Great art doesn’t grow on trees. Today the artist for SZB presented me with an updated quote for the project. That may make him look bad if I leave it there, but here’s some context – the artwork has been ongoing for a few months now. The start consisted mainly of semi-sporadic concept sketches followed by a fully working main character. Then came the u-turn in art style – which brought with it more concept sketches at a fairly regular pace. More recently the artwork has been flowing really well – with most graphical work done and some inroads made into basic anims. In other words – we’ve hit that crucial juncture where the path to the finish line becomes clear and so too does the amount of work required to get there. Imagine making Tomb Raider and then being asked to make Tomb Raider 2. Chances are you are going to have a good idea on how much work you have to do and how long things will take – same engine, same target platform, same people (probably), same gameplay. If your project is new making estimates is like playing pin the tail on the donkey – you might think you have good idea of where things are but when the blindfold comes off you realise the tail is on the donkey’s ear! But in a game dev environment this process is considered with such seriousness and importance that you’d be convinced it actually had value. Going back to my game the point i’m trying to make is that the artist didn’t appreciate the amount of work that was involved when making his price estimate at the start – and this has only become apparent now some work has been done. This is fair enough as far as im concerned – and you have to anticipate these situations arising. In fact, i instigated the price review by asking him to tell me how many hours and days he’d invested in the project – and looking at the animation ‘to do’ list it became obvious the original sum simply wasn’t enough. I’m not going to reveal the numbers just yet (well, one of them is 2) as im saving that for the postmortem. Needless to say – I still think the artist is giving a great rate and I can’t think of a better way to spend my hard-earned cash! Well – there are loads of things actually; but remember – a fancy laptop, designer clothes and maybe even a Cagiva Mito 125 (bellissima!) are only possessions that depreciate and turn to dust through the passage of time. A game is eternal!