• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Resolving Creative Differences

This topic is 802 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Good afternoon all, I am having a creative dilemma on my project. 

 

I am making a monster collection game with a friend of mine, we are 50/50 on the project, I came up with the idea and concept, I am handling the business side of things, programming and designing. My friend is a trained artist and is doing the concept art, some in game art, directing freelance artists and making promotional items.

 

My initial concept for the game was for all the characters to be necromancers, and so all of the monsters that can be captured and battled are undead, skeletons, ghosts, spirits and so on.

 

My friend tells me that this would be too boring, and that there needs to be demons too. However I want to keep a very narrow undead design- no horns, tails, extra limbs, wings, features all over the place. I want all the monsters to retain more humanity than that. 

 

 

My problem is, I respect my friend as an artist and designer, and even if he is RIGHT about the game being better with a demonic element, that simply is not what I want, narratively and thematically. How do I tell him that it is non-negotiable without it sounding like I do not respect his option, his experience and his talent?

 

(I understand that this is something that should have been ironed out before we even agreed to make the game together, but I guess there was some miscommunication)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

My friend tells me that this would be too boring, and that there needs to be demons too.

 

You can always say lets wait with the demons until the DLC/expansions :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a possibility, or I could tell him that the next game we make together can be as demonic as he likes...

 

The hard part is the personal message it sends, he knows better than me on most of these things, he is trained in creature design, and so on, so if I tell him no despite all that my worry is that he will take it as me simply not respecting him. The only way I can think to explain it is that it simply isn't part of the vision I want for this game...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that simply is not what I want...
How do I tell him that it is non-negotiable

Are you paying him as a contractor/employee?
If not, then respect him as a peer and negotiate :P

 

Maybe negotiate for a demonic expansion pack? Adding different packs of magicians over time -- starting with necromancy, followed by summoning, etc...

Edited by Hodgman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I'm hoping we can meet somewhere in the middle (but still more my side...)

 

We have each put together a big pile of reference art, so tomorrow we will sit down together and look at each others to come to some agreement. I just worry that I will make my point in a way that will make him feel dismissed. Thank you for the advice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am making a monster collection game with a friend of mine, we are 50/50 on the project, I came up with the idea and concept, I am handling the business side of things, programming and designing. My friend is a trained artist and is doing the concept art, some in game art, directing freelance artists and making promotional items.

... [he] tells me that this would be too boring, and that there needs to be demons too.


You say he's a 50/50 partner. So he should be 50/50 on all decisions, should he not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Either start paying him, or let him have a say. But jokes aside...

 

If you are extra convincing and have good points about why you both should go with your vision, give it another try.

If he cannot be convinced, then negotiate. Don't try to "force" him to obey your vision, you will only drive him off, which is the last thing you want.

 

1. What do you rather have, a game that is not following your vision exactly but gets done, or a game never finished?

2. Why are you so sure your vision is better without his additions? Did you ask for a third opinion? Someone you both trust?

3. Are you sure this is still about "what is better for the game", or is it already about "this is not my vision anymore"? If it is the latter, you might have gotten too attached to an idea to let it go into the wild, or have other people work on it... and chances are you have lost the ability to see what is actually for the better because of your fixation on your idea. No offense, but consider the possibility.

 

 

When a team of people work on something, they all bring their own ideas into the end product. Usually this is for the better, as two brains come up with birghter ideas than one. Of course this can also mean two brains have completly opposite opinions of something. That can also be a good thing if you use it as a chance to really dig into the differing opinions and try to find out why you both pulling in a different direction.

 

As long as can accept a compromise, or the fact that you might be wrong, and your artist friend can also, both of you and your project can only get better if you allow an open, and openended discussion on this.

Edited by Gian-Reto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good points above, also try to consider what parts of the game design are you in charge of? You said your in charge of design and programming. That alone is a large chunk of how the game works, plays and feels. If you also want creatures and art following your vision, then what is he in charge of? Does he have any creative input?

 

Just from your short description above, it sounds to me like demons would fit fine if your doing a dark/evil theme. Demons fit in fine with undead and he's right that diversity would make it more interesting.

 

You have some wiggle room for complaint if demon-summoning won't fit into the existing mechanics. Say for example, to collect a monster you need to dig up a grave or kill a living one or something. Now, if you add demons, that mechanic won't make any sense and you need to add a summoning mechanic, which now means he's indirectly telling you to change what you're doing since you have to code a new mechanic. If this is the case, then you've got a good grounds for refusal, especially since it will complicate development and push back your deadline.

 

I say if adding demons will not extend the development time, change mechanics, require a new level, and it will still look good and make sense- then consider it. But, if you need to add fire-effects, do a level, make new summoning mechanics, etc etc, it's going to take longer and complicate development. At that point, I'd say no. If this is the case, then consider it for a DLC, or put it on a "wish list", which you can work on after the core game is completed.

 

 

Also consider the artist perspective and remind your friend - that it's normal for good artists to get bored of their work. He'll eventually go from bored of it, to hating it. That's why artist are artists. Artist crave novelty, which drives them to improve. With a game, you're prepetually stuck looking at 'trash art' you made a year ago, which you could remake even better or expand upon if you ONLY had time. I constantly have this problem with my designs. I have to dumb-down my style and limit my creativity to have any chance of finishing my project. I'm to the point where i absolutely hate the style and design, but i keep getting compliments about its look. So.. I do the responsible thing and stick with it. 

Edited by SirWeeble

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement