Saturday, 4 June 2016

The weird and wonderful world of game art

Madness and Art

My game contains professional art by a great artist Brandie Davies.  The artwork she provided is most spectacular and I am very thankful. It was worth every penny.

However, some of the artwork was originally different - notably the planet graphics.  The story behind how this artwork came to be used is quite unique.

In March of 2015 I posted a request on polycount's art forums for some paid work to do the art for my game. I'd already found suitable graphics on other sites that I was able to purchase but I needed a handful of useful graphics that I would commission.

After going through many portfolios I settled on one particular artist.  I'd noted his artwork was very good - of a very high standard.  However something did unsettle me slightly as I was sure I'd seen some of his artwork before somewhere.  Needless to say it was very good and I felt I'd made a good choice.

Not long into the task - we didn't even reach the first milestone it became evident that his quality was nowhere near his portfolio quality.  I paid a small amount and then sought artwork elsewhere before settling on my current artist, Brandie.

In the middle of July, when my health was failing and I was struggling to sleep Brandie had commented to me that the planets I'd used looked very interesting and wondered where I'd got them. I told her I'd obtained them with permission from a man on the internet.  I didn't think much of it. However, late on one of my sleepless nights I picked one of my many artbooks from my bookshelf and began reading hoping it would help me sleep.

I flicked through the pages and what do you know but I came across one of the very similar artworks to that which I'd seen on my earlier artist's portfolio. Except it was by a different person. I'd known I'd seen it before.

So I fired up my PC at 2am and checked out his portfolio again. Aha - the picture was gone. He no longer had it on his portfolio. However, being the resourceful fellow that I am I decided to check the wayback machine.  There it was, removed from his site sometime earlier.  He'd taken credit for artwork that was not his and was in fact quite dodgy.

My thoughts went back to the words Brandie had said about the planets in my game. I wondered about the legality of them especially since there was so much dodginess on the internet. Brandie had warned me about the risk of using online artists or supposed artists.  

I typed in the name of the artist who had supplied me with the planets into google. Bizarrely enough a link to my earlier artist came up - along with a picture of William Shatner! Totally spooked by this I decided to remove the planets from my game and replace them with some that Brandie had supplied.  

I had to extract the planets from some animations that Brandie had supplied and it just so happened that the only frame that was clean and clear of obstructions was one where  Australia was showing.

What good luck!

In my paranoid state at the time I almost thought it was by design.

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