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Looking for an Artist and Musician for an indie Game Project

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Aug 23, 2017
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Hello, all. I'm working on a game idea that I've wanted to make for years, and I'm hoping to partner up with both an artist and a musician who can compose an 8-bit soundtrack. It's a top-down J-RPG inspired aesthetically by the Game Boy era of the 90s. Mechanically, it's its own thing, which makes it a bit difficult to explain, but I'll try to go over the premise here.

You're a monster tamer who carries a large inventory of weapons, tools, and magic to battle against monsters. You then recruit those monsters to form a party, and can then engage in battles against other monster tamers. I know this sounds a lot like pokémon, but here's where the formula is dramatically different. The twist is that there are actually two independent battle systems. One is a real-time action battle system where the player-character battles against monsters in various environments with an assortment of tools, spells, and techniques. (Think of something more along the lines of an action-rpg). By triggering a monster's stun condition, it's possible to capture them into cards. You can build an entire deck of monsters and other cards that serve as equipment and special moves, and engage in the other (turn-based) battle system against other monster tamers, pitting your monsters against theirs, 3-on-3 for each match. The monsters just take on whatever level the player-character is, so there won't be any level grinding needed for the addition of new team members. There's a lot more to this to unpack, but I didn't wanna go into too much detail. I just wanted to provide some context.

Anyway, I'm doing the bulk of the programming for now. If I bring in anybody later, it might just be for the sake of helping to optimize performance as needed over development. I've done a fair bit of the art work, including tile sets, some NPC sprites, objects, and various animations.

*****For the Artist*****

Where I really need help with is in the monster designs. When battling against them in the overworld, most of the monster sprites will be contained within 16 x 16 pixels, and they're fairly simple for me to do on my own. But, the turn-based battles will need far more detailed illustrations, which are beyond my capabilities.

With this partnership will come a great deal of creative control over the monster designs. I have some that I definitely want in there (for plot reasons and just because they came to mind), but there's plenty of room for experimentation. It's a bit more complex than what you'd see in pokémon, as my target audience is mainly going to be older/nostalgic gamers who fondly remember playing games like Link's Awakening, Pokémon Red & Blue, Final Fantasy Legend/Adventure, and games of that sort back in the day, but would appreciate a more modern design approach. While many of monsters will be linked with the elements, they'll also have different roles that they're best suited for, and so there are multiple considerations to keep in mind when building teams because it's not just matter of using a water-type to beat a fire-type.

It's worth mentioning that it may be challenging even for skilled artists to come up with these designs. The two major constraints are that the monsters are entirely in 4 colors (black, white, light gray, and dark gray) and most of them will have to fit within 52 x 52 pixels. Some of the larger ones can span 64 x 64 as those are boss monsters that are used and fought against without allies. The reason for the size limit is that it's the only way to reliably fit 3 of them on screen horizontally at the same time. I already did the measurements. I'm scaling the pixels appropriately without anti-aliasing, so it looks crisp and clear even when full-screen on a desktop.

*****For the musician*****

As I mentioned earlier, I've working mostly on the programming and some simple artwork and animations for now as I get a working prototype established. But, I'm gonna need help with music and sound effects. I need somebody who can not only compose, but also make it sound like a proper 8-bit soundtrack from a Game Boy game. Truth be told, it's not as urgent as the mechanics aren't centered around the audio and the absence of visual assets are more of a setback than the audio for the time being, but it's still something I wanted to put out there.

*****In general*****

If anybody is interested in the idea, or if you know someone who might, please let me know. This is a great opportunity for someone who's looking to build a portfolio and get into the industry, as I'm trying to do the same.

If you can't take part in this now because you don't have the time or other things are going on, don't sweat it. I'm also in the process finishing graduate school, so this is something I'm trying to balance in my free time. There's no rush with this at all. There are no deadlines either. This is just something I've always wanted to do, so I'm finally going for it. I'm posting this now because I imagine it will take a while to find the right people.

If we can really get things going, I'd like to run a kickstarter so I can make this into official contract work. Even just one or two illustrations for now would be a great starting point. I can work with that much in building a template for the turn-based system. In the meantime, I'm focusing more so on the other battle system since i have more resources to work with. For the musician, maybe a song or two. (We can go over the type of melody it should be to fit the scene).

If you are interested, send me a pm, and I'll go over more of the details. If you don't think you'd be a great fit for either of the roles, but you're still curious about the idea, feel free to let me know what you think down below. I know that, in general, the biggest obstacle in convincing people to be enthusiastic about this idea is that the game is gonna be in black-and-white, but I've actually molded the story around it, so it's thematically appropriate. (Plus, there will be instances of additional colors that shake things up as well.) It's meant to invoke a feeling of nostalgia with its sound and visuals, but I'm not dealing with the same hardware limitations that they were 30 years ago, so I have some ideas to play around with that would not have been possible then. There will be an abundance of side-quests and additional content.

Either way, have a great day, everyone.
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