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Tips for adding art to the OVGA database


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Hey all, now that we are opening up the site and starting to get submissions from a small group of members, I wanted to start a topic to capture some "tips" of "guidance" to consider when adding art to the OVGA database.

One beginning note on terminology: at OVGA we prefer to refer to packaging art as "box art" (instead of "cover," which is a term introduced from comics).  We use the same consistent term "box art" regardless of whether the game was released in cardboard or as a paper insert to a jewel or DVD case. Magazine cover art would of course accordingly be "cover art."

I've numbered the below, but this is just a starting point and the items are not in any particular order.

  1. Try to take the best possible picture of your art and/or crop accordingly to focus on the art being shared
  2. Show off your art! Take additional close-up shots of your favorite details, the brush strokes, an artist signature. Anything you like!
  3. Additional Images is further a great place to include the published uses of the art, whether from a game box in your collection or from the internet. If your art has multiple published uses, feel free to include them.  Some box art was also used prominently in a magazine ad or for a magazine pack-in poster.
  4. Use a title that identifies the game, title system, and usage; feel free to include multiple systems in the title
  5. Likewise, if a game was released on multiple systems, select both Systems (hold control while selecting, if not on mobile)
  6. If your art is for a game associated with a certain system, add the relevant system, even if it isn't box art. For example, if you have a magazine cover for Super Mario Kart, adding System: Super Nintendo would be a good choice!
  7. All box art is inherently "promotional" - in general you would select the Usage "Promotional Art" for illustrations specific advertisements (vice box art), but of course sometimes the same image is both box art and promotional, in which case selecting both usages makes sense (add an "Additional Image" to show users that additional "promotional" usage, so we can all learn)
  8. If promotional ad art appeared in a magazine, generally you won't need to select "magazine art" - magazine art would generally be magazine cover art and interior pieces created specifically for the magazine (such as was common with Nintendo Power). However, if your box art was also a poster included with a magazine, that's a good use of "magazine interior" - and adding a picture of the poster as an additional image is great.

More to come.  Feel free to ask any questions on this thread.  This is a new site and we are still thinking all of these items through ourselves!


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While not every record will need a robust "description" (though, year, medium, image area, image source, and condition all serve to provide context for the artwork we admire), one easy piece of information to consider is including the name of the publisher and/or developer in the text description. As more users join and use the site, including this information will help users leverage the search bar and find pieces from Capcom or Konami or other favorites!

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