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It's increasingly easy for artist non-programmers to make games... but what about non-artist programmers?


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#1 Koobazaur   Members   -  Reputation: 688

Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

Unity, Kismet's Unity, GameMaker, RPGMaker, Flash... more than ever before it's easy for an artist with an idea to just pick one of those tools and connect a few visual logic nodes (Kismet), use tons of community-made or built-in functionality (Unity, RPGMaker) or even take a stab in some basic scripting to get a neat little game going, with awesome art they can provide themselves. I'm not talking about BF4 or the next Modern Warfare here, but an artist one-man-team can definitely get far and make something of quality today.

But what of the other side of the coin? What if you're a non-artistic programmer instead? Sure there are some "free" resources out there but frankly, from my research, the selection isn't the greatest and many indie games are already criticized for using "stock" assets (particularily with RPGMaker or Unity). Sure you can go for the simplistic/blocky design with programmer-art, but that significantly limits your options - much more than how an artist is limited by community made/built in "scripts" with the tools I outline above.


(Note I'm talking about "free" projects - I know there are many paid model/sprite repositories and artists who work by commission, but again tools like Unity and even UDK are completely free for small noncommercial projects)


I just thought it'd be an interesting topic for GameDev. Am I the only programmer who sometimes feels he would actually have greater flexibility by trading his coding skills for drawing/modelling/composing and going with an exisitng Engine?

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#2 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1680

Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:05 PM

I think the surge of popularity in 8-bit style graphics kind of suggests that the graphics themselves aren't exceptionally important, only that they're well done. I'm seeing more and more "Minecraft" style art and animation popping up in place of more 'traditional' graphical tends, and many people seem to have just as much fun with that style of game art.

 

If you lack the basics of a needed skill set, then go and learn the basics of those needed skill sets. As easy as many engines are to use these days, they still generally require you to have some basic programming and scripting knowledge. If artists can figure those out, then surely programmers can figure out how to draw some basic geometric shapes?


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#3 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17269

Posted 03 March 2013 - 03:24 PM

Procedural content - use your programming skills to procedurally generate the art resources you need.

Textures
Music
Sound effects
Cities / Buildings
Dungeons / Caves
Trees / Grass / Plants
Terrain
Water
Fire
Weapon models
Human models
Human faces
...etc...

These have all been generated by code in the past. The best generated content are ones the artists can tweak, refine, and filter, but programmers can do decent work as well because it puts the ball back in our domain.

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#4 Toothpix   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 810

Posted 03 March 2013 - 03:33 PM

Procedural content - use your programming skills to procedurally generate the art resources you need.

What he said. The better programmer you are, the better your proc-gen content will be.


C dominates the world of linear procedural computing, which won't advance. The future lies in MASSIVE parallelism.


#5 game of thought   Members   -  Reputation: 212

Posted 03 March 2013 - 03:38 PM

With regard to proc gen, i think roguelikes are an excellent example of this.

#6 BGB   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1545

Posted 03 March 2013 - 03:42 PM

I think the surge of popularity in 8-bit style graphics kind of suggests that the graphics themselves aren't exceptionally important, only that they're well done. I'm seeing more and more "Minecraft" style art and animation popping up in place of more 'traditional' graphical tends, and many people seem to have just as much fun with that style of game art.
 
If you lack the basics of a needed skill set, then go and learn the basics of those needed skill sets. As easy as many engines are to use these days, they still generally require you to have some basic programming and scripting knowledge. If artists can figure those out, then surely programmers can figure out how to draw some basic geometric shapes?

yeah, people just have to "lower their standards a little" regarding what they expect from their art assets.

like, a person can actually get pretty far (graphics-wise) but just drawing some stuff in GIMP or Paint.NET and getting used to how to use some of the various effects.

3D modeling is a little harder, mostly because:
the actually "good" commercial tools tend to cost lots of money (and their free analogues tend to be artificially crippled and put limits on what they can be used for in the EULA);
most of the freely available tools tend to range between not-terribly-useful (*1) and generally broken.

