- Forcing artists to let their work be used in products that other people will make money off of would really alienate the artist crowd. I don't want people to make money with my sprites. You should do something like Newgrounds Audio Portal (which does an awesome job at bringing musicians and developers together, as this project also should with artists and developers) and let the artists post their work under the Creative Commons License, which gives other people the freedom to use their work but it also lets the artists decide whether or not they want people using their work in commercial products, if they want to let people to remix their work, etc., and then you could include search options for people that want to search for sprites that they can use in commercial works and other things.
The idea is to give people a jumpstart with their games, being free or not. For commercial uses, i don't really expect people to come and grab sprites that everyone else uses unless they don't have enough money to hire an artist. So in either case the artist won't see a dime. The scenario i have in my mind is like this:
1. Kiddie Bee has a nice idea for a puzzle/platform/action/shooter/whatever game but her art looks like stomped ants. That would be fine for a whack-an-ant game but its not what she wants to make. She also has $0 to spend because she is a starving student in some place you never want to ever walk outside of.
2. So she visits the sprite db, grabs some sprites maybe changes one or two colors and she uses them to make a flash game.
3. She gets a couple of hundreds back from her game and she is ready to make a new one. She really liked the sprites she used so now that she has some extra money she contacts the artist who made the sprites to hire him make some more.
Thats the idea. Besides nobody will force any artist to put all of his sprites in there. He could leverage the medium to put some sprites (say from a commercial collection of sprites he has made) as a free advertisement. The downside of course is that people could use the sprites as they need.
Also i believe its simpler in general to say that "everything in this site is free for you to use as you like" instead of "its nice if you want to use these sprites -and thank you really- but MAKE SURE YOU READ THESE BOLDFACEDITALICTOTALLYUPPERCASEDLETTERSTHATSAY DONT EVER MAKE THE MISTAKE TO FORGET CHECKING THE USAGE RESTRICTIONS -um sorry, rights- OR WE WILL GET YOUR ASS SUED -that is only if you are in the same country and same area as we are thus being practical to do so". Besides focusing on one single things is better.
Plus, I think people would be a lot more comfortable distributing their work under a popular, proven open license instead of a license custom-made by you consisting of merely "Everything should be free to use in commercial and non-commercial and people should be free to modify the sprites to fit their needs."
I haven't thought much about the license but as a known opensource laywer said in a book about licenses, even a single line of text can be used as a license. I will check to see if there are existing licenses which are readable, small (no more than 10-15 lines of text) and fit what i want.
You should add an option for developers to add their game or work or whatever in a list under the individual sprites they used. It'd give artists a nice thing to look at and feel happy about themselves that people are using their work, and other people might want to look at a list to see how the sprites could be used effectively and to see how many works have already been made with it (some people might not want to use a sprite that's already in every other Flash game on the internet). This could be administered by the individual artists.
That is a very good idea actually! :-)
Instead of making it permission-based, I think you should just add a 'Report' button. Permission-based submission systems can be kind of troublesome, for everyone. And instead of preventing all nude and penis sprites to be submitted in the site, you should just add a registered 'Mature' option to let people see them like in deviantART. Also, what's wrong with mspaint? A huge number of professional
sprite artists enjoy using mspaint.
Well as i said i'll add a report button. Maybe permission isn't required then? I'll think about it. I was going to add a mature option btw.
I think a rating system would be nice. It'd let new visitors instantly see the top works in the database and hook them before they leave after a couple clicks. Plus it'd give the artists some friendly competition, eh?
Yes i was thinking about this too.
- You should not put ads on the site. You do not deserve money for your hard work!
Nah, I'm playing, but I it's just a neat thing to think about. If you're making artists contribute their work for free, you should do the same, eh?
I'm going to put ads but not something big or flashy, just some google adsense. Based from my experience so far fmo adsense in my own site i don't expect to make heaps though, but even getting half the expenses of the server could be nice (yes it could be nice to make $2 per month :-).
Maybe, just maybe, and I know this is a very ambitious thought, but this may be what keeps pixel art from becoming a dead art.
Since when pixel art is dead art? ;-)