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  1. #1
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    What's the cost for an artist?

    I am needing a level designer for a game and depending on the costs, I might be able to pay someone. I have absolutely no idea what the going rate it though.

    To get a better idea of the cost though, let me explain what I'm needing exactly: I need houses, buildings, fountains, stair cases, walls, trees, paths, and any other objects of considerable size drawn. I have specific styles for each city that I want.

    The scale will be about the sizes of these houses AND the angle of these (45 degrees looking down) AND the perspective (orthographic/isometric): http://nicubunu.ro/pictures/rpg/buildings1.jpg

    The amount of detail needs to be about like this: http://www.babymingle.com/simplehouse.jpg and if the house is made of bricks, drawing like 5 bricks together on the side of the house is good enough to signify that the house is made of bricks. The buildings will not look quite that simplistic however as they may have roofs like this: http://ullam.typepad.com/photos/unca...3/14/222ss.jpg or have more style like this: http://www.rhysd.com/newmodel.jpg The overall style of the game will be a combination of fantasy, abstract, and surreal so one could expect unusual things like this (although not drawn with this perspective): http://iphonetoolbox.com/wp-content/...ee-house-f.jpg

    and here is an example of too much detail: http://www.baueda.com/plastikornar/s...mall_house.jpg because I don't need the artist to waste their time with unnecessary detail since this is a conceptual layout and nothing more.

    Color is not necessary.

    Now, seeing as how each building is something like 1x1 or 1x2 or 2x1 inches, if a city had about 30 buildings, and covered roughly 4 sheets of printer paper (17x22 inches), I need to know how much that would cost me for someone to design that. I figure doing it per city drawn is a good way to quantify costs.

    The cities need to look creative and dynamic - not just a bunch of square houses on a flat surface. I want bridges and walkways and lakes and pools, etc.


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  3. #2
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    Figure about 20 dollars an asset/item for a contractor. Each thing with redo's and changes would take an hour. And just to let you know the kind of micro managing you are hinting at would make most pro's pass on the whole thing.

  4. #3
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    Are you saying that all the specifics I'm requiring is too much to ask of someone? Or what? I need to know because if I need to change something, I might because I would really like this artwork done.

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    yeah, no disrespect but telling someone the level of detail in each drawing down to the number of bricks on the side of a building is a bit much. Figure out all of the assets for the project. I mean all of them, no ambiguity. No saying things like between 15 and 30 or around 30. Decide what you can pay per piece, set deadlines and milestones and let the artist work. Have a contract stating all of these things and how many changes to existing art are allowed before you pay more money.
    Pay as you go every couple of weeks no more than a month at a time if it is a long project taking many months.
    Maybe start with one key feature for each asset group that way the style gets locked in. Also the level of complexity between this and this is nill
    Last edited by dpaint; May 15th, 2011 at 02:40 PM.

  6. #5
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    Alright, thanks for the tips. I hope I haven't scared any artists off though. I just wanted to provide a close description as to what I needed for the sake of clarification.

    But, the matter of cost is what I'm still wondering about. I am still curious whether this is going to cost $20 per city or $300. I don't know what people expect to draw something of this nature. I'm all for clarifying exactly how many buildings I want, but for right now I just need a rough estimate.

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    You are looking at it the wrong way. If someone spends a week on all the assets for a city group they are going to want a weeks wage. For someone starting out that may be 800, for someone experienced it may be 2k.
    You can always post it in the jobs section and see what the response to your prices are. I just don't think at under 20 an hour you will get the quality of work you want in the time frame you want it in.

  8. #7
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    I was kinda thinkin this would only take like 2 hours max per city. I've drawn one myself so far and I wouldn't even call myself an artist. It's what I based the dimensions off of. >_>

    I don't think that's worth $800. I guess I'm destined to just do this myself. Oh well.

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    An experienced artist could probably crank out a "city" in 8-12 hours...maybe $600 - $900 (that would be my estimate anyway). An inexperienced artist likely won't be able to pull it off no matter the amount of time...but they'd do it for a lot less.

    A factor many don't consider is an experienced artist will not only deliver, but will likely add a great deal of value, design and problem solving along the way.

    Definitely post in the employment section.
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  10. #9
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    I've drawn one myself so far and I wouldn't even call myself an artist.
    Exactly.

    You hire an artist because they can draw it well. Not because they're cheap labor.

    Though you probably could find somebody to do it for next to nothing. Unfortunately.

  11. #10
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    I get this all the time. Guys who want huge jobs done (usually RPGs of some kind) and have a) no idea how to describe the job or how to get it done and b) laughable assumptions about how long it will take. It's not even worth writing a quote.

    Another thing I often get is this. Dev comes to me , gets a quote and goes with someone cheaper. Then 6 months later they come back to me for the work with a handful of ugly botched assets from the inexperienced amateur who quoted low.

