I've just started a blog on creating great 2D game art and assets for Indie Devs. We will be updating this site often, starting with the more basic stuff, and moving on to more complex art, menus, tile sets, character development etc.
Probably one of the most common reason why an Indie Developers game might fail is due to bad game artwork. You can be the best programmer in the world, and under the hood you might have a potential hit, but the brutal reality is that if your app looks like it’s been created by a 6 year old on the surface, then no one’s going to buy or download it. Their money is being spent elsewhere.
This is particularly true in the current climate, where nearly 17,000 app submissions are made to the App Store each month, and where the behemoth games studios (EA, Zynga, PopCap) with multi-million dollar budgets are taking over the various app stores.
So what’s the answer here, when as a general rule, Indie Developers are working with little or no budget at all? How can we compete? How can we catch the eye of the App Store customer being lured relentlessly by the high-end, expensive, ‘AAA’ art and production teams of the App Store fat cats? The answer is, it’s tremendously difficult – but not impossible.
The most obvious answer for the programmer is to outsource the art. But as we are aware, having an artist produce your artwork can be very expensive – prohibitively so in many cases of the Indie. Good artwork for a game is not cheap, and rightfully so when you consider the number of sprites, backgrounds, assets that an average game may require.
That leaves us with little or no choice but to create some or all of the artwork for our games ourselves. It’s all too easy for the Indie to say ‘we can’t compete with the AAA’s', and put little effort into the aesthetic polish of the game, relying on the gameplay to win the day. In most cases (probably 9,999 out of 10,000 App Store purchases), that won’t be the case. Customer’s come for the aesthetics, and stay for solid gameplay. Successful games and Indie Developers need both.
And so, we come to the point of this post. This blog will aim to provide the Indie Developer with a resource, or cache, of detailed tutorials, knowledge, and in some cases freely usable assets, which you can use as weaponry in the never-ending battle against the industry Goliaths.