Prices for Tilesets?

Celianna

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Please stop trying to get out of paying artists for doing work.


No, no it wouldn't work. If you're commissioning them to make map-specific tiles, they won't (or rarely) have any use outside of that map.
 

bgillisp

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Yeh I was thinking along the lines of a good background commission, but that gave me an idea.

Would it work if I paid someone to draw the map like a normal one, then split the pieces up into small tiles and upload them into RPG maker? 
The problem I can see with this right away is you have no guarantee that your map will split up into the right size for tiles for RPG Maker. However, if you did have an artist draw the map, you *might* be able to go over to parallax mapping instead. However, I don't use that approach, so no guarantee it would work.

On another note, my suggestion is to start by seeing what you can make with the RTP, and start to learn GIMP. With GIMP you can copy/paste the freely available tiles into one tileset, so they are all available to use. Also, you can do some clumping (there's a tutorial for that), and color changes if you wish. This would be the cheapest option for you, as GIMP is free,it would only cost you some time to learn the program and to find the freely available tilesets.
 

Indrah

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So parallax images like pre-rendered backgrounds? Sure, but you're just making them actually draw a whole artwork as a background, that's not going to be any cheaper, I think, if they ultimately have to draw everything from scratch (or nearly) for every screen. You'll be paying probably close to a hundred (I'm no expert, just eyeballing the price) for any map of regular size.

There is no cheap alternative here if you want "nice AND custom". If you don't have a budget to accomodate this, go for free to use stuff and try to edit them to fit your needs. Ultimately this is someone WORKING for a price, if you start off from the idea that it should cost a lot less than minimum wage, you're already not making any friends with the workers. 

Does it suck that it's expensive? That we can't afford it? Sure, but that's not the artist's fault. We're kind of spoiled with the program coming with so many resources already which is why anything priced for custom makes people reel. Either deal with it or use free stuff.

And keep in mind full custom games of any kind come with a BUDGET. If you start with nothing in your pocket you should not be aiming towards custom from the word go. (And a couple hundred bucks isn't really a budget, at most it'll give you some PIECES as custom, like character art or a few individual art tiles/enemies/music/etc).

TL;DR: If the prices of the resource packs in the store seem high to you, you are NOT ready to commission an artist.
 
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Winston

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Please stop trying to get out of paying artists for doing work.

No, no it wouldn't work. If you're commissioning them to make map-specific tiles, they won't (or rarely) have any use outside of that map.
Sorry I wasn't trying to get out of paying. I just thought it would be less work for the artist and cheaper for me.

Like for instance if I bought a background image like this one: http://l3moon-studios.deviantart.com/journal/ANIME-COMMISSION-PRICE-337424387

The price is $30-150 and I can chunk them into little squares for RPG maker tiles. I'm still confused as to why that wouldn't work.

Of course I would need to hire someone with RPG maker knowledge to get the bird's eye view type of image.
 

bgillisp

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I'm still confused as to why that wouldn't work.
Size mismatch. Tiles must be a specific size, and if you cut it up into little pieces you might have half a tree on one tile, and half on another. This can work as long as only use that tile for that one place, but if you are going to do that, then why not just use show picture to show your map and have the player walk on the picture? The only other way around it is to have the artist specifically make the picture with tilesets in mind, which might be tougher to do.
 

Lunarea

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Here's the problem with that scenario... You would only be able to make the one map. You wouldn't be able to take bits and pieces to rearrange - like you do with tiles. And if you had the artist use extra layers or create objects individually, then it's no different from hiring someone to make tiles. It takes the same amount of work and the same kind of cost.
 

Winston

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Size mismatch. Tiles must be a specific size, and if you cut it up into little pieces you might have half a tree on one tile, and half on another. This can work as long as only use that tile for that one place, but if you are going to do that, then why not just use show picture to show your map and have the player walk on the picture? The only other way around it is to have the artist specifically make the picture with tilesets in mind, which might be tougher to do.
Yes that's exactly what I want :) I only want a beautiful map to be created and don't really care about using that tile elsewhere.

And the problem with 'show picture' is the player can walk anywhere, even on walls and stuff.
 
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Andar

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Hiring someone to draw a map is not the same as hiring to draw a person like in your example. Artwork is not counted in sqare area sizes, it's in the number of objects - if you look at commission prices on deviant art, you'll see that a lot of the artists charge per character in the picture, even if the size of the picture doesn't change.


A map has a lot of objects, and that takes more work than drawing a single object (even if that object is more complex).
 

bgillisp

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Winston, that's called parallax mapping. You have to use techniques to block off the parts that the player cannot walk on to prevent that.
 

Lunarea

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Yes that's exactly what I want :) I only want a beautiful map to be created and don't really care about using that tile elsewhere.
How many maps do you have in your game, then?

15$/map might sound cheaper, but if you need 100 maps, it's not really.
 

