So a little while ago I commented on the absence of cover art for IF games, and several people posted saying they didn’t feel like they had the skills/wherewithal to make art for their own games. I somewhat rashly suggested we should have some kind of cover art drive, whereby people could contribute art for other people’s games, and this met an initially positive response.
Having suggested it, I thought of a whole bunch of potential issues. One, it’s not really practical to run this kind of project as a competition, etc., which is the traditional IF community way of encouraging people to do lots of work for free. The idea is to cover as many different games as possible, so it doesn’t entirely make sense to put up some kind of head-to-head contest between contributions, and anyway I’m not sure how that would be judged. So no contest, no prizes.
Two, what if authors don’t want cover art made for their particular games? I can easily imagine some authors feeling like they have a particular vision in mind that they don’t want tainted by other people’s intervention; or like they didn’t like the cover art created for their work but they were somehow obligated to use it anyway; or just feeling like, dammit, they wrote a text game and it should be allowed to be texty, without this newfangled picture stuff attached to it in any way.
So here’s the deal. I’ve made a Flickr space, and I’ll maintain it for, say, the next two months, putting up cover art people send me. If you want your name attached as the artist, great; if you’d rather submit it anonymously, that’s fine too. If you send anything, you’re effectively assenting to the following statements:
1) you assert that you own the copyright of the image and its components, or that the images you used are public domain, or that you have secured the reproduction rights, such that there should be no negative legal ramifications to posting same on Flickr and later on IFDB and other webspaces.
2) you are willing for the author of the game to adopt the image you post and use it in promoting his or her game, without any further rewards other than a warm and fuzzy glow.
3) you are also willing for the author of the game *not* to adopt the image, for whatever reason, and you will not be too distressed about all that.
If you don’t feel like playing along on those terms, then it’s probably better to arrange your illustration collaborations in some other way. You may also want to check out IFDB and find out whether the game(s) you’re thinking of illustrating already have cover art there.
If you’re an *author* and you don’t want your work to be even considered in this project, feel free to comment here or let me know and I’ll post indicating that you’ve asked to be excluded, and not add any of your work thereafter.
I’m hoping that will make everything as fair as possible, and minimize grumpiness. I’m not announcing this to RAIF for a day or two because the idea as presented here is essentially in beta — if you think it’s tremendously ill-advised, lemme know and if your concerns seem reasonable I’ll pull the plug.
But I’m hopeful; cover illustrations make IFDB look snazzier, and they make IF easier to promote in the outside world. So we’ll see how it goes.