Recently my curiosity was piqued by a thread in which the suggestion was made of an artist commissioning a game designer / writer to create a game for their images. Now, as a designer who can never quite afford decent art, I have to say I'm curious about the possibilities of such a business model. The main problem, as I see it, is the lack of artists who would be interested in such a scheme. Making good art is a lot of work, and I can see why many people would prefer the guaranteed (though often low) payment option to making an entire book and then trying to sell it at a profit. And from a writer's perspective, I know how little most RPG projects pay. And few artists are interested in profit-sharing arrangements, with very, very good reason.
But I can't help but wonder, what if it was the artist who was in charge?
In other words, the artist draws the pictures he or she wants to represent a world of her creation, then the writer turns that vision into a compelling world with a suitable games mechanic behind it to drive that vision. Could such a model work? I have no idea. Furthermore I have no knowledge of precedents that might prove or disprove the viability of such an action from an Indie gaming perspective.
So what are other people's thoughts on the subject? ARE there any artists out there who'd like to make an RPG of their work? What would make such a deal viable in your eyes? Feel free to ramble and digress!
N.B. I'm not (at present) proposing such a deal myself, just interested in discussing the practical ramifications.