Sharm

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You could hire someone to make a map, but cutting up the result into tiles is a problem.  There are very specific rules with how tiles work in RPG Maker, you can't just throw a bunch of pieces in there and expect it to work.  It does sound like you're trying to make a Parallax map though, which would almost work this way.  You'd need to hire this person for every single map in your game and you'd need them to make it into two layers which might add up the cost but it's possible.  The two layers is so that the sprite will be able to walk behind things, if you don't care that a character can't walk behind the canopy of a tree or something like that you wouldn't need it, but it would be awkward for the player.
 

Winston

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Hiring someone to draw a map is not the same as hiring to draw a person like in your example. Artwork is not counted in sqare area sizes, it's in the number of objects - if you look at commission prices on deviant art, you'll see that a lot of the artists charge per character in the picture, even if the size of the picture doesn't change.

A map has a lot of objects, and that takes more work than drawing a single object (even if that object is more complex).
Yeh but that link had backgrounds as well.

Winston, that's called parallax mapping. You have to use techniques to block off the parts that the player cannot walk on to prevent that.
Ahhhh ok, embarassing, but I didn't know that xD I see that term get thrown around a lot, but was never interested in doing art.
 

Winston

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How many maps do you have in your game, then?

15$/map might sound cheaper, but if you need 100 maps, it's not really.
Not many, probably around 10. Should be in the hundreds range which I can afford.

You could hire someone to make a map, but cutting up the result into tiles is a problem.  There are very specific rules with how tiles work in RPG Maker, you can't just throw a bunch of pieces in there and expect it to work.  It does sound like you're trying to make a Parallax map though, which would almost work this way.  You'd need to hire this person for every single map in your game and you'd need them to make it into two layers which might add up the cost but it's possible.  The two layers is so that the sprite will be able to walk behind things, if you don't care that a character can't walk behind the canopy of a tree or something like that you wouldn't need it, but it would be awkward for the player.
I see what you mean... does two layers mean the cost will double? I will probably do as you just said and hire someone to do parallax mapping.
 
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Sharm

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Wow, this thread is going so fast. Winston, please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.


It's up to the artist how much things are going to cost. The link you had did have backgrounds, but they were more battle backs or Visual Novel style backgrounds, which are less complex than a game map. You may end up paying more for it because of the complexity of the piece, which was Andar's point.
 

bgillisp

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Ahhhh ok, embarassing, but I didn't know that xD I see that term get thrown around a lot, but was never interested in doing art.
I personally don't use the technique as I can't draw worth anything and didn't want to go broke commissioning all the art for those maps. That being said, I think there is a tutorial on how to implement parallax mapping somewhere on here, might be worth looking it up, as it can probably help you learn how to implement a parallax map into your game properly. Maybe test it out with a picture of your street or something?
 

Celianna

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The price is $30-150 and I can chunk them into little squares for RPG maker tiles. I'm still confused as to why that wouldn't work.
I guess this is hard for you to get since you don't do any art yourself, but try to imagine ... It wouldn't work because tiles aren't a cohesive artwork. Just the other day I finished painting a landscape. Took about, I don't know 4 to 5 hours. That landscape would be completely useless to you for in a game, because it would only be ONE MAP. You cannot chop it up to make it usable in other maps, because the objects there are specifically designed for that map, meaning:

  • Different perspectives
  • Different lighting
  • No repeatable/seamless tiles
  • Different shapes
  • Different sizes
It's why people work with tiles, that can be re-used to make several different kinds of maps. Say you commissioned someone to make a nature map, and to leave all the objects on a separate layer so you can re-use it elsewhere. The only thing that you might get a use out of, would be the trees and plants. You wouldn't be able to use the dirt, the grass, the cliffs, the random puddles of water ... unless you're going to use them as they are, and have very repeatable patterns in your maps (the same shaped lake in every map, the same shaped dirt path in every map etc.).
Basically if you commission someone to make a background for you, you can't do anything with the individual pieces, you have to use it as a whole to get a use out of it. Also, creating backgrounds is a lot less work than creating tiles, since they require much more attention to make sure they can work with other parts, plus they must be drawn as a whole (in backgrounds, you can get away with drawing half a tree and half a cliff if they're being obstructed by something), hence why tiles are more expensive.


Also, RPG Maker has some very specific file formats, in no way can you commission a random person to create some art for you, and expect it to work in RPG Maker.
 
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supercow

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the way i see it you need 2 people:

-tileset maker and

-paralax mapper. :)

to burden it all on paralax mapper is too much work :unsure:

my suggestion is just buy the pre existing tileset in the store and hire a paralax mapper .

that way you only hire 1 person.

OR

get another game maker that doesnt usually employ paralax mapper and just mapper to reduce the price even more  . :p

using paralax mapping doesnt allways going to make something more pretty it would depends on the persons skills , if the person was skilled enough it would look great though  , and if its very skilled than you know it would looks so awesome . :guffaw:
 
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Dream3r

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@Winston

I believe everyone is being a LOT of help on here but I also think everyone, including yourself is glancing over what's most important here...You're new to RPG Maker.  If not new, just a little unaware of how everything works.  Parallax mapping and tiles for example are something you need to understand BEFORE you go spending your money on artist.

