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I was wondering which skills I should ask for when I need someone to make the graphical part for a 2D game intended for iOS or Android.

Not really looking for someone right now, but working on a project and don't really know what to ask for, equally I want to avoid thinking only in experienced artists working for iOS or Android developments, but I would want to ask for necessary similar skills.


Thank u all by the answers, very useful.

As I said before I would be interested in 2D graphics, but speaking about what to ask to a friend of mine, who's very skilled, he's traditional painter, but i don't know what should i ask him to learn related with the computer artwork, for doing the 2D artwork on the computer.

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Your accept rate is low. –  Den Dec 15 '11 at 13:33
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4 Answers

Make sure they are able to commit the number of hours you expect -- get it in writing if you possibly can.

Make sure they are capable in regards to the art style you want. It is not the same to take someone who "thinks they can" do a certain style, because it will take them some time to get familiar with execution, and their time is your money -- even if they are just volunteers.

And be as sure as you can possibly be that this is really, truly what they want to be doing at the present time. That way you will get much better commitment out of them.

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If you're looking for just one person, then there are a lot of skills this person should have!

  • Good illustration skills (eg. for character-design)
  • Good knowledge of computer based creative-tools, preferably knowing technical requirements for games (you don't want to scan and crop some drawings, do you?)
  • Person should have a feeling for good UI-Design
  • Good knowledge of typography and readability
  • Must also be able to create animations and effects
  • Able to create icons (logo) for a game (note, that this is an entirely different skill-set sometimes)
  • Should be able to produce a consistent look and feel within given requirements

I think these are some common requirements. Each one of these requirements could be filled by a single person, so finding one that excels at all of them will be near impossible. You should therefore set some priorities what's most important to you.

In addition to the above, there's also the usual skills that should be there, like good communication and teamwork skills etc.

Update: Since you extended your question, here's an updated answer. So you have a skilled friend and you would like to give him advice on what to learn, so that he can participate in your game-project.

I'd say it highly depends on the art-style you're going for. If he's a painter and you're creating a game with painted assets, even better. Then the main thing he has to learn is to scan the paintings and mask them (eg. apply define the transparent and opaque areas of the sprite). Also he should pay attention to scale. It doesn't make sense to paint lots of details when the assets are going to be shown with only a few pixels in size.

Knowing tools like Photoshop/GIMP and Illustrator/Inkscape is a must and something he/she should learn first.

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I think nobody mentioned this yet. It's not really on the technical skills side, more the personal aspect of it:

Make sure you get an artist who has either already successfully participated in gaming projects or at least someone who you know of has the right attitude to do art.

One thing that many artists have in common is that they view whatever they create as finished pieces of art that has some kind of value. In game development it's often required for them to draw something for hours on end just to completely abandon it in the end because it doesn't work for the game and needs to be redrawn. A lot of artists will get very upset upon getting told this by you, the programmer, and you need someone who can deal with this with no problem.

This is an attitude problem that programmers, for example, don't have, because we learn very early on that most code is rewritten 5 times before it's an acceptable version.

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Decide what kind of graphics you need: vector, high-res raster, pixel-art, 3D rendered.

Decide what kind of style you need: casual-cartoonish, hardcore-realistic etc.

Look/ask for portfolios based on those preferences and pick the one you like the most. They should have some game art (sprites, not concept-art) in their portfolios.

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