BBIAS: Let's give this indie iPhone game a better set of spaceship graphics

Peter Lewis created Aragom, an iPhone space war game inspired by the old Star Trek games that were available on the TRS-80 and other early home computers. It's not a bad idea for an iPhone game, all told, but it needs a coat of paint. Peter is a good programmer, he noted, but not much of an artist. So here's your challenge of the day: create some better graphics for Aragom so we can give them to Peter to use. He's sent me the PNGs seen above; you can download them all in one ZIP package. Boing Boing Internet Action Squad: Engage! (We're just doing a good deed for an independent software developer here, so if you submit any graphics to me or post them in this thread, let's consider them a gift to Peter. He said he's happy to give credit to anyone whose graphics he uses!)
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26 Responses to BBIAS: Let's give this indie iPhone game a better set of spaceship graphics

  1. Cadin says:

    But this is a commercial endeavor. Shouldn’t Peter hire an artist if he wants better art for the game?

    I’m a good designer but not much of a programmer. Perhaps there’s a friendly iPhone developer out there who will kindly give me the code for my game? All the profits will go to me, but I’m happy to give you credit if I use your code.

    Sorry for being such a grump about this. I’m sure there are artists more generous (or gullible) than me who will be into this. Personally I feel that things like this devalue the services that artists provide.

    • Joel Johnson says:

      @Cadin: Nobody is forcing your hand. It’s a fun project to help a guy out (who didn’t even ask; I offered). You are being a grump!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Joel, this is offensive to artists and designers.
    Using your pulpit to make it seem cool to do free work is wrong.

    • Joel Johnson says:

      @Anonymous: It’s only offensive to those wound so tightly as to take offense. It is cool to do free work for someone. It’s called charity. I hear it’s a good quality to encourage.

  3. Cadin says:

    Nice work Felix.

  4. Felix Mitchell says:

    yeah, I doubt it’s usable though, just thought I’d throw in something before the thread collapses.

    tbh, I think vectored artwork in the style of the star trek ship controls might be a better way to go

  5. JamesProvost says:

    I’m totally with @Cadin. This isn’t opensource freeware. This is a commercial endeavor.

    Designers and artists can’t eat exposure.

  6. Rob Beschizza says:

    Thanks to customers who don’t value quality work, designers complain about people who work for for free.

    If you want to interpret this as the same sort of thing as e-lance or hiring high-schoolers, that’s fine: you’re protecting the perceived value of your labor as designers, which is totally not at all in grossly over-saturated supply.

    But how about this: Instead, accept that we understand these issues and trust us to only suggest this kind of thing for the most apt and well-chosen targets. This is a cool project to help out an indie developer who charges very little for his own work, making a nostalgia app that easily qualifies for Pro Bono status.

    • Joel Johnson says:

      @JamesProvost: None of those apply. I was the one asking if someone would be willing to help out, not him. Seriously, I create for a living, too, okay? Hell, I even moved to New York initially to go to art school. But if you can’t see the difference between spending 30 minutes drawing up a little pixel space ship as a nice gesture and getting roped into some big design project for no money, you’re missing the forest for the trees.

  7. Joel Johnson says:

    Also, I say again (and should have made more clear the first time): He didn’t approach us. I approached him because I thought it would be a nice thing to do. A little surprise pick-me-up from strangers.

  8. Danteslollipop says:

    At what address can I send some icons for Peter’s game?

    • Joel Johnson says:

      @DantesLOLlipop: joel@boingboing derp net works fine. Thanks. Or you could upload to Sendspace or something and just link.

  9. Cadin says:

    @Joel: If it was a free app I’d be all over it.

    I do apologize if my grumpiness is disproportionate here. Hopefully I didn’t ruin the fun for someone who might have otherwise been interested.

  10. funnelbc says:

    I’m a designer (a real one that does this for a crust – not guy who know’s how to use photoshop. An important distinction). I’m a member of my professional organisation (the Australian Graphic Design Association) which rails against free pitching as a policy. BUT! I don’t think this is a free pitch, or anything else, I would classify this as a personal development.

    It’s a nice gesture on the part of Joel and I don’t think anyone needs to freak out over a little project like this. If you don’t want to do it, (or for that matter feel threatened by the freebie culture, don’t engage in it) nobody is forcing you to.

    I’m super keen to put something together for the fun of it, I don’t get the opportunity to do this kind of work that often and it’s fun. I read about it on Offworld and I thought this exactly the sort of thing the marrying of Boing Boing’s audience and a video game website should be about.

    I’m gunna put in my ideas tonight once I’ve had a chance to play around with it.

  11. ZekeSulastin says:

    @19: If you notice the rants done by designers caught on the bad end of the exchange, the “but you’ll get a nice bullet on your resume” excuse is one of the single most insidious they get.

  12. Cadin says:

    @Rob Beschizza
    “trust us to only suggest this kind of thing for the most apt and well-chosen targets”

    I guess I am just failing to see how this is a charitable cause.
    What am I missing?

    I’d happily contribute to a game that was being distributed for free for the enjoyment of all, or was generating money for a charitable organization, or even a single needy individual. So far I’m not seeing how Aragom is any more deserving of donations than any other iPhone app.

    @Joel Johnson
    “spending 30 minutes drawing up a little pixel space ship”

    Seriously? This is exactly the problem that sparked this debate–people assuming for some reason that you can just “whip something up” in no time, for free. “Fast, good, cheap–choose two.” You’re asking for all three.

  13. Felix Mitchell says:

    as a pixel artist, it doesn’t take half an hour to pixel a space ship, it takes many hours. here’s a mockup I did, probably took half a day and it’s not top quality:

    that said, I will contribute some airbrushed stuff, be back later

  14. Felix Mitchell says:

    oh, can we have some sort of brief?

    what does the aragom do in the game? looks like it fires a laser or something, or is that charging from the constellation?

    surely a constellation is more than one star?

  15. S3BR4 says:

    I wouldn’t mind helping out, but it would help to know what Peter would have in mind for the upgrade. Like realistic images of the USS Constellation or something saucer shaped like he uses now. I would assume making it to Star Trekie might result in some legal issues. Oh and it would also help to know if there are limitations to the number of colors used or anything like that.

  16. Anonymous says:

    @Cadin I agree – as an artist, it’s fun if you’re all working on it for free… but it kind of sucks when the assumption is that making art is the fun part and therefore the artists should want to hop on and draw for free, even though the developer will make money.

    I’m not railing against this post – I know it’s supposed to be all in good fun. But it’s an attitude that seems to be everywhere.

  17. Enochrewt says:

    Wow, wow wow. No good deed goes unpunished eh Joel?

    If you disagree with making aft for free, this isn’t for you, so just STFU and move on.

    However, if you are a newly graduated art student, maybe you’d like to help out and add “Art design for iPhone game” on your resume…

  18. funnelbc says:

    @me: but apparently is a walking grammar disaster area. Next version of bb, can we have an edit function please?

    “…knows how to use…”

  19. Rob Beschizza says:

    Excellent stuff.

  20. Felix Mitchell says:

    ok, this kind of what you’re looking for?

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