Not sure if this is the best place to put this, but here's my recent thoughts. I've never completed a game (that is to say, not one I've been inclined to release). After about 5 years of messing around on various projects in several engines, I've written down all the various ideas for games I want to make and sorted them by relative complexity. The least complex? A 2D platformer, and what better engine than GM to make it in? But there's one major problem: I can't draw worth anything. I've done some rotoscoping and some basic sprites before, but all these various characters each with several animation sets? Not something I've done before. I'm a software engineer by trade, so my forte is programming. Naturally, the solution would be to simply replace the sprites with placeholders while I get the mechanics figured out. That presents its own own advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, I can completely create the game itself without stalling out in the art phase and I can hone those mechanics and get the feel of the game down pat. On the other hand, the sprites contribute very significantly to the feel of the game; it's hard to gauge exactly how a game feels without such animations. Plus, without sprites that actually look like they were created by someone competent, it will be hard to drive interest for the game if I show it off in YouTube videos or, say, want to run a Kickstarter. Let's face it: graphics make or break a game experience, and having graphics that aren't up to scratch in one way or another is going to taint the public view of your game. Watch any game review for any genre on YouTube, and you'll notice, graphical prowess is the first thing that's mentioned in most cases. The value of graphics quality cannot be understated. Going forward with placeholder assets is one thing, but that still leaves the problem of how the actual final assets will come into being. The first option is, of course, that I could learn to draw, but frankly, I've tried visual art in various forms throughout my life and I'm just not that good at it. I can 3D model pretty darn well, but I've been doing it since middle school and I'm still mediocre compared to professionals (and I still can't model characters that well). With 2D art though? Fuhgeddaboudit. I'd certainly try my hardest, but it will never look like professional art. Again, I could certainly do it though, at no extra cost (except possibly time). The other option is to hire or commission someone to do the art. There are 2 ways I could do this: either pay them outright, or do a revenue share. If I were to choose to pay them outright, I'd likely have to run a Kickstarter, and as I mentioned before, it would be hard to drive interest for a game that's just a bunch of squares or incompetent looking scribbles running around. On the other hand, there's certainly high potential with revenue share, but most people won't jump into that kind of deal as it's usually not as immediately lucrative and doesn't guarantee any kind of base payout. And, through all that, I just can't decide where to start, how to proceed. I want to finally create a commercially viable product to launch a game development tenure (still as a hobby, more than likely). What do you all think? What's the best way forward here?