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Author   Topic : "Rates, Recruitment Questions"
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Joined: 20 Feb 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:21 am     Reply with quote
I wholly expect that this is the kind of post written off as spam, but since hope springs eternal, I'll try all the same.

For about a decade, I've worked as a writer in the computer game industry. I spent the past year drafting a design document for what I think will be a fun, marketable game. (Though really, who knows? The design was driven more by nostalgia and my own tastes than by market research.) I had hoped that one of my long-time clients, a reasonably successful independent game developer, would pick up the project, but no such luck -- instead they asked me to do the story for an RTS they want to make.

I am now contemplating whether to try independently developing the game, at least to a simple prototype phase. Since it was always conceived as a low-budget, small-team project, this is at least theoretically feasible. But before I can proceed, I was trying to gather data about: (1) the cost of getting art; and (2) the best approaches to doing so.

The game relies heavily on still images and accompanying text (if you're familiar with some old games called King of Dragon Pass, Darklands, or the more recent Space Rangers, those might give you some idea). I don't think the images need to be extremely detailed -- in fact, I actually think some of the "smudgier" (for lack of a better word) work-in-progress type images may work better, given that it is a space opera setting where leaving some details open the imagination might be nice. (To give a random example pulled off's frontpage: I realize that's a very vague description of what the art would be; that's because what exactly I would use depends on costs, availability, etc.

Anyway, I was curious whether some of you guys could give me ballparks of how much hiring someone to do art like that would cost, I'd be much obliged. I know that the normal answer is $X/hr, but that is unfortunately not very helpful for me, since I have no idea how many hours a typical work takes. The very most helpful would be $X/picture, with some sense of whether there are bulk discounts, etc.

In addition, I would be even more grateful for suggestions on how to go about recruiting. I providing my professional background in more detail, describing the game in more depth, etc., would help, but the last thing I want to do is sound full of myself or sound like one of the endless number of hacks looking for free work for doomed projects.

Obviously, if someone were personally interested in working on the game, I'd be happy to chat, but it's really premature for me to hire anyone, since (a) I'm not going to let someone do hard work for free and haven't yet settled on what I can afford to spend and (b) I'm not going to let someone else commit to this until I'm sure I'll be able to see it through. But I certainly won't turn away interest, especially because after years of lurking I've come to think this place is full of great thinkers as well as great artists.
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