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Recruiting a Concept Artist for Zero Down: Part 1

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This week's post is planned as a multi-part endeavor. My hope is that I have a follow up for you next week, but that will depend on how things pan out. As I discussed last week, our concept artist split ways with us. We're now looking to move forward with a different project (one perhaps just as ambitious, but in different ways). We're looking to make an RPG that takes a lot of its influence and pays tribute to a lot of the old school SNES games.

I talked the idea over with Brian, our 2D Production Artist, and he really likes the idea, being a huge fan of the genre and time period. However, while Brian is a fantastic 2D production artist, he is self admittedly not a great concept artist. It simply isn't his forte. This puts us in a bind. While we could "borrow" concept art from around the net, tailoring things to make it our own and letting Brian recreate things as he sees fit, eventually this would leave us without a unified visual style throughout the game.

This brings us to our 2 part problem.

1. We need a concept artist
2. We lack sufficient funding to hire/contract one through normal means

That is where this week's post comes in. I'm going to lay out our plan for trying to obtain a concept artist.

Let's start with some ground rules.

First, no blowing smoke. I know for a fact that a lot of people try to hire an artist by saying that working with them will be great exposure for their work, or some similar line. While there may be some margin of truth to this, that's a horrible selling point, and I know it. There will be no mention, discussion or suggestion that said artist should simply feel privileged to be working with us to get exposure. That's just lame.

Second, I can't promise money at a later date. While I feel that there is a lot of potential for this game, I can't promise any actual sales. I've seen people throw out lines such as "We're going to make hundreds of thousands on Kickstarter, and you will get your fair share". While it would be awesome if we made a ton of money, it's possible we won't make a cent.

Third, no vague terminology like "getting your fair share". I'll be straight up and honest, and offer a flat percentage of any revenue the game makes. No weird pricing schemes, no trying to cheat people out of any money (that we may or may not make). We'll even put it into a legal contract to ensure its binding. I'm looking for someone fun to work with, but I don't want anyone to feel like they may get screwed on the off chance we do make something successful.
Now on to the plan. What are we going to actually do to try and find this miraculous artist? Well we're going to take a multi-pronged approach and see if we can get anything.

Twitter: Twitter is great, and we're going to use it. In fact, Brian and I have already started pushing out some tweets. The trick here is to be relentless without being annoying. Two to three custom Tweets a day tailored to hit different hashtags is my initial thought. We'll vary when we send out the Tweets, trying to determine the best times to do so. If we don't get any results from this after a couple of days, we'll go back and reevaluate this approach to see if there's anything we can change.

Gamedev.net: This website is a very popular place for game developers (most notably indie developers) as well as other lurkers who are simply interested in various aspects of making games. For under $10, you can put up an ad that will last for thirty days. I'll be putting up an ad on the site, and we'll see if it garners any interest. We may get lucky here. After all, this is the exact same way we found Brian (or maybe it's better to say this is how he found us?).

Conceptart.org: A pretty cool site devoted completely to concept artists. They have a forum with a section for job offers. While a number of the job offers are for paid positions, they do allow offers for non-paid work (which is really what we're offering). I'll also be putting up an ad there, and we'll see if I can find any interest from that site.

Indieteamup.com: I'm not overly familiar with this site, but Brian recommended it, so I'll check it out. This one might be geared more for developers, but I'll take a look at it and post there too.

Dinggames.com: Come on now, I can't list everything else without at least plugging our own site. If you're reading this, and are interested in being a concept artist, or know someone who is, shoot me an email: ShawnGreer@dinggames.com

So that's the game plan. We're going to shotgun out across all of these sites and see what we get back. We'll keep track of what worked, what didn't and feedback we get. For anybody that does contact us back, we'll ask them how they heard about us, so we can track where we're hearing people back from. I'll provide a status update next week with all of this information.

Wish us luck!

Note: This was originally posted 1 Jun 2015 on www.dinggames.com. Also of note, the position has been filled. I'll write up the details in part 2.
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