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Subject: Biggest issue with my project so far...the design. rss

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Kiefer Shipman
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I'm no artist. Not even a little. I'm no good at making othings pretty. But I've designed a game. There's only one slight problem. I need a design to go with it. Board, cards, player boards, box art...the lot. BUT I don't know how I'm ever going to pay for it. Obviously, I don't want any artist to work for free, but at the same time I can't really afford to pay out of pocket for one. The problem I have is I have no doubt I could get it funded on KS. I could use the proceeds to pay the artist. But the artist wouldn't likely be down for that. So I find myself in a sort of limbo with my game. I need the art for the KS, but I need the money from the KS to pay the artist for the art. I just can't seem to win.

Anybody have any solutions?
 
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Noah Chesnut
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Maybe pay for just enough to populate KS page? Or if you have a decent artist friend get them to do it and say you'll get professional on KS page?
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Peter Wocken
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You could shop it around to various publishers at a convention(s) with publisher speed dating or arranging meetings in advance. If they purchase it, they would potentially retheme/reskin the game anyways, so you'd be saving yourself a small bundle of cash.
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Kiefer Shipman
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pandawear wrote:
You could shop it around to various publishers at a convention(s) with publisher speed dating or arranging meetings in advance. If they purchase it, they would potentially retheme/reskin the game anyways, so you'd be saving yourself a small bundle of cash.


One thing I'm wondering is how worth it would it be to go with a publisher vs. self-publishing. I know what big companies can do with scripts and other works. Screw them out of their idea, scrap everything, and barely give the artists a dime. Don't really know much about board game publishers but I wouldn't be surprised if that's what publishers do.
 
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Odysseus Stamoglou
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Kiefer, this is true for the big publishers, but you can try to approach some smaller companies with your idea. I cannot promise that you will get rich doing that, but you will be able to take your design until the end, while the company will take care of all the production stuff: The art and design is just part of the story. Then comes the print, distribution, etc etc.
Good luck!
 
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Brendan Riley
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Meowcows wrote:
pandawear wrote:
You could shop it around to various publishers at a convention(s) with publisher speed dating or arranging meetings in advance. If they purchase it, they would potentially retheme/reskin the game anyways, so you'd be saving yourself a small bundle of cash.


One thing I'm wondering is how worth it would it be to go with a publisher vs. self-publishing. I know what big companies can do with scripts and other works. Screw them out of their idea, scrap everything, and barely give the artists a dime. Don't really know much about board game publishers but I wouldn't be surprised if that's what publishers do.


Board game publishers are like any production group -- most are earnest, some are not. As a game designer, you would get a royalty from the design.

The big question is whether you want to run a company and spend a lot of time on things other than design, or not. Because kickstarting isn't just raising money for an artist, but also managing shipment, doing quotes, etc. You should really want to do these things if you're approaching that side of it.

As to your particular question, you should be able to hire an artist to do a few images with the agreement that if your game funds, they will be able to do more.

If you haven't read through Jamey Staigmeier's blog and James Mathe's blog about kickstarting, you ought to. Very helpful advice.
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Kiefer Shipman
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I'm going into this knowing I'm not likely to ever get rich. I'd rather have a game people enjoy. The probability that I am able to make another game is pretty slim, so setting up a company would be kinda silly.
 
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Ashley Kennedy
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Meowcows wrote:
I'm going into this knowing I'm not likely to ever get rich. I'd rather have a game people enjoy. The probability that I am able to make another game is pretty slim, so setting up a company would be kinda silly.


Then meet with publishers. If you aren't looking to get crazy rich, then you don't have to worry too much about being 'screwed' out of your money. You won't have the work and risk of running a kickstarter project. If your idea is worth merit, they will certainly consider it. You still need to work up prototypes and proof of concepts along with particular ideas about how you would see the development going from where you are now.
 
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Kiefer Shipman
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While I don't expect to ever get rich, if my idea was successful and made everyone but me rich, I'd be understandably upset. Lol
 
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Jon Bowker
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Meowcows wrote:
I'm going into this knowing I'm not likely to ever get rich. I'd rather have a game people enjoy. The probability that I am able to make another game is pretty slim, so setting up a company would be kinda silly.

