[Discussion] Hiring People, and Prices

Hello friends, Chair here!

Was wondering if there are prices established for paying people for hack content. If so, please share; if not, please discuss.

I’m asking because I’m chatting with somebody regarding portrait work (been thinking price per portrait).

FEU is used all around the world. so please post your currency/what you’ve paid for/what you think merits munny.

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You can pay me a meal to have a character in my hacking project :slight_smile: But if you help me testing before release the project, you can have a character slot in the project :slight_smile: If you chose to pay for the whole team, of course you can have more than just one single character :slight_smile:

Generally, paying for hacking (ie ASM) is frowned upon. Art is fine though.

Nah people have paid for ASM in the past, most people just do it for free

Realistically I’ve never really seen a stigma around paying for ASM, the taboo is usually more on charging for ASM.


“Hey pay me to do this thing people do for free”

^Sounds like a real dick move.

In the past, I would typically spend ~$30 for a fully custom portrait.

I think that rather than taking money and monopolizing it, it is better to make it free and share it with everyone.

We are doing secondary creation of FE.
It is better not to charge with secondary creation.

Making profit-making activities will only increase the risk of litigation.
At least I think so.

If you want to make a profit-making activity, you should take another method, not Hack ROM.


The plan is to make everything free to use for the community after I pay for it.

Besides, content like music and portraits can be used outside of ROM hacking.

I don’t see anything wrong with paying for content.

I like to make things. I suck at art. I am not a musician. Asking someone else to make art or music for me means that if I want anything of quality, I have to persuade them to take time out of their day to make a thing for me. From their perspective, it is entirely possible that after they make me X number of portraits, I won’t even use them. What a waste of time!

So, instead of wasting their time, I pay them money. Not only does this help incentivise good work (When someone pays you money, you have more of a stake in creating something high quality since it would be poor form to not put actual effort into that thing) but it also ensures that if I flake out and don’t make said project, their time was not wasted. They earned money and thus even if their portrait or music is never used, they can still go out and buy a movie ticket or a nice steak meal.

Similarly, I think it’s dumb to look down on people who put their skills behind a paywall. If BwdYeti says “I’ll make you battle animations but it will be $200 for each one,” then he is guaranteeing he won’t have any flakes hitting him up for requests, his time is well-spent, and people who pay are serious about finishing their projects.

The only thing I don’t like is when people make something cool they don’t plan to use and then say “nobody can use this.”

It feels petty. I’m not a hypocrite, since anything I’ve paid for or created has always been free to use or edit. I feel like if you make an animation and you plan to use it in a hack, saying “guys don’t use this” is fair. A nice thing would be to use it in your hack first, then make it free-to-use. If, however, you never intended to use it in the first place, then why not release it?

The last point is relatively moot, since Circles’ excellent leadership has pushed the community towards more of a “sharing is caring” philosophy, which I greatly appreciate. I mean, just look at how many animations people made and shared this year! Well over 200, by my count!

tl;dr Money is important. If you don’t have it, your weapons will rust.


Exactly how I feel Klok.

I have a deadline, and money makes it easier for me to get content before said deadline.

since Circles’ excellent leadership has pushed the community towards more of a “sharing is caring” philosophy

Looks like Circles watched Barney as a child. Cultured like a certain Chair of Reliability.

Literally everything in my hack is going to be free to use after release. Sharing’s caring and I feel like we all need to give back to the community in any way possible.

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So, taking about money.
What if I have base idea for an animation, which is not based on any animation we have on Fire Emblem, I also have some pictures of the animation I want, how much would it cost if you make it for me? Then of course after I using it for my hacking project, I’ll release it on FEU for free to use.

I’m a spriter, not a hacker, so I can’t really talk about the ASM part, but if people are wanting me to make a sprite for them, that’s time and effort. I usually charge like $15-20 depending on how complex the thing is, but most of the time I just try to convince people they can make the sprite on their own. If my time is being used making the sprite, I want at least some compensation, but more often than not I’ll just help the person make it themselves so they don’t have to ask people for money in the future.

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Yeah I think that phrasing is more what I was going for

You wouldn’t (or, rather, shouldn’t) find a traditional artist like Picasso (as an exaggerated example) and ask them to paint something for you without compensation, right? Same thing should apply to this when it comes to original work.

