Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How Important is Artwork?

While I am working on my next project, a short adventure, I am wondering how important art is to those of you out in gaming land. I know it is important to the more professional companies, but what about the little guy starting out. Since my war chest is nearly empty (because I am addicted to RPGNow, love that site) I don't have the money to buy original drawings. Sure I could fish around on the net and find common domain medieval woodcuttings that we have all seen a hundred times, but is it that important that I fill space with reruns. To me it's like watching the same episode of Frazier for the umpteenth time. I appreciate the woodcuttings and the episode where Frazier and Niles attempt to write a book, but my time and your time could definitely be used better.

This is not a shot at art not being important. Rob is currently working on his Scourge of the Demon Wolf Adventure and he contracted a couple of local guys to his art. They've done an incredible job. Their visuals have really enhanced the adventure. Rob earned enough from his Majestic Wilderlands sales to contract them. In the Majestic Wilderlands Supplement Rob used the medieval woodcuttings, Renaissance paintings and some of his homemade sketches. I think artwork was needed for his book because of the length and that is was jam packed with information. But for the short adventure I am developing I don't think it's needed.

I considered my hand at a few of my own sketches, but here is why I won't. I've never bought a product because of the art, but I have not bought a product because of the art. In other words I don't want it to look cheap and amateurish. I'd rather have a clean look. Another reason I prefer this is it is more printer friendly. Printing out pictures you have seen a ton of times and probably has nothing to do with the adventure is a waste of money.

But...here I am blogging away to ask a question as I often do. To me it makes complete sense to approach the creation of my adventure this way, but as being one of the lousiest business men in the world I do like to hear opinions of others. In cases like this I am well aware I am too focused and close to see other possibilities so I ask to those out there that are in the business or interested in buying one of my adventures how important is the artwork?