Need artists for a Visual Novel

For recruitment of team members to help create visual novels and story-based games, and for people who want to offer their services to create the same.
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Xyphon
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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#16 Post by Xyphon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:59 pm

The problem with sharing tidbits of my story and not keeping it to myself is well.. I don't really know how I should do it. If I put it below the characters, some people may just skip over it, if I put it above the characters, it would look awkward, and if I put it in the character descriptions, people again might just ignore it. I also don't know how to word it.. I can't really put the ending in, can I? I'll think of something.. I got rid of the "top quality" thing though, and instead asked for any artists who might want to do something..
@Lumen: Let me see your work.. Sketches would be great, it would help me find people who want to do the line art or whatever because it would lessen the workload. Thanks for volunteering :)

@Yu: I can pay a bit, but not much.. I may be able to pay more if my friend pitches in.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#17 Post by cetriya » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:32 pm

if you're willing to commission, I can be the BG artist. check my post here:
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 75#p116175

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#18 Post by okonomiyaki » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:47 pm

Xyphon wrote: I've seen a lot of projects where no money being paid is involved, that's what a team is all about.
Also, the japanese names are all legitimate, although they may be a little rare.
I'm going to be really straight with you. You're silly if you think that projects randomly exist that aren't done by artists where absolutely no money is involved. Likely the projects you saw with good art that was free were also written by an artist and created by an artist who took on the art themselves.

And your names are not rare. They are pretty much nonexistent. For one, several of your characters have popular first names as their last names.
Last edited by okonomiyaki on Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#19 Post by Xyphon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:01 pm

They do exist, albeit a little rare.
Same with the names, they do exist, albeit a little rare. I found most of them on a list of japanese names, and all of them are existent.

@Cetriya: By commission, I assume you mean money? I'm not sure if I can pay much at all.

I have created a smaller summary of all of the stories, and I am about to update my post with them.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#20 Post by okonomiyaki » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:13 pm

You found them on a list of Japanese names that told you first names.

The names in themselves are not largely rare names. They are names being used in a way that will make people raise their eyebrows.

Research better, or accept that they're not "a little rare" but more like "freakishly odd wtf".

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#21 Post by Xyphon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:19 pm

No, I didn't, lol.. Tell me specifically what names are weird(Not the full name, what section (1st/last) of whatever character, so I can be precise). That way, I will know which ones I should change.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#22 Post by okonomiyaki » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:24 pm

Itsuki Tetsuya

Two boy first names. Neither are a last name.

Hana Hatsumi

Two girl first names.

Ryusaki

I've never seen this name, but it comes off as a boy's first name, not a last name.

Deushi

This name looks extremely foreign to me.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#23 Post by Xyphon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:45 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaaki_Hatsumi
Last name
I'll fix the Tetsuya, I am pretty sure I saw it as a last name before but I may be wrong.
I can guarantee that Ryusaki is a last name, although it may ALSO be a first name, it IS a last name.

http://japanese.reader.bz/deushi
I'm pretty sure that isn't a first name.. Deushi doesn't sound at all like a first name.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#24 Post by Duredhel » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:46 pm

Though I have little experience with VNs, I have quite a bit doing professional art as well as working in comic books and knowing many comic book writers, so let me try to translate some of which I've learned to the world of VNs.

Now as opposed to what many people think, many professional artists often do projects for no money at all, but there are requirements and steps you have to follow to reel us in.

1. Start Small - Start with small projects, projects you can finish quickly and then use to promote slightly longer projects, and so on. In comic books, when a writer sends an artist a 200 page proposal without having published anything priorly, no matter how good the proposal is, the artist won't go for it. He'd much rather compromise to say.. 8 pages.
Then with those 8 pages the writer can propose a 20 page comic and go "Look, this is the kind of stuff i've done so far." Can't get an artist at all? Don't let that stop you, do stick figures if you have to and get a demo out to show your story, who knows what artist might play your demo and come to love it, you can always replace the stick figures later. Harvey Pekar and Rich Burlew did that, and look where they ended up.

2. Build a reputation - Can't stress how important this is. A solid reputation can be as good for an artist as cash in his hand. If you have completed 8 projects in a timely manner and they've all been very popular, logic dictates you'll also complete your 9th with similar results. So the most important thing is to get that first VN done, even if the art is not exactly top of the line.

3. Show Proof of Work - You can't afford the amazing artist to do the whole VN? Fine, hire him to just sketch out the characters, pencil sketches are not expensive, but those same sketches will give you what you need to lure the decent artists. Yeah, you might not get the amazing artist at first, but that VN with decent art will help you towards building a reputation and gathering the funds to pay for the amazing artist. Anything you can show to entice artists is good, show progress, the whole "i don't want to post my storyline because it might be ripped off (of course, don't post up 20 pages)", or "I could post my own sketches but they're no good." Will get you nowhere. You need to show stuff to get people interested. Hell, a short demo with stick figures for characters is a world apart from two paragraphs in a thread.

