I get a lot of requests from people, and I'm often asked why some requests are filled and others not. So, here's your guide to getting a custom-created resource:
- Make it yourself -
Even if it looks absolutely terrible, try making it yourself. Show that you're willing to spend time on making the resource you need. More times than not, an artist will help you improve your attempt or provide you with a better version.
- Prioritize -
I often see request threads asking for 10 characters + faces + poses. You don't NEED 20 original and fully custom characters. Yes, it would be nice of you had a custom cast for your game, but it's not going to completely ruin your game if you don't get them right away.
Think about what's important. Your main character is someone that the player will see through the entire game. You should aim for a custom main character and you can make a request thread for that main character. The rest of your cast can be just a little less special.
This point is especially important when it comes to tiles. If I see a request for “sci-fi tileset”, I don't consider doing it. Not because the request is boring, but because a full tileset is months of work and there's no guarantee you'll even be working on that game anymore.
Instead, ask for something that's really essential. For example, one of the requests I filled was for a large standing radio/jukebox. It was only one tile, but it was important to the user's game. I had no problems filling that request.
- Use placeholders -
One of the things that a lot of artists don't like to see/hear is “Please help me! I can't continue my game without this!!!”
Well, actually, yes you can. And you should. Your game development shouldn't be dependent on whether an artist is feeling generous or inspired at this particular time. Music and visual resources are things that you can replace with relative ease. But things like events, database or general game progression aren't.
Don't use a lack of custom art as an excuse to slack off. Keep working on your game.
- Settle for less -
It would, of course, be fantastic if you had the best artists on the net making your custom resources. But it's very rare that they'll actually have time to do so. And you also have to remember that regardless of who is making your resource, their efforts are using time and energy. Even if the result is not perfect, please make sure you thank anyone that attempted to help.
What artists hate to see is “No offense, but that's not good enough.” It makes you look like an entitled jerk, and it potentially damages any relationship you had with the artist that tried to help. Thing is, people get better with practice. Maybe a few months down the line, that artist that helped you will see you using their resource and remake it into something better. I've done this several times, myself.
And lower your standards. Really. If the resource looks okay or it can be modified to look okay, use it.
- Be willing to pay -
Paying for a resource is not a guarantee that you'll get it filled, but it could very well be the deciding factor. Saying that you are willing to pay for a resource is saying that you know the artist's time is valuable, and that you respect that.
But what do you do when you don't have money to spend on a resource? Well, try to find a way to make some. Here are a few possible sources of income:
- Day Temp jobs through a temp agency. These types of jobs are extremely short-term (think a few hours of work) and they don't pay much. However, they would give you just enough cash to pay an artist for their resource.
- Giving blood/plasma. If you're old enough, you can donate about once per month. Not only are you getting money to pay for your resource, but you're helping save someone's life.
- Save money from birthdays/holidays.
- Find a chore or small job you can do for your parents/neighbors/friends/etc and have them pay you: mowing grass, raking the yard, snow shoveling, cleaning bathroom, washing windows, babysitting, etc.
- Find websites like Fiverr, where people pay you for performing, art, marketing, etc.
- Be an active member of the community -
I cannot stress this one enough. Artists are much more likely to help people who are friends, acquaintances and generally more helpful to the community. No matter how attractive your request is, it's very rare that an artist will pick you over their friend.
If you just come in, make a request thread and never post anything but “bump”, you're basically saying that you have no interest in anyone except for what service they can provide for you. This is just a huge turn-off.