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Reliable art studios?

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I don't know if this is the appropriate forum, so please ignore if it isn't.

My question is: is there somewhere a list of reliable/recommended art studios to work with? Right now, it feels like half of the work is tracking art studios and individual artists to evaluate. Then follows an extended period where you try to make sure that the person/company is reliable and actually has the skills / experience to do what you want.

As a very small indie company we still need AAA quality art, but it's actually rather hard to track down art studios. Pointers, links etc are all very appreciated.

Edited by Tom Sloper
removed PS that could be construed as recruitment

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it feels like half of the work is tracking art studios and individual artists to evaluate. Then follows an extended period where you try to make sure that the person/company is reliable and actually has the skills / experience to do what you want.


Yes. Welcome to the producer's world. People seem to think producers don't actually do anything. A lot of it is, as you say, finding and vetting the talent. Once you make a list of likely candidates, you can check on the candidate's work - see what games the person or company has worked on, and then get the name of the producer they worked for, and ask questions. Did the candidate deliver on time, on spec, on budget? How were they to work with? 

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is there somewhere a list of reliable/recommended art studios to work with?

Not that I know of. Recommendations also depend on the project.
One studio might be a good fit for one client, but bad for another :\ It's hard to be objective when every project/team is different.

Right now, it feels like half of the work is tracking art studios and individual artists to evaluate. Then follows an extended period where you try to make sure that the person/company is reliable and actually has the skills / experience to do what you want.
Most of the work we get is organic word of mouth, people we know from previous relationships, or people we've met at networking events, like conferences.

Yep... We do art outsourcing, and basically the reason that we charge more than a lot of other people is that we always put an art director / producer on the job, as a filter between the team of artists and the client. That director will review all the work and get artists to redo things before the client even gets to see it. The result is that the client gets exactly what they've asked for, but yep, the cost is that the client has to pay the extra overhead of this management layer too.
If you're hiring individual contractors yourself, then you're talking on that role of art director / producer, which will almost be a full time job for you.

As a very small indie company we still need AAA quality art, but it's actually rather hard to track down art studios. Pointers, links etc are all very appreciated.

Lots of AAA games outsource some art too -- you can try and find out what studios they're using :wink:
I hope you're comfortable with the fact that AAA quality art is expensive though, and that indie budgets and AAA quality are a fragile mix, which usually requires AAA-quality artists to be working with you closely for something other than the money they deserve (e.g. equity in the company...)

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I hope you're comfortable with the fact that AAA quality art is expensive though, and that indie budgets and AAA quality are a fragile mix, which usually requires AAA-quality artists to be working with you closely for something other than the money they deserve (e.g. equity in the company...)

 

 

I'm all too aware of the cost  :) but the scope for us is rather narrow (a 2D map tile set), so high cost is not a major problem if they deliver things to the quality we want. The problem is that this type of art is not that commonly produced anymore. Most engines are 3D. This appears to mean that some studios will promise they can deliver the style, even though they don't have someone with deep experience making tiles. Having a general concept artist doing map tiles for the first time is not a very efficient use of time and money...   <_<

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I'm all too aware of the cost :) but the scope for us is rather narrow (a 2D map tile set), so high cost is not a major problem if they deliver things to the quality we want.

 

Homam3 is a tile game from 1998, but its tiles are setup- rendered 3d models, even 2d post processed to be notch .

 

hom4.jpg

 

No discouriging! But unless someone draws you tile set in 2 months- do mind what you have been told about money and about the expectation when you will seek production to your demand.

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If you just need a single tileset, maybe you just need a single contractor. You might try the artist looking for work page on Polycount - http://polycount.com/categories/artist-looking-for-work

 

If you need more scope than that, or might have additional similar work in the future, one place you might check out is Original Force 3D. They are a big studio, but they have probably done a lot of 2D art in their long history (since they are in China and there is still lots of 2D mobile work being done in China), and might be able to work with small clients.  http://www.of3d.com/

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