Cover artists

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AndyC
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Re: Cover artists

Post by AndyC » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:38 pm

From an English language perspective, no they wouldn't count as authors. A better word would perhaps be contributors.
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Rorthron
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Re: Cover artists

Post by Rorthron » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:07 pm

Einar Saukas wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:53 pm
I'm not sure we share the same understanding about "written code".
Perhaps not, but that's not relevant. We are discussing the meaning and usage of the English word "author".
Einar Saukas wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:53 pm
For the sake of argument, if it was a printed book, do you think the artist that created the illustrations appearing inside the book can be included in the list of authors? What about the artist that illustrated the book cover?
These questions perfectly illustrate your misunderstanding. The answer to both your questions is "no". An illustrator cannot be an author. They are entirely separate. In English usage "author" (writer) and
"illustrator" (graphic artist) have different meanings. To be author of a book, one has to have written the text. If, for example, someone wrote and illustrated a book, they would be described as author and illustrator, not just author.

To use "author" in the way you are is not standard English usage. You will see from dictionary definitions that "author" relates to written output (except when used metaphorically). An artist cannot be an author.

If you want to take the examples of people contributing graphics or sound to code, then a case can be made that they are authors, because the ultimate output is written code. Otherwise these also need to be excluded from the list of authors.

Perhaps "autor" is used differently in Portuguese, but in standard English "author" is not used in the way you describe.
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Rorthron
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Re: Cover artists

Post by Rorthron » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:08 pm

AndyC wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:38 pm
From an English language perspective, no they wouldn't count as authors. A better word would perhaps be contributors.
It would be better still, in my opinion, to separate authors and inlay artists. "Contributors" is very vague. An author would not normally be considered a contributor. An author is more than a contributor. A contributor's role is usually quite small.
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Einar Saukas
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Re: Cover artists

Post by Einar Saukas » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:24 pm

Rorthron wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:07 pm
Einar Saukas wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:53 pm
I'm not sure we share the same understanding about "written code".
Perhaps not, but that's not relevant. We are discussing the meaning and usage of the English word "author".
If your definition of author is based on "written code", then the meaning of "written code" is very relevant for this discussion.

Rorthron wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:07 pm
Einar Saukas wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:53 pm
For the sake of argument, if it was a printed book, do you think the artist that created the illustrations appearing inside the book can be included in the list of authors? What about the artist that illustrated the book cover?
These questions perfectly illustrate your misunderstanding. The answer to both your questions is "no". An illustrator cannot be an author. They are entirely separate. In English usage "author" (writer) and
"illustrator" (graphic artist) have different meanings. To be author of a book, one has to have written the text. If, for example, someone wrote and illustrated a book, they would be described as author and illustrator, not just author.

I can assure you, Einar, that to use "author" in the way you are is not standard English usage. You will see from dictionary definitions that "author" relates to written output (except when used metaphorically). An artist cannot be an author.
Again, your argument implies everybody should be excluded from the list of authors except programmers.

Rorthron wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:07 pm
If you want to take the examples of people contributing graphics or sound to code, then a case can be made that they are authors, because the ultimate output is written code. Otherwise these also need to be excluded from the list of authors.
A case can also be made that, if the book illustrator designed all drawings using a computer, then the ultimate output is also written code as part of the resulting PDF.

What's the difference?

Rorthron wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:07 pm
Perhaps "autor" is used differently in Portuguese, but in standard English "author" is not used in the way you describe.
I don't think this discussion is related to idiom at all.
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Einar Saukas
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Re: Cover artists

Post by Einar Saukas » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:28 pm

Rorthron wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:08 pm
AndyC wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:38 pm
From an English language perspective, no they wouldn't count as authors. A better word would perhaps be contributors.
It would be better still, in my opinion, to separate authors and inlay artists. "Contributors" is very vague. An author would not normally be considered a contributor. An author is more than a contributor. A contributor's role is usually quite small.
If you mean a load screen artist is an author but a cover artist is not, what if the load screen was based on the cover? What if the load screen was taken from a scanned cover, with minor changes? Where do you draw the line?
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Rorthron
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Re: Cover artists

Post by Rorthron » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:41 pm

Einar, I have just boarded a long-haul flight, so am not in a position to respond in detail and take this discussion further, but please take it from a native speaker that your use of "author" in this way is not established English usage and causes misunderstanding.
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Ralf
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Re: Cover artists

Post by Ralf » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:24 pm

It will be a bit philosophical but I would agree with the guys saying the inlay artist isn't a game author.

