# Finding Assets

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Where can I find assets for games? I'm looking for models, errant source code, music, sound, etc.

For those who produce models; I know that many use Blender to produce models on their own. Where can I find other people's models that are free?

For sounds, I know that libraries exist; are there any that are public domain; free?

I can program. I can create a game engine, I'm looking for material that can fill the game that I make with substance. Do most people who work on these projects on their own just produce their own models, music, and sound? Is it some kind of a faux-pas to ask about material like this?

If you can answer these questions, I would be grateful.

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Most people make their own placeholder models to start out and then try to recruit or hire an artist to make proper ones. (You could use google to search for royalty free artwork but it will be quite difficult to get a nice coherent look that way, just make sure the licenses are suitable for what you're doing)

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Thank you for your response, Simon.

What is an intelligent way to go about recruiting or hiring an artist? Seeing that I have very little capital with which to work at the moment; is it a good idea to promise fractional royalty for any real profit?

Ok, so assuming that you have 1 programmer, 1 artist, and one composer who produces a game (my idea of a "dream team"). If the original idea for the project is the programmers, what is the smartest way to divide the profit? Would a democratic 33.3% for each be reasonable; or is the amount of work unequal for each role?

According to this website: http://www.allartsch...-career-outlook, the different roles are broken down by how much they're paid.

So, would it be wiser to determine fraction of royalties based on the roles actually fulfilled by the people working on the project? How would you factor experience into this equation?

After reading more of the FAQ's, I realize that many of my questions are historically redundant; hence, I edit my post... as many times as it takes, I hope that's alright.

Would anyone be interested in providing their experiences working for small game companies?

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All of the models shown here:
http://lspiroengine.com/?p=230
http://lspiroengine.com/?p=73

Came from here:
http://www.gfx-3d-model.com/

That site may have a lot of models that are already of the genre you are seeking.
As for hiring someone, it may be cheaper to buy from Turbo Squid, especially since you have assurances of the quality of the final result (since it is already made).
My previous game company was small and in order to make a quick technical demo we just bought from there. You can actually find all kinds of models that will plausibly fit together in a scene for a lot of the types of games you will want to make.

Animating them is another story, but hiring someone just for that would be less expensive than hiring someone for both modeling and animating.
(Also some of them are already animated.)

I am a composer so I make my own music. If you are not, you can feel free to use those of mine that I have uploaded, which are free for all kinds of use (Moonlight Sonata was used in a movie, and thanks to my “free-for-use” policy I didn’t get a dime. ).
http://soundcloud.com/l-spiro
Mind you that use of these in any products, commercial or otherwise, does not imply ownership of the work (I can still use them in my own games later, but I probably won’t).

I hope some of it can be useful for your needs.

Also you can browse that site for more music that might suit your needs. My impression is that a lot of people are allowing a lot to be done with their works, or for only a small fee.

Also I know of a guy I plan to hire when I have something to be done at a level higher than I can do on my own (I perform better than I compose).
http://www.myspace.c...umbers-85751169
All of his songs are under $100 (some as low as$30) and he is for hire.
More of his works here:
http://audiojungle.n...poser/portfolio

L. Spiro

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Beautiful... clearly you are talented. "The Cat" was one of my favorites on there. It reminded me of "Jungle Landing" from Myst IV. Thank you for sending me the reference, Matias is very good. I'll need to generate some capital before I can use any of his work. ;) Apart from the gameplay, I believe that the music and the atmosphere are the most important aspects that allow a game to draw the players into your world.

You built those models too? Based on what I've read, creating life-like humans is one of the most difficult aspects of model building. Given a camera, a tripod, a blue backdrop, and some tape, there are a couple of 2D->3D transformation algorithms which could be used to cheat, I think. Did you write the ray tracer yourself? What did you use to create the models? Did you create your own model building interface for the L. Spiro Engine?

To summarize: you play the piano; you're a good composer; a good modeler; a great programmer; you're at the very least bi-lingual; and you're an example of what it takes to be a professional in the industry. You're more specialized as a programmer, I think; but is this what is required to be a member of the industry? To be competent at everything that is related to building games?

L. Spiro, thank you very much for your input, I've gained a lot from your response.

--- It is only through honing ones skills on great derivative work that you can become something more than derivative yourself. ---

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Thank you for your response, Simon.

