I'm making a game that requires a volume of artistic content which is not practical to be created by a single person, so I've enlisted the help of additional artists.
The problem is, each artist has their own style, and mixing the content produced by all artists results in a very inconsistent experience. This is true for graphical as well as musical content.
I've tried having each artist work on completely different parts of the content, such as having a background artist, a sprite artist and a graphic designer, but this clearly doesn't scale as the art volume increases or when circumstances require me to replace an artist, and is not trivial with content such as music.
How can I work with an arbitrary amount of artists, yet maintain artistic consistency across the entire game?
Addendum: The current answers mention the creation of an art spec, but even though useful, and probably even necessary, it is simply not enough.
In programming terms, "make an art spec" is similar to "make a tech spec", which is definitely a good thing, but a spec by itself does nothing to improve overall code quality.
Same goes for having an art director. In programming terms, "get a lead programmer" is not a very useful answer for "how do I improve code quality in my team?", even though it is a very good thing.
I'm looking for specific detailed answers on how to solve specific common problems in the field of artistic consistency. For example:
- When doing lineart, draw them with vector tools instead of freehand, with predetermined brush parameters so everybody gets their lines similar.
- Some people use the gradation tool, while others use blurring tools, and results are very different, so make sure everybody uses the same technique for gradations.
- For music, once the percussion and chord progression is set, it doesn't really matter who finishes the song, so make sure the percussion and chord progression for all the music is written by the same person.
I just made these up, so I don't know if they would work. I'm asking this question so people who do know what works can give me specific hints on how to improve artistic consistency.
In my particular case, I am not having a problem yet, but I need a relatively large volume of music for the project I'm currently planning. I have two musicians who want to help, but their styles (and skill level) are quite different. If I let them both make the music the way they want, I will have a pretty inconsistent result, and I want to avoid that before they start writing the music.
Also, I'll be needing lots of character drawings, and I have two artists who want to help (plus me), but our drawing styles are very different. In particular, this is how each artist draws the same character:
Notice how even though we're all drawing the same character, with the same palette, the results are wildly different, and telling everybody "you all have to draw in the style of artist B" is most likely not going to be very effective.