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borrowing other games/mods art for prototyping

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I'm making a list of art assets I would need to prototype pretty much any 3d game idea I have. I find that when working with an artist on a team a lot more inspiration comes when the artist completes art and It keeps me in the right train of thought for creating the game. so...


I want to use assets from other games or mods just for prototyping until I have some dedicated artists to pump out art to totally replace that art and have a finished game. I wouldn't even post screenshots with the prototype art because people would troll all day.


So my question is. What is one of the easiest 3d games to create a pipeline of art export into either 3ds max, blender, or unity (unity is what im using). I need it to be real quick and easy to export as much art as possible. Any suggestions?


I'm thinking a game that has been modded like crazy would be easiest. But I've tried HL2 and its been quite annoying getting the art into 3ds max or unity formats (you need to manually convert each model and texture ect...).


Thanks in advance.

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In my opinion what you should use for prototypes is blank / vague placeholders. The point is to achieve a sense of the gameplay and features without worrying about (polished) assets. It doesn't make sense to me to spend lots of effort first finding and converting something that you need to scrap and start from scratch later. Or to make copyright infringements as you do so.


Prototyping the art is another task and I personally see lots of things taking the wrong track if you use assets from existing games. You as a player and designer have a certain idea of for example what the HL2 physcannon does, how it sounds and how it is animated. You could easily end up repeating the concept even if you later re-make it from scratch. It defeats the purpose of prototyping the art in my opinion so I would personally use something blank instead. Start painting on empty canvas, not on top of something, so to speak.


I don't see any financial parties growing interest towards the project either when they see something that was mix and matched from pieces they are able to recognize as IP of other huge commercial studios.

Edited by ShadowFlar3

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I'm making a list of art assets I would need to prototype pretty much any 3d game idea I have.

I think it'll be easier to hunt for placeholder assets once you have the game idea in place first. If you don't have that constraint, you won't have focus.


• I think Unity comes with some free assets, so you should look into that.


• From most 3D games you can rip out the static models using "API hook" programmes.


- 3DRipperDX, which extracts content from Direct3D applications.


- OGLE, which extracts content from OpenGL applications. Although the website is down, you can still download it in this archived version. To run it you will need GLIntercept, for which OGLE acts as a GUI plugin. GLIntercept still has its website, and you can download it here: http://code.google.com/p/glintercept/ (I believe version 0.5 is needed by OGLE).


RipperDX seems to be superior.

These can extract content from 3D applications that you can run in your computer, so this includes emulators (and most of the games available to them) as long as you use the appropriate video plugin in the emulator with the corresponding API hook application (A Direct3D video plugin for the emulator and the RipperDX programme for extracting).


• You will also find emulator plugins to "dump" all textures loaded by the game, which is a way to collect 2D material.


• For some notable emulator games there usually are extractor or model viewer tools for you to extract content directly from the game's ROM or ISO.

You'll have to rely on Google for this:









Needless to say that this is for personal use only.

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Thanks for the links. But back to my question. Is there a 3d game that has its model and texture format already in a format 3ds max or blender can load? I don't want to manually convert each file. Thanks.

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I don't know that many games to ascertain that no game at all hasn't got what you want, but it's very unlikely that you will find any professional game with the assets in interchange formats (these common formats that 3DS Max and Blender can import). I hope someone here knows of some games like that.


As I recall, there are two reasons for this:


1) Metadata. The artists load the models (originally under an interchange format) into their game engine, establish tags, animations, collision primitives etc. and compile or save all that information into a single file. The final game file has a proprietary structure with more than the geometry and animation information.


2) Performance. An interchange format can be optimized to only keep what the game engine needs to know about the model, but then you walk away from the original specification of the format and cannot load it into the modelling programmes anymore.

Some engines also serialize this final game-engine model so it's faster to load, but makes the file compatible with only the game engine that produced it. This means you don't have to parse chunks of the interchange file or rebuild the mesh into memory; You can deserialize it straight into memory, which is a faster process.


With that in mind, there are a couple of tools that read final game-engine formats:

MilkShape3D - 3D modeller and animator programme. If you look at the formats it loads you'll have an idea of which games to go after. You can import a game format and export to an interchange format (like FBX for instance).

Wally - Texture editing tool that opens a few proprietary game texture formats from id Software. The official website is down.

Edited by Kryzon

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