I’m Pondering Wondering If I Should Try Find An Artist To Form a Dev-Duo

I’m somewhat on an edge here regarding getting art to my game. The pros and cons for finding an artist and forming a dynamic dev duo with him I see as follows:


  • I don’t need to think about doing/finding/buying good looking art: that’s what the artist can do.
  • Development budgetwise it could be a good move.
  • Two guys can motivate each other and bounce ideas back and forth.


  • Losing some control over things: artist (in my opinion) needs to do his thing which is totally cool – I want The Art Guy to have control over what kind of art he does. It’s the “game design ideas” and “how this game should work” of losing control is a potential pitfall. (Of course by looking from the bright side one could say that 2 guys can end up having much better design than just one guy)
  • Delays in decisions and stuff: when there’s 2 people involved in something, things are several times more complex than they ever will be when there’s just one guy doing something. But hey… if I wanna create a cooperative game, perhaps it makes sense to cooperate with somebody in the development phase as well?
  • Finding a good match is no easy thing to do. (But luckily miracles happen… I’ve noticed this after simply posting on my blog that things start to roll forward. This blog is like a wish well – I’ll throw some ideas on wall and see some of them sticking. Who knows, maybe something good will follow from this blog post as well…)

You’ve seen my game ideas. I’m now pondering whether to find an artist to team up with. I’d handle programming. Artist would handle art. Rest of the stuff would be fought about.

(Just kidding.)

What you think? Which way you are currently going?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. @GamingHorror: I have a similar approach, but I rather consider my programmer art as “temp” art. I mean my art skill is only OK for a proto… And once I have something up and running, I can hire artists more easily. An advantage is that they “see” their art in action by simply overwriting files). Another advantage is that you are taken more seriously with a demo, even a ugly looking demo, than without anything to show about your project…

  2. I’m going through the same motion and came up with the same pros and cons.

    But for me the decision is easy: i’d hate to have to let go of creative control, i’m in charge here goddammit! I still take suggestions and ideas and what not but i don’t have to commit nor compromise.

    My thinking was to complete a game (or the starter kit i just started) completely with art assets by myself, and then i’ll pay an artist to fill in the blanks. Having all the art assets in place means i just need to overwrite files and the artist will be able to give me an accurate quote.

    But then as i started making my own art assets i wondered, if i put in a little more time and effort, could i make it good enough to be able to live with it? Maybe create my own completely quirky artstyle – something that even i can make?

    One thing that works are doodles of course. The other thing i do is to make photos. For quite some time i had the idea of making a game with the backgrounds based on the floor around my house, stone, grass, mud, gravel, tar etc. … it’s still a lot of effort to make usable game assets out of photos though and things don’t just naturally fit together or blend well but might be something that could work well for static screen backgrounds or even scrolling backgrounds.

    Btw, i like your doodles. But there’s a certain pixelation around them that looks like Jpeg artifacts (maybe they are?), i think it’ll look better if you got rid of those.

  3. Your post (which I read – well, checked the pictures ;) – in the recent past) might have actually unconsciously affected my thinking.

    Looks like we have a plan.

    (And if our plan fails, we simply need to put our skills together, right?)

  4. I’m just finding out if there’s a way to team up with my other self, the artist guy. His skills are a little rusty but he is practicing a lot in these days: http://bit.ly/9gPyv1

    If that does not work, I’m going to hire an artist.

  5. It’s a difficult decision to decide to give up or share complete creative freedom with another person, especially for a craft like game making. However, few people are experts at everything and being able to diversify and get the best from specialists is invaluable. You’ve summed up the pros and cons fairly succinctly.

    For myself, I have to hope that developers will want to find someone to specialize in areas for them. My skills are in web design and UI; I’m not a draftsman or animator (though I possess moderate skill in those areas) so my contributions would be in those capacities. Like myself, I’m sure there are a lot of passionate, very skilled and creative artists out there that would love to have the chance to add their flavor to a game, but lack the programmatic knowledge. Finding one with the right passion to match yours could be a serious boon and open up the door to much more involved and polished projects.

  6. I’m currently in a dev duo. I’m the programmer and he’s the artist. We make a super awesome team and I’m in love with him in a completely non-sexual way. We’re lucky like that.

  7. I pay an artist for my game artwork, I found that to be easier than trying to find someone good to team up with.

Comments are closed.