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Old 08-30-2007, 01:26 PM   #1
Milawe
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The Importance of Art

Okay, I've got to take a break from all the arguing for a while. Does anyone else find it really draining? (Rhetorical question, don't answer that!)

Well, we're all involved in text muds here, and for most of us, that means there are NO GRAPHICS in our games. (Okay, there might be some instances of ASCII art, but no one's gushing about our water effects.)

I, however, believe that art is still very, very important for things such as clients and websites. What do you guys do for your art? Do you look for art online? Do you hire your own artists? If you do, where do you go to find them?

Are any of you minimalists and believe the less art on your page the better? How much of a role do you think that visual art plays in your gaming world?

The art on our site, in my opinion, helps define our game. We've always tried to have a very "fantasy-ish" style of art on our site. For most of our site, we have hired our own artists or written for explicit permission to use someone's art on our site. I think it's very important to give players a general "visual" sense of our world so that they have something to spark their imagination.

We also have a lot of players that are hobbyist artists and a few professional ones, and we encourage them to link to them on their player pages. In some cases, we will showcase their art if they do a specific scene that can be used on our page. It helps build the community, and it's always wonderful to see what a world that we created has inspired.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:26 PM   #2
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Re: The Importance of Art

I agree about the importance of graphics on a MUD web site. It helps to define the world, and draws people right in. I prefer to do all graphics myself, which has the obvious downside of not being fast enough. Having a talented player (or players) who wants to contribute works well too.

That much said - and I swear I'm not posting this for the sake of starting another argument, which you want to avoid - I'm always bothered by sites that "borrow" graphics off the web without permission. It's bad practice for any MUD (or any web site in general). *Snip*

Last edited by Valg : 08-30-2007 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Please be careful of unsourced accusations of this sort.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:51 PM   #3
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Re: The Importance of Art

Gah! Don't hi-jack my threads, guys! I've taken the issue to PM. DISCUSS ART, please!

(I definitely don't condone the wrongful usage of art, so we're looking into this matter immediately.)
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:42 PM   #4
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Re: The Importance of Art

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Sorry, but I'm not buying it. I know a bit about fantasy artists. I know who does grant permission, and who does not, ever.
10-12 years ago, a lot of artists were just barely getting on the net. Some did not have ANY web presence of any sort. As a result, they were happy to have help getting internet exposure. A lot of those artists do not grant permission now, as they have their own sites and their own exclusive ways they distribute their artwork. But things were different in the mid/late 90s. Sometimes there are significant advantages to being among the first.

Last edited by Threshold : 08-30-2007 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:07 PM   #5
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Re: The Importance of Art

(Let's keep it on topic guys.)

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Originally Posted by Mina View Post
I, however, believe that art is still very, very important for things such as clients and websites. What do you guys do for your art? Do you look for art online? Do you hire your own artists? If you do, where do you go to find them?
We contract out our art to various groups and individuals. Finding art outsourcers is easy (google is your friend) but vetting them is an entirely different story.

I haven't used any of the outsourcers on this site but you might find this useful: The complete list of 170+ games outsourcing companies in over 30 countries

It is by no means comprehensive and I have no idea how up-to-date it is, but I recognize some of the names on the list, at least.

--matt
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:35 PM   #6
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Re: The Importance of Art

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(Let's keep it on topic guys.)


We contract out our art to various groups and individuals. Finding art outsourcers is easy (google is your friend) but vetting them is an entirely different story.

I haven't used any of the outsourcers on this site but you might find this useful: The complete list of 170+ games outsourcing companies in over 30 countries

It is by no means comprehensive and I have no idea how up-to-date it is, but I recognize some of the names on the list, at least.

--matt
I usually snap up artists from various places on the net based on how much I like their art. One of our artists gave me a really great link to forum.rpg.net. I'll try to dig up the specific links, but there are a lot of start-up artists there. Some of the work is pretty amazing.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:52 AM   #7
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Re: The Importance of Art

Art in a text game, strange concept. Though, as it relates to websites, I'll give my thoughts. I think it very important in terms of having a starting point for a visual view on the things important to your mud world. Some art on our site has been paid for, other works come from talented players, and others have come from the public domain.