*1: such as only supporting full-scene modeling and animation, rather than the sorts of individual models and animations more useful in making games, ...

dunno about now, but last I checked the free 3D modeling apps situation was still lame, and in my case ended up mostly writing my own tools for my uses, but they turned out to not really be "good" either.

alternatively, a person can write up code to draw things, but this isn't necessarily any less effort than using a 3D modeler, sadly...


I had before floated ideas for basically "3D sprites", where essentially depth information would be drawn and used to make a basic 3D object out of a sprite (via a height-map or similar), but haven't really done much with this.

Edited by cr88192, 03 March 2013 - 03:43 PM.


#7 BGB   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1545

Posted 03 March 2013 - 03:56 PM

With regard to proc gen, i think roguelikes are an excellent example of this.

I generally more agree for things like worlds / terrain / dungeons / ... than things like general-purpose art assets.

something like a digital camera + GIMP or Paint.NET may go a lot further here.

#8 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1447

Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:06 AM

As well as procedural content you can always go for a different design asthetic.  You don't really need to be able to produce good art to do a doodle style game or even a Neon (Geometry Wars) style game.

 

Also if you find pixel art difficult then try producing your art another way.  I've found producing vevtor art using inkscape and the "2d art for programmers" series really good.

 

Also I used to think that producing 3d art required an almost superhuman skill set but then I decided to just sit down and see if I could learn it.  I was really supprised at what I managed to achieve with Blender and a tutorial showing how to box model and rig a character using blueprints. Obviously my efforts would look shocking in a AAA game but they are least as good as some of the cheaper assets that are available from some of the online game ready asset stores.

I used to moan constantly that I couldn't draw even a stick character but then I found if  just sucked it up and took the time to learn I could produce some useable assets.  At least enough to make a really good start.



#9 Schrompf   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 950

Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:24 AM

For non-artist programmers, creating a game was always easy. It's just that those games might not fit your expectations of a marketable game. 


----------
Gonna try that "Indie" stuff I keep hearing about. Let's start with Splatter.

#10 Toothpix   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 810

Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:07 AM

For non-artist programmers, creating a game was always easy. It's just that those games might not fit your expectations of a marketable game. 

Very true.


C dominates the world of linear procedural computing, which won't advance. The future lies in MASSIVE parallelism.


#11 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3539

Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:11 AM

Schrompf, on 04 Mar 2013 - 04:29, said:
For non-artist programmers, creating a game was always easy.

Not really.

There is more to making a game than implementing a few algorithms. There is a unity between programming, design, and art. Most people tend to get stuck at square one and screw around without making any progress.

Even a roguelike requires good design and a good personality.

Using random pieces of purchased stock art will also produce a disjointed, soulless, eyesore of a turd. Art is like a recipe. Just like food, if you throw random stuff into a bowl and mix it up, something foul is come out of it.

A good game manages to be greater than then sum of it's parts. Programmer-only produced stuff tends to be much less than the sum of it's parts. They create a delivery method with nothing to actually deliver.

Quote
I was really surprised at what I managed to achieve with Blender and a tutorial showing how to box model and rig a character using blueprints.

People who don't do art tend to highly misunderstand it. Like it's some insanely difficult skill that is out of reach, and a fairy visits artists in the night to dump magical talent dust all over them. No different than the first time we all looked at C code and it looked like a giant mess of nonsense and random brackets. Soon enough it all makes sense.

It's a skill. You build it up by spending the time required to do a good job. Learn your shapes, color theory, proportions and composition[/b] rules, and you're half done. Also build up a good reference library to assemble mood boards to work from. Once you understand those you can start to make great looking art.

Most modeling and drawing is done with guides. It's not cheating, as some people think.

Most characters start out as posed stick figures, and then volume is added later: http://0.tqn.com/d/np/cartooning/9781593371456_0084_001.jpg

Most models are done on top of reference images.
http://www.creativecrash.com/tutorialimages/300/genshape_04.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ToUxG-guwm0/Tp7ZWGgw9UI/AAAAAAAAAFg/99oEpYYVM0s/s1600/FinishedMesh.jpg
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzthnksrCS1r9xxuwo1_1280.jpg

A lot of games with nice graphics have had characters which were nothing more than 12 cubes mapped to a simple skeleton, with texturing that make it look like the cubes weren't actually cubes. Just like 2D art, that model can be refined over time to create something extremely nice.

