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Acissathar

Where can I find a rough estimate for my art assets?

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Hello Everyone,

I am creating an RPG Loot Fest and the biggest piece I need to complete will be the art assets. I am trying to find a rough estimate for the assets needed to complete the project. I am looking at keeping it with one artists / studio in order to keep the whole set similar in style and following a general cartoon fantasy feel.

Currently I'm looking at these for the assets:

~50 Weapons, split between swords, staves, axes, etc.

~20 Different Enemies

~7 Unique Boss Characters

4 or 5 different "Platform" tile-sets (Different themes, one is dark ruins, one is grassy, etc.)

GUI elements for health, mana, actionbars, etc.



All of this is assuming a direct payment model, not splitting shares or any other strings attached methods.


Thank you for your time.

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That's what I plan to do when I get to the stage the assets are needed, but right now I'm just trying to get a feel for what a good price would be. I don't want to head in blindly and try to negotiate without having the slightest idea; I'd hate to end up insulting or losing potential artists because the price I think might work initially is grossly undervalued.

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[quote name='Acissathar' timestamp='1341350579' post='4955452']
but right now I'm just trying to get a feel for what a good price would be.
[/quote]

So ask them. That is what I have always done. That is what I will do next time.

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To add to what I wrote above: collect multiple bids, with each bidding party understanding that others are also bidding for the project.
When a vendor knows he's bidding in competition with others, he doesn't ask too much.
Just know that you don't necessarily want to go with the lowest bid - sometimes someone might underbid just to get the project, but then won't be able to afford to give you the quality you need in the timeframe you need. So you accept the vendor who has the best references and doesn't cost the most. And you take other criteria into account as well (such as the vendor's visual styling fits your vision, the vendor understands your audience). Make a [url="http://sloperama.com/advice/m70.htm"]decision grid[/url] to determine which vendor you'll go with.

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[quote name='Acissathar' timestamp='1341349744' post='4955449']
~50 Weapons, split between swords, staves, axes, etc.
~20 Different Enemies
~7 Unique Boss Characters
4 or 5 different "Platform" tile-sets (Different themes, one is dark ruins, one is grassy, etc.)
GUI elements for health, mana, actionbars, etc.
[/quote]Depends on the quality you're looking for... Making up some random task time-frames, we could say:
.. 1 day per weapon * 50 weapons
+ 1 week per character * 27 characters
+ 1 month per tile-set * 5 sets
+ 1 week of GUI work
= 290 days = 2320 hours of work.
@ $20/h that's about $46k over a bit more than a year. You could easily double or halve that number though, depending on the quality you need. Edited by Hodgman

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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1341382799' post='4955538']
@ $20/h that's about $46k over a bit more than a year. You could easily double or halve that number though, depending on the quality you need.
[/quote]

And you could probably halve it even further by hiring a "non-professionnal" to do the work knowing that this could give him visibility and training while your game doesn't receive perhaps as much care as you'd like. Many people will work for less than 20$/h but the level of quality will go along with it. I think what Hodgman was referring to specifically with halving the price at the expanse of quality was reducing the level of detail or sprite size, which is also another avenue.

Note that I'm making the gross assumption that this would be your first published game and I'm trying to give you alternatives to cut on the expanses knowing you're probably on a tight budget. If this is not the case, please disregard.

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1341373334' post='4955511'] Make a [url="http://sloperama.com/advice/m70.htm"]decision grid[/url] to determine which vendor you'll go with. [/quote]

Thank you for the insight, I do like the decision grid idea and I'll implement that before I choose someone..

[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1341382799' post='4955538']Depends on the quality you're looking for... Making up some random task time-frames, we could say: .. 1 day per weapon * 50 weapons + 1 week per character * 27 characters + 1 month per tile-set * 5 sets + 1 week of GUI work = 290 days = 2320 hours of work. @ $20/h that's about $46k over a bit more than a year. You could easily double or halve that number though, depending on the quality you need. [/quote]

That is definitely more than expecting but at least I have some numbers to work with, and I do understand that greater quality will demand a greater price but this "middle of the road" estimate is very helpful.

[quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1341407010' post='4955607'] Note that I'm making the gross assumption that this would be your first published game and I'm trying to give you alternatives to cut on the expanses knowing you're probably on a tight budget. If this is not the case, please disregard. [/quote]

The sprites and such will be designed with a mobile platform in mind so they wouldn't be too largeThis is indeed going to be the first published game however the budget is not so much a problem (at least currently), as this is simply a side project during my off time until I complete my contract at the end of 2013 so I'm not afraid to spend X amount of money over that time.


Again thank you everyone for your insight.