Is a person doing a book cover a co-author of the book? No, let's take an example. The only author of "Hobbit" is John Tolkien because he has written the text. "Hobbit" is a text. You can publish this text with different covers and it will remain "Hobbit". But leave the cover and replace the text and it won't be Hobbit any more. So cover is a part of some peculiar edition but not a book.

Book <> edition, right ? ;)

A bit different story would be with comics. There pictures are an intergrate part of the work, you cannot freely replace them like the cover

The same would be with a game. It can be with different inlays. You can copy it to another cassette or disk without the inlay. It will remain the same game.

And what if you use, let's say some historical painting for a game inlay? Will it make Micheleangelo, Goya, Rembrandt or Van Gogh a co-author of some game? ;)

So just call it an inlay artist and everything will be all right.
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Einar Saukas
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Re: Cover artists

Post by Einar Saukas » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:46 pm

Again, the same can be said about load screen artists. It happens sometimes that a certain game is re-released with a better load screen (or receiving a load screen later when it didn't have one).

I'm trying to establish a point here. If we adopt a more strict definition of "author", we would probably need to remove load screen artists too, but I'm sure nobody's defending this idea. Instead, we should be aiming for a more flexible criteria, that would include all relevant information about a game. And cover art is certainly a relevant part of a game, otherwise why are we preserving and discussing them?

Therefore my proposal is, we can ask Spectrum Computing to rename "AUTHORS" section and call it "AUTHORS/CONTRIBUTORS" instead. Would it solve the problem?
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AndyC
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Re: Cover artists

Post by AndyC » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:30 pm

Einar Saukas wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:46 pm
I'm trying to establish a point here. If we adopt a more strict definition of "author", we would probably need to remove load screen artists too, but I'm sure nobody's defending this idea. Instead, we should be aiming for a more flexible criteria, that would include all relevant information about a game. And cover art is certainly a relevant part of a game, otherwise why are we preserving and discussing them?
From a purely English language perspective, I wouldn't expect someone doing the load screen art to be listed as an author either. Likewise for a musician who produced in game tunes, although they could be the author of the music playing routine in which case they might well count as a co-author. I'm not entirely sure it's entirely useful to try and completely categorise the details of everyone's specific contributions - aside from probably being quite difficult, eventually you end up needing a category for "Guy who drew the Dizzy playing card that was included in the box".
Einar Saukas wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:46 pm
Therefore my proposal is, we can ask Spectrum Computing to rename "AUTHORS" section and call it "AUTHORS/CONTRIBUTORS" instead. Would it solve the problem?
I'd say so, it's a nice broad term that covers a multitude of sins. :lol:
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Rorthron
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Re: Cover artists

Post by Rorthron » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:11 pm

Using the caption "Authors and contributors" would solve the language problem. In my opinion, though, there remains an underlying problem that we should not in any case be grouping these people together. Software and inlay mateial are two different things. Shoe-horning the producers of both into a single category is unhelpful.

Take, for example, Catacombs of Balachor (which I have obviouly chosen as I know it well). ZXDB and SC now list the authors as Morkin, Rorthron and Olli Hihnalla. I do not know and have never met Olli Hihnalla. I even had to look up his name. CoB was released without any involvement from Olli Hihnalla. He* was brought in afterwards by Graz for the box cover art. He no more deserves to be listed as "author or contributor" than I deserve to have my signature on his marvellous painting.

It would be better to have separate categories for people involved in producing the software and those involved in producing the inlay materials.

Otherwise, it would be best to omit the cover artist names altogether. Their current inclusion in the archive actually reduces its information value. Yes, there are more names listed, but this benefit is more than offset by the obfuscation of roles. Before it was possible to identify authors on SC. Now it is not.

* I don't even know for certain Olli Hihnalla is male, though I presume so from the name.
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