UPDATE: I think we’ve found our artist. We’ll be making some announcements on the Overland mailing list about this in the coming weeks! A huge thank you to the insanely talented applicants. What a humbling experience!
We are also on a mission to build a more inclusive studio with more diverse teams, and so we strongly encourage applications from people from backgrounds that aren’t always represented in the games industry. If you fit this description or know people who do, we would be grateful if you could pass this posting on! More about this later…
WHAT IS OVERLAND?
Overland is a turn-based survival game that we have been describing internally as “868-HACK meets XCOM meets OREGON TRAIL meets LEFT 4 DEAD meets ROADSIDE PICNIC”. Make of that what you will, just keep in mind that it’s not a zombie game…
Overland is still in an (advanced) prototype stage, but currently the gameplay consists of guiding a rotating cast of characters through simplified tactical encounters on a road-trip across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Imagine you have some action figures from Stephen King’s THE STAND and HALF-LIFE 2, and you arranged them on a chess board, and hopefully you have some idea of what the core gameplay is like.
The world of Overland is empty and hostile. Your survivors rely on a kind of hand-me-down map that helps them find the safer places to pick up supplies on their journey to… somewhere. Most of the really useful supplies have been taken already, so you won’t be finding a lot of guns, for example. In fact, there are some good reasons to not kill every monster you see, but we don’t want to spoil too much yet… the important thing to us is that players will have some hard choices to make in most levels, and every choice you make has consequences.
We’re also working on building up some performative/expressive elements of game narrative. We have a lot of ideas about how we can illustrate relationships between survivors and the obstacles they face on their travels, but these elements are still pretty whiteboardy. They will play a big role in the final game though!
Does this sound like something you want to work on? Like really want to work on?
YES THIS IS MY DREAM PROJECT. WHAT WOULD I BE DOING?
Making all the 2D and 3D art and animation in the whole game. Everything about the way the game looks and moves would be up to you. I am a picky dude with strong opinions and we would be working together to figure out how to make Overland into the best game that we can.
In the same way that I’ll be pushing back on and influencing some of the art, though, I also invite you to push back on and influence everything else about the game: game mechanics, new scenarios, new story ideas, whatever you think would make the game better, lay it on us!
For us this is what it means to be a full creative partner on the project. You will become, in many ways, 1/3rd owner of Overland. By the time the game is done it will be as much your vision as it currently is mine or Shay’s.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE?
For a variety of reasons we are currently imagining the game as having mostly 3D art, but a really strong 2D vision could probably convince us to change our minds (it just might be a bit more work? depends on the artist I guess). Games like Kentucky Route Zero and videos like Between Bears have really strong aesthetics that we think could work for this game, but we’re open to other bold ideas!
Some of the practical reasons we are leaning toward low-poly 3D art include:
- looks good at lots of different resolutions
- is stylish and under-represented in indie games
- allows us to build and re-use things like rigs and skeletons
- gives us more flexibility in zoom and camera angles
If you have a vision for a non-traditional, beautiful and practical approach for a game like this, we want to see it!!
SWEET. GIMME THE DIRTY DEETS
So earlier I very specifically described Overland as an indie game, which was intentional, because it is a key part of our business model. Our goal is to build a four person team: designer (me), programmer (Shay), artist (you), and an audio person (???). When the project is released, the vast majority of the revenue from the game will be divided up between the four team members basically forever. As a full creative partner you will be entitled to the sort of rev share that comes along with that.
To help pay the bills until release, we can also provide monthly advances. These advances must be paid back out of the rev share at launch, but hopefully they help bridge the gap between start of project and launch.
This is not a salaried position, and there are no healthcare or retirement benefits associated with it. In tax terms, you will be a self-employed contractor or freelancer.
The current plan is to start production on the full game in April, and launch as a paid alpha on Humble and Steam in Q3 or Q4 2014. We will probably continue active development until mid-2015, when I expect the pace of updates to slow down. Also, please keep in mind that since this is an indie game, those dates are subject to change!! We will do our very best to stick to those guns though.
WHERE DO I SIGN UP
Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a link to your portfolio ASAP. Please include the words “overland artist” and your name in the subject line.
We are working on putting together a budget to do a round of paid art tests, so it is not super critical that your portfolio include work that matches the sorts of things we were talking about above. However, we are going to be looking for:
- work with a strong identity and personality
- atmosphere and environmental storytelling
- work done outside of jobs/school
- artists that can or have shipped something
Also as we said above we have a specific interest in building a diverse team, and can’t stress enough how badly we want awesome people to apply for this position, regardless of race or gender. This is a crucial step in making Overland the best game it can be.
If you’re the sort of person who normally wouldn’t apply for a gig because of discrimination or a perceived lack of experience, we want to see your portfolio!!
WAIT I ALREADY APPLIED FOR THIS LIKE A MONTH AGO
Awesome!! We will be in touch basically right after GDC!