Cosmoteer Artist Application
Cosmoteer: Starship Architect & Commander is a starship design, simulation, and battle game. Players design fleets of ships by placing individual modules including weapons, shields, engines, and hallways onto a grid and then battling other ships in both single-player and multiplayer. Cosmoteer has been developed in the open with a free demo (https://cosmoteer.net) for several years, slowing growing a community that now numbers more than twenty thousand players every month. I am anticipating launching on Steam Early Access in mid-2020.

Since the beginning of the project (many years ago now), I've made all of Cosmoteer's sprites and animation myself. But I don't really think of myself as an artist -- I'm best at programming and design -- and so my own "best-effort programmer art" takes me a long time to make and could look a lot better in the hands of a truly talented artist.

And so I'm looking for that talented and dedicated 2D artist to take over the job of creating Cosmoteer's sprites and animations, which means both replacing my current art and creating new art as new kinds of ship modules and other features get added over time. You will have the opportunity to bring your own artistic vision to the game, directing Cosmoteer's visual appearance. You will NOT be expected to emulate the existing style.

This is a long-term, PAID role requiring at least 20 hours/week availability for the next 6 months. (And hopefully going longer than that if Cosmoteer is financially successful and I'm happy with your work.) Remote work is okay and expected.

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REQUIREMENTS:
- You have played Cosmoteer's free demo and would be really excited to work on it.
- Can commit to at least 20 hours/week for the next 6 months.
- Have created a significant portion of the 2D art (sprites & animations) for at least one previous game or game mod that is available for me to play or at least watch video of. (Non-professional hobby & student projects are okay.)
- A strong 2D visual style and aesthetic that's a good fit for Cosmoteer's sci-fi aesthetic. (High-res pixel art is probably ideal, but I'm open to being persuaded by a strong portfolio in another style. Even pre-rendered 3D might work!)
- Capable of creating short sprite animations for the various ship weapons and modules. (Usually looping at about 8 frames.)
- Understands how a game's art is used to convey its mechanics and can create art that is both attractive and communicative.
- Ability to create 2D art that remains attractive and communicative at any rotation and when zoomed out. (Ships in Cosmoteer can freely rotate in 2D, and players have full analog control of the game camera's position, rotation, and zoom.)
- Demonstrated ability to work on a team. (Okay if you were the only artist on a team with other disciplines.)
- Can work within fairly strict technical limitations. (Limited resolution, animation frames, and in-game layers.)
- Comfortable editing the game's JSON-like text data files so that you can see your own art live in the game without having to wait for me to add it.

PLUSES (not necessary, but let me know if any of these apply to you):
- Experience creating visual effects (weapon effects, explosions, etc...)
- Experience creating user interface art
- Experience creating key art for locations that the player might visit (i.e. a still scene of a space station's crowded docking port)
- Experience creating human or alien character portraits (i.e. a still or lightly-animated portrait of an alien the player is talking to)
- Experience creating outer space backgrounds
- Experience with graphic design, such as creating marketing materials, logos, etc...
- Experience working with procedural art generation (Cosmoteer's backgrounds and planets are currently procedurally-generated and ideally would remain so)
- Experience using version control (Cosmoteer uses Git.)
- An interest in game design

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RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Recreate all of Cosmoteer's existing ship art and animations with your own aesthetic.
- Create art and animations for newly-added ship weapons and other parts as they are created.

And possibly depending on your skillset and project needs...
- Create visual effects for new weapons and other abilities
- Re-create the U.I. art to match your own style, including widget nine-slices and icons.
- Work within Cosmoteer's procedural planet & background generator tools to create procedural background styles that match your own style.
- Help create marketing materials such as logos, screenshots, Steam "box art", etc...
- Design and paint ships that will be included in Cosmoteer as NPC ships.
Email address *
Your Name *
Your answer
Why do you want to work on Cosmoteer? *
One paragraph is fine, not looking for a novel here. :)
Your answer
Please tell me about your past experience making art for games and how that qualifies you to work on Cosmoteer. *
Please tailor your answer to the above requirements.
Your answer
Link to your online portfolio: *
If there are particular items in your portfolio that you think are the most relevant to Cosmoteer needs, please link to those directly or tell me where to find them in the below "anything else" box. If your portfolio isn't online and you'd rather email it as an attachment, please send it to walt@cosmoteer.net and write a note here.
Your answer
Link to your resume or CV
Don't worry about it if you don't have one, but if you already have a resume or CV that is reasonably up-to-date, please link it here.
Your answer
What is your availability? *
How many hours per week can you commit to Cosmoteer over the next 6 months? Do you have any other commitments?
Your answer
What is your hourly-equivalent rate? *
How much do you charge in the equivalent of U.S. dollars per hour for your work? (Due to the long-term and open-ended nature of the work required, I am not interested in paying per-asset.)
Your answer
Are you interested in revenue share?
I'm assuming that most artists just want to get paid in full for their work, which is totally fine. But if you would rather take revenue share in exchange for a lower hourly rate than the above, then please check here and I'd be happy to discuss that.
How much would you charge to do Stage 1 of the art test? *
Before hiring you for the long-term, I'll want to start with an art test to make sure that your style works for Cosmoteer. Please let me know how much you would charge (as a flat fee in US dollars) to do Stage 1 of this art test: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pTeuH3kNJp-2l3z0KOdpBA5kpA0-A_jLOlN2536igmY/edit?usp=sharing
Your answer
How much would you charge to do Stage 2 of the art test? *
Before hiring you for the long-term, I'll want to start with an art test to make sure that your style works for Cosmoteer. Please let me know how much you would charge (as a flat fee in US dollars) to do Stage 2 of this art test: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pTeuH3kNJp-2l3z0KOdpBA5kpA0-A_jLOlN2536igmY/edit?usp=sharing
Your answer
Anything else?
Is there anything else you want me to know about?
Your answer
Thanks!
Thanks so much for your application! I'll be in touch if I am interested in hiring you.
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