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Unity Adding new characters to a game post-release

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I am designing a 3D FPS mobile game using Unity3D. The game will be released with an initial set of characters. I want to periodically release new sets of characters. At release, I won't yet know how the characters will look or how they'll behave.


An example: The game is first released with a set of domestic animals. The player can feed them, pet them, etc. Six months after release a set of birds are released. These birds fly which the animals did not; they like different food that other animals did not. Another two months later release a set of wild animals that can be hunted down. How can I release this set of birds and animals with all attributes and animations as a package?


The intent is to keep the animation team on a separate schedule from the game development team so the animation team can independently test and release packages to keep players involved.


How can this be done with Unity3D?

Edited by dark.matter

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The intent is to keep the animation team on a separate schedule from the game development team so the animation team can independently test and release packages to keep players involved.

IMHO, this can be disastrous.  The problem is that anything that might require more game programming needs that worked out with the art.  If you get the art running first, gameplay is forever going to be going back to the artists asking them to fix up the art.  If you do the gameplay first, the artists are going to complain how it's not working as expected while the programmers complain they couldn't make it better because they didn't know what the art was going to do.


You really need an interleaved schedule.  Artists should get gameplay roughed out prototypes of the art and animations, something that even a programmer can touch up by dragging keyframes forward and backwards.  Gameplay can work out all the bugs with the crappy animations, then artists have a solid starting point for the finished products.  The more you can break up the work, and the more intertwined the schedules the better your end products will be.

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