Threads of Fate Art Contest Announced

Squaresoft's "Summer of Adventure" continues with yet another special event, this time in the form of an art contest. In what is undoubtedly an attempt to bolster support for the recently released Threads of Fate, Squaresoft has decided to give gamers with artistic leanings a chance to win prizes through their imaging skills.

Beginning on August 7th and ending on August 31st, gamers can submit a storyboard sequence, original artwork, or both, to Squaresoft in an attempt to win prizes. Upon receiving qualifying art, Squaresoft will post it on the contest website and visitors will be able to vote for their favorite pieces. Winners of the contest will be given grand prizes consisting of an official Threads of Fate strategy guide by BradyGAMES, a limited edition Threads of Fate jersey, and a Collector's Calendar featuring artwork by all of the winners.

Like all contests, there are rules. Artwork must be made on 8.5"x11" paper, so murals are a no-no. Only Threads of Fate characters may be featured, so no crossovers featuring characters from other games. Also, no offensive language or depictions will be tolerated. Keep it family-friendly. The next one shouldn't even have to be mentioned: original artwork only! No tracings or changes to existing artwork will be considered. This contest is meant to showcase your original artistic abilities, not your capacity to rip others off. Finally, a maximum of one artwork entry and one storyboard entry will be accepted for each participant.

Lastly, some personal advice. Make sure you understand the subject matter and characters. Study the game and images and make sure you can portray the general feeling of the characters and story. Check out RPGamer's online preview for help.

A strong sense of composition and an ability for concise storytelling is a must for original artwork. Remember, you have a single page and one panel to tell a story. The character's gesture, facial expression, and setting can depict pages of exposition. It's cliché to say, but it's true: a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you plan on creating a storyboard, learn what they are. Look at examples. A storyboard artist must be able to tell a story through connecting panels. This is harder than it seems. Write out what you wish the characters to do first and then draw them one panel at a time, each panel showing a major action that you wish to draw attention to. Make several drafts, each with a different take on the subject matter. This gives you an opportunity to determine what you like, what you don't like, and what you're especially good at and not so good at. Also take note that storyboards and comic books are two entirely different things. Granted, they each tell stories within panels, but the layout is different. Hunt around on the web and research storyboards to get ideas.

Finally, the most important piece of advice anyone could ever give you: never, ever, send your original copy! Run down to your local copy shop (like Kinko's or Sir Speedy) and have a color (or black and white if that's what your image is) photocopy made. Make sure it is the highest quality copy you can get. No cheap-o photocopier that was designed to ditto text documents should ever be used for this!

Check out the contest website for the official rules and where to send your art. Good luck, and may the Force be with you.

by Christopher Koeppel    
Source: [Daily Radar]
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