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I am developing my android game, 2D Sidescroll arcade game, its almost finished, I found artist who wants to cooperate with me, creating graphics for my game, but we have to discuss how much % he will receive if there will be any income from our game.

How do you game developers handle this? What is fair share for an artist? Here is little description on my and his work, to estimate work value:

Done by me:

  • game idea, story
  • game code (6 months of development) all game features, everything generally
  • visual level editor
  • levels created by me (more than 120)
  • android license bought be me (I know its cheap but still it is value)
  • sound purchased by me

Done by artist:

  • game graphics generally, ground tileset, game characters, 5 tiled monsters (animation), around 30 different graphics for different game objects (like environment elements, obstacles etc)

I would be grateful for some informations, thank you!

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I would have to say that as the person who came up with the idea and "the head honcho", you should get at least a small perk more than 50/50. I'd say 60/40 (60 for you if you came up with it). The most important thing though is to work it out and talk about it. If you're having trouble talking openly about it, or if you feel that you can't trust the artist, maybe you should find a new artist. Just my 2¢ –  Bob Flanderson Aug 8 '12 at 18:39
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You've already got a few models explained below, but remember that no matter what is most common, the best fit for your situation is going to be whatever both you and the artist can agree upon and both be happy with. –  Lunin Aug 8 '12 at 22:58

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is two maybe three ways to approach this, But what you have to remember is you have a found a artist who wishes to work with you and you will want to keep hold of that contact and not cause any "bad blood" to occur. Some ways to approach this:

  1. One Time Payment - You can offer this if you are willing to basically buy the rights to the images off of them this has the advantage to the artist as they make money regardless of if you game sells and you also as if it sells you get all the profit, Only Cons i can see is refinements to the graphics won't be as easy nor additional content as again it would be one time payment.

  2. Percent Split - This method is wrought with issues and can cause the "bad blood" situation. An artist can and do put as much time into the images as you do into the code and without each other they would be no game (at least not a sellable one) so you have to decide if that worth the arugments. Why not ask them what they believe there work is worth? then haggle till you are both happy with it?

  3. Partnership - Split everything down the middle, costs and profits. This one a big decision but an artist could be worth it.

Hope this helps

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If you are running the project as hobbyists I believe a fair share is to just weight your share of the profits based on total workload. If you worked 300 hrs and the artist 100 hrs then share the profits 75-25. In case there are people on the team who contribute with unique skills like artists or musicians that are really hard to find then maybe count their worked hours as double os something.

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