Everyone is capable of creating some nice art for their games IF THEY WANT TO PUT THE TIME IN. Which most don't. It's always about shortcuts, and algorithms that add rendering techniques that bring out the flaws in their work even more.

Quote
dunno about now, but last I checked the free 3D modeling apps situation was still lame, and in my case ended up mostly writing my own tools for my uses, but they turned out to not really be "good" either.

Nonsense.

Blender is awesome. It's gotten so awesome since the 2.5 release that Autodesk (Max, Maya, SoftImage) has been in damage control mode at the recent CG trade shows. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7032/6511671325_9d1bc358b6_z.jpg

All the old criticisms of Blender were valid before then. I hated it too, and used to call it Blunder. But that time is gone. They started a company that runs on donations, and they treat it like a commercial project, even doing big new feature releases every 2 months. They went and started projects (a 3D game, cgi movies, and a live action movie using blender for all the motion tracking, compositing and VFX). Every time there was something about the program that caused them problems or prevented progress, they fixed it.

The old interface is dead (yes, it SUCKED and didn't make sense prior to 2.5), and the new one is awesome and modern. It's 100% customizable layout wise. It's no longer all hotkey based and everything is easy to find with your mouse. If you can't find something, hit space and type it. There are radial style menus coming in the next release.

The modeler has been redone from scratch, and can now handle n-gons, and several other features it used to be missing. It's also extremely easy, and fun to use.

The UV editor is super easy to use, and one of the best available. It can do multiple channels, auto generate optimized lightmap layouts, and you can even go in and paint on your UV mapped model in real time. Very useful for fixing texture seams. It can also auto unwrap your model while you just choose where to place the seams.

Making skeletons, editing bones, and rigging characters has been refined to the point of being retardedly easy. Their are several options for rigging and weighing automatically that work extremely well, and they added the rigify plugin that makes it even easier and includes a pre-defined skeleton. You can even sketch a skeleton by free drawing in the 3D viewport and then having it turned into a set of bones automatically.

The animator can handle game style editing, where you build individual animations, and even build pose libraries. This was a problem you mentioned above, where you said programs could only do deal with whole scenes. I'm doing it as I type this. smile.png

Texture baking works extremely well. It can do normals, lighting, ambient occlusion, vertex colors (this is good for a base color layer on UV maps that you can later add detail to!)

It also does a bunch of other stuff outside the scope of making game content, so I won't mention it.

I just turned 31 and I have been fooling around with tools like these since I was about 10. That's about 21 years of modeling. I've gone through dozens of programs in that span of time. Blender has become so good that I uninstalled everything else and use Blender exclusively for all my graphics needs now.

I don't praise Blender because it's OSS or any other stupid religious reason. I say it as someone whose spent the last 20 years sitting in front of 3D editors, and put in thousands of hours. It's mature and high quality. It's so easy to use I honestly don't know what more anyone could want from it.

People who blame Blender for anything at this point are like people who blame Visual Studio for not being able to code. Both programs are mature and do their job extremely well, but they are only tools, and can't create for you!

Quote
But what of the other side of the coin? What if you're a non-artistic programmer instead?

Blender.org
BlenderCookie.com <-- watch all the videos

http://www.the-blueprints.com/ <-- insane blueprints collection. I wish I had this years ago
Google image search

On deviant art, people post templates and photo references by the gigabyte. eg: http://browse.deviantart.com/art/Free-3D-Model-Reference-Pack-F-Pose-1-126304205

That's everything you need to start pumping out art. Free, easy to use 3D editors, never ending free or cheap reference materials, etc.. didn't exist 10-15 years ago. There isn't such thing as someone who can't create art. Just people who don't want to put the time in.

This is no different from enabling tech like Unity3D. Unity does everything possible to help you and give you opportunity, but you still have to put the time in to learn how to create something.

