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abstractimmersion

about contracting for art/sound

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(note: cross-posted in business and music threads) I'm early in the design process, but I want to determine how feasible my business plan is. Basically, I want some ballpark estimates for how much it would take to get A-quality (not whiz-bang high-end AAA, but broadly marketable) graphics, music, and SFX for a isometric tactical RPG. I'm currently thinking of something like Final Fantasy Tactics, 2d sprites on a 3d landscape. If you haven't played that, think of an updated X-Com or Fallout done in that manner, 2d on 3d. (3d to allow for rotation, viewing from the 4 corners) The plan currently is to try and get all design (including level design) and programming done by (a small # of) people willing to work for a % of royalties. I'm guessing that quality artists, sound engineers, and composers probably won't do the work for a percentage, so simple placeholders would be present for Graphics, SFX, and music. This would allow for playtesting while the art and sound was being contracted and created. Say the number of character sprites would be around 100. The maps, say 250 of them, would range from 20x20 to 200x200 (square tiles), with all plot advancement occurring within the maps or in menu-based dialog (ie, no CGI movies). Plus items, character portraits, and menu/font design. So, any ballpark estimates for: Graphics? Music? SFX? (I realize I probably would have to break up 2d and 3d graphics, and may be able to combine sound and music)

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It always depends, but it sounds like months of work... lets say 2 months. 8 hours per day at 10$ for about 40 days . 3200$ per artists. High end artist can charge a lot more while others will work just to have their names in the credit.

I would suggest you find a very talented someone to make just enough graphics to have a decent screenshot and then ask for free help in the forums. You can offer % of the sales if its a commercial product.

You can of course ask for free help from the beginning but from my short experience a post with 4 or 5 screen shots even if they are simulated as 10x more power to recruit.

im sure final fantasy tactics as enough fans to have you find people to work on a similar project for free.

sound fx can be found on the internet quite easily and tons of music artist would love to hear their music in a game without asking you any money.

good luck !

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The plan currently is to try and get all design (including level design) and programming done by (a small # of) people willing to work for a % of royalties.

Which means that if your game goes no where they get paid nothing. You do realize that this is what every single other "start up" idea pitches as well? You show a willingness to fork over actual cash and people are going to be willing to jump onto the bandwagon.

A couple of words of advice:

Sprites on a 3D background isn't really done much anymore. You can render out really cartoony characters in 3D and put them into your game with less work than using sprites nowadays.

GO to websites like TurboSquid and look for models for free or to buy there. Lots of artists there are willing to work for a commission. On a project like this, that is your best bet, a willingness to shell out commissions.

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hereabouts contracting out 3d artwork to a reasonably skilled person (business) will cost you somewhere between €30 and €100 per hour, a bit less if you go further east. Afaik you can get good artists for ~20ish there.

employment is a different thing, poland or slovakia still has decent rates - you should be able to get a semi-decent artist for less than 1k per month.

Still, without more details on what you´re planning it´s hard to estimate (100 sprites? how many frames of animation? how detailed backgrounds? how many tiles? how many tilessets? etc.etc.etc.).

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"Sprites on a 3D background isn't really done much anymore. You can render out really cartoony characters in 3D and put them into your game with less work than using sprites nowadays."

What still does not produce the result as a nicely drawn 2D sprite. :)
But it is a personal opinion.

It won't be cheap anyway.

[Edited by - Peter Szabo Gabor on December 7, 2005 6:11:39 AM]

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Original post by zer0wolf
Quote:
The plan currently is to try and get all design (including level design) and programming done by (a small # of) people willing to work for a % of royalties.

Which means that if your game goes no where they get paid nothing. You do realize that this is what every single other "start up" idea pitches as well? You show a willingness to fork over actual cash and people are going to be willing to jump onto the bandwagon.




You'll notice I said I wanted to pay artists. There's a rather thriving Game Design subculture at my university, and I've talked to some of the guys. The plan is to go to them with the entire game done on paper. If they dig it, they'll write the code. Then the contracting for art and sound comes in.

Anyway, thanks for the input, everyone.

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You can try the CG or Animation departments at nearby art universities. There are always students who want to work on real projects, and making money would be a bonus. And you can definately get some quality work, especially if you think about paying per model/sprite set.

I may be interested (a huge FFT fan, currently halfway through Tactics Ogre after I finally found an English version), but I'd need more details about the story/plot. At this point, I only like to work on things I genuinely enjoy working on, money is second... isn't that what uni is all about? Feel free to email me if interested.

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