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Plotnus

Help: Solo programmer: What to do about Assets?

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Hi All,

I'm a solo programmer. I want to mess around and make a game/prototype. However, I have no art or modeling skills. I poked around the Unity3D asset store(non-exhaustive search), but didn't really find anything that would match what I was going for. Furthermore gameplay (for me) is tightly tied to animations and effects to get the right feel.

What do you do about this? How do you go about prototyping and playing/creating a game and getting assets that "will do" without wrecking your ability to get a feel right?

I'm fine with programming but as far as finding the right animations and assets I'm stuck. Any suggestions for getting around this?

One idea is to stitch something together using primitives. I'm really not sure how to go about this one.
I'm looking for something practical so I can just start coding and putting something together.

Regards,
  Plot

Edited by Plotnus

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4 hours ago, Plotnus said:

I'm fine with programming but as far as finding the right animations and assets I'm stuck. Any suggestions for getting around this?

You only have three options that I can think of:

1. Buy better assets (custom if needed)

2. Find an artist to work with

3. Learn to create visual assets

You're in the same boat as majority of programmers that are trying to make games, so you'll have to work with what you've got available to you. I personally devoted a lot of time to becoming a graphic artist because I didn't want to depend on other people for my hobby projects. "Programmer Art" wasn't good enough for me. :D This would be the longest route, and could be a difficult road to achieve desired results in a quick period of time, but if you push through it will be well worth it! :) 

Blender is free and a great tool! You can model, sculpt, rig/animate, and more. You'll also find a lot of resources online.

https://www.blender.org/

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Just to add to what others have said, you probably want to learn a bit about making assets yourself even if you go down the route of mostly buying them or working with artists, so that you have a bit more knowledge on what a good asset is when selecting assets or artists.

For example, there are tons of humanoid models out there which aren't rigged and lacking thinks like extra loops in the right places so that when animated joins bend in a way that looks realistic. Similarly, a lot of models out there were sculpted and have too many vertices for use in games.

So try Blender out, and if you're using Unity then they have Pro Builder free in the latest version which lets you do block modelling from within the framework, which is usually much easier to do than what you can do in Blender and often works fine for low-poly games.

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If you want a source for art assets that you're allowed to use, check OpenGameArt.org:

https://opengameart.org/

Of course, a lot of stuff there is copylefted (but not most of it; it seems about 90% of the assets there are under a non-copyleft license). If copylefted assets won't do for you, be sure to filter by license.

Edited by JulieMaru-chan

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Speaking as a non-artist, I'm of the case that I got good at making use of what I have. Best thing to do is to know what makes a scene composition flow. IMHO, I'm a huge believer that a good scene composition can make up for a lot of the tackiness a prototyped level will likely have, when something looks out of place, or when a particular color palette, or object can be added to your scene to make it pop. 

While I model my own meshes usually, 90% of these are composited from free textures, and, to the trained eye, it's a bit noticeable, but they also don't look like something somebody shat out quickly, well, lol, maybe a little  

TLDR, most people have some level of artistic intuition. Whether or not they want to acknowledge it is another story, it's that reason that I'd recommend you pick up Blender, or some similar, and buff out your stats a little bit

113367961_CuvRaPDUsAERG6C(1).jpg.5623208281b295a906638c099cfa6577.jpg

DCeWXNiWAAAmXml.jpg

Edited by markypooch
Wanted to embed the images

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Thanks for the help.

Looks like I'll have to "buff out my stats" and get better at making do with what I find at the asset store. In general what I'd use it for is exploring some game ideas ranging from 3D shumps like alienation to platformsers and messing with some of the ideas in dead cells. I guess a part of the issue is that I get interested in playing with a few different styles of game but when I sit to start I hit this asset issue.

I feel the asset that really gets me is animation and I have a feeling that this is a hard one to learn.

At least good to know it's a part of the struggle / dilemma. I'm of the camp that unless you've worked together before the  artist typically comes after a prototype.

Edited by Plotnus
more details

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If you are starting work with primitive assets until you have more solid mechanics, if you already have a game and want better assets working with an artist seems the way to go.

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