    Artists definitely take into account the experience level of a client when choosing to take on a job. Working with beginners just isn't worth the hassle.

    $20 is very low for that level of detail. No one can produce a finished building to a good standard in any style at that LOD for that price. If you want someone who actually understands optimisation for different platforms, integration of art
    and programming design, and can make it look pretty, get ready to pay, because a good artist who will actually finish the job costs a fair bit more than $20 an hour.

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    Alright, I think I need to clarify smoe things because this seems to be going off track.

    dpaint: I'm sorry you were confused about the specifics of the project. I tried to be specific about how many buildings the project would have by listing how many I wanted per city, so perhaps you missed that in my post. I did intend to pay as we went along, not all in one big sum, but I didn't want to go into those details as I'm only trying to find a rough estimate right now. I will have a contract, I'm sorry I didn't state that in my first post.

    Also, I'm sorry you were confused about how long each piece would take to draw. I do not want someone to spend a week on this wracking up 20 hours worth of work. It only took me like 2 hours to draw what I did and I'm not even an artist and the quality of that city was acceptable. What I'm saying is that it's kind of backwards that a professional would take longer than a non-professional (me) to do the same amount of work. I know a professional can do better work than me if they spent more time on it, but the fact is that it simply shouldn't take more time than 2 hours to draw a city up at this level of design.



    Noah Bradley: Once again, I'm sorry for not clarifying that I want about 2 hours put into each city, not 8-12 hours. I'm not sure why everyone is thinking that it will take so long to draw each city out because the level of detail is quite low with this project. What the artist is drawing is not the final product of the game. The layout the artist draws isn't set in stone either. This is a conceptual layout type of thing.



    Atreides: I'm sorry I have not described the job more thoroughly. I was only looking for a rough estimate per city really. I'm not sure how I can be more specific about doing that, but I'm open to your tips. I'm also sorry you think my assumptions about how long it will take are "laughable". As I said, I'm not even an artist and it only took me a short time to draw one city. You are the third person to state that it will take longer than that. There seems to be a big misunderstanding here that it will take hours upon hours to draw a little city up and I just don't believe that it will based on the time it took me.

    Also, I'm sorry I did not specify the exact price I would be willing to pay. I think you got confused when I said "$20 or $300?" because you are thinking I am going to only pay $20, but I was only throwing a figure out there because I have no idea. I really have no idea what the cost is going to be, which is why I didn't come out with a price myself.

    Also, I don't need optimization for different platforms, integration of art and programming design, and I don't need the art to look pretty. Whatever is drawn up, I can work with because this is just a conceptual layout and I can easily morph whatever is drawn into what I want.



    I'm sorry for all the confusion in this topic. I'll try to explain better when I make a job listing for this.

  13. #12
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    Don't know how long Atreides has been in games...and Noah's been in a few years I believe. Between them, dpaint and myself I'm guessing you're talking to people with 50+ cumulative years experience making video games. We're not the ones confused about the topic.
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  15. #13
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    Is this something you want modeled in 3D or actually hand-drawn on paper or in photoshop or something?

    Either way, cities take time to draw man. You have to consider how blocks will be laid out and most games post-1992 aren't just square. People want curves and cities that look more like real cities look (which are full of curves). If you can post what you drew in "no time", then that might give us a better idea of what you are looking for.

    Who knows, maybe what you want really is super simplistic and really will be cheap. But when you show buildings with Russian spires or whatever, it doesn't exactly scream simplistic.

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    Whatever is drawn up, I can work with because this is just a conceptual layout and I can easily morph whatever is drawn into what I want.
    So why hire an artist in the first place if you don't want them to do what they do best anyway? This makes it sound like you could have done the whole thing yourself if you wanted.
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    tobbA - I agree. This sounds like the OP just doesn't feel like doing the artwork, so he's willing to pay an idiot 20 bucks for complete shit..

    --this is for everyone -- I think most, if not all of us know by now that many gamers expect high quality visuals. This takes real artists real time to do. We are talking visuals for a game right? I didn't read through the entire thread.. Sorry..
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  19. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Don't know how long Atreides has been in games...and Noah's been in a few years I believe. Between them, dpaint and myself I'm guessing you're talking to people with 50+ cumulative years experience making video games. We're not the ones confused about the topic.
    Sorry, Jeff, I actually just act like I know what I'm doing. Been freelancing for a little under a year now. I graduate from college this coming weekend.

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    Well Noah - you do a good job at it! We've got Dusty in here now though so he can run some cover for ya!
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  22. #18
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    Haha, glad I got all of you old-timers watching my back.

  23. #19
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    Pretty sure the dude has bailed the thread at this point anyway.

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    Most likely...but maybe it helped him get a clue.
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  25. #21
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    To me it sounds like you don't need an artist as its only an amateur project. Who knows why this guy never showed us this perfectly reasonable 2 hour city he drew.

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