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VN Artists/Writers - how do you communicate with each other?


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It's a good idea to have created this topic! And apparently I'm the first person to answer xD
I am primarily an artist, but I still find that communication between writers and people who handles graphics is foundamental!
For writers:
- Try to give as many references and details as possible to the person who will be responsible of the drawings, otherwise it may take longer than expected, the artist might get discouraged and potentially gradually drop the project. This is why a simple "Hello I would like sprites of two girls and a boy, thank you goodbye" is not enough (it's nothing at all, actually...). Besides that, you will already be lucky if someone responds to this kind of ad x)
- Another important point, if you pause or stop the project for a reason or another, tell the artists (and all other members of the team).
Seeing the project manager or writer disappear for months or never come back is rather stressful... Moreover, it's quite disrespectful for members of the team. This leave a little bitter taste and a certain distrust thereafter (of course if you are dead or in the hospital, it's not really your fault, eh).

-Finally, be clear on what you want. Express your felt well and what you have in mind but try to do it in a good mood and avoiding conflicts ;)

For graphists:

Well, it's more or less the same that the writers, in fact x)


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While this isn't creative in and of itself, it's a question pertaining heavily to creative subjects.  Let me know if you think it's the wrong thread.


So, as you may or may not know, I'm currently in VN development - while we might be looking for artists in the future, it isn't quite the topic of the thread.


Rather, I'd like to know of your experiences with communication between artists and writers - what have you learned about it?  Particularly, what works and what doesn't?  What varies from person to person and what's been more consistent with your experience?  Is there anything the writers can do to make the artist's easier/higher quality that isn't too much from the writer's point of view?  Writers, what have you noticed works for your team, and how easy is it to implement that?  Do you think the difference between a linear story and a route-based one alters depictions of the characters in any way?


It's something I don't have much experience with myself, which is why I'm hoping to improve on it with some additional information.


Okay, it wasn't very clear for me, but I'm assuming you're asking about communication between writers and artists.


Talking from my own experience :


- MAKE SURE KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE ASKING YOUR ARTIST FOR ANYTHING! I always consider the artist as the highest members values on the team, and they are those whose time should be the the least wasted. Avoid by all cost the "I don't have a clear idea about what the character should look like, so do what you want based on the character's personality / description", it's the best way to get something that will not satisfy the writer, and frustrate the artist.


- Ask the artist about his/her preferences : does s/he prefer to be completely guided? To have some freedom to draw the concept art? Remember that the more you guide them, the more likely it is you will obtain something that will fit your expectations


- Make sure to give references to the artist. At least a very complete and detailed written one, but also if the artist prefers it, some visual references. I can't stress out how much visual references are important. It gives a much clearer idea to the artist about what is expected. On the downside, visual references might also limit your artist creativity (which brings back to the previous point : ask them what they prefer to do).


- Try to get feedback at each step of the drawing process. The artist just finished a sketch? Share it with the writers, have them give their opinions. The sketch is the best moment to say if you're satisfied or not by the result, if you're not, the artist can draw another sketch without having wasted too much time. Don't hesitate to ask for minor modifications at this moment as well.

And repeat for each step of the drawing process after that (Linearting / Coloring / Shading)


- Have the writers decide about what sprite expressions they need, and have them list it somewhere. Again, good written and visual description will help.


- Try to warn in advance your artist if you're planning to have different set of clothes / different poses. It might help them to organize better (for example I know the artists in my projects like to have tons of set of layers on their photoshop file so that it's easier to edit if they need to change only the clothes of a character, for example.)

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