Lostgarden.com has posted a great article entitled “How to bootstrap your indie art needs“. The article is rather inspiring, and gives some great points of advice:
- Build a game that fits your level of art skills – If you are a programmer and can only make squares, make a game that uses squares as graphics. It worked for Tetris and it can work for you.
- Use free graphics – There are thousands of game graphics out there on the web. Even if they aren’t the most attractive or original graphics, they can work for your game.
- Don’t hold your breath for an expert artist at no cost – No matter how much you ask or beg on forums for an artist to help you, this generally never works out.
- Pay for competent graphics – If you must have quality custom graphics, you are going to need to pay an artist real money to produce them. You can find some artists here: http://forums.indiegamer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=20
I particularly like the first point. There’s an increasing number of new games that don’t have traditionally fantastic graphics, and yet they still look amazing: Everyday Shooter, Geometry Wars and Every Extend Extra Extreme come to mind.
We all know games aren’t just about the graphics, but they certainly do help improve the game’s appeal, as well as the player’s enjoyment of the game. Its a very interesting time for indie development, and with the right vision, your game can look fantastic, even if you aren’t Coleraine’s own Picasso.