Please do not do what I did and have this ambitious idea of what you want to pull off and spend a lot of time and money on hiring people to help you when you don't quite understand how to do your job.

I'm not trying to make fun of you or anything like that, knowledge takes time and there's just no avoiding that.  My learning process took two years and over $10,000 because I had these ideas of what I wanted to do and nobody could tell me otherwise because I thought I could pull them off despite not knowing things like you just mentioned, parallax mapping, tilesets, or even the value of someone's time.

Do yourself a favor and don't hire anyone to do work right now.  Make due with placeholders on a small project for now and only pay for art AFTER the game is done and working, then just replace what you need replaced.  

For example I made due with free tileset art like these...



Before I ever moved onto having someone make these...

Either that or consider interning for someone working on a game similar to what you want to make and learn from them.  

These forums are also FILLED with tons upon tons of information of how to do just about everything possible in RPG Maker, just google it and you'll likely find a post leading back to here.

Trust me in the time that it takes to learn these things with placeholders is a lot faster than having someone create art for you that you may not be able to use.  

I hope this helps and I wish you the best!
 
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bgillisp

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I'm going to second Dream3r. I waited 4 months on my game before I even commissioned anything, and even then I only commissioned music at first. Now that my game is much further along I have hired artists (2, one for sprites, one for facesets), but I waited until the game was really far along and made do with the RTP sprites, facesets and tiles, as well as anything I could afford to buy for DLC.

Once I had about 2 chapters of the game done (1/6 of total content), *then* I hired a composer. Didn't even think about hiring an artist until Chapter 3 was done. I still figure I'll lose a little in the end due to having to hire for redos (I already know I have 2 sprites that I won't use, but that's because I made a last minute change on something. But, I still have to pay the artist for their time), but this way I don't end up losing $10,000 (hopefully) due to not knowing what I want.
 

whitesphere

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Are there any cheaper alternatives?

Like if I hire someone to create a unique map without all the tilesets A1 to B and E. Just the ones that are required for the map.

And the tiles only have to work once for the map so there's no mixing and matching required.

I'm willing to go in the hundreds, but the thousands is too much for me.
Cheaper than a very reasonable $30 for an entire tileset?  How is $30 more expensive than hundreds of dollars?

There are plenty of free tilesets out there --- as long as you make sure the tilesets are legal.  GrandmaDeb nicely keeps a list of freely available resources which are legal to use.  Celianna even has a very nice tileset which is free for non-commercial use. 

It sounds like you're very new to RPG Maker, since a "single map" in RPG Maker is far, far less content than you think it is.  It is almost always ONE of the following:

- World map (no towns, dungeons, building interiors)

- Town (no building insides, world map, dungeons)

- Building interior (no town, dungeon, world map)

- Dungeon (no world map, towns, building interiors)

If you're very new to RPG Maker, there is literally NO point to commission custom artwork yet, because you don't have a good feel for RPG Maker's strengths and limitations.

What I would do first:

Do all of the excellent free tutorials Andar links to and get really familiar with the free RTP provided with RPG Maker.  Make some learning project "throwaway" games, which are vital because you will learn a LOT as you go through the process of making a coherent, short game.  You will start to learn what the tiles do, and how to use them to create good maps.

You can post maps to the Screenshots thread to get constructive critique on your map so you can improve your map making skill. This is absolutely crucial before you even think of commissioning custom tiles.

Once you are completely comfortable with RPG Maker as an engine and know how to make full use of techniques like shift-click mapping to make the best use of the RTP, then it's time to look into commissioning custom artwork if you are willing to pay the market rates for it.  

The rates seem very expensive but talented tileset artists are rare and they need to eat as well, and commissioned or contract work is very intermittent.  Would you work for what amounts to below minimum wage, if it was the only income you'd get for months?  After all, if an artist is working on one commissioned project, she probably can't take on many others at the same time.

Sure, $500 (you mentioned several hundred) sounds like a lot of cash, but say it takes you 100 hours to make the tileset (it can take that long).  Now you've just been paid a lofty $5/hour.    At that price point, these artists would need to basically get out of the tileset business and take a different full time job to pay their bills. 

Personally, I would only commission custom artwork if I wanted to make a commercial game and felt the amount I'd earn from the game would at least cover the expense of the custom artwork.    But if I were going to, I would expect to pay for quality. 

What do I prefer?  Buying the Resource Packs at the Forum Store.  More of the money goes to the artist and I have yet to see a tileset which cost more than $30.   

When you are ready, you can always buy a Resource Pack that is closest to what you want and commission an artist to modify the tileset slightly.  If the artist is only modifying an existing tileset, say creating a few B-E tiles to round out what your game needs, it could only cost a few hundred dollars because the artist isn't starting from ground zero.
 

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