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TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallForum IssuesArchived subforums (read only)CreativeOrphaned Assets
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BorisTheBrave
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« on: November 15, 2008, 09:28:58 AM »

Saw this in another thread:
has anyone ever considered putting together a site for orphaned game assets? 

The idea is: you find an old unfinished game on your HD, with some nice sound/music/graphics assets and upload them to the site, pick your CC license of choice and let others use what you will not.  Lord Tigersauce's Home for Orphaned Games(.com) or somesuch nonsense.

Well has anyone?

I know there are tons of sprite rip sites, and a couple of artists who have impressive free collections, but I don't know of any sites that actually attempt to collect free (as in speech) assets.
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Cray
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 10:08:11 AM »

There are a few small pages like molotov, but nothing major I can think of. Mostly for specific engines & not promoted outside their communities

I tried one with a couple other people for a brief period of time. Tons of visitors just ended up throwing it all on resource dump sites & giant rapidshare zips uncredited, which people then used crediting whatever host/zipper that was. As an artist that was pretty damn annoying - we eventually closed the site because of them :|

Still something I'd like to try again though if anyone has a good suggestion for dealing with that
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2008, 10:40:16 AM »

I think this is a bad idea because it'd lead to a bunch of games that use mix-and-match graphics. It'd be no better than using clip-art. In fact, search google for free clip art and you'll find tons of stuff like you're looking for. It's not intended for games, but it's just free graphics that you can use with anything. There are similar sites for free sounds, music, and so on. It's just not specifically targeted toward games, but they can be used in games. But the problem with using them is that they usually don't fit your game very well or integrate well with each other. The effort it'd take to search for and find free usable graphics would probably even be more than the effort it'd take to learn art and draw it yourself.
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BorisTheBrave
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2008, 02:49:09 AM »

@rinkuhero:
At least graphics intended for games come in internally consistent packages, and animated. Plus, at least for pixel art, there is only a finite amount of common styles, usually based on popular games, and inside one style sprites are fairly interchangeable. Particularly if you have a large categorized database to pick from, and put in some thought and palette adjustments.

The effort to go out there and find graphics is not more than learning to draw for yourself. You are are no doubt a talented artist, but there are people (like myself) who want to make games, and can program and design, but cannot draw. An artist can substitute programming experience with GameMaker, MMF etc, but it's difficult for programmers to go the other way around, and the world is poorer for it. I've given up all my previous games, and frequently for lack of art assets, as I am left with bad choices:
  • Tortuously draw graphics myself — so slow and hard I quickly give up the game
  • Find free graphics — there isn't enough out there/searching is too hard, so games look patchy as you complained, so I give up in disgust
  • Rip off a pre-existing game — unacceptable, but you do see others going down this route
  • Go for the lo-fi or abstract approach — this works, but you cannot do it for every game, and I like the aesthetics of a game to be good; I just cannot do it for myself

But I know there is enough graphics out there to make good quality games, just going unused. Heck, some people draw single mock-ups with enough detail I could spin a small game out of them.

I tried one with a couple other people for a brief period of time. Tons of visitors just ended up throwing it all on resource dump sites & giant rapidshare zips uncredited, which people then used crediting whatever host/zipper that was. As an artist that was pretty damn annoying - we eventually closed the site because of them :|
This is an interesting problem. I think it can largely be stopped by actually making a good website for tracking assets. Good means searchable, taggable, ratable, and with lots of meta data regarding each image, such as whether it is isometric, is it a character or enemy, who drew it, what game style is it based on, etc.

With a site like that, I know I'd rather go to the site to find my graphics than download a zip. The zip strategy only works because atm it is more convenient than the messy, unrelated sites one needs to search nowadays. You see this protection strategy working for wikipedia: other sites copy off its content, but they never add any value, so people just keep on going to wikipedia for what they want.

But yeah, you have to accept a certain amount of piracy when you upload anything to the internet. Creative commons cannot solve that. Slap a watermark on your work if you feel it is that important. Perhaps the hypothetical website could show watermarked copies publicly, and hold nonwatermarked copies privately, only giving access to them at the discretion of the original artist.
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Hempuli‽
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2008, 05:07:16 AM »

I hate and have always hated ripping graphics or even having someone create graphics for you. The only things others do for me are musics; that's the place where I lack skills the most.

But I like the idea of a database for abandoned/orphaned game assets. Although I wouldn't by myself take anything from there, the idea of showing and making something out of your abandoned game projects is cool. It could be very inspiring, especially if there was a bit of description what kind of game this abandoned/orphaned game was, if there was any.

