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Emperor's Forge (The making of an MMORPG)

Hello I'm Jordan, I am in a mission to develop a massive online multiplayer game. While I'm hands down on this ambitious task, I'll be sharing with the community it's progress.

Author: Icelty

Acquiring assets, an Indie Developer Nightmare

Posted by Icelty Wednesday January 9 2013 at 1:58PM
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I'm no artist, so for the game I'm developing like most programmers I search around the network and buy my assets all sort of places; from TurboSquid to Dexsoft or 3DRT and the Unity Asset Store, and there hasn't been once were the assets are just good enough to simply import and use (in my case now importing to Unity). I'm not saying they are bad, just that if they were meant for games why not take the extra care. The time I spend readying up models to use in my game as is around 5 times the time I spend coding ;(; and for an indie developer, time is a luxurious commodity.
 
The most frustrating thing is acquiring assets without animations and after you take the time to retarget Mocap animations you realize they are so poorly skinned that you have to start from zero with them. Please test your skinning guys test, test, and re-test :) When it comes to bone structure is just madness, there should be something like a W3C standard when it comes to humanoid skeletons... Please guys use these tips when releasing models to the public: remove unused artist helper bones like footsteps and remove extra nodes like cameras or lights. With bone structures, shoulders should never be children of the neck bone, name bones correctly, and when you name a bone left, that means left from the model's perspective. Leave a root bone without animation or skinning and animate the hips if you want to translate the entire model. With geometry, try and always leave LOD versions, the same one’s you use to create the model and leave an uncombined version as well so we can use that to generate later content.
 
Anyways I got it off my chest... I can move on with life now :D so my advice to developers out there after much been let down by presentation images and videos that look amazing (thanks to the wonders of 3D cad applications) is: try before you buy, ask for a sample of the bone structure, as for multiple poses so you can validate skinning etc. but don't buy just because it looks good. And try to talk to the artist that's selling the model and ask for lots of specifications before you buy and if he is willing to make revisions of the model after you buy etc.
 

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