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Week #05 - Indie game tools

Gon'Interactive

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My best day-to-day tool will surprise you !

Hi everyone, i'm super happy to be back and i'm really sorry if it took some time. I decided to rework how we will post information to now include video to provide a more visual interaction. The life a indie game developer is hard, so any tool you can find to save time, produce faster, improve your workflow and enhance your skill is always welcome. I'm going to share with you some of the tool that make my life easier.

Make sure to tell us what are your favorite tool in the comment below

Not in the mood of reading ? Watch the full episode

 

 

Tool for tablet owner

The first plugin you should look into if you own a table is LazyNemuziPro. Your tablet already cost you a lot, and I personally really enjoy having one because it's much better for creating sketch and concept art, it's super precise for texture editing/creating. It work well in substance to paint your asset and it's essential for any zbrushing work you need. That said, having the right pressure feeling is hard and you often end up with having jaggy line or not enough pressure range to achieve the effect you are expecting. I have a tendency to push hard on my pen and making my Wacom less sensitive help, but not much. This tool will not only improve your overall skill by smoothing out the pressure and the line itself, removing all unwanted movement to break that professional looking smooth line. The tool also come with a tons of usefull tool such as parallel line, ellipse, perspective, fish eye perspective, isometric etc. Really awesome tool, Wacom should provide something like that in the first place, but they don't so grab this tool :)à

Tools for photoshop

You spend a lot of time in photoshop, so why not improving you tool set in there. Really simple Brush box plugin will allow you to better visualize and organize your brush by assigning folder, color, favorite, etc. Simple drop and drag operation and better management make it quicker to find the brush you need.

I also really enjoy Coolorus which replace the color swatch of photoshop by providing you a much better and natural color circle that Corel Draw user are more use to. It help you save and manage custom swatches, it allow you to work your color based on lighting and shade, you can limit your gammut to a lesser range so you can work in a certain color palette. It's a very simple tool that will help you everyday.

All those tool would be worthless without a good set of brushes to make your art. There is one fabulous artist Roman Melentyev that sell over creativemarket an impressive brush collection. Have a look and find the one that are right for you https://creativemarket.com/RainbowWings I picked up the Cocept Artist III bundle that come with many of his brushes and i'm really pleased with them. They work well. I especially enjoy the Markers which I like to draw with. Those are my go to for sketch.

Tool for coder

This tool is probably the most interesting one. If you are a coder, you need it. It's been my favorite recent discovery because it made me save literally 1 week on a single asset. I buy asset on Unity Asset Store that I find interesting, many are of very high quality and created by expert developer, sometimes from reknown studio. There is no reason why not to use them. That said, once you include them in your game, most of the time it require tweaking and modification so that it perform the way you want for your game. I see most of the asset as a starting point that you need to improve. The best practice when you do change the behavior of an asset or that you want to link it to your need you try to stay out of the original script and you push/pull data out of it. That said, you eventually end up having no choice but to directly modify one, either because it's just way easier and faster or because you have no other choice. Once you start doing this, you are creating a barrier between your work and the ability to update the asset which would overwrite your code. Manually replacing and rebuilding an asset each and every update is time consuming, annoying and long. With the tool call Code Compare all the thinking is done immediately and you can update your script with a couple of click. We have been improving this asset for a few month and we work with the original developer to get more feature into the asset and after a long period and skipping many update we had no choice to update. We estimated it would took a week since the asset contain like 30 scripts, thousand and thousand of line and we have made important modification in at least half of them. The most recent update was mostly a full rewrite. With this tool, we were able to accomplish the updated in less than a day and everything was working flawlessly. Check out the video or the software website for more information.

The big tool that cost money

If you have a little budget, take a look at the Indie licence of Allegorithmic. Substance are THE thing right now and their tool are amazing. It's a well known tool and it's worth it. If you don't have enough money, you can at least make use of CrazyBump, an old application that create normal map for your texture, very sweet, but honestly Bitmap2Material from Allegorithmic does a much better job. If you are looking for a LOD tool, i especially like Polygon Cruncher, but it's pricy. Unity asset store offer you cheaper solution that does all the naming and compression for you. ZBrush doesn't need any introduction if you have a fat wallet. For 3D Modeling we use Lightwave3D. This is simply the BEST 3d software you can get. The quality of the render may be not the best, but it come really complete with all the tool you need for animation and modeling without the need of buying anything else and the software cost less than any Autodesk solution. 

Made In Canada - Un petit mot d'introduction en français !

 




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