At work, I'm the technical artist. This week I was creating a new template for artists and programmers to create the next generation of Slot Machines by MobileDeluxe. There are three main, competing priorities:
1. Efficiency - The final graphics have to be small in terms of data size. Each slot machine has to be downloaded onto mobile devices, so we want the download to be as quick as possible. Once downloaded, the graphics also have to fit in system memory without bogging down the device.
2. Simplicity - Use as few individual graphics files for maximum results. The fewer to keep track of the better. Also, it is best on the programmers if they can display as few files as possible, since every one requires scaling and nudging and calculating and bug fixing... Fewer files helps with #1 above, while hurting #3 below.
3. Flexibility - This is the toughie... Making sure the system can accommodate as many features as possible, even features we have not thought of yet. "Don't paint us into a corner." I could make every little graphic element its own file, which is really flexible, but blows #1 and #2 out of the water!
Altogether, it is not a very "artistic" task, and it is intellectually taxing (you would not believe the amount of algebra involved) but I certainly enjoy it -- so long as it is not all I get to do.