When I read the title, I instantly imagined something like http://www.squidi.net/three/ .
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Hajo
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 07:30:40 AM »

A while ago there was a discussion if/how to set up a free sprite library:

http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=3448.0

Long ago I had tried to set something like this up by myself, but it died very soon. Still, I think the idea is a good one, and I hope that some day someone can pull it off the ground.
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Hayden Scott-Baron
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 02:29:31 AM »

One thing which I had considered in the past was to create a 'template' set for games creators, that people could modify, share or contribute towards themselves.  For characters, for example, a set of 'nudes' and a bunch of different hair, clothes, etc.  It's quite a commitment really though, and would be best served by a full community, or a piece of software to support it.

Also, unfortunately, I'm just too busy to be that charitable Smiley I don't have enough time for my own projects (not just games, but comics as well), let alone sacrificially working like that.

Basic assets can help people get moving with their game, and avoid 'committing' to the content until they're further down with development. For example, why create assets or animations for climbing ladders if later on it turns out that ladders don't suit your game? If you already created the assets you might feel wasteful not to use them, but if you are just using placeholders then you can experiment more freely.
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Hajo
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2008, 02:58:00 AM »

I've been looking for such, but unfortunately I chose an unusual view/perspective in my project, so that non of the available stuff did really fit ...

So even if that is a good idea, usability of such sets will be limited to games that use the same (at least similar) tile size and view.

But I still think, kind of a library or database of such assets will help aspiring game developers who want/need a quick start.
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BorisTheBrave
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2008, 03:17:18 AM »

There was a db for multiple character fit to one base. It was terrible though, as a) the selection of bases was useless, b) the quality was terribly low. I cannot find it now, sorry.

There's nothing wrong with low quality, but you really need a site with ratings so that others can actually find the good stuff.

I don't really think you need basic assets for development. Coloured square place holders usually work fine. But by the time you get to level design, you really need to have graphics in place, so that you know the relative size of different things, and put together a level that looks ok. If you had an artist on board, you can do it later, as you can instruct him for things of a given size, look, and functionality, but you cannot be so picky when you are getting stuff from elsewhere.

Yes, you'll not be able to do anything innovative with the graphics, Hajo, but not every game has to break ground in every area.
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BorisTheBrave
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2008, 04:03:47 AM »

I was thinking of a large tagging schema to help narrow down graphics. You'd pick options from categories similar to this (plus an "other" option, which I've omitted). Most categories are optional, as otherwise it's a huge amount of information to fill in for each thing to upload.

ViewSide on / 2.5d / isometric / top down / 3d mesh
MediumPixel / Vector / Drawn / Pre-rendered / Concept
Scale<Height of a 6ft bald person in pixel/units>
Angles<MMF style 32 way arrow checkbox, or different according to view>
Licence<various CC options or link to license>
Style<Link to game/project with similar style or the sprites "base", preferably using canonical links>
Project<allows the artist to group several assets on the site under one group>
RoleMockup / Background / Player / Enemy / Character / <free tagging, but carefully pruned>
Set type   Single / Tileset / Spritesheet / Animation / <other formats?>
Size<implicit from uploaded image>
Format<implicit from uploaded image>
Palette<not sure how to handle>
Author<link to submitter>
Date submitted<date>
Tags<free tagging, editable by site viewer not just submitter>
Rating<by site viewers>
Related<implicitly calculated by site, perhaps with hints from orig artist>

Given that information, do you think you'd be able to search effectively for something which fits in your game graphically and context wise?
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Hajo
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2008, 05:10:48 AM »

Yes, you'll not be able to do anything innovative with the graphics, Hajo, but not every game has to break ground in every area.

I feel uncertain what to reply here. Also I'm unsure why the statement was addressed to me. I agree to a big extend. Still I often strive for being different. Maybe you addressed it rightly to me? My projects use to fail, but I blame that on my own lack of creativity, rather than that they'd be too groundbreaking innovative.

I still keep up my support for the idea of such a library/DB.
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BorisTheBrave
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2008, 05:29:56 AM »

Sorry to confuse you there, Hajo. I just meant it in response to:
I've been looking for such, but unfortunately I chose an unusual view/perspective in my project, so that non of the available stuff did really fit ...
I appreciate you have a similar idea in mind to me.
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DjangoDurango
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2008, 06:25:06 AM »

There was a db for multiple character fit to one base. It was terrible though, as a) the selection of bases was useless, b) the quality was terribly low. I cannot find it now, sorry.

Was it this one? I use this one most of the time, as I use RM2k, but I agree that all but two of the templates are next to useless and most of the add-ons (outfits, hair, etc.) need to be edited in order for them to look right in motion in addition to being recolored. Sometimes they need to be fixed just to be placed on the sprites correctly.

There's also one similar for making RMXP sprites, but I don't use XP.
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BorisTheBrave
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2008, 07:03:51 AM »

Yes, that was it. Though it's not nearly as bad as I remembered it being. I guess I was just disappointed they hadn't taken the idea further.
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