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[quote name='Acissathar' timestamp='1341424934' post='4955678']
[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1341382799' post='4955538']Depends on the quality you're looking for... Making up some random task time-frames, we could say: .. 1 day per weapon * 50 weapons + 1 week per character * 27 characters + 1 month per tile-set * 5 sets + 1 week of GUI work = 290 days = 2320 hours of work. @ $20/h that's about $46k over a bit more than a year. You could easily double or halve that number though, depending on the quality you need. [/quote]

That is definitely more than expecting but at least I have some numbers to work with, and I do understand that greater quality will demand a greater price but this "middle of the road" estimate is very helpful.
[/quote]

Make sure you adjust all those numbers. A day for a weapon could be a huge overestimation if you're talking about a 2D game for iPHones - a week for a character could likewise be off, a month for a tile-set, etc. I would estimate higher for GUI. Factor in reworks as well.

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[quote name='Acissathar' timestamp='1341424934' post='4955678']
That is definitely more than expecting but at least I have some numbers to work with, and I do understand that greater quality will demand a greater price but this "middle of the road" estimate is very helpful.
[/quote]As Tom said, play with the numbers. That's not necessarily a "middle of the road" guess, because I did just pull those number from thin air!
I don't even know if you're doing 2D or 3D, or what kind of animations you need, etc... ;) You'll have to ask your potential contractors for some actual time estimates/quotes of course.

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[quote name='Acissathar' timestamp='1341424934' post='4955678']
That is definitely more than expecting but at least I have some numbers to work with, and I do understand that greater quality will demand a greater price but this "middle of the road" estimate is very helpful.
[/quote]
Also it might be worth to think about just buying models and/or graphics for some of your assets to reduce the costs. After all a lot of fantasy-weapons tend to look the same or at least very similar. The same goes for some GUI-elements such as health-bars. For enemies and especially bosses (and tilesets) you will still want to custom-model it, as this will make your game look more unique compared to other games of the genre.
Buying models and images will likely prevent you from applying a very unique art-style but the reduce in cost might well be worth it.

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1341425868' post='4955683']

Make sure you adjust all those numbers. A day for a weapon could be a huge overestimation if you're talking about a 2D game for iPHones - a week for a character could likewise be off, a month for a tile-set, etc. I would estimate higher for GUI. Factor in reworks as well.
[/quote]

I thought I had thrown in 2D Mobile in my original posting but I had left it out, that's why such a number was surprising to me because I was under the assumption that this was all for 2D. That's what I get for assuming though!

[quote name='doeme' timestamp='1341475085' post='4955883']

Also it might be worth to think about just buying models and/or graphics for some of your assets to reduce the costs. After all a lot of fantasy-weapons tend to look the same or at least very similar. The same goes for some GUI-elements such as health-bars. For enemies and especially bosses (and tilesets) you will still want to custom-model it, as this will make your game look more unique compared to other games of the genre.
Buying models and images will likely prevent you from applying a very unique art-style but the reduce in cost might well be worth it.
[/quote]

This is an option too, but the only problem I can see with this is if the "winning" artist's style does not match these generic pieces. The biggest thing I wish to avoid is a Frankenstein'd game with mismatching pieces. Granted it's easy to minimize the damage (Don't choose Sci-Fi pieces if the game is Fantasy) but it's something I hope to not even have to mess with. Edited by Acissathar

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From my experience as a freelance artist, I can say that having an hourly basis for making out a fixed price is the best way to go with it. I'm still a guy with only one game on my portfolio in terms of video game asset art, so my price will usually run at $13/ hr, and this is the regular price for others around my "experience level." So you're probably safe with an estimate from $10 to 15 an hour for what you're going for.

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[quote name='Zido_Z' timestamp='1341876271' post='4957451']
From my experience as a freelance artist, I can say that having an hourly basis for making out a fixed price is the best way to go with it. I'm still a guy with only one game on my portfolio in terms of video game asset art, so my price will usually run at $13/ hr, and this is the regular price for others around my "experience level." So you're probably safe with an estimate from $10 to 15 an hour for what you're going for.
[/quote]

I found out I've been saving by bulk job if the planning and estimate are realistic.
I think its a win-win because, while the artist earns less an hour, they get a longer chunk of work they can rely on and from my basic understanding of a freelancer's job, that can give them a bit of a break from job hunting. (Correct me if I'm wrong).

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[quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1342369585' post='4959292']


I found out I've been saving by bulk job if the planning and estimate are realistic.
I think its a win-win because, while the artist earns less an hour, they get a longer chunk of work they can rely on and from my basic understanding of a freelancer's job, that can give them a bit of a break from job hunting. (Correct me if I'm wrong).
[/quote]

This is how I plan on paying for things, in bulk at milestones so that way if something falls through on either end both of us will at least have [i]something [/i]instead of nothing (say the project ends or the artist has life issues that interrupt his work).

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