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Rynbernsz

I'm A Programmer, Not An Artist

10 posts in this topic

Hey, I'm a programmer that has been learning C, C++ and java for a couple years now. I am most comfortable with C++ and C. I am definitely a programmer and not a digital artist. My freehand isn't too bad, but I can't translate that too well to a PC.

 

I am programmer, without an artist friend. Is it worth to start trying to make a 3D game or a 2D game? Should I spend more time trying to learn pixel art or do something else, and focus solely on programming? I am a visual person so I gotta see some of the vision, while I'm programming and putting everything together.

 

I have used GameMakerStudio and UDK/UE4. I have Unity and have decided to use that instead of GameMakerStudio if I go for a 2D game, based on the limitations of GameMakerStudio. I know UE4 is a powerhouse for 3D and have messed with UDK for a couple years or so and recently got UE4.

 

So please help guys. Should I try to do 2D pixelated, even though I am no artist; or should I stick with 3D and UE4 with some help of their materials etc... ?

 

Thanks

Ryan 

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I am programmer, without an artist friend. Is it worth to start trying to make a 3D game or a 2D game?

 

What are your goals?  If you are trying to get a job as a programmer, then you need a portfolio that demonstrates your skill.  You don't need fantastic art if you're going for programming.  But if you are trying to make a complete game by yourself to sell, then you need to have art assets that are "good enough" so people will buy your game.  "Good enough" isn't a black and white area, but I know you've seen games with bad art.  If you are not willing to pay an artist (or you have no money) then you either need to learn how to create the art yourself or create a game that doesn't require anything fancy.

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Personally, my 2D pixel art skills haven't grown much over 20 some years. My best work lately seems to essentially be a stick figure (circle head, rectangle body, lines for legs, ovals for feet) that I shaded and added some color to. Quite honestly, if you can get creative with using basic geometric shapes, shading, and blending tools you could probably end up with a fair bit of stuff that looks pretty good.

Maybe think of it this way. As a programmer, you have variables, conditions, loops, and functions at your disposal. When you work on a project you take these things and build towards an idea that you have in your mind. Take what you have in your toolbox, make use of them in the places that make sense, and refine for quality and efficiency. Repeat to build on experience. Find more tools to help you. Learn more advanced techniques. But don't get hung up on learning everything before trying to make use of what you have. Same thing goes if the tools you have are the various tools in a paint program.

Edited by kseh
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Hi,

 

In my opinion you have been doing far too much jumping around the game engines.  If you would have chosen one game engine and focused on it continuously, then you would probably have several games published by now, perhaps even making some income.

 

Also I feel that you are at a level where you can not take solid advantage of any performance benefit of one game engine over another and probably not for years to come, so don't be concerned too much about game engine performance.

 

You can use place holder art which can be aquired at low cost or no cost so your game development progresses well until you either gain art skills or find a devoted artist. Some artists or art asset companies offer a few of their products at no cost until your game actually earns money by sales. There are thousands of 2D and 3D art assets which are open source license.

 

Here at game dev, there are a couple places to establish yourself.  The classifieds can be used to find an artist.  You can also use the Journal section to let people follow your progress, provide another place for prospects to get the information to decide if they want to join you, and demonstrate a seriousness to people about your project. If you participate in screenshot contests, a lot of people will see your progress - even with placeholder art.

 

Another recommended thing to do is launch your own game developer website and direct traffic there in many ways. Later when you have at least a demo game, then you can join contests or other marketing campaigns to generate more buzz about your work.  This attracts artists and all kinds of people if you let them know.

 

The bottom line:  Stay with this engine and really work it good for several years.

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You mentioned that you are using Unity, you should check out the asset store as there is actually a ton of free content that you could use to start building out your game.

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I've read this quite a while ago, maybe this will help you too:

 

http://www.lostgarden.com/2007/12/how-to-bootstrap-your-indie-art-needs.html

 

If you are willing to use free art, opengameart.org is a great place to start.

 

This was awesome! And I never knew about OpenGameArt either. My original focus was 2D for this project, and I'm gonna stick with that. I was frustrated, knowing there is a long way ahead of me for pixel art; well, a lot of tutorials to follow. It will certainly help with ideas and placeholders as others have mentioned. I'm sticking with Unity also. Thanks again everyone for all your feedback and reassurance that I'm not alone. This is an awesome community that I've joined.

Edited by Rynbernsz
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 I'm sticking with Unity also.

 

Good choice IMO. Apart from potential performance pitfalls, Unity is more or less on-par with Unreal (or will be again when Unity 5 comes around).

 

Stick to some good advice you can find on the Unity homepage, and on the pages of some longtime Unity users, and you will get a decent performance even with more performance hungry projects.

 

There is a whole chapter of the Unity Documentation found on the Unity page dedicated to performance optimizations. Read it and remember it.

But only after you a) finished your project and still have time to polish it or b) run into show-stopper performance problems with a mandatory feature (one you cannot just drop).

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