Johan Dahlberg
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So I'm beginning to take my own card game creations more seriously and I quickly realized the obvious: you need designs. Illustrations. Artwork.

I can't draw for s*it. I could of course hire someone, but my projects are plenty and all on hobby level, I don't expect to sell much. I could send my game ideas to publishers, but that's a long and competitive process.

I've ve been trying to come up with ways I can do it myself and have at least semi-professional looking cards, and now I'm hoping you guys might have more ideas

1. Photography. I live photography and am decent at taking pictures. This may be useful for some games, but most require a more playful approach.

2. Fiverr.com. Cheap labor. But five dollars only gets me one illustration, not one per card.

3. Artistic apps. Like painting apps or semi automatic abstract art apps. But I'm not sure about the copyright surrounding this. If I created something in an app and those who know the app can clearly see which app the artwork was created in, does it make it mine or the app developers? Can I use it commercially?

Please, any other ideas on how I can be artistic without being artistic?
 
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B C Z
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Make friends with someone whose art you like.
 
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lampeter
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User JohnKean describes a process he used in this WIP thread:

Quote:
It just occurred to me that I probably should explain the graphic style I'm using. These are freebee animal icons from the internet on top of simple semi-transparent vector shapes to create the environments
 
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Photoshop filters on photos you take could lend themselves a more abstract, board-game illustration style?
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mike heim
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I have a subscription to shutterstock.com

That with elementary photoshop skills can get you a good game!
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Stephen Williams
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Jozii wrote:

Please, any other ideas on how I can be artistic without being artistic?


I'm much like you; I have a lot of game ideas (more than I know what to do with sometimes) and I often get hung up on artwork. I've tried photographs, and clip art and even drawing things myself despite a decided lack of talent. Despite decades of brainstorming and amateur effort, I think I've produced all of one game to a playable level (and I subsequently lost the rules... -.-)

My advice, in all seriousness: draw stick figures. Get it done, cheap and dirty. Flesh out the rules and start play-testing. You can find nicer artwork later, once you've pinned down exactly what cards and other components your game will be using, and you have a good idea of how you want things laid out.

As an added bonus, if your first idea ends up fizzling out or being forgotten about or replaced in your mind's eye by some other new idea, you won't have wasted time and/or money developing artwork for a game idea that you might never come back to.
 
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Nick Nazzaro
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My advice would be to use great design instead of great art.

Anyone can learn to design well. You can make a very visually satisfying game without any drawing ability, if you can design well. Find some good designers online and figure out what makes their stuff so great.
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James Arias
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game-icons.net and googling public domain textures/pics.

As others have said, fix design first before going crazy on components.

But I do break that rule often as lifeless ugly components don't motivate me to endure the pain of repeated playtesting/balancing.

I also have yet to find a good PC simulator to do the design electronically before busting out the cardboard and scissors.
 
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James Colmer
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There are many filter programs which will do nice line art and oil paint effects, that you could use. Other than that, there are many artists looking for work or even experience.
 
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You said you're not artistic, but if you live photography, I have a hard time believing that. You might just need to take the time to master a pro level tool like photoshop (or even gimp). With your background in photography, look into learning how to do fantasy composite photos and you'll be creating amazing things in no time.

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Johan Dahlberg
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A lot of great ideas, thanks guys :D

I usually do all play testing on old business cards. Just hand written stuff, nothing pretty at all. Once the rules are done and tested, that's when I run into problems :P

I like the simplicity of combining free icons with free backgrounds, and I just took the stick figure idea (which I know referred to the play testing stage) quite litterally: my next game will have a playful stick figure design drawn by myself in a painting app on my phone. Super simple, and the silliness of the poor drawings fit the game idea very well. Turning my poor skills into an advantage :)
 
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Brandon Tibbetts
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Google Image Search
 
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kzinti wrote:
I have a subscription to shutterstock.com
That with elementary photoshop skills can get you a good game!



Almost all of these sites have the ability to download comps (versions with a watermark). There are illustrations on there too. Use the "test files" to make your game. If you do decide to sell the game, the publisher will pay for the actual art or change it all anyway.