One thing is for certain: Good, originat artwork is sometimes hard to find.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:44 AM   #8
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Re: The Importance of Art

Other than websites, art can be a great marketing tool and could really help to deepen people's ties to the game (this is kind of textbook theory, since we haven't actually managed to DO it yet.) My home mud was trying to launch a line of products like T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, notebooks etc, featuring artwork based on the contet. Aesthetics, publicity and revenue all in one!

Must say though that we ran into a whole heap of problems right off. Artwork wasn't one of them, because I was supposed to be doing it (with the head imm vetting it.) I did manage to produce one pretty good piece before (gasp) work caught up and I contracted a bad case of artistic block. The block was totally moot though. What happened was that firstly, we couldn't put in bulk orders because the playerbase was too small (no guaranteed demand) and storage/shipping would have been a nightmare. That left us with manufacture-on-demand, and the cost was moderately horrendous.

Secondly, we weren't allowed to do it for profit because the mud was registered as a hobby...so our product line died an abrupt death. If anyone can think of ways around those nasty little legal-financial problems, I'll take a day off work and contract you a design. (And hope Head Imm doesn't knock my block off.)

Anyway! I think art, while strange in a textual world for sure, is still very very important. Simply because we humans are visual animals, and linguistics still take second place to those pretty pictures. Sure it'll spoil some people's image of how things are (like how I'll forever see Ian McKellen's face every time I read LotR now) but for others, it'll give them something to focus on. Oh, those ties that bind!
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:40 PM   #9
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Re: The Importance of Art

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Originally Posted by Perillus View Post
Artwork wasn't one of them, because I was supposed to be doing it (with the head imm vetting it.) I did manage to produce one pretty good piece before (gasp) work caught up and I contracted a bad case of artistic block.
Do you have any samples of your art like on a webpage or something? I'd love to see.
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:57 PM   #10
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Re: The Importance of Art

Still hoping to talk one of my friends into making some artwork for one of my sites sometime. He's pretty good and for hire as well:

Artist painter illustrator from Gerard van de Werken
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:51 PM   #11
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Re: The Importance of Art

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Wow, that is awesome. He looks expensive...but worth it!

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Do you have any samples of your art like on a webpage or something? I'd love to see.
The one lonely poster I did - and it took me something like two weeks all in all
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:12 AM   #12
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Re: The Importance of Art

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Wow, that is awesome. He looks expensive...but worth it!
I think he's asking somewhere around 900 euro for a painting of a reasonable size. The guy who manages his website takes a 20% commission though, so it'd be cheaper to cut out the middle man and ask me for his email address as well as telling him to actually check it.

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The one lonely poster I did - and it took me something like two weeks all in all
That's pretty impressive for an amateur.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:29 PM   #13
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Re: The Importance of Art

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What do you guys do for your art? Do you look for art online? Do you hire your own artists? If you do, where do you go to find them?
Suddenly occurred to me that really, no one needs to go hunting for artists to outsource visual work. There's a pool of talent sitting right in the MUDding community, one which I believe is only partly tapped because the artists out there only work for their home MUDs, if at all. There are the players who link their sites to the MUD; why not take it a step further and offer them in-game rewards for contributing art revolving around the MUD's theme, etc? I'm a bit of a proponent of that feeling of attachment, and I believe that nothing will propagate that feeling more than having some of your own work up there, a visible contribution. (I have done this on my home MUD by getting players to build their own guildhouses or other areas they suggested, and some real gems came out of it - plus those players stuck around.) And aside from players, some of the staff out there might have hidden talents - never know till you prod!

(Now I know this has probably been suggested, said and done before, but hey, it's worth rehashing.)

Midnight madness suggestion: I propose someone start a thread on the appropriate board for all available artists to advertise their services, stuff and abilities, or for people wanting artists to put up requests (like the staff-wanted board.) Yes, there is an important place for art in MUDding! (And for music, dance, theatre and the like, but that's getting off topic though I'll cheerfully spout for anyone who wants to discuss.)

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That's pretty impressive for an amateur.
Don't fan my ego too much, it might pop
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:16 PM   #14
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Re: The Importance of Art

There has been some work started on a MUD art gallery a few years ago, but it died very soon of lack of interest. If anybody would feel like resurrecting the idea, here are the original threads:

http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/mu...-your-mud.html
http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/mu...-launched.html
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