What is an intelligent way to go about recruiting or hiring an artist? Seeing that I have very little capital with which to work at the moment; is it a good idea to promise fractional royalty for any real profit?

Ok, so assuming that you have 1 programmer, 1 artist, and one composer who produces a game (my idea of a "dream team"). If the original idea for the project is the programmers, what is the smartest way to divide the profit? Would a democratic 33.3% for each be reasonable; or is the amount of work unequal for each role?

According to this website: http://www.allartsch...-career-outlook, the different roles are broken down by how much they're paid.

So, would it be wiser to determine fraction of royalties based on the roles actually fulfilled by the people working on the project? How would you factor experience into this equation?

After reading more of the FAQ's, I realize that many of my questions are historically redundant; hence, I edit my post... as many times as it takes, I hope that's alright.

Would anyone be interested in providing their experiences working for small game companies?

What i'm doing is:
I'm not hiring anyone to start with, artwork will provided by one freelance artist (who will get payed for delivered content), same with music and possibly sound effects.
Everyone(except me) will get payed in full regardless of how the game does financially. (Yes this means i have been forced to work normal jobs for quite some time to save up cash for this project).

If things go well i'll hire an artist fulltime to work on the next project, if things doesn't go well then i'll make another small project or go back to a normal job until i can afford another game. (I've worked on and completed some freeware games in the past so i have a fairly good grasp on how much artist time i'll have to pay for), i would pretty much never hire a fulltime composer, you need quite a big game or a music focused one to keep a full time composer busy.

Profit sharing is tricky in general, easiest way is probably to pay your workers with shares then, make sure you have fixed work hours (These can be flexible if people work at a distance but you should ensure that everyone puts in the time expected of them)

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What i'm doing is:
I'm not hiring anyone to start with, artwork will provided by one freelance artist (who will get payed for delivered content), same with music and possibly sound effects.
Everyone(except me) will get payed in full regardless of how the game does financially. (Yes this means i have been forced to work normal jobs for quite some time to save up cash for this project).[/quote]

Isn't that a little risky? This means that if what you design turns out to be a flop that you'll eat all of the cost and derive very little of the gain... you might have to default back to the normal job again just to raise enough money for your next project. Of course; if you succeed in a big way, you may find yourself in fantastic shape. How much do you expect to spend on the project?

Does the percentage of profits based model not work very well?

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What i'm doing is:
I'm not hiring anyone to start with, artwork will provided by one freelance artist (who will get payed for delivered content), same with music and possibly sound effects.
Everyone(except me) will get payed in full regardless of how the game does financially. (Yes this means i have been forced to work normal jobs for quite some time to save up cash for this project).

Isn't that a little risky? This means that if what you design turns out to be a flop that you'll eat all of the cost and derive very little of the gain... you might have to default back to the normal job again just to raise enough money for your next project. Of course; if you succeed in a big way, you may find yourself in fantastic shape. How much do you expect to spend on the project?

Does the percentage of profits based model not work very well?

[/quote]

i've budgeted $10k(Asset requirements are fairly low), most of the work on the game is programming and level design (Which i might pay for aswell depending on how my own levels are recieved (I got more money to push into the project for this if necessary)) for this project + my own work(Which really makes up the majority of the game). As for the risk, yes it is risky, But that goes for any kind of business and putting some money in actually reduces the risk (Considering the salary i lose by not working for someone else those$10k are almost nothing and by paying for quality assets the game has a much better chance of actually standing out from the crowd).

The problem with percentage of revenue is that it is very difficult to get skilled people to actually work for you and to keep those who will work for you from leaving when things get rough, not to mention the issues with sharing the revenue in a way that everyone can agree with.

If you're not paying your workers you are asking them to effectivly invest hundreds or even thousands of hours worth of labor into your project, If you want professional quality work from your team then the labor they invest is worth several thousand dollars, Ask yourself this: If you were a skilled developer, would you invest your time(which is equivalent to money for any developer with atleast a reasonable amount of skill) into a project lead by a complete stranger who isn't confident enough in the project to put his own money on the line ?

That said, a revenue share model can work if you can find the right people to work with, Your friends are your best recruitment base for this as they know how good you are (And you know how good they are). It is far easier to convince people who know you that you can pull this off than it is to convince strangers on the internet.

