Update: Artist position now filled.


I make indie games. Or maybe that should be indie game, singular. This particular indie game, Mayhem Intergalactic (formerly known as the BYOND game named YAGSACG), will be going on Steam in the near future (as previously announced here and here).

One of the recommendations for Steam games is that they have achievements in them, so I've added some. However, I need icons for them, and I need ideas for good achievements to have in the first place.

If you've got ideas for achievements, comment here or head over to my other blog. (You'll need to be familiar with the game. There's a free demo available if you're not.)

If you're an artist, the rest of this post is for you!

Make pretty pictures, get paid for them

This is not your typical BYOND "iconing" job. Firstly, you will get paid, and I'm not talking $5 the lot or anything stupidly small like that. I don't have a huge budget, but we can negotiate something reasonable on a per-piece basis depending on your skill level and the quality of the graphics.

Since I'm paying, I want my money's worth. =) That means I want reasonable quality. They don't have to be works of art, but they do need to fit with the rest of the game and be of acceptable quality.

Secondly, you will get a mention on the credits screen. In a game which will be released commercially on Steam. That's gotta look good on a CV, especially for any of you interested in getting into the games industry.


  • Resolution: 64x64
  • File format: PNG. Please provide original working files as well (e.g. PSD if you used Photoshop), with layers intact if you used layers.
  • Quantity: 15-20 (TBD) different achievement icons, each with achieved and unachieved variants, for a total of 30-40 different images. Some of the achievements come in sets, so those could be thematically related, which might cut down on the workload a little.
  • Style: You choose. The game itself sits somewhere between realistic and cartoonish. You can either try and match that style, or go cartoonish.
  • The unachieved variants should be greyscale and darker; the achieved versions should have some colour. The unachieved versions can just be copies of the achieved versions made greyscale and darker, or they can be slightly different.
  • You will be expected to come up with ideas for the content of the icons that match up with the game and with the achievement names and descriptions. You can re-use existing graphics from the game where appropriate, of course. (If you download the demo and install it, you'll find all the game's graphics in the folder [Mayhem Intergalactic install directory]\data\base\graphics.)
  • The successful applicant will be creating icons that will be used in a commercial game, so don't infringe any copyright laws or you'll get us both up to our necks in the deep stuff. Just... don't.

How do I get started?

I'm holding auditions! The rules are simple: Pick one achievement from the list below and create achieved and unachieved variants of it according to the specifications above. Email both images to me before the deadline (Friday).

I reserve the right to use any submissions in the game in return for reasonable compensation.

I also reserve the right to not use your submission.

If I undertake to pay you for further work as a result of your submission, then you will get paid for work done as requested, even if I don't end up using it. If none of your artwork gets used in-game then you don't get mentioned in the credits, though, and I won't pay for work which I didn't ask to be done.

Submissions should be sent to me via email. Use my email address on the left there, or my company contact address.


Get your audition in by this Friday 5th December to have a good chance of being accepted. The graphics will be needed ASAP after that; preferably by the 12th. By the 19th at the latest.

If you can't get them done by then I'll look at recruiting additional manpower and maybe pitching in myself with whatever latent artistic skill I can muster.

The achievements list

This list is not final; some of these may be removed, while more will probably be added later. This is just to give you a rough idea of what we're looking at.

  • First Blood: Win a Quick Start singleplayer game.
  • Natural Intelligence: Win a Quick Start singleplayer game with the AI difficulty set to Highest.
  • Perfect!: Win a Quick Start singleplayer game with the AI difficulty set to Highest, and without losing any battles. [Editor's note: Yes, this is possible; I've done it. It merely requires patience and a little luck. Or patience plus abuse of the saved game feature.]
  • Things Fall Apart: Destroy 1000 enemy ships in a single game.
  • The Center Cannot Hold: Destroy 2500 enemy ships in a single game.
  • The Blood-Dimmed Tide is Loosed: Destroy 5000 enemy ships in a single game.
  • Maker of Multiplayer Mayhem: Win a multiplayer game.
  • Master of Multiplayer Mayhem: Win 10 multiplayer games.
  • Maestro of Multiplayer Mayhem: Win 25 multiplayer games.
  • Vindictive: Destroy 500 native ships. Cumulative over multiple games.
  • Bully: Destroy 1000 native ships. Cumulative over multiple games.
  • Slaver: Destroy 2000 native ships. Cumulative over multiple games.
  • Freebie: Conquer an undefended enemy planet. Then win the game.
  • Mechanized Intelligence: Use rally points to connect all planets in a Quick Start game into a single network.
  • Prime Directive: Win a game without conquering any native planets.
Unfortunately, my photoshop is on my busted up computer as of now. So I can't really help.

