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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessProject scope and non-original visual asset: criticism we never considered.
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ChrisMangione
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« on: March 06, 2019, 09:23:37 AM »

(sorry for bad english)

Hello! This is my first post. I'm a programmer and with a friend we founded an indie not-yet-real-studio. Our first game dev is going great but during the last year something came up. And we need ad advice.

Question: Is such a crime to use a (non-game born) graphic assets bought from a stock site as main environmental art in a commercial project the scope of which is definitely increased since we started?

Facts: Three years ago we started a simple narrative-driven game project. As I said we're a programmer and a writer (english mother tongue, don't worry lol). No artist. One day my buddy stumbles on this really (non-game oriented) cool graphic asset on a stock site. It was PERFECT for mood, tone etc. Really beautiful and elegant. Done: we bought it. Since then this asset was our main environmental art.

But since then our project unexpectedly grows. We got some attention by the press and our little Kickstarter was OK so we hire one artist for the characters and other graphics, one musician for an original soundtrack, actors for some voiceover etc.

More attention = someone noticed that we used a graphic asset as main environmental art. And here came te problem.

To sum up, a backer of ours said: "OMG!!! You have a cool soundtrack, a cool voiceover, you hired an artist for the characters and some bits of setting: why did you keep that asset? Buyers, press and other game devs will notice that! This is so unprofessional!"

We used that asset 'cause we loved and we love it. We designed around it our mechanics, and tone and characters. That's simply perfect, as I said. What should we do? Ask to (and pay) our artist to mimic the style of this stock-guy only to have something really similar but original?

What should we do? It's not a "Kenney asset" that you see everywhere. We work a lot on the web and we've never seen our asset around. It's not even born as a game asset, as I said. And we've modified it a lot. We're pretty worried about this criticism since the project has become something serious and we'd love to start a career from this project.

Thanks for your opinions <3 Smiley
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TribeOfLions
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2019, 05:58:04 AM »

This is a very tricky question to answer without really seeing the specifics. Did many people complain or just the one backer? You can't recreate your game for one whining backer. (Imagine how that would play out.) Is the asset that evidently third-party? Who knows, it may be something for gamers to laugh at that makes the game popular... Would customizing the asset ruin or improve the gaming experience?

Did you say that your team really loves it? Again, while I don't know the exact specifics—don't abandon what you love, my friend. It's your game.
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