and actually helping them to pay for their expensive hobby
> (sheet music for instance is quite expensive), and artists being scarce,
> it is easy to see which projects attract the artists.

Yes - but that's outside the scope of an OpenSource project.  We all know
that it's possible to start a commercial games house, charge money
for games and *PAY* artists to work for you.

However, what we are trying to explore here is why there is no OpenSource
sentiment driving musicians and artists in the same way as us programmers.
> Somebody said that people often remember the programmers, but not the
> artists. That depends on who you talk to. The programmers will usually
> remember the programmers, but if the music is good, the musicians will
> remember the musicians. Chris Huelzbeck (dunno if this is the correct
> spelling) who created the music for Turrican for instance is very well
> known in the musicians gaming groups.

Interesting.  So an amateur musician would be interested in getting himself
a similar reputation to Chris - by creating the music for an amateur
game - right?
> Another thought: A draw artist (and a very good one I might add) I spoke
> to recently told me: 'I can easily get programmers to program the game I
> want to design, so why would I wish to be limited by some programmer's
> idea?' Basically it comes down to this: with programmers being highly
> available, getting programmers to implement a good game design with good
> graphics/sound is easy.

Yes - that sounds entirely logical....

But that doesn't *seem* to be happening.  Mostly (overwhelmingly
actually) OpenSource games are designed by programmers in ways that
avoid needing fancy artwork - because no artists are getting it together
and helping out.
> Perhaps in order to get artists to join the team, the idea of Open
> Source should be used for implementation ideas and game engines, and
> have the end-game still be sold. It will increase the chances of a game
> being finished, and it will help artists (especially musicians) to pay
> for better equipment to improve their future work. Don't forget: a
> programmer can often program himself a better development system, but a
> musician can't program himself a better synthesizer...

I think that's going to be a hard-sell to the OpenSource programmers.

I know I'd rather (by far) struggle along without artists and
musicians if it means I have to treat the entire operation as
a commercial venture.

Steve Baker   HomeEmail: <sjbaker1@airmail.net>
              WorkEmail: <sjbaker@link.com>
              HomePage : http://web2.airmail.net/sjbaker1
              Projects : http://plib.sourceforge.net

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