That doesn’t mean that someone won’t volunteer their services or work, but it should not be expected that all work should be free (unless you’re making content for your own project/own team’s project I guess!).

As for pricing, I have three thoughts:
a) Should be up to the artist being commissioned to set their price - if the person doing the commissioning doesn’t like the rate, well, that’s for them to decide.
b) I understand not everyone is rich and could afford dropping, say, $200 on a single commission (for an animation or something), but please remember to keep in mind the amount of labor and time that would go into a specific work - and this applies to both sides of the agreement. Artists shouldn’t undercut/lowball themselves for the service they’re offering and commissioners shouldn’t be angered if the rate quoted is high, especially if it might be high quality, time-heavy work.
c) It should be agreed upon when a commission is made the terms of use of the end product - if you want to make something freely available for others to use, you should at least let the artist know that. They probably won’t have a problem with it, and while you did pay for its creation, they should at least be involved in that conversation since they’re making it.

I don’t really have a dog in this race, since I do happen to volunteer my work/services or post what I make as resources as I’m just a hobbyist - I do this for fun in my spare time on days/weeks after work or on my days off that I feel like it, and when I do offer to contribute to something, I do it with the assumption that it will be done on my own time with no deadlines beyond my own self-imposed ones, if I have any. However, if you’re commissioning something and expect a level of quality or completion by a certain time, you should be expecting to act like you’re actually hiring that person and offering compensation for the service being rendered.

One other side note in response to 7743’s post, regarding “it is better to make it free and share it with everyone” - while freely-usable resources are great, there are very much situations where this should not be the case. Having everything be free to use means that uniqueness and individuality can suffer in projects.

Let’s say you wanted to commission an animation for your main character’s promoted class that’s “custom” on the tier of being non-generic in appearance, with a legendary weapon in tow, smooth frames and effects, etc. Something that’s so tailored specifically to your project and your character(s) should, frankly, remain that way. Making it available to everyone no longer makes it a special feature that sets your project apart. Sure, other things can still set your project apart (gameplay experience, maps, story, etc.), but just because something is made does not mean that it should be appropriated to everyone’s toolbox.


I don’t think that’s a fair statement. I can offer $30 and an artist can turn it down or accept it. Either party can ask for a price. It’s simple bartering. I’m not entitled to an artist’s service, nor are they entitled to my money.

Either way, I’m sure 95% of people are smart enough to figure out fair rates for their work.

Anyone else will probably end up on /r/ChoosingBeggars.

One guy offered $4 on Ft. Mangs for a sprite and did end up on /r/ChoosingBeggas

A simple truth: I will pay an unacquainted kid an extra coin if I want him to buy something for me from an inn.
If I am a painter and paid to create something, I won’t care about what it is for. It is totally legal.
Labor is honorable. Even if I am a contributor to an open source project, I don’t have to do everything for free.
“I contribute to the community” is not equal to “I have to do something for your project”.
“I don’t spend my time in your project” is not equal to “I don’t contribute to the game hacking”.
“I get repay from my work” is not equal to “My work doesn’t help others”.
“Your project doesn’t make money” is not equal to “I should work for you for free”.
No matter what the price is, $0 or higher, what you really need to do is to persuade others to join your project or work for it, with your speech or money. Someone may take part in it for free or at a low price if he thinks your project looks cool enough


Well, in the real world, during the hiring process the employer usually asks the potential employee what they want as a salary (Pro tip, give a range, not a single value. Source: I interned as an assistant career counselor).

It’s on you to know what you’re worth, and then the employer can negotiate your salary afterwards.

Also, regarding the hobbyist thing: Aren’t we all doing this as a hobby? I’m just paying people for +A content since I have a deadline and high-assed fucking standards and I’d like to give them a nice meal/game/etc. for it.

Unfortunately, paying people can result in what we in the field of Psychology call The Overjustification Effect. To put it simply, here’s an example. Somebody likes making music, they really enjoy it and get their kicks from it. Then they get offered money for their work; and suddenly their reason for making music changes, it becomes about the money. It’s no longer due to an intrinsic reason, there’s an external driving force that replaces the I just really like doing it.

Good chat so far everyone. Glad to hear everyone’s opinion, hopefully we can come up with some standards.

P.S. Can’t believe @LordGlenn responded. I’ve seen your work in Klok’s repo. A fucking plus.