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TIGSource ForumsJobsOffering Paid WorkNon Zero Games: Artist for strategic browser game
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Author Topic: Non Zero Games: Artist for strategic browser game  (Read 4236 times)
MalcolmLittle
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« on: March 20, 2010, 07:09:50 pm »

My friends and I at Non Zero Games are looking for an artist or illustrator for our strategic browser game. It has the working title “Interim” and I have been posting about it in a devlog here at TIGForums for a while now.

Compensation: $2000

About the game: It is equal parts strategy game and economic simulator. The premise is that volunteering entrepreneurs (the players) are sent to a huge, urban disaster area. A natural disaster has befallen a large metropolis and everything is in shambles. The players are basically dropped into a destroyed city and left there to build businesses and slowly rebuild society, all on their own. The players will research and construct buildings, create resources (for personal use or for sale) and gather a workforce of the city’s NPC inhabitants. The game will be very cutthroat and the players will be able to build special “Attack buildings” to hamper enemies/competitors and to strengthen their own buildings.

The volunteers will congregate in small cleaned up areas, called Neighborhoods, where they can do business and compete and have their own marketplaces and regional resources.

The amount of players per city (server) is something further testing will have to show but we think it should be from several hundred to a couple thousand.

More information can be found in the devlog and at nonzerogames.com.

Story: An international coalition of nations has chosen to send entrepreneurs into the disaster area to prove that the free market can fix this type of crisis. The volunteers dropped into the disaster site have however been left there without aid or security from the outside world. This leads to a Wild West-type environment (ie the attack buildings) and an underhanded way of dealing with the local inhabitants. The volunteers’ mission is to rebuild society but it turns out to be more a situation of “every volunteer for himself”.

Atmosphere: The game’s atmosphere can be summed up in three words: misery, corruption and success.

Misery: The quality of life in the disaster area is horrendous. The Commodities that are produced by players and sold to workers are alcohol, so-called “relics” (basically broken furniture and non-functioning electronics) and food made from rat meat (the only abundant source of meat in the city). The player buildings are hardly restored at all, just haphazardly cleaned out and patched up with brick and plywood. The difference between the “cleaned” up Neighborhoods and the chaotic ruins in between are slight.

Corruption: The over-all mission is not working. The local inhabitants don’t get any real pay for their labor, the wages in the game are more like a bonus that workers might get from employers (for more on wages see the devlog). With this money they buy Commodities, including alcohol and broken relics. The only people getting rich are the dropped volunteers, by exploiting and recycling resources from the disaster area. Workers reside in the player’s buildings, basically living in the factories.

Success: “Interim”, being an economic strategy game, has its players driven mostly by monetary success. The riches and influence they will amass will be incredible and it should be very apparent in the visuals (centered around the player portraits I would assume) and will be a strong contrast to the plight of the city/populace. The player also needs to see, either in his avatar or in the portraits of his buildings, that he is doing well/better.

State of the game: We are now building the beta version of the game and trying to finalize the features in the front end of the site. We also have some temp art in place to make testing smoother.

The basic functionality of the back end of the game is in place, with production, research, the market and workers’ movement all working and being tested.

The overall visual design is still rather crude but we hope to get a nicer and better interface soon now that the front end of the game is coming together.

The plan is to have a “world map”, a map that shows the entirety of the city which shows the different Neighborhoods.

Every individual Neighborhood will however be visualized through a more dynamic interface rather than simply showing city blocks and roads. The player will be able to arrange the city block, with all the individual buildings, by different criteria (ownership, Contentment ranking, number of workers, etc).


Above: early example of the design of the individual Neighborhood.

The player buildings should look like buildings, and not just as representative icons (as they are in the temp pics above).

Assignment: The work that needs to be done is the art for the game. It is in a sense a classic, website-based browser game and the art will for the most part be still pictures. We are however asking for quite a lot. What we need is basically someone who can illustrate/visualize certain aspects the game, such as player and building portraits, but he or she should also be able to do icons and have some sense of UI design.

What we need is:
  • tiles for the world map
  • building icons
  • building portraits (depicts what could be happening in the house, ie workers, “interior shots”, machines, etc)
  • player portraits/avatars
  • action portraits (shows a building under “attack”, a finalized construction, a sale being finished in the market, etc)
  • promotional material *updated*

The game does center around cities and buildings (and people), so some skills in those fields are helpful.

We need you to be reliable, thorough and skilful. This has to be a semi-fulltime project for you, no moonlighters or people who will slowly flake out on us because of other obligations. If you don’t know if you can see this through, don’t bother.

Our aim: We are making a browser game without much in the way of animation. We feel that within such a static setup there is still a lot that can be done with pictures and text. We want “Interim” to be more than a bunch of economic graphs and tables and we believe that still images can do so much in the way of atmosphere. It can simply do things that animated sprites and scrolling backgrounds cannot do as easily or as well.

We would like to try something other than classic pixel art but we are interested in what people think the visuals could be like. We have some ideas that we want envisioned but we would like to see if any interested people have their own take on the themes of the game. Even though this is a contract job we do want the artist/illustrator to contribute with ideas and a point of view in how this game should be visualized. In essence he or she will be creating the game with the rest of us.

Contact: If you’re interested and want to know more please reply to this thread and send an e-mail to us at our contact address (so I can keep track of who’s from TIGForums and who’s not). A PM to me is fine too.

If you have any questions please ask.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 02:17:27 am by MalcolmLittle » Logged

CEDE
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 12:25:37 am »

This looks like an interesting project. Something I could maybe tackle, though I am not sure about the exact amount of time / demand.  Noir
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MalcolmLittle
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 02:16:06 am »

This is kind of fluid. We thought that this could be a 3-4 week job, but that depends on the pace of the artist. We would like to have the art finished by June.
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oganalp
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 08:10:34 am »

Greetings;

As the project looks interesting, I called my collegue and sent him the project info. He is also interested in and will post here the portfolio tonight. He was not at home/office when I called so if it suits you, I will make him a member of the community tonight to get in touch with you.

All the best;

Oganalp
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2010, 11:26:43 am »

By June sounds reasonable. PM or email me if you want to talk further.
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MalcolmLittle
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 02:33:54 am »

oganalp: That would be great! He can also contact us directly by mailing to our email address. We're looking forward to hearing from him.

CEDE: Great! I will message you shortly.
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oganalp
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 04:35:49 am »

Hi Malcolm;

From what I heard, he PMed you last night. I hope it works out well =)

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MalcolmLittle
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 05:51:23 am »

I noticed it right after I posted. I'm writing a reply as we speak.

I hope so too!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 09:31:51 am by MalcolmLittle » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 07:15:28 am »

Wrote you back the other day.
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MalcolmLittle
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2010, 07:38:46 am »

I just wanted to say that we have now chosen a person for the job: her name is Caroline Breault, aka Cab (not a TIGForums user I'm sorry to say).

Her work can be seen at her website: http://cabfolio.com/ and her deviantart page: http://enjeru.deviantart.com/

I would like thank all the people who showed an interest in our game and applied for the position. It is at the same time humbling and exciting to find people who think that you are doing something worthwhile. Cheers!
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