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The Morning After - Asset Level Of Effort

First post after creating the site, wanted to post my current struggle with developing this game.

What is the right amount of time spent on an asset vs how much a player will even be impacted or notice (or for that matter even care) about that additional effort which sometimes could cause a ton of rework to numerous assets? I struggle with this every time I open UE4 and start working. I keep looking at what I have done and compare it to commercial AAA titles, most recently COD: Modern Warefare. Ok, not a very realistic comparison to a huge studio with almost unlimited resources and decades of combined knowledge and experience, but it is always interesting to me and somewhat reassuring at times to run through a huge packed map and try and pick apart how everything was put together. I try to find seams in UV mapping or how they put grime and scratches on a textured asset. I like to go up real close to a wall and picture how my asset looks up close in comparison.

I constant challenge with limited time is to make sure that all of the assets I create at the end of the day will not remove someone from the experience and atmosphere that I have created. There is nothing worse than getting close to something only to think...."what the hell is that, why is it shaped like that...". At what point do I say, this is enough effort and then move on to the next task. I believe a huge part of this is workflow and just plain trial and error. I have to learn to pick and choose which assets get more attention because they draw the player's attention and which assets could use simple coat of paint and move on. I am so picky with all of my assets that I can be my own worse enemy, but will it actually make that much of a difference to a player? I suppose only time can tell...

The bottom line is...I hate modelling snow...and roofs...particularly modular roofs with snow. How do I create something that can be tiled seamlessly with curves? The struggle is real and I believe I am almost there with a workable concept. Working on having two pieces to it, the middle section and an end cap to cover where the roof ends. This is similar to how I did some walls which works really well to create any lengths of walls as well as cap the ends off.

Assuming this works, it should allow for a more natural looking round-snow-covered shape that I have been looking for. Below shows another trail which looks far too blocky and something you would never see in the real world. The top texture looks good from the ground, it is just the edge that looks terrible.

Will have an update to this once I have successfully implemented what I am looking for.

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