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Cost of hiring a 2d Game Designer for sprites?

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Hello all, I am new to this forum and I am a software engineer.
I am currently developing a game as a side project during my free time.
I am a technical lead so I know many people who do UI/UX, logos, and web design but I have had no luck finding anyone who does 2d sprite/asset work. If you do not mind giving me a ruff/broad what it would cost me to get some assets made for my game.


My Project:
I am making a web/mobile based mmo-eskwith async/turn based combat... think a mix between Tactics Ogre/Final Fantasy Tactics & Hero Academy.

I bought a few sprite and recourse packs off the internet to have place holder graphics to work on my rendering engine which I am about 30% complete with.. then I will start writing the web services and API, and then finally write the client interfaces needed to connect the rendering engine and web services. So far I built enough of the project to prove what I want to do will run well on phones/tablets, and pc's.
I eventually want to either bring my projects to an investor or run a kick-starter to gain what I need to polish the graphics/ui and get the infrastructure up and running.


Before I do that I need to get some decent looking sprites with with a few animations...
What I would like to know:
How much do 2d sprites cost?
The style I am thinking about is simular to the sprites of Final fantasy Tactics
eg. http://www.spriters-.../fft/index.html
but with a much higher resolution that will work well for both a browser and an iphone.

In terms of animations:
-walking in 4 directions
-swinging with 1 hand
-some sort of "casting animation" (depending on cost I may use the 1 hand swing with a wand).
-taking a hit
-kneeling
-fallen
How much would something like that cost per sprite?


Thanks in advance. Edited by mharroun

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Random art costs Random money.

You can see anything from $1-$70 a frame from browsing deviant art. Of course with dubious IP ownership and similar.

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"With much higher resolution" is probably going to drive your costs way up. You might to look at pre-rendered 3D, would probably be much cheaper than hand-drawn sprites.


Was thinking 64x64 or 128x128.

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Shouldn't this post be in the art section instead of game design?


You might to look at pre-rendered 3D, would probably be much cheaper than hand-drawn sprites.


Is this true? I'm looking to reduce my art budget. :D

However, after a 2-3 months of looking around and working with 2 artists on concept art, I tend to see much more traditional hand-drawn artists than pre-rendered 3D artists for hire (e.g. look on deviantart). There are, however, quite a bit of cheap stock pre-rendered 3D art around.

So far, my opinion is that creative use of limited traditionally hand-drawn art looks better than cheap pre-rendered 3D art. Of course, I could be wrong. Edited by Legendre

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Shouldn't this post be in the art section instead of game design?
Yes, I'll move it to Visual Arts now. smile.png

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Shouldn't this post be in the art section instead of game design?

[quote name='Prinz Eugn' timestamp='1351132038' post='4993636']
You might to look at pre-rendered 3D, would probably be much cheaper than hand-drawn sprites.


Is this true? I'm looking to reduce my art budget. biggrin.png

However, after a 2-3 months of looking around and working with 2 artists on concept art, I tend to see much more traditional hand-drawn artists than pre-rendered 3D artists for hire (e.g. look on deviantart). There are, however, quite a bit of cheap stock pre-rendered 3D art around.

So far, my opinion is that creative use of limited traditionally hand-drawn art looks better than cheap pre-rendered 3D art. Of course, I could be wrong.
[/quote]

In general it is cheaper to animate 3D art. the higher your animation framerate is the more time/money you'll save by going with 3D or pre-rendered 3D. as for what looks best... that's really up to you to decide.

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"With much higher resolution" is probably going to drive your costs way up. You might to look at pre-rendered 3D, would probably be much cheaper than hand-drawn sprites.[/quote] Well I expect there was quite a large team working on FFTactics, just search for the game credits. If you want something similar, but with more blown up graphics, you should expect to pay at last something similar, no?

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After looking at what other indies are doing, there were two major reasons that drove me to 2D hand-drawn graphics.

