For the ZoRTS project finding Artists seemed to be the biggest challenge. There is just something about artists which makes them really hard to find. Maybe there aren’t many out there at the moment. Maybe Artists are looking in traditional media instead of game design. Or maybe working on a project for no pay is not very appealing. Regardless of the reason for a difficult search here are some of the strategies the ZoRTS project has used to find Concept Artists and Sprite Artists for The ZoRTS Project.
1.) Trade Shows/Conventions. While attending Pax East 2011, I went to every panel for art. Not to attend the panel, just to talk to the Artist lining up to listen. At a big convention you have an hour long wait for the room. Two words: captive audience. You can talk up your game, get business cards, or just chat with art folks.
2.) Art Schools. One of those Pax East Attendees was a representative from an art school. They are always looking for ‘internships’ and opportunities for their students. They even have offices set up to help find projects that are looking for artists. You may want to avoid the fine arts colleges, and go with ones that have game or programming curriculum… But don’t limit yourself if you are located in a part of the country with only a few colleges.
3.) Go to Kongregate.com. Many of the games there have art under a Creative Commons License that will allow you to use the art for free, as long as you mention the artist. This pack of art may be all you need for a prototype, or it may be a place to start and build from.
4.) Build a website! If you are laboring in secrecy there is no way you can get the word out about your game. Polish those inbound marketing skills, or contract me to do it, grab some free Google webspace and start telling us about your game. Use this to attract the attention of the artists that you need.
5.) Reddit! Use the /r/gamedev, /r/indiegame or similar subreddit. And there are other more appropriate boards there as well.
In fact this blog post was inspired by a reddit post. Check it out here to find out if they have added any new and useful comments. What ways have you used to look for artists to work on a game? Any ‘war stories’ about trying to find that great artist? Next week it’s finally here, 1 Free Business Plan for your computer game. It was held back one week to tweak it and make sure it’s perfect!