If you decide to do it yourself and not work with a publisher, and I can't stress this enough, FORM A COMPANY. You don't want people coming after you personally if the worst of situations arise. For instance, if you enter financial hardship during the process, you don't want the bank taking your personal belongings because they're under the same name. Forming a company will allow you to keep your assets separate because you never want to commingle them.
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Kiefer Shipman
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proclaimed wrote:
Meowcows wrote:
I'm going into this knowing I'm not likely to ever get rich. I'd rather have a game people enjoy. The probability that I am able to make another game is pretty slim, so setting up a company would be kinda silly.

If you decide to do it yourself and not work with a publisher, and I can't stress this enough, FORM A COMPANY. You don't want people coming after you personally if the worst of situations arise. For instance, if you enter financial hardship during the process, you don't want the bank taking your personal belongings because they're under the same name. Forming a company will allow you to keep your assets separate because you never want to commingle them.


A company, or like an Scorp or Llc?
 
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Jon Bowker
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Meowcows wrote:
proclaimed wrote:
Meowcows wrote:
I'm going into this knowing I'm not likely to ever get rich. I'd rather have a game people enjoy. The probability that I am able to make another game is pretty slim, so setting up a company would be kinda silly.

If you decide to do it yourself and not work with a publisher, and I can't stress this enough, FORM A COMPANY. You don't want people coming after you personally if the worst of situations arise. For instance, if you enter financial hardship during the process, you don't want the bank taking your personal belongings because they're under the same name. Forming a company will allow you to keep your assets separate because you never want to commingle them.


A company, or like an Scorp or Llc?

I can't give you advice about what you should create because I have zero experience in the area, I just know that you won't want your personal belongings financially responsible for your game. I merely wanted to share a perspective to your "setting up a company would be silly" statement. An attorney or experienced business person will be a much better reference than myself. Regardless of the route you choose, I wish you luck with your game.
 
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Adam P
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If the game is that good, you can get by with royalty-free art. Later, when people gush over your game, a publisher can step in and help with funding art.

http://www.creativemarket.com is a great place for good inexpensive art.

http://thenounproject.com is great for icons.

You will still need to do the elbow work by layout and formatting using free software such as Inkscape or Scribus.
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Kiefer Shipman
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adamredwoods wrote:
If the game is that good, you can get by with royalty-free art. Later, when people gush over your game, a publisher can step in and help with funding art.

http://www.creativemarket.com is a great place for good inexpensive art.

http://thenounproject.com is great for icons.

You will still need to do the elbow work by layout and formatting using free software such as Inkscape or Scribus.


Almost 100% of games I've seen on KS that do really well have fantastic artwork. Sad to say, but artwork sells games. Look at anything by Ryan Laukat like Above and Below.
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Kiefer Shipman
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Meowcows wrote:
adamredwoods wrote:
If the game is that good, you can get by with royalty-free art. Later, when people gush over your game, a publisher can step in and help with funding art.

http://www.creativemarket.com is a great place for good inexpensive art.

http://thenounproject.com is great for icons.

You will still need to do the elbow work by layout and formatting using free software such as Inkscape or Scribus.


Almost 100% of games I've seen on KS that do really well have fantastic artwork. Sad to say, but artwork sells games. Look at anything by Ryan Laukat like Above and Below.



In fact, the game raised $142,148 on KS alone. The game is great, but the artwork drew people to the game. The sequel, Near and Far blew that number out of the water and raised $520,177. Since no one can really play the game until they get it, the only thing you have to promote yourself is your artwork.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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Meowcows wrote:
Almost 100% of games I've seen on KS that do really well have fantastic artwork.

Or miniatures.

Quote:
Sad to say, but artwork sells games. Look at anything by Ryan Laukat like Above and Below.

This is true, and a lot of people love his art. I don't hate it and have seen much worse, but I find his technique too crude and really dislike the lack of detail. I own one of his games, The Ancient World, but I got it despite the artwork, not because of it.
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Adam P
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Why let that stop you? Have you been to playtest conventions? Have you seen how bad prototypes are?


Anyways, Ryan has built a brand around his art, well before Above and Below, so it's an obtuse example. Plus, Kickstarter audience values art, especially minis, over ANYTHING. The number of duds with great art is staggering, so if you want to make a lot of money, yes, go find an artist.

Otherwise, make a great game and sell it on GameCrafter or DriveThruCards or wherever.

Examples of kickstaters:
No art, funded:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jefftidball/the-white-b...

Simple art, almost funded:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/488478819/syshack-a-ded...

 
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Kiefer Shipman
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adamredwoods wrote:

Why let that stop you? Have you been to playtest conventions? Have you seen how bad prototypes are?