However I would encourage people to put forward their efforts for this one, at the very least, for some cash. You will not often find people paying a decent sum of money for graphics art on byond, so if you know what you are doing, it should be relatively simple. Albeit time consuming, but that's what the cash is for.
For anyone looking to do some work on this, I highly recommend Inkscape. It's a free vector art program, and would work great for creating achievement icons.
In addition to looking here, checking out the royalty free image sites might help too. This guy has some great vector icon packs, you may be able to find something at least similar to what you're going for. I picked up this set for a piece of software I was doing for the local fire department for $14.

Also love the achievements so far!
Nice advertisement, I like how you went through all the points and made it very clear on what you really WANT. Very nice.

However, like all the other comments I can't help :) Not like you care, all you want are the comments of the people who can.

Well guys, Crispy sounds like the real deal, If you're out there and need some cash? Go ahead and try him, but remember talented work :)
I assume you wanted us to send it to your email. In which case, I sent it to the email you have publicly displayed on your membership information.
I made it to turn 357 by spamclicking end turn....go me.
You might want to ask around x360a and it's sister site PS3 Trophies. They'll probably lean towards easy achievements because a lot of them prefer titles they can hire for two days and score 1000gs from, but they're experts on what to avoid.

This list sounds pretty good. You've got a couple of 'beat the first level' no-brainers to get the ball rolling, then from there you've got a nice steady stream of achievements. The online achievements aren't annoying and wont disrupt gameplay. They also manage to draw players in to the online arenas which is great. 25 is probably as high as you'd want to go there, anything more and you'll have med-level players tearing their hair out.
You've also got a couple of game long ones which are nice. The Perfect! one is a bit daunting but being able to use saved games to do it will stop anyone from complaining while still offering the challenge to people who actually want to take it up.
The only thing I'd change is I'd want to insert a few creative/funny ones. Do you still have planets like Hoth in it? Some weak examples would be to use that in an achievement like Am I talking to Miranda now? - Conquer Miranda or Teddy Bear Empire - Defend Endor. With the random galaxy generator it could be a little annoying actively seeking the achievement, but it makes the achievement list a little more personal.

Last but not least in-game achievement tracking is a must. You've got your achievement listing screen, so half the work is done. All you need to do is add gauges to track your progress. It doesn't seem like much but it helps gets people involved in the achievements (rather than just having something like Slaver pop randomly). You might want to make it so that flashes your progress in the corner at regular intervals. Ie, a box with the Slaver icon, a gauge and XXX/2000 appears in the corner 50 kills.
It's a bit of work but it's one of those small systems where if you put a little extra time and effort in to do it properly it shows. Even people who have achievements will see that you put thought into it and took it as seriously as you would any other system.
If the game plays like I remember, these might be fun achievements:

Crippling Blow: Conquer 'x' enemy planets in one turn
Blitzkrieg: Attack a planet from five or more directions in one turn
Back and Forth: Capture, lose, and recapture every planet in the game, then win.
Backwater: Win the game by capturing a non-upgraded planet
Sudden Victory: Win the game by capturing 5 or more planets in one turn

If they don't fit, then I guess I was thinking of something else. I wish I didn't have a paper to write, or I might have time to try out the demo :(

Can't wait to see the game on Steam! I'll be sure to pick it up once Finals are over :D
@Airjoe: Ooh, those are nice packs. Bookmarked, cheers. Even if I don't use them for this, I can definitely see some of them coming in handy for other games.

@CodingSkillz2: Yep, got it, thanks for your submission. I'll send you some comments privately.

@IcewarriorX: Heh heh. Maybe I should make that an achievement. =P

@DarkView: Thanks for the tips! That's all very useful.