#12 Schrompf   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 950

Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:43 AM

I'd agree with you if the question would have been about "good" games. But without the term, if we're really just talking about games as interactive media where you can do things and see the resulting changes in the game world. And that's the one fucking core task of a game programmer. 

 

I stand by my words: coders always had it easier, and in my opinion the opportunities for non-coders only start to catch up in the recent years. That says nothing about the quality of the game, though. 


----------
Gonna try that "Indie" stuff I keep hearing about. Let's start with Splatter.

#13 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 827

Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:01 AM

I'm not sure that learning game engines and scripting is trivial for someone with no programming knowledge, they still need to learn plenty about game programming, even if only higher level stuff. You might as well say that all a programmer has to do is open up a paint program and start using it, or use a 3D renderer.

Procedural generation is a good idea, and I'd extend that to "programmable" solutions in general, e.g., particle systems, things like shadowing, lighting, texture splatting - things that can be done in software rather than needing an artist.
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#14 Saurabh Torne   Members   -  Reputation: 209

Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:08 AM

Art and programming and music and other aspects of games are there.

An individual game developer will probably try to make the best that he is passionate about in games. He will try to reflect what he had in mind to the best possible way in limited time. Hence in general the artist can make good graphics and sync with code. And a programmer with his skill, rather will be inclined in the way the game play proceeds.

Hence both the games can be unique and attract a specific audience. Basically if the idea is great it can be felt. The wavelength of the developer be it artist or programmer , should match with the kind of audience they are targeting for gaining popularity. And monetization yet again is another skillset.

 

Individual game developers mostly end up missing details in various aspects just because they could not find enough time to create it as they were preoccupied. Such as background music and effects are pretty much ignored by everyone. They end up using something that was freely available or quickly googled on the net.

I think any game to succeed requires a bigger time to develop and a lot of time to match the wavelength with end user requirement at every step of game.

For creating a a game that is unique and can get the player hooked to the game, it has to have unique characteristics that are forged in the valleys of complex concepts of art and programming, technical designing, localization, music, effects, monetization, etc, etc etc..and there are enough valleys and traps that even large gaming companies have to tread safely. Individuals can tread better sometimes.


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#15 BGB   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1545

Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:49 AM


Quote
dunno about now, but last I checked the free 3D modeling apps situation was still lame, and in my case ended up mostly writing my own tools for my uses, but they turned out to not really be "good" either.

Nonsense.

Blender is awesome. It's gotten so awesome since the 2.5 release that Autodesk (Max, Maya, SoftImage) has been in damage control mode at the recent CG trade shows. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7032/6511671325_9d1bc358b6_z.jpg

All the old criticisms of Blender were valid before then. I hated it too, and used to call it Blunder. But that time is gone. They started a company that runs on donations, and they treat it like a commercial project, even doing big new feature releases every 2 months. They went and started projects (a 3D game, cgi movies, and a live action movie using blender for all the motion tracking, compositing and VFX). Every time there was something about the program that caused them problems or prevented progress, they fixed it.

The old interface is dead (yes, it SUCKED and didn't make sense prior to 2.5), and the new one is awesome and modern. It's 100% customizable layout wise. It's no longer all hotkey based and everything is easy to find with your mouse. If you can't find something, hit space and type it. There are radial style menus coming in the next release.

The modeler has been redone from scratch, and can now handle n-gons, and several other features it used to be missing. It's also extremely easy, and fun to use.

The UV editor is super easy to use, and one of the best available. It can do multiple channels, auto generate optimized lightmap layouts, and you can even go in and paint on your UV mapped model in real time. Very useful for fixing texture seams. It can also auto unwrap your model while you just choose where to place the seams.

Making skeletons, editing bones, and rigging characters has been refined to the point of being retardedly easy. Their are several options for rigging and weighing automatically that work extremely well, and they added the rigify plugin that makes it even easier and includes a pre-defined skeleton. You can even sketch a skeleton by free drawing in the 3D viewport and then having it turned into a set of bones automatically.

The animator can handle game style editing, where you build individual animations, and even build pose libraries. This was a problem you mentioned above, where you said programs could only do deal with whole scenes. I'm doing it as I type this. smile.png

Texture baking works extremely well. It can do normals, lighting, ambient occlusion, vertex colors (this is good for a base color layer on UV maps that you can later add detail to!)

