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What is the most time consuming part of developing a 3D game?

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What is the most time consuming part of developing a 3D game? I''m just getting started and learning the grasp of what it takes to create 3D applications. I''m nowhere near the point of creating anything decent, but was wondering what take the most time or what peice is the most complex? Graphics? or Content / levels? I see alot of commercial game companies that take years to complete a project, even though they have screenshots from the game very quickly.. what takes them so long to get from being able to run the app and take a screenshot of it to finishing the product? Thanks for the info

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Game planning always takes a very long time. Since you notice the fact that games come out a year or so after they have had screen shots, you would know that after planning, the graphics mixed with input is programmed because the graphics engine to be used is often the first thing to be considered. These days, this step is easy compared with the a.i. and physics. The problem is that companies have a hard time planning for the future. In the middle of making the game, they change their minds many times. A lot of this has to do with new features with graphics cards and other things and they have to decide if major changes are necessary. With all this confusion, bugs are even more likely and game testing takes too long. There are too many other reasons to list.

If you are just starting out and have done some 3d, don''t worry about detail and texture mapping at the beggining. Don''t try to make anything to big (I have done that and over half the time I gave up). Try loading a large world from a 3d model. This would not be practical in the real world but is a good start. You could also load line coordinates from a file of no specific type. Start small. Most people have a hard time with what they will limit themselves to. Try to plan something to only take 10-20 hours of work. Then the next project 50-100 hours. I have found that when plan to make a simple game with maybe one short level, I end up getting into it and making a larger game.

This method is probably the best way for learning and not for huge games right away, but remember, you have to set a time goal of work even smaller than you think is o.k.

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