Anyways, Ryan has built a brand around his art, well before Above and Below, so it's an obtuse example. Plus, Kickstarter audience values art, especially minis, over ANYTHING. The number of duds with great art is staggering, so if you want to make a lot of money, yes, go find an artist.

Otherwise, make a great game and sell it on GameCrafter or DriveThruCards or wherever.

Examples of kickstaters:
No art, funded:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jefftidball/the-white-b...

Simple art, almost funded:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/488478819/syshack-a-ded...



Let me put it this way. My game's theme and general concept is nothing new. The mechanics are where the true game lies. I used to be an avid writer. One thing I still remember is you need a hook to get the reader interested. In this world where people spend less than 30 seconds reading a page before deciding whether or not they like what they see, this concept spreads to more than just writing. I'm hoping artwork can be my 'hook'.
 
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Matt Lee
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I hate to disappoint you, but unless you luck out and find an artist who is willing to take the option/chance with you, you'll either need to find royalty free artwork that you can use, or save and invest money into buying artwork to use for the campaign, or just accept that you need a visually clean and well designed prototype to submit to publishers and hope that you are able to convince one to buy the design. Loans are likely your only other option of getting any money, since boardgames make so little profit per copy.

KS backers, as noted above, have only your rules, and sample cards/artwork to go by to back it. No matter how good you think your game is, if it doesn't attract the crowds and make them enthusiastic right away, it might never make it out there, or will join countless other games gathering dust.
 
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Meowcows wrote:
While I don't expect to ever get rich, if my idea was successful and made everyone but me rich, I'd be understandably upset. Lol


Plenty of successful businessmen started with an idea and, through hard work and dedication -- oh, wait, we're talking games. laugh

Have you gotten through playtesting? If not, don't worry about anything else.
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Filipe Ferreira
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adamredwoods wrote:

And note that even though they have no art done the page presentation and graphics included are excellent and probably helped sell the game in the first place.
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Kiefer Shipman
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Sam and Max wrote:
Meowcows wrote:
While I don't expect to ever get rich, if my idea was successful and made everyone but me rich, I'd be understandably upset. Lol


Plenty of successful businessmen started with an idea and, through hard work and dedication -- oh, wait, we're talking games. laugh

Have you gotten through playtesting? If not, don't worry about anything else.


I've done about as much playtesting as I think I can, due to the lack of people willing to playtest. Every time I bring it out, I usually wind up changing something, but the last few times, the testers had nothing to add other than, "let me know when you set up the Kickstarter!" Honestly, I haven't gotten as many as I had hoped, but I've gotten great feedback here, and even better feedback with testers.
 
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Kiefer Shipman
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GSReis wrote:
Meowcows wrote:
Almost 100% of games I've seen on KS that do really well have fantastic artwork.

Or miniatures.

Quote:
Sad to say, but artwork sells games. Look at anything by Ryan Laukat like Above and Below.

This is true, and a lot of people love his art. I don't hate it and have seen much worse, but I find his technique too crude and really dislike the lack of detail. I own one of his games, The Ancient World, but I got it despite the artwork, not because of it.


Really? I LOVE his artwork, particularly in Above and Below. I have never seen such attention to detail as I did in that game. The villagers all were different, the buildings (aside from a few duplicates) were all different, and one part that really blew me away is how the backgrounds of all the cards fit together perfectly, despite being all different.
 
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Kiefer Shipman
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adamredwoods wrote:

Why let that stop you? Have you been to playtest conventions? Have you seen how bad prototypes are?


Anyways, Ryan has built a brand around his art, well before Above and Below, so it's an obtuse example. Plus, Kickstarter audience values art, especially minis, over ANYTHING. The number of duds with great art is staggering, so if you want to make a lot of money, yes, go find an artist.

Otherwise, make a great game and sell it on GameCrafter or DriveThruCards or wherever.

Examples of kickstaters:
No art, funded:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jefftidball/the-white-b...

Simple art, almost funded:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/488478819/syshack-a-ded...



The point for me is I want to give my backers to have the best product I could possibly give them. To do so, I need them to be willing to open up their wallets. I want to give them things that we all like-metal coins, decent miniatures, things like that.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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Meowcows wrote:
Really? I LOVE his artwork, particularly in Above and Below.

Yes, really. And I promptly acknowledged that people love his art.

Quote:
I have never seen such attention to detail as I did in that game. (...)

I was talking about a different kind of detail. It has nothing to do with variety or number of pieces of illustration.
 
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