Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pondering art...

So, I've started thinking very seriously about artwork for my game. The options are basically whether or not to have cover art, and whether to have interior art, a fancy background, both, or neither. The problem with any of these is that they add to my cost. I mean, it's much easier to break even when your costs are $0. Although, at the same time, if I sink $100 into artwork and lose it, it sucks, but in the grand scheme of things it's not THAT much, especially since I'll have gotten something really nice out of it (something I can look back on when I'm old and feeble and say, "Look at this! I made this! Isn't it pretty?").

So the thing I wonder about is whether I'd rather have lots of small pieces of art, or a few big nice ones. Originally I had thought the later, just so I could put a nice little 1/4 page graphic every 4th or 5th page, although now I'm having second thoughts. A few people made comments on The Forge about how if the art doesn't leave a real impact, then it's just taking up space and wasting money. I don't know if I agree with that entierly. I mean, I can't remember most of the artwork in the Necromunda rulebook or the 40K rulebook, but it all helps to create a general mood. Although I suppose that the cheap filler art (all the cyborg skulls and the pictures of gangers) you don't really notice that much (it's funny, I'm skimming my book now, they actually reuse a lot of graphics). So, I don't know...

The other one I woneder a lot about is the cover art. The problem with it is that, well, $100 is a cheap price for a piece of cover art. I mean, it sounds like a lot, but once the artist has covered their expenses, often it will be less than minimum wage. This is a really big investment for something that is only on a single page. Although, at the same time, it is what people see when they first open the book. It is the piece that represents the whole book. It is a way, with a single image, to set the whole theme of your book. Although, I say that and I'm starting to think about games I've played, and I can't always remember the cover art. I mean, I remember, say, D&D 3.0 (not a drawing of anything, just a seal and a design to make it look like a fancy old-timey book), I remember some of the 40K books, but others not, I remember Paranoia, I remember my original D&D game (not sure what edition, but pre-AD&D 2.0), but not a whole lot of my AD&D 2.0 books.

I don't know, my choice might be interior art vs cover art (or, a near garuntee of losing money). I already have an interior design that I did myself. It wasn't too hard. I like to think of myself as having some small degree of artistic sense, just no skill (maybe I'm just fooling myself though), so it wasn't too hard to do. It was basically pretty simple though, and I've been debating whether I want to make it fancier or not.

So, yeah, not sure what else to say on this topic. I will probably have a "For Potential Artists" post pretty soon, just describing what I think I want in my game (something easy to refer them to). Don't know if this is going to work, don't know what I'm going to do, just going to hold on for the ride and see what turns out.


“Everything in life comes down to whether you’d rather be safe, or have the experience you’d have otherwise.” – Drew

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