I am a graphic designer and we do this daily. That's why they have the watermarked versions, to try the images in your layout before you buy.
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Filip Baranowski
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Jozii wrote:


I usually do all play testing on old business cards. Just hand written stuff, nothing pretty at all. Once the rules are done and tested, that's when I run into problems



For cards I recommend printing the core layout (name, icons, effects, without an artwork) on a normal printer paper. Make the card 2,5 x 3,5 inch. Than just cut it out and put into thick CCG sleeves.

I use that for testing all the time.
 
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Paithan Oxo
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I recently created my own game on a prototype level. I used images from thenounproject.com and a little photoshop skill to make it. It works well, but if you plan to sell any games I'm not sure it's the way to go. Just thought I would suggest it if you are only doing it for fun.
 
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toku42 wrote:
Photoshop filters on photos you take could lend themselves a more abstract, board-game illustration style?


This. Take a picture, go to the Oil paint filter. Viola!

Also, if you are not planing on selling these--just go to pintrest, artstation, where ever and use those illustrations.

There might be some stuck up and whacked out artists that wouldn't want you to use their work on your home made games but they shouldn't have put their stuff on the internet then*.




*Also, they wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on if by some cosmic turn of event they found out that you printed their stuff on your card game that you and your friends are playing and they decided to sue/issue a cease & desist.
 
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Brendan Riley
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mattramsey wrote:
toku42 wrote:
Photoshop filters on photos you take could lend themselves a more abstract, board-game illustration style?


This. Take a picture, go to the Oil paint filter. Viola!

Also, if you are not planing on selling these--just go to pintrest, artstation, where ever and use those illustrations.

There might be some stuck up and whacked out artists that wouldn't want you to use their work on your home made games but they shouldn't have put their stuff on the internet then*.




*Also, they wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on if by some cosmic turn of event they found out that you printed their stuff on your card game that you and your friends are playing and they decided to sue/issue a cease & desist.


No, don't do that. There are plenty of people who have marked their work with Creative Commons because they don't mind you using it. Using work NOT marked that way just isn't cool.
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Matt Ramsey

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wombat929 wrote:
mattramsey wrote:
toku42 wrote:
Photoshop filters on photos you take could lend themselves a more abstract, board-game illustration style?


This. Take a picture, go to the Oil paint filter. Viola!

Also, if you are not planing on selling these--just go to pintrest, artstation, where ever and use those illustrations.

There might be some stuck up and whacked out artists that wouldn't want you to use their work on your home made games but they shouldn't have put their stuff on the internet then*.




*Also, they wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on if by some cosmic turn of event they found out that you printed their stuff on your card game that you and your friends are playing and they decided to sue/issue a cease & desist.


No, don't do that. There are plenty of people who have marked their work with Creative Commons because they don't mind you using it. Using work NOT marked that way just isn't cool.


How/in what way would it not be cool? It wouldn't be at cool if he was to sell the game--but otherwise?

Most pros (the ones I follow anyway) do not have any kind of legal marks regarding their work. Mainly because they are pros and they understand how life works--they don't care if some guy prints off one of their images on his printer and puts it on his wall.

However, a lot of amateurs at Deviant art are very, very neurotic about that kind of thing and they watermark and or demand that if you get a printed copy it must be from them so they get their money (Will Terry & Jake Parker talk about this in their SVSlearn courses).

If someone was like, "hey matt I used one of your arts on my home made game that I'm not selling" my response as a decent (i.e., not narcissistic/neurotic) human would be: "cool. glad you like my art"

Yes, I have a deviant site and InPrint site and I would love it if you purchased prints (or phone cases!) through there. But I create art for clients specific needs that they pay me for and then market, and also for everyone else to enjoy for free.

You will find several whackjobs on deviant art that put out a piece and give a full legal paragraph about how they will confiscate your first born if you print their image--sure, don't use that work then. But those people are generally amateurs and there is better work to be found anyway.

As an aside here is some of my work on Artstation: none of it is marked with any kind of creative license but feel free to use it for your non-commercial use. A shout out on Twitter @mramseyART is always appreciated!
https://mattramsey.artstation.com/

P.S. Obviously, the work around to all of this, if I'm not convincing or you just want to make sure you are covered, is to direct message the artist. That would be a decent thing to do too!
 
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Mike Stoddart
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Try and find someone who wants to improve their art skills and is perhaps willing to swap experience for art. Maybe someone is willing to offer their time with the hope they will have something to add to their young portfolio.
 
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