Art workflow: Suggestions to improve it?

For discussing and sharing all forms of artwork related to the game

Moderator: Staff

User avatar
Bertram
Senior Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:08 am

Art workflow: Suggestions to improve it?

Postby Bertram » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:21 am

Hi everyone,

As Roots said in his recent news post on http://www.allacrost.org:
Even today our artwork needs are painfully high. Sometimes I almost wish our artwork was lower quality than it is, because all of the new artwork we make has to match this high standard and it takes a lot more time and a lot of skill to produce art like that.

Most people don't even last a year with us. Some don't even last a single week. This isn't because working on this team gives them a horrible experience, or we are all slave drivers or anything like that. Some people simply find that this isn't something that they are interested in, something that they have enough skill to do, or they just can't find the time to continue with it.


In my (little) current experience with open source projects and the spare time volunteer development model, I realized that people usually tend to keep their motivation better when they know exactly what they have to do. And I do think this is especially true for art, when the artists can focus on one specific little task at a time, while being able to think freely about the conceptualization during the rest of the day, for instance.

A good factice simplified example of something similar I've seen elsewhere which is highly demotivating:
"- I want to help. I can do pixel art, ...
Answer:
- Open the allacrost editor after compiling it from source, and create the next map, while expanding this tileset is what we need from you."
Result: The artist has to learn how to compile, how the editor is working, how to map, and to figure out the existing tilesets flaws before being able to do his/her first addition to the game. This usually ends up in no more news from him/her.

Why am I telling all this? Well, because, as especially the current art guidelines are a bit high for allacrost, (but don't forget that's something also very appealing for new contributors as the project already looks like a commercial game.),
1. I wonder whether adding a thread where pixel artists could pick up small straight-forward pixel related tasks could help adding new art to this fabulous engine/game, just like it has been done for code devs.
2. I also wonder whether it would be a good idea to focus on shaping up the next game content, even with sometimes poorer place-holders, which will permit people to visually see what's lacking or is to be updated, and will permit also to fill the list proposed in 1.

What do you think about it?

Best regards,
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Art workflow: Suggestions to improve it?

Postby Roots » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:41 am

Yes, we realize that its unreasonable to ask an artist to compile the game or perhaps even to use the editor. That's one reason why we do periodic development releases; so people without the means/knowledge/motivation to compile the game can see working snapshots of where we are. As for your two points:

1. Yes, I was already planning to write a post like this. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
2. I've put forward this idea to the team before. We actually do have some placeholder artwork in the game already, and I'll be adding more soon (pretty much everything I make myself is considered placeholder :heh: ). So far this hasn't really attracted any artists it seems, although there's not a lot of placeholder art there to begin with.
Image
User avatar
Bertram
Senior Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:08 am

Re: Art workflow: Suggestions to improve it?

Postby Bertram » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:52 am

Hi,

I'm glad you're open on that point, and I'm sure it can pay :)

Speaking of placeholders, the Mana World Project is using 32x32 45° top right lighten tilesets and objects, which seems quite
close from what you're using.
As the content team there is making sure every addition is GPLv2, it could be a good place for you (and I've seen you already took the scorpions and the green slimes there, btw.)

http://gitorious.org/tmw/tmwa-client-data/trees/master

Best regards,
User avatar
Psiweapon
Member
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:00 pm
Location: Ze Interbutt
Contact:

Re: Art workflow: Suggestions to improve it?

Postby Psiweapon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:14 pm

Yes.

A sticky thread with up-to-date and precise pixel art needs would help a lot.
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Art workflow: Suggestions to improve it?

Postby Roots » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:33 pm

Psiweapon wrote:Yes.

A sticky thread with up-to-date and precise pixel art needs would help a lot.


We've tried to keep up-to-date needs lists in the past and it just didn't work. The reason was because it actually takes a lot of time to keep a list of what is needed, what is complete, what priority things are, etc. And all that time we spend assembling and managing and updating that list is time lost where someone could work on the project. Not to mention, we don't always have people available to fill in those needs. In the past we tried to recruit "project managers" onto the team who could help out with this sort of thing, but the ones we did hire never did a really complete job and all left (so much for leadership :rolleyes: ).


We do, however, still have a wiki page for our next major release with a sort of high-level list of everything we need. The link for our next major release is below. Note that this is on the new wiki. I have not yet finished transferring content from the old wiki to this one so right now, this list is pretty much unknown.

http://www.allacrost.org/wiki/index.php/Goal_Progress


So what we've shifted to doing instead is to make a sticky thread with a small FAQ, geared toward new contributors who want to help out, and explicitly tell people to post in that thread and request for tasks that they can do. That way we can "update the list" precisely when it needs to be: when someone wants to help out and needs something to do. The one for the programming forum is here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5417

I'll try to get this done soon, but I've been busy working on a number of other things. :eyespin:
Image

Return to “Artwork”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests