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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.

novtilus

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  1. Hi Numenor. Typically, the right of intellectual property(IP) is stated clearly in the outsourcing contractor. That all the IP belong to the client. You can store the art you developed for internal use, for example, educate the newbies. But you can't use the art in any way. If you want to show case the art on your website, you should first get written permission from the client. And about using student. We hired student in local art institutes, on part time basis. But we have had bad experience that we don't do it again. True, students are cheap, but they are less experienced, and hard to manage. They always need time to attend class and write thesis, that they can't give steady work. 
  2. Many clients and friends often ask me, "we have never outsourced art work before, how should we start?" "What things should I prepare for you (the outsource team)?" Here I can share some ideas, hopefully they will be useful. I think for a game developer to outsource art works, he can follow the steps: Sort out and make a full list of assets which should be done by the outsource team. For example, you may decide to outsource all or part of the background images, the animations, UI, etc. The background images are roughly done in two steps, line art and coloring, you may decide to let the in-house team do the line art, and outsource team do the coloring. Find reference pictures for a style/quality guide. Look for pictures of in-game quality, to show the outsource team the art style and quality you need for your game. The reference pictures could be already done pictures in your game, and could be screenshots of other games. Assign technical specifications. For example, if you outsource background images, or UI, you should tell the outsource team the image resolution you need them to be delivered in. The image size affects the labor amount and price. Write down descriptions for each piece of assets. For example, for a background image, or a UI button. Write what you want, and your ideas. Get a quote. After giving the above #1~4 to the outsource team, you can ask them for a quote. Then you can make a bargain with them. This step is important. Please don't assign a test, before you get the quote. Chances are the team can deliver nice pictures, but you can't afford them. Assign a test. After you get a satisfactory quote from the team, you can assign a piece of art work as a test. It's best to be a part of your incoming game, it's the most relevant content for a test. During the test, you can watch the team, to see their way of processing things, working speed and above all, the art quality. Proceed to the formal commission. Then if you feel the team is competent for your project, you can sign a contract with them and enter formal commission stage. And during the production phase, there are two concerns I want to add: Whether to give some info of the storyline and game play: No doubt this info would help the art contractors to do things better. Sometimes due to commercial secret concern or other reasons, you would not like to give this information. Nonetheless, make sure the description and reference for each art piece are clear, so that the contractor will be able to deliver precisely what you want. When the game is released, share the news with the art contractors. This would give them a sense of engagement, and achievement. Next time they will be willing to work with you.
  3. Thank you for reminding! Will do later!
  4. The article is here: http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JunxueLi/20131115/204880/How_to_make_graphic_list_for_adventurehidden_object_games.php
  5. The article is here: http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JunxueLi/20131105/204000/2D_game_art_the_procedure_of_making_a_facebook_hidden_object_puzzle.php