Monday, April 22, 2013

Open Game Art

Since Ludum Dare is coming up I thought I'd talk a little about a really cool resource for programmers, Open Game Art.  OGA is a collection of free to use artwork, sounds, and music for programmers so that they can mockup or even make entire games without struggling with finding an artist first.  (BTW, finding an artist is actually a lot easier if you've got good art in your prototype.)  The archives aren't the easiest to sift through and so the highest quality resources are a bit hidden but the search function works pretty well and there are some really nice things already there.  The goal of the site though, is where this place is really amazing.  The point is to make it easier for artists and programmers to find each other, communicate and appreciate each other.  The way that the forums are moderated really supports this.  The site has advertisements but they're hand picked and put in by the admin.  All funds goes towards making the site better including doing things like paying artist pro rates to make more resources for the site.  This is the part that makes this site a friendly place for pro artists and takes away a little of the "but it's free, gimme" atmosphere that some of these resource places can get.

This is also a good place for artists, even if OGA isn't running commissions.  As artists we all have art kicking around that we won't use.  Experiments, failed games, and so on just end up sitting on a hard drive and doing nothing.  Artists are encouraged to offer those pieces of art as assets.  Doing so gives you some nice visibility on a site where programmers gather, and makes you look easy to work with and dedicated.  If you're feeling bored you can also participate in the weekly(ish) art challenges.

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