GE n00b looking for advice

Hi folks,

I’m a published fantasy and SF author (Asimov’s, Analog, Realms of Fantasy) who wants to break into writing for video games. I’ve been working in software documentation for 15+ years.

I decided to put together a team to create an original game as a portfolio piece, and we’re using Blender because it’s one-stop shopping (3-D modeling, animation, and GE). Plus it’s free. :slight_smile:

The game concept is well developed. I’m doing the writing, and a developer friend will handle the Python scripting. We even have a professional soundtrack artist who’ll do music and sound effects.

What we don’t have is an artist (or artists). After spending a couple of months running through Blender tutorials, I’ve learned that my art skills just aren’t up for the job – not if I want the game to reach its potential.

So here are my questions:

  • How important is it to find someone local? I would really like to be able to meet with an artist in person, but that limits the pool I could draw from. (I live in the Seattle area.)
  • How do you go about finding the right artist? I see forum threads where folks advertise games in progress, but I could use some advice in sifting through and avoiding common pitfalls.
  • Am I crazy to think I could find someone willing to work for a percentage of any money we may make, which essentially probably means working for free?

I think we have a great concept, and we’ve been careful to keep it simple and fairly short; we’re hoping to have something to show in 6-12 months. Our plan is to release individual levels of the game as episodes, so we could finish something more quickly. It’s a 3D adventure-platformer-puzzle game.

Thanks in advance,


I think that there is some comunity foruns created exclusively( this word exist?) to form a team to create games, google it and i think that you ll find people there.
About the meeting stuff, I really think that this isnt is an priority, we are globalized, I live in brazil and I dont have any problem working with other contry people the internet help to share data and information, I really think that this is not a big deal.
About the payment, I think that good artists don’t work for free, you can find a lot of guys that will join your team for free, but I m shure that will be very, very hard to find somone between them that can return quality stuff, take a look on our foruns, you ll see that 2% of the games have some good graphic content.
About find a good artist, first keep in mind that you ll have to paym, second ask for an portifolio or a game that this person had created, and then choose someone.
Try out, i m a 3d artist, if you want to pay, i can make the job, just send me a Private message and ask for an example of my work if you want to. And remeber that I live in brazil, you can only meet with me by the messenger.
Good luck on your search.

Here are my 5 cents:

  • I think it is important to meet people, at least once for introduction. But this is not always possible (see leonnn) and depends on how you build your team. It might help to run video conferences from time to time.
    My experience with “remote” team members is:

  • Both sides needs to be very organized and update regularly (every week is way to long).

  • It is fine as long the job to be done is a “one man show”. The means there is not that much dependency on other team members work. If so it might result in not enough communication = work slowdown.

  • For me it is important: The team needs to give every member the feeling not to be alone.

  • I have a question to you:
    What kind of artist do you need? (Or what should the artist produce?)

  • model design

  • model building

  • rigging

  • animation

  • textur creation and mapping

  • level design
    The other (Non-Game Engine) related forums might be the right place to ask.
    Leonn already told you that there is a forum to recruit members for a game project. If you want to recruit please open a thread there. (Mod: Please do not recruit in this forum.)

  • No, I do not think you are crazy. At least you thought about it. But that will be a deal between you (your team) and the artist. There are a lot of internet pages out there discussing this.

Thanks very much, Leonnn. That’s good information. Unfortunately, I can’t pay except with a percentage of potential profits. But thanks anyway.

And yes, “exclusively” is a word. :slight_smile:

Thanks, Monster – it helps to hear about other people’s experiences. And I’m not recruiting here, just preparing myself to recruit in the appropriate thread. Your information and question help me better understand what I’m looking for, so I can ask the right questions there.

I particularly like your emphasis on people not feeling alone. That will be good for me to keep in mind if I end up working remotely with someone.

