Tales is having computer problems and general life business, back asap!
Sorry for the quiet, one of us has been enjoying international travel and fine cuisine, and the other of us has been enjoying the hospital, hard drive failure, and miscellaneous annoyances. For a project like this, life comes first, and life has been rather demanding of late!
Thank you all for your support :)
Why thank you!
Tales (project 3D artist) here!
We get a lot of hopeful asks about whether we’ll do outfit X or Y or cover Z. It’s amazing seeing this much excitement about it, and I’d like to shine some light on the asset side of things and how we prioritize what to make and in what order.
In something like this, time is the most important factor, as it is in commercial game development too. How many work hours is it going to consume? How many assets do you need to get through? How can you spend time the most efficiently, thus letting you do more things? With free time projects like this, it’s even more important as that time is always taken away from something else from your day, and maintaining daily routines and social life alongside highly involving ‘second job without pay’ kind of work can get stressful. Having individual assets stretch out a lot can make you lose your sight of the scope and make it feel like it’s a long, exhausting slog, so you need to balance it out. You want to optimize the amount of exposure that highly involving piece gets in the game and also prune out every possible extra step from the workflow that you can.
So when we’re picking which assets to do in what order, on the 3D side my priorities are these:
-Will the player use it?
-How early in the game do you see it?
-How much time do you spend wearing it?
-Does it have statistical benefits (=player incentives) over other pieces you see roughly for the same time?
-How badly does it need reworking in comparison to other pieces that meet the same conditions?
-Are the required model changes within a reasonable scope that can be replicated across the racial variants?
-Does it require complete remodeling or can the skin be redesigned smartly?
-Will it take more time to complete than another asset meeting the same conditions?
One complete armour set takes around 40 hours of modeling, sculpting, texture painting and ingame testing, spread across 4-hour sessions in my free evenings - so at roughly 10 work nights per skin, plus testing and iteration, cutting out anything excessive becomes a vital priority.
We’ll do as much as we can! Pants, unfortunately, are not in our future. We’re only making minor tweaks to the vanilla meshes and as you’ve noticed, pants do not exist for us to tweak :( Creating a brand new mesh is beyond the scope of the project.
Yeah, this goes in the ‘things I’d like to do but won’t have time for’ list. Since the reskins are very laborious to make (I’d say around 35-45 work hours each, so a full work week if I was doing this fulltime), everything has to be really strictly prioritized, as it’s my free time I’m putting into this. Anything beyond slightly tweaking shapes and reskinning texture assets (which still involves a lot of 3D modeling) is outside our scope.
Even as it is we won’t be doing more than the most dire cases that need the most help. The amount of work it takes to redesign something is a fraction of what it takes to actually sculpt it, bake it, texture it and get it working in the game - and I don’t want to cut more corners than I already do as retaining a high quality standard is also very important to me.
if someone wants to give me zbrush and a computer that won’t melt trying to run it, I’m a quick learner ;D