1. A lot of indies are using 2D hand-drawn sprites.

2. I have not seen a small or one-man indie team produce nice 3D graphics.

I only know of two released indie games with small or one-man team that uses 3D sprites: Tactics Arena and Dead Frontier. The sprites in both of them do not look good despite the developer's experience and the game's financial success Given that those are successful indie games, I cringe when I try to imagine what my amateurish production will look like with 3D sprites. On the other hand, I have seen numerous release/unreleased indie games with 2D sprites and they look good.

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I think that using 2D or 3D shouldn't be based off of cost, but rather on the preference and design of the game.

To really break it down though, here is a little list I came up with based off my experience:

3D can be faster to animate and easier to change, but is very dependent on the artists abilities.
2D can be more persice in the frames and style, but takes longer and is more difficult to edit.

I've done both and I really enjoy both, but I think you need to determine what exactly you're wanting to do for your game.
From my experience though when it comes to cost, I charge the same for both 3d and sprite work since both have their challenges.

3D needs to be modeled, unwrapped, sculpted and normal mapped if high poly, rigged, textured, animated, baked and that's not including proofing with the client
2D needs concepting, proofing, roughing, setting key frames (not the flash ones; references for where the animation will be worked towards), drawing frames, coloring, final lines, all followed up with another proofing cycle.

But yeah, both have their Pros and Cons, but I would suggest shopping around, find an artist instead of a package, and don't be scared to ask for what you want. If you decide to get some freelance work done for your game, be sure to commit to the work you ask to be done and pay them for it. Even if you want them to go back and do it again, pay them for the first one. It looks easy, but it really isn't. If a kid has MS Word, it doesn't mean you can expect him to out write Stephen King. It takes skill and time and just like your time, they could be spending it doing something else, so pay them for their work and effort.

Sorry, I let a little bit of my bitterness seep out there in that last part. biggrin.png

But it comes down to this; "You get what you pay for." If you want to pay little to nothing, you'll get very little in return. If you pay too much, you'll get too much of a head-ache. laugh.png Find the right balance by shopping around. Everyone will have different prices so find one that fits your needs.

Hope I was some help and good luck!

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2. I have not seen a small or one-man indie team produce nice 3D graphics.

Off the top of my head overgrowth only has one artist and one programmer and has alot of features I don't see in AAA titles.

But fast and 3d don't go together even 2d pixel art takes quite awhile.

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Actually, I 'm thinking 3d is gonna save you loads of trouble in the long run. Especially if the artist makes each body component interchangeable. And use same reference for animation.

Both 3d and 2d can make something like this without too much trouble; but 3d can expand on the characters much faster.
http://armoredkangaroo.deviantart.com/art/Ogre-Battle-64-Classes-142235265

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Put an ad up on a forum like polycount or deviant art, and then ask people who are interested what their price would be. Find someone who's price is inline with what you can afford, and then negotiate with them.

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Hi,

Simple: Some hobbyists will do it at no cost. Some intermediate semi-professionals will do it very cheap. A full time professional will charge the equivalent of $30.00 USA dollars per hour or more (40 - 60 is more typical but can go into the hundreds per hour for world class artists), though you may be able to negotiate payment deferred until release or even royalties in a few cases.

There are hobbyists who do actual professional quality work, so be encouraged to seek such by advertisement. Some good artists are looking to get experience and references, so you may find them, too, at low cost. You will have to be aggressive to seek them.

Make only reasonable claims and promises to artists.


Clinton

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I have not seen a small or one-man indie team produce nice 3D graphics.


The good 3D artists are much in demand, largely because it combines tough skills in 2D, 3D, general art skills, and understanding of game design into creating content. I actually have seen a few in small or indie organizations, but they are indeed going to bigger ones which pay better in general. Hey, I read about a 3D artist (sorry, don't remember the names) who earns a 6 digit income per year, though he supplements his movie 3D rendering with game content in the between times.


Clinton

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