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Losing credibility as game designers for using free models?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by adamogh, May 13, 2012.

  1. adamogh

    adamogh

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    So, a few friends and I are making our first little game, unfortunately we are not all skilled in the areas we'd like to work in. I have the programming sorta down, we have one guy who is doing a great job with the environments and making the buildings, but no one is really skilled enough to do things like make weapons and characters. So my question is, will we lose credibility as a game development team as a whole if we use models that other people have made and put up for use on the internet. We plan on sourcing all of the models we get somehow in the game, and it will just be for things like weapons and maybe a general character model, i'm pretty sure we could make clothes and such to put on the character.(this is including animations too.)

    If this is a re-post I apologize!!!

    TL;DR - Would we lose credibility as a game development team if we use free models we get online?
     
  2. Luke-Houlihan

    Luke-Houlihan

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    I see no problem using free or stock models in games. I hold the position that consumers definitely wont know the difference so why does it matter? This only applies to assets that are well done though, if the art is sub-standard, that is when you loose credibility.

    Use whatever assets you can get your hands on, as long as they fit the style and production values of your game.
     
  3. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    You will not lose credibility any more than Universal pictures will for filming stuff that already exists like the statue of liberty, instead of making a model of it.

    Cred? is this the most important part of your game development process?
     
  4. Jaimi

    Jaimi

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    Honestly, as beginning game developers, what sort of credibility do you have to lose? You start with nothing, there's only up from there.
     
  5. adamogh

    adamogh

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    Ok, cool thanks guys!

    Not at all, but I didn't want to maybe put a game up on here for people to try out and then get bashed for using these models. I was under the impression something like that could affect my chances of getting any real constructive criticism in the future, or any help in general for that matter.
     
  6. Jaimi

    Jaimi

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    I don't think so. Here's what will ruin your chances:

    1. Pretending to be something you're not. "CEO of Wyld Stallyins" for example.
    2. Remaking some previous game that you don't own the IP for.
    3. Doing #2, and then claiming it's OK "Because its not for profit!!!"
    4. Stealing artwork from other games.

    Beyond that, if you make a game, who cares if you bought some of the artwork? Certainly not the players.
     
  7. adamogh

    adamogh

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    Great answer, thanks.
    This is just one thing that's kind of been scaring me, and in effect been keeping us from getting any further in the actual development process. Glad to have this cleared up though.
     
  8. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Yes - it is a great answer. If you remove all pretentiousness and just be honest hardworking, and don't talk about what you don't know, then you'll be well respected in no time. Same for any field really.
     
  9. lukasaurus

    lukasaurus

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    Be excellent to each other and.. PARTY ON DUDES
     
  10. Jaimi

    Jaimi

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    haha! I was wondering if anyone would recognize that
     
  11. adamogh

    adamogh

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    Haha, didn't even catch that one!
     
  12. Phil™

    Phil™

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    I can think of a couple of (reasonably successful) commercial games which used stock models. One, in particular, had a model from 3DRT as the main character model. I think it got a Nintendo console release, although I never saw a copy in the stores. That was a pretty painfully obvious case of using stock models and if it didn't affect them getting a console release, it's evidently not too harmful.

    Your main issue will be maintaining consistency between assets which were not designed to work together. Obviously, no game of any size is going to have all art by the same artist, but it will be designed to fit well together. As long as you can jump this hurdle you'll have no issues.
     
  13. adamogh

    adamogh

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    Yeah, makes sense actually!
     
  14. adamogh

    adamogh

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    Also! sorry for not posting this in UntiyAnswers, I guess that probably is where this belongs.
     
  15. 1337_hax_ftw

    1337_hax_ftw

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    Yes, use whatever you can find and legally use.
    Make sure it looks good though! This is critical. I tried using anything I could find a while back and it totally backfired. (This wasn't with unity.) People called "cheap-crap" because some of the stuff looked free. So with some stuff, you must be careful.

    But anyway, I hope you and your team succeed in whatever it is you seek to accomplish!
     
  16. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    You could always just make a new account and all that is completely gone.

    But if you can i think making you assets is a good idea as loads of people will call it stealing if another famous game has the same models as you, even though it is perfectly legal.
     
  17. echtolion

    echtolion

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    As long as it's released under a proper license there's nothing wrong with using it.
     
  18. Haledire

    Haledire

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    There are a couple of things to be aware of before using just any old free model you find on the internet.

    If you're looking at a general site that's distributing free models that anyone could be uploading, you have to be careful that you aren't grabbing a model that was ripped out from a game in the first place. Only months ago someone was posting a proof of concept web player of their game in progress and happened to have put in a model of a Diner from a Grand Theft Auto game which was found on a free model website. In that respect, you need to research the models you are looking at as best you can (any identifiable text, the person that uploaded it, or as a stretch the file name).

    Make sure that the copyright of the site or the individual work is something that is legal to work with. A couple of free model download sites that I have come across had blanket statements at the bottom of the front page in fine print that all models on the site were under a non-commercial license. They might be acceptable for placeholder art, but you could wind up with unexpected repercussions if the owner finds out you published a paid game with them. Worst case scenario, try to get a hold of the author of the models if you really like what you see. The players may not mind what models you use, but the courts can be another matter.
     
