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Dunge

Adding content to engine

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I'm pretty happy with everything I coded so far in my engine. Nice light and shadows, physics, particles, etc. I can load some models (un-animated 3ds files only for now) but the only ones I have currently is a sphere and a box cause that's the only thing I can manage to create in 3D. I'm a programmer, not a modeler nor an artist. I know you usually don't do that alone, even less when you are not good at it, but with the thousands and thousands of models and miles of geometry in today's video games, I think it could be possible to create something which look great anyway couldn't I? You know, a single beautiful scene instead of a whole city. I just want a simple room filled with objects, or a kind of forest/swamp scene to actually see my engine displaying something who don't look like crap. I know I can use Maya or 3DSMax to model, but I think it would take me months to create a single object with no knowledge, and I don't want to become a professional modeler neither since I'm a 3D programmer already. What do you think? Should I learn and do it anyway? Should I try to find someone already good at it to work for me for free? Should I download free models already available on the internet (only ones I found are from turbosquid and they suck, and are not optimized for games). Should I steal models from an existing commercial game and never publish mine (not as if I was planning to publish anything anyway)? [Edited by - Dunge on November 26, 2008 2:50:41 PM]

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I am a programmer mainly but worked as a modeler in the games industry for and internship last year. I can model pretty quickly and well but when coding its just too much time for me and I prefer to work on code.

Finding free models isn't a good route from experience, its VERY hard to find a set of models and even if you can find a few random models from different sources for what you need the chances are that the artistic style will be a mis-match which even though your rendering may be beautiful a contrast in modelling styles can greatly impact on the visual quality of a scene (speaking from experience)

I found the best approach was to buy some models from here I bought some sets, so the style is unified, not only that they have normal maps, parallax maps, specular maps AND LOD versions. All this means I have some nice models which fit together and complement each other and added to this i can implement features (normal / parallax mapping, LOD) they are really cheap if you consider the ammount of models you get and time it saves.

if your not experienced in max or Maya then I say get someone else's models because even if you think you could learn to model well in these programs it takes a long time to master and even if you create a nice model there are lots of subtleties to take into account like maximizing visual quality at lower poly counts, good triangulation , water tight meshes just basic things that can become difficult in situations not to mention using other applications to help create normal maps and specular maps that look how you want. I can model well, and unwrap meshes but I'm absolutely shoddy at texturing and animation and rigging so just modeling doesn't mean you can make a finished game asset. like at work we had, modelers, animators and texture artists who a model would go through.

using existing games models was no good for me really because at the end of the day you want to show off you game and distribute it as you please to show people what you've done.

I say get someone to model for you or buy some models, its quicker easier and the results will be better.

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