Creating games with no art ability. How'd you do it ?

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  • My art skill is probably in the lowest 5% of the human population. Im not even exagerating here either it's just that bad. In my mind I have a beautiful game but getting it out of there is just impossible.

    I have been working for the past 5-6 hours on my new game which I wanted to make, 6 hours later I have nothing to show for it and a wasted evening due to not even being able to make a stick man as a temp game place holder while I get the level design sorted.

    Worst part is im a great coder, I can just see the code in my mind before I even start working on it and it flows through me.

    How do you handle not having an artistic ability? I have tried Open game art but it's not really that good for game art as most of it is just the odd "upload" with art styles not matching. I want to actually share my games so the really bad "ripped and mixed" art looks very newbie.

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  • when i start making a game i just work with cubes and rectangles and stuff like that, just things that tell me everything is working as it should.

    For later stages of development you might wanna consider outsource the art of the game.

    or like a lot of devs do these days, go with a design solution instead of artwork. Keeping it minimal, but pretty.

  • <= Made a few games already with no artistic talent. I am a very logical person, all my adult life was spent training in scientific research and got a PhD and went to work in research labs.

    Didn't enjoy it any longer and decided to go after my first passion, games. I took time out to learnt how to draw (manga comics, youtube, lots of pencil & paper), animate and play with photoshop, illustrator for shading and effects. A few months later I started making characters for my first game, a Ninja RPG.

  • Start by designing a game that doesn't need art! There are many successful games, both old and modern, that work only with lines and geometric shapes. Just look at "Thomas was alone" for one of the latest examples!

    And, by the way, you will waste many an evening in game development trying things that don't work. That's pretty normal so don't worry about it and take it as a learning experience

  • Ok so I have been reading about Vector art and decided to give it a go. It's near impossible for me to do so I think more reading is needed. (Pixel art is harder I would say).

    Here is my attempt at making a house to show you how bad I am when it comes to art... I was going to hire an artist but cost is a real problem.

  • I'm also terrible at art, but I just use sprites from old console games ( or open source stuff ( or just whatever I can find on Google Images while I'm working on a project. Personally I like even my placeholders to look good, it gives me a boost and helps me imagine how the finished game will look and feel much better than blank circles and polygons do.

  • This:

    Seriously. It's a website with very simple tutorials, guiding you step by step what tools to use and what to do to achieve amazing results. After a while you'll have your own ideas and it will be easier to experiment.

    I made my avatar this way (it has over 130 objects though )

  • Lots of artists sell work too

    Build a game with placeholder images

    These are images used during development which will be replaced at some stage, these can include any image you find, copyrighted or not hehe just make sure that when you go public the images are replaced.

    If your not financially equipped to purchase material, you can try and ask for assistance too in the help wanted section. If you have a game to show for with placeholder images, the chance of someone wanting to help / make a deal is a lot more likely.

  • Everyone has some art ability. As with everything, it gets better with practice.

    Make games that aren't defined by the quality of their art, but the quality of their gameplay. Eventually you'll find an artist who wants to work with you... That's what I did at least!

  • This:

    Seriously. It's a website with very simple tutorials, guiding you step by step what tools to use and what to do to achieve amazing results. After a while you'll have your own ideas and it will be easier to experiment.

    I made my avatar this way (it has over 130 objects though )

    That is a very good site, definitely teaches art for non-artists. Mobile games can get away with very simplistic art, as long as it looks stylish or attractive. Art only becomes hard once you get towards realism or good pixel art, for me anyway.

  • Try to find any art tutorials using search engines. I recommend Google, Bing or Yahoo. Not everyone have a good art ability. If we practice, we can do better arts. Practice makes perfect.

  • I'm OK with graphics and can do simple things, but if I need anything more complicated I'll often buy it. GraphicRiver is a site I've used quite a bit - a search for "Game assets" there brings up a lot of results, and they don't cost much: ... ame+assets

  • Use that to your advantage. Go for a very minimalistic look and think out of the box. A single square that can evolve into different shapes in a very cubic world in order to advance wont need fancy graphics and it could be great to play if you let your imagination and programming skills go crazy.


  • Or you can somehow turn your weakness into your strength. Have you seen Hubol's games like Jason and the Argonauts? (ttp://

  • You diffidently aren't alone in this matter , left to my own graphics people would think it was made by a 5 year old .

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