It also does a bunch of other stuff outside the scope of making game content, so I won't mention it.

I just turned 31 and I have been fooling around with tools like these since I was about 10. That's about 21 years of modeling. I've gone through dozens of programs in that span of time. Blender has become so good that I uninstalled everything else and use Blender exclusively for all my graphics needs now.

I don't praise Blender because it's OSS or any other stupid religious reason. I say it as someone whose spent the last 20 years sitting in front of 3D editors, and put in thousands of hours. It's mature and high quality. It's so easy to use I honestly don't know what more anyone could want from it.

People who blame Blender for anything at this point are like people who blame Visual Studio for not being able to code. Both programs are mature and do their job extremely well, but they are only tools, and can't create for you!


well, "last I checked" in this case, was formally, over half a decade ago (~ 2005), which is about when I went and wrote my own 3D modeling stuff...

I checked again more recently (since posting this), and Blender has apparently gotten a lot better since then, at least as far as being more useable and not giving Python-related error messages whenever I clicked on something, ...

of course, they seem to have dropped support for some of the 3D model formats I use, ...

#16 dave j   Members   -  Reputation: 581

Posted 04 March 2013 - 01:27 PM

of course, they seem to have dropped support for some of the 3D model formats I use, ...


Have you checked the Add-Ons settings? Most of the import/export formats, and other add-ons, aren't enabled by default.

#17 BGB   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1545

Posted 05 March 2013 - 03:35 AM


of course, they seem to have dropped support for some of the 3D model formats I use, ...

Have you checked the Add-Ons settings? Most of the import/export formats, and other add-ons, aren't enabled by default.


went and checked...
they are not in the addons list.

the main format in question is AC3D / ".AC" files.


in any case, my engine uses a modified AC3D as its main model format, with it being a slightly fudged WRT how it handles textures (uses material names rather than raw files), also has skeletons and animations glued on (as separate files, with the ".ac" file holding the basic mesh, a ".bone" file to define the skeleton, a file for each animation, a file to define the combined contents of a model, ..., pretty much all text files), though my engine can also load Valve SMD as well (just didn't like as much as the models were triangles-only and the format used angles-based funkiness, whereas I prefer matrices or quats, and modeling with polygons, ...).

I had briefly looked at IQM at one point, but didn't get around to adding support for it (didn't seem to be a huge need).


it appears though that if really needed, Valve has a script available to allow Blender to use SMD.
there are also scripts for the AC3D format as well, at least according to the internet...

#18 FableFox   Members   -  Reputation: 487

Posted 05 March 2013 - 08:05 AM

Schrompf, on 04 Mar 2013 - 04:29, said:
For non-artist programmers, creating a game was always easy.

Not really.

There is more to making a game than implementing a few algorithms. There is a unity between programming, design, and art. Most people tend to get stuck at square one and screw around without making any progress.

Even a roguelike requires good design and a good personality.

Using random pieces of purchased stock art will also produce a disjointed, soulless, eyesore of a turd. Art is like a recipe. Just like food, if you throw random stuff into a bowl and mix it up, something foul is come out of it.

A good game manages to be greater than then sum of it's parts. Programmer-only produced stuff tends to be much less than the sum of it's parts. They create a delivery method with nothing to actually deliver.

>Quote
I was really surprised at what I managed to achieve with Blender and a tutorial showing how to box model and rig a character using blueprints.

People who don't do art tend to highly misunderstand it. Like it's some insanely difficult skill that is out of reach, and a fairy visits artists in the night to dump magical talent dust all over them. No different than the first time we all looked at C code and it looked like a giant mess of nonsense and random brackets. Soon enough it all makes sense.

It's a skill. You build it up by spending the time required to do a good job. Learn your shapes, color theory, proportions and composition[/b] rules, and you're half done. Also build up a good reference library to assemble mood boards to work from. Once you understand those you can start to make great looking art.

Most modeling and drawing is done with guides. It's not cheating, as some people think.

