If you are a gamer that has branched out to start developing game characters of your own, then you will come to find that there are a few issues that you will face in the development process. First, you have to know whether or not your game will allow you to integrate new characters or maps into the program. For example: Unreal tournament does allow you to make custom maps and use them within the game network. However, I doubt that you will be able to add a custom character to Batman Arkham Knight (though there have been those which have modified the outfits). If you are building your character to be used in either Unreal or CryEngine platforms there are a few considerations beyond compatibility to consider.
Using Unreal or CryEngine To Make Your Game? Ensure your Game Character is ready to go
Designing Model Of Game Character:
When you use a 3d model, you need to ensure that it is made for gaming. Where a model may look realistic and have great textures, if the polygon count is a bit too high or if the model is based on triangles instead of quads, you are going to have problems. Typically, you want to have a character that is under 50,000 polygons. The less the better. However, remember that the more you take away the better your texturing will need to be. Additionally, the lower the polygon counts the harder it will be to get realistic movements and bends.
If you are not modeling your character, but using a downloaded 3d model and modifying it, you will need to check it for errors prior to converting it over to the game engine’s standards. To check your character:
- Clean up the geometry – Ensure that you do not have any issues with vertices, edges or faces. Depending on the model, this may be a quick process or a very tedious process. It is best to look at a wireframe of the model or an un-textured version of the model to see where the problems lay.
- Put all your normals in the right direction – This will minimize the chance of having texture issues.
- Make sure that your textures and maps are in the proper folders – if they are scattered around your computer, then you may have linking issues when you move the character to Unreal or CryEngine.
Of course, a great deal depends on how the model is made. The program, the output, and the manner in which you make the textures all will play a part. Remember to keep the loading time and the processing time in the front of your mind when making a character.
The Character’s textures look weird in the game:
One problem that I have found with creating a 3D Game Character is that the game engine lighting and the modeling program’s lighting are typically different. The best solution that I have found is to use the closest thing in the program for augmented lighting or natural lighting so that you will get a close representation on how the shadows and the light will affect the character. A good rule of thumb to use when developing your game character is to test the lighting on the character to the extremes. Make a very shadowed lighting and see how it looks on your character; then do extremely bright light. Your character should be versatile enough that it looks good in various lighting situations.
Once you have ensured that the lighting is not the problem, check to see if the texture you have is high enough resolution for the character. If you are tying to put a 120 px image on a full sized character untiled (and in most cases even if it is tiled) it will look bad. Take the time to develop the textures properly.
Test and test again:
Above all, the 3d Character that you use needs to be optimized for the game. There is not such thing as a drag and drop character. Where a great deal of the front end work may have been done, the user will still need to ensure that the character meets the specifications of the game system, that it moves properly, that it is joined with secondary objects (such as pickups, dummy objects, collisions, spawning, etc), and that it moves properly. Test your model within the game platform. Note the problematic areas and tweak as needed.
When you have your game perfect, launch an Alpha and Beta testing release on the game software’s forum. This will allow you to get feedback from other gamers on your character, help you debug the program for unseen issues, and just understand how great or how bad your character is in the game you are developing.