@DarkCampaigner: Yes, you've got the right game. =) Some good ideas there.

Keep those submissions coming, guys... =)
Haha - the current poll on is strikingly relevant:

What is your opinion of multiplayer achievements?
They are the devil's spawn! Please no more! 39.1%
They are very "meh". 19.0%
They're ok I suppose. 17.0%
I love them, give me more! 16.4%
I don't care, an achievement is an achievement. 8.4%
Excellent! I'm definitely going to be participating in this. >:]
# The Blood-Dimmed Tide is Loosed: Destroy 5000 enemy ships in a single game. On Off

Yes yes? :D
Hey, not a bad piece of pixel art. I like.

My only niggle is that the ship doesn't match the ones I already have on the title screen etc., but that doesn't really matter. =)

Might be nice to have some more decoration to make it look a bit more like a badge type thing instead of just a square picture? That's just an easy little alteration of course, even I could do it reasonably.
I have an idea for one, but I don't have the uber leet graphix thkillz needed to pull it off - for Natural Intelligence, maybe a balance with a brain on one side and a microchip or cartoon computer on the other side, with the balance tipped towards the brain?
I've noticed a bug.
I get a critical game-crashing error whenever I try to move the slider on the Rally Point controls.

As for the icon, I originally had a golden border on it, but took it out because I was getting complaints that there wasn't enough space in the picture.

Also, this isn't pixel art. :P
I used a size 3 brush tool in photoshop for a lot of the stuff in there.

[EDIT]: There also seems to be a mouse collision boxes on the options screen. I have to click about 10 pixels above the buttons to get them to respond properly. This doesn't seem to happen in an actual game, though I haven't been looking out for that specifically.

A resolution change seems to temporarily fix the options screen problem. It comes back the next time I visit the options screen.
Oh dear. Thanks for those bug reports! I can reproduce the slider crash after a few tries, but not the mouse collision problem - at least not in the Linux build. I'll have to try in Windows later. Were you in full-screen or windowed mode? Windows XP or Windows Vista (or ...)?

I prefer it with the border, myself. The icon itself has just been outclassed by another submission though. Sorry. =)

Hazman: Yeah, I was thinking of something similar, but with just a brain giving off sparks or something. Or a brain cannoning into and smashing apart a circuit board (let's ignore the fact that it would just go splat!).
Some ideas:

- Gilligan's Revenge - Lose a game by losing your last fleet to a native planet (That is, you send a fleet from your last planet to a native planet, next round, your planet is taken, then your fleet fights the natives and loses. Not sure exactly how to explain that).

- Mayhem Not-Quite-Intergalactic - Lose a game without taking another planet.

- Sorry, We Got Here First - Conquer a planet while another one of your fleets is en-route to conquer it. (This can happen. Imagine the following situation: There is an enemy planet, at a distance of three turns from one of your planets, and one turn from another one of your planets. You send a fleet to it from the three-turn planet, and then next turn send a fleet from the one-turn planet. The one-turn fleet conquers the planet. When the three-turn fleet arrives, you'd get the acheivement)

- The Meaning of Life - Conquer a planet with 42 ships remaining in the fleet (As in, after the combat, there are 42 left)

- Luddite - Win a game without upgrading any factories

- The Singularity Approaches - Upgrade a factory to over level 20. Then win the game (Or some other number?)
Jp: Some good ideas there, thanks! Not sure I'll have time to implement more besides the ones I have already though.

D4RK3 54B3R: I believe I've fixed the slider bug, but I still can't reproduce the Options screen bug you were talking about. Could you give me more details?

* What are the precise instructions to reproduce this problem?
* What OS are you running (Windows XP, Windows Vista)?
* Were you in full-screen or windowed mode at the time?
* What resolution were you in at the time?
* Do you have a widescreen monitor or a non-widescreen monitor? What aspect ratio? (4:3, 16:9, 16:10, etc.)
REMINDER: Deadline for submissions is TODAY (Friday). I'll be closing submissions in exactly 12 hours after posting this comment.

(It's actually Saturday here already - by 2 minutes - but I figured that since I didn't specify a timezone I should wait for most of Friday to pass in the US.)
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