Most characters start out as posed stick figures, and then volume is added later: http://0.tqn.com/d/np/cartooning/9781593371456_0084_001.jpg

Most models are done on top of reference images.
http://www.creativecrash.com/tutorialimages/300/genshape_04.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ToUxG-guwm0/Tp7ZWGgw9UI/AAAAAAAAAFg/99oEpYYVM0s/s1600/FinishedMesh.jpg
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzthnksrCS1r9xxuwo1_1280.jpg

A lot of games with nice graphics have had characters which were nothing more than 12 cubes mapped to a simple skeleton, with texturing that make it look like the cubes weren't actually cubes. Just like 2D art, that model can be refined over time to create something extremely nice.

Everyone is capable of creating some nice art for their games IF THEY WANT TO PUT THE TIME IN. Which most don't. It's always about shortcuts, and algorithms that add rendering techniques that bring out the flaws in their work even more.

Quote
dunno about now, but last I checked the free 3D modeling apps situation was still lame, and in my case ended up mostly writing my own tools for my uses, but they turned out to not really be "good" either.

Nonsense.

Blender is awesome. It's gotten so awesome since the 2.5 release that Autodesk (Max, Maya, SoftImage) has been in damage control mode at the recent CG trade shows. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7032/6511671325_9d1bc358b6_z.jpg

All the old criticisms of Blender were valid before then. I hated it too, and used to call it Blunder. But that time is gone. They started a company that runs on donations, and they treat it like a commercial project, even doing big new feature releases every 2 months. They went and started projects (a 3D game, cgi movies, and a live action movie using blender for all the motion tracking, compositing and VFX). Every time there was something about the program that caused them problems or prevented progress, they fixed it.

The old interface is dead (yes, it SUCKED and didn't make sense prior to 2.5), and the new one is awesome and modern. It's 100% customizable layout wise. It's no longer all hotkey based and everything is easy to find with your mouse. If you can't find something, hit space and type it. There are radial style menus coming in the next release.

The modeler has been redone from scratch, and can now handle n-gons, and several other features it used to be missing. It's also extremely easy, and fun to use.

The UV editor is super easy to use, and one of the best available. It can do multiple channels, auto generate optimized lightmap layouts, and you can even go in and paint on your UV mapped model in real time. Very useful for fixing texture seams. It can also auto unwrap your model while you just choose where to place the seams.

Making skeletons, editing bones, and rigging characters has been refined to the point of being retardedly easy. Their are several options for rigging and weighing automatically that work extremely well, and they added the rigify plugin that makes it even easier and includes a pre-defined skeleton. You can even sketch a skeleton by free drawing in the 3D viewport and then having it turned into a set of bones automatically.

The animator can handle game style editing, where you build individual animations, and even build pose libraries. This was a problem you mentioned above, where you said programs could only do deal with whole scenes. I'm doing it as I type this. smile.png

Texture baking works extremely well. It can do normals, lighting, ambient occlusion, vertex colors (this is good for a base color layer on UV maps that you can later add detail to!)

It also does a bunch of other stuff outside the scope of making game content, so I won't mention it.

I just turned 31 and I have been fooling around with tools like these since I was about 10. That's about 21 years of modeling. I've gone through dozens of programs in that span of time. Blender has become so good that I uninstalled everything else and use Blender exclusively for all my graphics needs now.

I don't praise Blender because it's OSS or any other stupid religious reason. I say it as someone whose spent the last 20 years sitting in front of 3D editors, and put in thousands of hours. It's mature and high quality. It's so easy to use I honestly don't know what more anyone could want from it.

People who blame Blender for anything at this point are like people who blame Visual Studio for not being able to code. Both programs are mature and do their job extremely well, but they are only tools, and can't create for you!

Quote
But what of the other side of the coin? What if you're a non-artistic programmer instead?

Blender.org
BlenderCookie.com <-- watch all the videos

http://www.the-blueprints.com/ <-- insane blueprints collection. I wish I had this years ago
Google image search

On deviant art, people post templates and photo references by the gigabyte. eg: http://browse.deviantart.com/art/Free-3D-Model-Reference-Pack-F-Pose-1-126304205

That's everything you need to start pumping out art. Free, easy to use 3D editors, never ending free or cheap reference materials, etc.. didn't exist 10-15 years ago. There isn't such thing as someone who can't create art. Just people who don't want to put the time in.

