This podcast talks about a problem that just won’t quit: community projects.
“I’ve got this great idea for a feature film/indie game and want to know if you’d be interested in joining?”
I probably get one of these in my inbox per week, and each one receives a polite but secretly frustrated reply.
Most art forums have explicit rules stating that these requests are banned. CGSociety even made theirs a sticky.
I’m calling it: Community Projects are the spam of the art world.
6 reasons Why Artists Hate Community Projects
- There’s a 99% chance it’ll never launch – I can recall probably a thousand threads asking to join community projects, and zero (0) finished results. The truth is that most community projects fizzle out in the first few months. As the initial motivation wears off, reality sets in and most artists throw in the towel.
- You haven’t even started - Come on! You want a complete stranger to sign on for X number of hours, but you haven’t even started yet? At least show some sketches, a finished script or storyboard!
- We’re not short on ideas – Most artists aren’t twiddling their thumbs trying to think of their next idea. I have about a hundred “gunna do” projects already. And that list is constantly growing. A community project is simply an “idea”.
- We don’t know you – If you were approached by a stranger on the street who asked you to volunteer help build his house over the next few months, would you? What about a close friend? If you already have a strong reputation and report with the community, then maybe somebody will jump on board. But if you’re new, then no.
- There’s no pay – …or only a promise to pay on completion (see point 1). I know this should only apply to commercial projects, but since most community projects plan for “worldwide success”, then someone is getting paid.
- No, it won’t look good on our portfolio – And even if it did, not many artists would want to credit some of that glory to someone else’s idea (see point 3).
…and on the topic of “working for free”:
EDIT: A lot of people are saying “What about Blender? That’s a community project!” Well you’re right, and perhaps I should have phrased the title “Why I’m against MOST community projects”.
Blender works because it has a worthwhile goal, a leader which task delegates (Ton), a foundation that works locally (not all internet based), it didn’t start with nothing (it started as ‘Neo Geo’ an already functional software) etc.
I’m not against community spirit or trying to accomplish something. I’m against lazy community projects, that expect the brunt of the workload to be done by others, which is sadly what 99% of projects seem to be asking. It’s the reason that art forums strictly ban users that create such projects. Those are the projects I have a beef with.