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badsniper

Unity Want to make third person shooter.

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badsniper    296

Hi, I'm a decent programmer. Currently I'm working on a 2d title as an intern. I'm comfortable with programming and Unity environment. My long term goal is to make third person shooter which I think will help me to build math and physics skills rather than doing a traditional FPS. My problem is I don't know anything about modeling or animation or any artistic skills. So where do I start? Is there anysite that I can get assets or animation to make it possible? And trust me I don't want to dive into the project right away. Like I said it's a long term goal. Can someone point me in right direction? Which engine should I use Unity or Unreal? Unity because I'm comfortable with it and Unreal because I want to get extra skill set. Any ideas? Spare me if it's naive topic. Thanks in advance.

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Digivance    1724

Unity is itself a 3D engine and IDE system that is almost entirely based on 3D development.  In general Unity itself will handle the majority of the 3D mathematics that will be required to get a game started.  Beyond that you will want to have a good grasp on geometry, trigonometry and possibly some general physics (thus the reason so many people use Engines like Unity is that all of the important trig and physics is already done for you).  So in short, step one is to brush up on your late high school and early college level mathematics.

 

Next you would want to start working on some prototypes of your idea and a design document to start visualizing and defining the entire game, it's mechanics and specifics.  This is extremely important and will make years worth of difference to your development (Watch "Indie Game The Movie" for examples of the difference between designed and thrown together games.  Super Meat Boy went in with a complete thought out design and it's developers knowing exactly what they wanted to do.  Fez went in with a general concept idea with little to no direction and took over 6 years and at least 3 complete re-writes before it released).  So step two is to design and prototype your ideas to get a feel for where you want to go and what exactly you will be doing.

 

With those steps completed you should be about ready to start real production.  I would suggest starting again with simple primitives and working on your mechanics and game play first.  Basically you would be working towards a polished prototype, don't worry quite as much about what the 3D graphics actually are, just how to invoke the animations, translations, collision and such.  So your third step is to start actually developing the game using simple stick figure like primitives, focusing on the game play itself and getting your creation to start coming to life.

 

Once you are on this third step you will basically just continue working up this polished prototype, do tons of testing and slowly integrate more and more of the features.  At any point you can start replacing the graphics with final versions but I would recommend holding off until you are much closer to completion.  Many times models and graphics will change as time goes on and it can get very tedious and time consuming to continually be swapping out graphics and tweaking code to fit everything together properly.

 

All in all that's about it, brush up and make sure you have a firm grasp on 3D math such as Geometry, Trigonometry and some Physics particularly as they pertain to game development, design and prototype your concept extensively, elaborate and polish the prototypes into a completed product.  Should be pretty much the same process that you are currently following in 2D game development the only difference is that you add a third dimension and your primary calculation methods change from Algebra to Geometry and Trig.

 

Quick google search for some related reading...

http://www.essentialmath.com/tutorial.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Primer-Graphics-Development-Wordware-Library/dp/1556229119

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596000066.do

 

When you are ready you can acquire models from the Unity asset store, or through Daz3d market's (as well as many other such sites).

http://unity3d.com/asset-store/

http://www.daz3d.com/new-releases

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badsniper    296

Wow, Thanks for the input and resources Dan! Appreciate it. Should I do the development in Unity or Unreal? Which one would be better in terms of experience? Should I get more experience in Unity or should I add another skill set by learning Unreal?

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Digivance    1724

I would suggest Unity myself.  Both are actually fairly comparable, however I feel that Unity is more Indie friendly.  It supports more scripting languages to create your logic in, the asset store has many inexpensive ready to use models (when the time comes) and the free license contains everything you will need to release a PC game for profit.  UDK is a bit more powerful and contains some features that you do not get with Unity.  Unity's Pro license is VERY close to the UDK system but much cheaper.  Although the numbers have changed and I hear UDK now offers a royalty based full license the following journal entry of mine explains in more detail why you may wish to avoid UDK.

 

http://www.gamedev.net/blog/1003/entry-2249527-udk-for-indies/

 

Daz3D models are also ready to go and fully supported in Unity which to me is a major benefit.  Daz3D is  different modelling program that allows you to focus more on assets, clothing and such instead of the actual modeling process, for those of us non artistic types it's a means of actually being able to create usable 3D models and characters with animations.

 

Do keep in mind that these are my opinions and suggestions but there are many other methods, engines and tools that you can use.  Many have their own benefits and draw backs, Unity is no exception, I'm sure there are down sides to using it although none that have ever effected me personally.  I would be interested in discussing all of this in a bit more detail if you would like.  You can find my contact details in my Game Dev profile and also on my Gravatar profile linked below.

 

http://en.gravatar.com/daniwan

 

Edit / PS

    Unreal and UDK are not used as much as many people may imagine an normally only by very large game studios that are not likely to hire or even talk to indie developers.  The companies that can afford and have the necessity for UDK / Unreal engines normally only entertain resume's and applications from veteran game designers that come from official studios with numerous released titles under their belts.  Unity is used by quite a few indie teams as well as many small and medium sized studios.  As with any field there's never a guarantee but Unity certainly opens more feasibly reachable doors.

Edited by Dan Mayor

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