  19. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    Using existing models is a perfectly acceptable way to get models into your game when you're on a budget.
    In most cases only us game developers who have seen the models etc on asset store posts might recognise them, chances are most others won't.

    Once you make some money from your game you can always upgrade to your own custom models.
     
  20. stimarco

    stimarco

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    Movie producers have used stock footage for generations. Plenty of movies set in WW2 have relied on stock footage from the period. (Almost every Discovery Channel and History Channel documentary on the period uses stock footage too.)

    In TV land, it's even more obvious: they don't send up a helicopter with a cameraman every single time a CSI episode needs some establishing shots of the city. They just send a cameraman by day, and again at night, and simply recycle the same footage over the seasons. A three-camera sitcom, which is usually shot in a studio in front of an audience, will also rely on the same establishing shots when switching locations. (Usually with a recycled musical cue.)

    Science Fiction series, like "Star Trek" would usually make a bunch of model shots near the start of production and recycle them throughout the season too. (That's why most of the shots of the Enterprise in the original series and "ST:NG" look very similar: they recycled the expensive model shot and just swapped out the background image—usually a planet.)

    But the most obvious examples of stock footage happened in the late '70s and early '80s, when many attempts to copy the Star Wars franchise would simply reuse the same space footage—particularly explosions—over and over. Some of the cheaper movies even recycled footage from earlier films.

    TL;DR: No, it's not a problem.
     
  21. wccrawford

    wccrawford

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    Actually, some people are incredibly petty when it comes to graphics. I usually respect TotalBiscuit, but he did a "WTF is..." recently and focused almost entirely on the game's graphics instead of the gameplay. And his fans backed him up on that, saying they wouldn't play a game that had such outdated models. One even said it looked like they had stolen the models from another game, which was apparently bad, too.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Cynicalbrit/comments/ti6a5/wtf_is_revelations_2012/

    So be aware that you *will* have people bitch and complain about your models. I'm of the opinion that you should ignore them. If you've got videos and/or a demo out there, they'll be buying it knowing what it's like, and they can just deal with it.
     
  22. ShadoX

    ShadoX

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    If you are a newcomer.. probably not. But if people already know you and starting noticing this stuff... maybe. Look at how awful BioWare did when they decided to use a stock photo from someones website to show the face of one of the main characters in Mass Effect 3. :|
     
  23. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    The 3d art you choose to show off your design will only affect you if it's relevant to the design itself of the game. You can design a whole game with just cubes, it can be a great game design without any art, if you can get a hold of some models that illustrate the design a little better, it might help, but it isn't the core of the matter, and by all means you wont lose credibility.
     
  24. SevenBits

    SevenBits

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    No, as long as the licenses allow you to work with that content for your purposes, and the art is good and not sub-standard.
     
  25. Phil™

    Phil™

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    Also, the third and fourth seasons of Airwolf. A stuntman was killed during production of season 3, and they stopped shooting dangerous scenes after that. So all the stunt scenes in season 3 were recycled from previous episodes. Then when a Canadian company made that trainwreck of a season 4, they simply didn't have the money to shoot any new scenes so all of the helicopter footage was recycled from existing footage. It was painfully obvious in parts too, but it didn't stop it getting made and aired.
     
  26. Filto

    Filto

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    Biggest problem I see with using stock graphics is getting consistency in the artdesign and finding models that fit your game design.If you can achieve both of those with stock graphics, great. I think it would be hard to do that though.
     
  27. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    Definitely! I think stock graphic should be cheap enough to be "disposable", but pretty enough so it doesn't affect the concept of the game design subjectively, not that it's important to have pretty stuff when you're still on the design phase, but it might help to show it off a little more!

    When the game skeleton is ready, then devs can invest in the actual custom graphics, which is not disposable nor cheap!
     
  28. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    As long as everything fits together its fine.

    The problem with using different assets from different sources is everything will have its own style, which when thrown together will end up looking very amateur.
     
  29. lukasaurus

    lukasaurus

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    The main issue most people had with that (after reading and participating in the facepunch thread) was that it was launched at a $20 price point, for what was basically a mod for L4D2. It had some interesting features, which were buggy (like the battlegrounds mode), and unlikely to find any players to play with. It would be a good case study for developers with dreams of making it big. One of the devs (animator) joined the facepunch thread and seemed really cool, explaining that most of the devs thought the game needed a lot of work, but the "boss" said it was ready to ship.

    http://facepunch.com/threads/1179849

    Dev ("supermoose") joins around page 17. Up to that point, everyone is just laughing at it. Then supermoose comes in and everyone is like "hey, I love your game it has real potential".
     
  30. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    ok ok, so you cant polish a turd...
     
  31. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    CHALLENG ACCEPTED!

     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  32. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    I would like to see them polish the diarrhoea that this game is!
     
  33. OmniverseProduct

    OmniverseProduct

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    Are the mythbuster's going to light it on fire or blow it up? They're famous for doing that you know. :p
     
  34. keithsoulasa

    keithsoulasa

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    Lol, I totally made a thread about 2, and 3 . 4 just makes people not like you , even if your not sued , no one respects someone who rips off other people .
     
  35. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Still want advice? If you don't have ANY 3D modelers, then build a game that doesn't require them. Use the resources you have available. Simpler is better.

    Gigi.