4. Build a prior relationship - I've been friends with Deji from these forums for several years, and she knows if she ever wants to make a VN I'm there, making whatever pieces she needs from me, and won't charge her a dime. Point is, if you manage to create a true friendship with an artist, he's very likely to work with or for you free of charge. But YOU have to seek them out and offer them something interesting... which brings us to point 5

5. Cater to the Artist - Now, I might be totally off here, since this is how it works on the comic book world, but unfortunately, you will sometimes need to change stuff to cater to what the artist wants/is interested in. Sure, when you're Stephen King you can buy and sell artists, but until they are, most writers tend to be forced to kiss some serious artist butt. It is unfortunate and in no way reflects the amount of work, dedication or merit writing has, but the sad fact of the matter is that for every good artist, there are 10 good writers, each producing 10 times more than the artist can in a given amount of time.
So for an artist its surprisingly easy to turn around and find another good writer. Unfortunately, it's not the same way for the writer. I have a former teacher that has published children's books and comics in 16 languages, and he described starting out as a comic book writers as "A game of musical chairs in which, when the music went off, the writers who knew how to play the game were sitting on an artist." Now, this might be entirely different in VN world, so take this point at face value. It's also important, if you don't yet have the reputation to attract artists, to seek them out, rather than hoping they'll come to you.
Last edited by Duredhel on Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#25 Post by Xyphon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:00 pm

Thanks for the pointers, Duredhel.. For the first one and second one though, I'll tell you right now, I'm not spending 2-3 years making small projects and building a reputation. I absolutely despise small projects. Why? I can't even enjoy playing them myself. I won't make a game that I don't enjoy playing, and if I can beat it all in 4 hours, I won't enjoy it. Building a reputation is all fine and dandy, but I need to have an artist to build a reputation. I like your idea of stick figures though, and I thought about that at one point, but I don't really know about it.. It doesn't seem like the greatest thing to work with. It would work with a comic, with the story boards.. But it's not the same with a VN.
For the third one, again, this is my first project, I have no proof of work. And honestly, that is NOT 2 paragraphs, I have around 3000 words up on my first post, along with another document that I said is around 5000 words.
A prior relationship, again, is all fine and dandy, but I want to start a project soon, not build up a relatively fake relationship with someone so I can pounce on them so they will be my artist. If I am building a relationship SO they will be my artist, it won't be legitimate, unlike your relationship which you built before they needed you.
I completely understand what you mean by catering to them.. There's millions of writers and a small amount of artists. It's funny, because when you get out of the big game world and move into say text based RPGs on PHP, everyone and their dog does sprites, but not many people are capable of programming PHP.

I don't want to bash all of your opinions, I just felt I'd tell you why some of those won't really work in my situation.

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Duredhel
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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#26 Post by Duredhel » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:09 pm

It's ok mate. It's not so much opinions as.. well.. how stuff is. Of course, there's an easy way to circumvent all of this, paying the artists. But in any case, best of luck.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#27 Post by Xyphon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:12 pm

I would pay the artists, if I had the money to :/
Only way I really could compensate with a fair amount of money is if this game went commercial, which it won't.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#28 Post by Duredhel » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:19 pm

I understand. Don't underestimate short or small projects though. Most players will enjoy 4 great hours much more than 40 decent ones. (Part of the reason Portal was so universally hailed in spite of it's length). And people are much more fond of stories that end too soon as opposed to those that overstay their welcome. In fact, many times it's much harder and a much greater display of skill to make a good small/short project than a long one.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#29 Post by Xyphon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:21 pm

I understand that.. But each arc alone should last at least 3-4 hours IMO. Moreover, I feel like if I shortened the project to about 8 hours of completion, with only 3 arcs, I still would be unable to find an artist.

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Re: Need artists for a Visual Novel

#30 Post by Elze » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:39 pm

You know what, just work with stock. Some rpgmakers have them. I don't really know much about those but I'm sure Google knows everything. They're these dolls that you can customize, changing their hair, facial features, clothes etc. It's not the best but hey, it's free and you can have them exactly the way you want! Well, not exactly what you want since you get restricted by what the dolls come with but you get my point. If your project gets completed and it works well with the stock images you used, publish your work and ask if anyone is willing to redo the art. Personally, if I play a game completed with stock images and really really like it, I wouldn't mind redoing it if I'm asked to because 1. I like the game and want to thank the creator for making it and 2. a good game means tons of players which also equates good publicity. It also ensures that your artwork definitely gets to see light, which is a major plus point.
Alternatively, create a short VN with stock images that adequately displays your programming and writing skills. Even a half hour long VN for pure demo purposes is sufficient. That'll give others an idea of your competency and people like working with skilled people. C:

"It's funny, because when you get out of the big game world and move into say text based RPGs on PHP, everyone and their dog does sprites, but not many people are capable of programming PHP"
Well, the thing is we're looking at a "visual" novel now, not a "text based" rpg. You get my point. You play the game depending on whose field you're in. When you're part of the majority trying to hook someone from the minority, you have to be more accommodating. You need to give others a reason to choose you instead of the many other "someone else".

If for some reason, you hate stock with a vengeance (ok I kid) and can't find any good artists that don't need to be paid, do a trade. Since you mentioned about PHP, I trust you have some programming skills? You can compromise by agreeing to programme the artist's game as "payment" for his art. I know a lot more artists would be interested if that's the case. You programme, he/she draws. Everyone gets something.

About your last comment, shortening the story will definitely help. At least in my case, long stories with a lot of characters/endings throw me off. Firstly, they involve a lot of work. Secondly, it'll take a long time before it gets published and not everyone is patient. Lastly, long stories also mean a lower chance of completion especially when it comes to amatuer/pioneer projects, and no one likes plunking their effort into something that may not happen.
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