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Mephs

Speeding up creation of game resources

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Hey all, I'd like to pose a question that has been bugging me lately. That is, I would like to know any ways in which we could help to speed up the creation of game resources (mainly art). I am aware that some things can be generated procedurally to save time, but I'm thinking more in the context of a person such as myself. Someone who is trying to produce a game, does not have time to make their own models and cannot afford to buy the or employ someone to make them. Basically, what I'm looking for is a way to knock out some "better than programmer art but not necessarily amazing" models in a short time so that I can show off my project. As an example, perhaps you could create a set of generic body parts with various parameters affecting shape. Then you could quite easily knock out a basic spider model or a human model or a monster or some other variation in a short space, and then simply work the detail into the templated character. Basically what I'm saying is that a tool that exports in a variety of commonly used formats that could create models almost from a siple description would really make it much easier for amateurs (or even professionals) to get moving on a project rather than having to model loads of similar, but ever so slightly different models. I know this particular method is very vague and would probably take a long time to code, but this is the kind of lines I'm thinking along, although I'd love to discuss anything that realtes to speeding up content generation in general! I guess quick content generation is probably something that isn't going to happen overnight, otherwise we'd all have our art needs sorted out in days or weeks, but I suppose there is always the chance that there is a content generation tool I'm not aware of?! I'm working in MD3/3DS format just in case anyone has any specific solution for my needs, but I'd still be interested in general conversation around the subject of speeding up content generation, which is such an obvious bottleneck in so many projects (commercial and indie alike). I'm vaguely aware of Poser for the creation of humanoid models and character studio for 3DS Max, but I do wonder why more dedicated character generation tools haven't surfaced, particularly things that are easy to use and widely useable by the industry in general. Perhaps there is somewhat of a niche to be filled? Cheers, Steve [Edited by - Mephs on May 24, 2005 10:37:16 AM]

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I was thinking of something similar to this a while back. I don't know why something like this doesn't exist yet. I looked into Poser, but never bought it. There doesn't seem to be an application that is a good medium between modelling the entire character from scratch, as opposed to using cookie cutter style of Poser.

I am faced with a similar problem. I was thinking of making something like this a while back, but I never did... hmm.

Let me know if you find anything..

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Look up information on Massive, the driving force behind all of the wars you see in the LOTR movies. It's an extremely pricey piece of software, but it's possible to use the same principles if you're looking to program something..

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Yeah, looking at Massive, I agree that its purpose is certainly to speed up content creation, and I guess the principles could well be applied to this problem I pose. Obviously on a smaller scale though!

Given the huge expense of this software, I suppose it just goes to show how much of a niche there is for this kind of thing. I realise that its movie application probably warrants a great deal of the cost, but it's still not like these kind of applications are ten-a-penny so to speak.

It's not quite 100% the kind of thing I'm after though (although I realise I asked for input in alla spects of content creation so your reply is fair enough!). I guess personally, I'm more after something where I can tell the program that I want to create a model by specifying something like as follows:

Body layout:
Head segment attached to Thorax segment
Thorax segment attached to abdomen
Linked Abdomen segments x 5 attached at end to head/thorax
10 x 3 segment insectoid legs, 2 per abdomen segment
Fangs attached to mouth
.... etc etc

So I could simply specify simple information as I did just there, and then manually play around with the fine detail if I want to such as joint position/skinning etc. Then I'd like to be able to apply a set of standard physics/animations to it such as gravity/cloth/walking animation/etc. Something that lets you concentrate more on the art than on the fiddly technical process of getting something generic set up. I guess this is similar to the thinking behind procedural generation, in that you should try to remove the repetetive tasks in favour of offloading them onto the CPU.

I realise that this would involve a heck of a lot of work, and I onyl wish I had time to try and make something to perform the task myself, but even my bomberman clone I'm writing is taking up too much time, I'd dread to think how long something like this would take... but hey you never know... perhaps one day!

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