To answer your question about what kind of artist I need, the truth is, I don’t know enough to be sure. The game has a player character and a few NPCs, so I need 3-D models created and textured, some short animations for in-game movement, and possibly a couple of longer animations for cut-scenes. Ideally, I would like to find an artist who can help me develop a visual feel and style for the environment. I have a sense of what I want everything to look like, and a lot of what I need is visually pretty simple (mostly based on real-world stuff, not fantasy or science fiction).

From your list, I’m not sure what “rigging” is, but I know I need everything else. The bottom line is that I can do the work myself (or a team member can), but of course it won’t be nearly as good as it would be with a professional artist. So anything an artist can contribute will markedly improve the quality of the game, and anything I can’t find an artist to do, I will find a way to do myself.

Are the items in your list all different specialties? Am I unlikely to find a single artist who can do a little of each?

This is not really a speciality. That are steps in the “pipeline”. You might get one person to do all or some artists to do just parts of them.

I’m not professional in game creation, so the steps might have other names. But here is what I mean:

  • model design: defines the look and feel of the game. This is the “art” part usually resulting in scetches of how the final models should look like.
  • model building: based on the above 2D scetches the modeller build 3D models.
  • rigging: This is only required on characters and means creating a skeleton (armature) under the 3D models. It is not that easy as it sounds and might result in redesign of the 3D models for a better rig.
  • animation: Creation of the animation. Usually the skeletal animation.
  • textur creation and mapping. The material creation for the 3D Models.
  • level design. Arranging the models in the scene.

(This does not mention the Game Logic, Sound, GUI, Input etc.)
As you see they all belong together. But a good modeller might fail to create good materials, or good animations. There are some good Blender Video tutorials at YouTobe. They give you a taste of what an experienced artist should know to avoid time consuming obstacles.

You might find the superartist who can do all steps. But keep in mind, that this is a lot of work. Maybe a bit to much for just one.

If you have your technical game design document ready, you should have a clue how much different models you need. So you can roughtly estimate how long the whole process might take.

(I’m a one man show, and never completed one of my 3 started levels :(. But I do not give up :yes:)

Okay, thanks again, Monster. Much appreciated.

I’m starting to understand why people start games and don’t finish them – I hope I don’t end up doing that, but it’s a lot more work, and a more involved process, than I’d realized going in.

I’m going to talk to my team to figure out exactly what to ask for when we do post in the recruiting thread.

Hey Melissa,

just to give you another impression of the game creation process:
Two years ago, I created a full game with two friends for my study. We were only 3 guys (and one “external” for sound and music) and had only 3-4 month to complete the task, starting only with a basic idea of the concept.
So it was a lot on our list, but we had a huge benefit from the facts:

  • that we were kind of specialized on different tasks: one “hardcore” programmer (writing the complete game engine by himself :eek: that was partly done before we started the game itself, though), one experienced 3d-artist (me :D), and a great 2d-artist (for textures, gui, concept art,…)
  • that we worked together on projects together before
  • that we were located in the same city (we met like 4-5 times a week, several hours each :spin:)

It was great and I never would have tought, that we could do something like that within such a short time. But it also was like a fulltime job!
Getting people into such a project (and keeping them to finish!) often only works, if they have a personal interest in it by themselfs and if there is a good motivation. (In my case it was just fun working with friends :D)
Or if they get paied well, which does not seem to work in your case.

From what I read in your posts, I would love to say “show me your concept and lets see if I join” because it looks like you are thinking a lot about what you are doing. But to be realistic, I just got too much work on my list to join another project. :no:

There are good people out there, and with some luck you also can find someone with good potential who is willing to join “for the fun” and with some motivation.

I do not know, how it is around Seattle, but maybe you could look around in the student community. Maybe there are some (3d?) art and/or media students who would like to get into this (maybe as a part of a project for thier study?).
Just an idea :slight_smile:

So good luck, and keep going! :yes:


Here is a link to our project from 2008:
(on some computers there is a physics collision bug in multiplayer-mode between the racers which cause the game to crash. we never found it and cannot tell why it works on some PCs and does not on others :mad:)