This is no different from enabling tech like Unity3D. Unity does everything possible to help you and give you opportunity, but you still have to put the time in to learn how to create something.

 

 

Yeah, Blender is getting better and better, and ever since 2.5, they are getting more users and supporters. And when BMesh was moved into trunk and therefore supporting ngon and better mesh tools, they are getting more users. They will get more users if they let people know that keys can be changed and "Maya style" input theme is available. A lot of people doesn't like how Blender standard of use (mainly because they used to other software and the logic is imprinted in their brain). But they kind of enjoyed it. A lot of people prefer blender better when they use Maya keymap and Modo visual theme.

 

Blender is getting better, obviously.

 

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/185001/game_developer_magazines_15th_.php?print=1

 

And some people are giving free advertising :-)

 

https://twitter.com/tonroosendaal/status/306883623204827137/photo/1

 

But there is some minus. Being open source with limited core developers, new tools are being added all the time. But not necessarily what Blender need. There are people porting Blender to Android, supporting touch input, while a lot of better areas need some love (and actually hinder professional from moving to Blender due to certain limitation).

 

But that is common to a lot of open source software. It remind me of those open source game engines circa 1998 - until Unity is available on WIndows for free. They kept adding features after features after features like dot 3 bumpmapping, marching cubes algorithm, this and that. And when asked "can this be used easily to make a simple tetris?" the answer was no, because everybody was too busy with 3d rendering engine nobody work on GUI, scripting and what not. When Unity was released for free, that closed a lot of open source shop.

 

Blender is awesome, but Cycles (the renderer) was being worked on by only one person, and the overall GUI was handled by Ton. That would only slow down the acceptance of Blender into mainstream.


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#19 Koobazaur   Members   -  Reputation: 688

Posted 05 March 2013 - 03:21 PM

Thanks for all the replies and links, I'm actually quite aware of most of these tools and have indeed dabbled with photoshop/GIMP as well as blender. But I'm not talking about "making art" vs. "programming", but rather, the availability of existing art vs. easily customizable engines/tools. As an artist, the tools almost let me make any game I want with virtually no coding at all (FPS, TPP, exploration, point and click, narrative, side-scroller, JRPG etc.) with any artstyle; but as programmer, the free art assets out there only allow for very narrow categories - 2D isometric medieval fantasy or 3D office space is basically all I can do.

Yes I could make art myself, but that's not the point of this thread, I wanted to focus on using what is already out there.

But so you guys don't call me lazy, I have dabbled with photoshops and blenders quite a bit. Have a look at this little scene from my game engine that is wholly made of my own "programmer art." But that's as far as I can get with my own skills - cartoony little models or neon-glowy abstract art. I just found that pretty... limiting? But I guess it's my own fault for preferring more realistic styles rather than abstract/pixel/cartoony :/

And the sheer amount of time required to model, uv unwrap and texture even a simple model vs. connecting a few kismet nodes in UDK...

Edited by Koobazaur, 05 March 2013 - 03:25 PM.

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#20 lithos   Members   -  Reputation: 413

Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:35 PM

The rise of the artist:  http://techgnotic.deviantart.com/journal/The-Rise-Of-The-Artist-You-Are-The-Future-356840683  .   To an extent for the hilarity.

 

To be honest game developement has always worked like this.   Given enough time an artist can get rid of enough bugs in programming that their IT craftsmanship is mostly hidden(especially in simple games).   Where as the craftsmanship of a programmer that does art will always be apparent.

 

On the other hand an artist would not be able to pull off something that is heavily complex or tightly woven.   For instance an artist would not have very much luck on making a minecraft game(complex data structures, a lot of optimization, networking, and similar). So just focus on things that are a lot more complex, and let the artist indies make their beat'em'ups, and runners games. 

 

In the end though it's easier to hire an awesome artist than an awesome programmer.  






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