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Beautiful... clearly you are talented. "The Cat" was one of my favorites on there. It reminded me of "Jungle Landing" from Myst IV. Thank you for sending me the reference, Matias is very good. I'll need to generate some capital before I can use any of his work. ;) Apart from the gameplay, I believe that the music and the atmosphere are the most important aspects that allow a game to draw the players into your world.

Thank you.

You built those models too? Based on what I've read, creating life-like humans is one of the most difficult aspects of model building. Given a camera, a tripod, a blue backdrop, and some tape, there are a couple of 2D->3D transformation algorithms which could be used to cheat, I think. Did you write the ray tracer yourself?

I did not make those models. They came from the site above.

What did you use to create the models? Did you create your own model building interface for the L. Spiro Engine?

Although those were not made by myself, when I do make models, I prefer Maya. I have not written a model authoring tool for L. Spiro Engine. Generally this is never done. Even at our office we have extensive custom-made toolchains and lots of plug-ins for Maya (around 100), but not an actual 3D authoring tool to replace Maya.

To summarize: you play the piano; you're a good composer; a good modeler; a great programmer; you're at the very least bi-lingual; and you're an example of what it takes to be a professional in the industry. You're more specialized as a programmer, I think

I would consider my 3D modelling skills more like “competent”. Anyone whose main interest is in 3D modeling will be better than myself.
Instead, I am more of a 2D artist, which is also where I would say I am most specialized, with programming next (I work as a programmer because I find it more enjoyable than drawing).
I removed my game-style and anime art from my gallery but if you are curious anyway I left my pencil-and-paper portraits up: http://l-spiro.deviantart.com/gallery/4844241

but is this what is required to be a member of the industry? To be competent at everything that is related to building games?

The sad fact is that there are almost no requirements to get into the industry except that you live near where the companies are.
Someone with no art skills, no musical abilities, crappy programming skills, no common sense, and virtually no communication skills can get a job in the industry.
Of course we fired him 2 months later.

If you actually want to stay in the industry, the more you know the better, but no it is not necessary to play piano/draw/model/etc. in addition to programming.
It helps if you can communicate to artists and musicians in their own language, and the more you know the easier it is to climb the ladders.
As for skills that are recommended as “second majors” I would suggest firstly game design. Having a good sense of what makes a good game makes you good at your job.
That applies to everyone, not just the programmers.

At the same company where we hired a few bad apples long ago, it was fairly easy to tell which programmers made which games.
I would have the logo drop in from the top, bounce a few times, throw some sparkles into the air, etc.

Basically you don’t have to worry about getting into the industry, and as long as you keep growing as a programmer and also have a good feeling about what makes a good game, and are willing to take the time to add all the whistles and bells, you should not have a problem staying and growing in the industry.
If you can branch out, more power to you.

L. Spiro

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Ask yourself this: If you were a skilled developer, would you invest your time(which is equivalent to money for any developer with atleast a reasonable amount of skill) into a project lead by a complete stranger who isn't confident enough in the project to put his own money on the line ?[/quote]
Good point. Although one runs into a snag when you realize that even the surest bets that you can think of are still unpredictable. Case in point: Shenmue; it cost it's company \$47 million to make, every owner of a Dreamcast would have needed to buy 2 copies of Shenmue for them to make a profit on it (of course, they were betting on being able to turn it into a trilogy). Also please don't let this naysaying deter you at all, I'm just voicing my fears.

That said, a revenue share model can work if you can find the right people to work with, Your friends are your best recruitment base for this as they know how good you are (And you know how good they are). It is far easier to convince people who know you that you can pull this off than it is to convince strangers on the internet. [/quote]
This makes sense. Where I'm at, I should be able to find someone, maybe.

I did not make those models. They came from the site above.[/quote]
Whoops, I should have noticed that immediately!

It helps if you can communicate to artists and musicians in their own language, and the more you know the easier it is to climb the ladders.
As for skills that are recommended as “second majors” I would suggest firstly game design. Having a good sense of what makes a good game makes you good at your job.
That applies to everyone, not just the programmers.[/quote]
Much of this just takes interest and practice, I suspect. If I were in the industry, I'm fairly certain that I'd want to stay in the industry.

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