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Idov

Separating the graphics from the game

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Hi! I'm planning to make a 3D adventure game but I don't have the time (or the skills) to actually model all the characters and other stuff... I'd like to know how wise it will be to use "blocks" instead of real characters while I'm writing all the other elements of the game (at least for now). I know it will be a little depressing to see a blocking moving over the screen instead of what's supposed to be there, but other than that, are there downsides to this approach? thanks [smile]

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It is perfectly fine to use things like cubes and spheres and simple images to work with. This is known as programmer art or place holder art. It works great to have while testing out the game and its mechanics. Later, you can always go in and replace those objects with the ones you would like to use. This is a pretty common way to handle this situation.

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It's a good technique since it allows you to work on your stuff and not get stuck because of the lack of art.

Just think ahead of what you want it to be eventually, and keep it in mind. Remember that integrating character animations, physics (ragdoll or otherwise), and AI together is a big challenge, depending on how far/complex you want to go. So leave room for whatever features you will want to have eventually.

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Another reason why it's good, because it'll inspire the eventual artists. They are going to be much more interested to work on a game they can see working, rather than one you are not even going to start until the art is ready. They can also see how their work transforms the game, which is always a boost to the ego. Press on, use placeholders.

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It's probably still a good idea to come up with concepts for your character or object types, and build the generic model to mimic its height and size, or any other trait that actually has an impact on the game itself. The more of those traits that don't match the finished model, the more of your other work gets tossed out when you switch.

It might even be a good idea to at least build mimic models. For example, a very terribly modeled orc character is more meaningful than a green block.

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