Add job Report Art Director: PvP Sandbox MMORPG at Alexander Zacherl & Sebastian Dorda

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Artists located Anywhere - but preferrably Munich, Germany.

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Tl;dr: Small team making a sandbox MMO is looking for an Art Director. Idea less crazy than it sounds. We kinda know what we're doing here. =D

The game: "Das Tal" is a small, time-boxed sandbox MMORPG with a strong focus on PvP and economical warfare. The game makes you a prisoner in a dark fantasy world. You have (one to) three months to grow stronger, find a trustworthy group of friends, set up your own stronghold and finally escape from the prison valley - or die trying. But you are not the only one wanting to escape: Up to 200 other players have the same goal and not all of them might want to cooperate with you.

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Detailled job description:


I've got a confession to make: We're just two guys and we're currently working on a Sandbox-MMORPG. And yes - we do know how crazy that sounds. We have seen the myriads of teams of blue-eyed hobbyists and the dozens of professional game studios fail at that endeavour. But let me explain - it's actually a little less crazy than it sound at first.

Why is it doable?

First of all, Das Tal is pretty small for MMORPG standards. We plan to have about 200 concurrent users on each of our game servers (as compared to EVE Online's 40k players in their server cluster or other MMO’s 2.000-5.000 CCU per shard). Second: We don't plan to have our servers run forever (and run into database size and mudflation problems) - our worlds are built to last only one to three months and then end with a big bang. Third - and most important - we're building a pvp-focussed sandbox MMO and no theme park. That means we're not going to create hundreds of elaborate quest lines (we're actually going for zero quests) or advanced mob AI. That being said: Creating the world for an MMORPG is always a daunting task. Even if it's only a small, time-boxed pvp sandbox. And that's why we need you.

What's your experience?

The current team consists of two guys - Sebi and Alex. Sebi has already developed an MMO client before (Iris, a 3D client for Ultima Online) and then spent three years in the core dev team of Travian - a hardcore-pvp MMO browsergame with a player base of hundreds of thousands active players. In the same time Alex has started and managed his first games studio for four years (the Bit Barons, averaging between 4 and 7 full-time team members), designing and releasing three full games on PC, Mac, iPad and iPhone.

How far are you?

We're now in the middle of our pre-production for our most ambitious project to date - Das Tal. We have already prototyped - amongst other systems - the core combat system and the server backend (able to run lag-free siege fights of up to 70 participants in one spot on medium-tier hardware while still simulating the rest of the world for all other players). We have set up our offices, done a lot of customer development (i.e. talking to potential players finding out their problems and needs) and we're in the middle of negotiations with our first investors.

But there's one front we haven't made enough progress yet and that's art. We've had a bunch of our artist friends help out with the first concept arts - but other than that we had to rely on open-source sprites to create our first game prototypes. Now it's high time that we focus our efforts on deciding how the game world will look like, what our art style is going to be and what assets and asset pipeline we're going to use. And this is going to be your job (if you're interested).

What do you need?

We need an experienced artist to define the game's style, flesh-out the game world and decide (via prototyping) what kind of assets to use. 2D billboards? Sprite animations? 3D characters? 3D environments? That's your decision. And your responsibility. You are going to be the guy who creates all of these in the first months. You are the one who is going to coordinate all other artists on the projects - be they in-house, freelance, outsourced or crowd-sourced. You will work with me to create the game world and the game’s backstory. Of course you’re also free to work on any other part of the game and generally “get shit done”.

Disclaimer: Right now we're not able to pay anyone a decent salary. We’ve both been living off our savings to make this game and this will be necessary for some more time. But we're getting closer to finalizing our first round of funding that will address that. And here’s another one: We are based in Munich, Germany, and we'd very much like you to join us here. But we do know that this is very unlikely at first so we're content with working together remotely for the first time. This being said: If you're interested in working with us then please check out our temporary website with more information about the game and the full job description.

To Apply | Skype/Twitter: dbltnk

Anywhere - but preferrably Munich, Germany
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