These are a few of my favorite things

These are a few of my favorite things

So occasionally as a developer I come across a post or a resource that is so amazing that I wish someone had told me about it earlier.  So I’ve decided to compile a list of some of the most useful online resources I’ve come across since working on this project that don’t seem to be getting the attention they deserve.  Most of these will either be tutorials, assets, or tools. I’ll continue to add to this list as I come across things, but I figured I’d throw these first few out there to begin with.

  1. Pixar Texture Pack (free game textures) : First up is this super sexy texture pack from Pixar. It’s a bunch of textures they created in 1993 so it’s probably coming up on its 22nd birthday, but even by todays standards these textures are awesome.   All 1024×1024 , tileable and they include the correct normal and specular maps for each. There is no reason not to go grab these right now.
  2. Epic Weapons design tutorial  (game asset workflow tutorial): Up next is this amazing weapons design tutorial from Epic games.  The tutorial goes over Epic’s process for building out the Shock Rifle for their new Unreal Tournament game, but the information in the post is extremely useful. Lots of things I had not even though about are fully explained from blocking out basic shapes and getting it into engine before working on details, to the importance of having multiple gun models for different views, to general workflow information that an inexperienced developer might not have.
  3. Krita (painting software): I’ve used quite a few image editors and painting tools before but I’ve recently come across Krita and I’m honestly blown away. Not only is this thing super intuitive but it makes developer art look way better than I was expecting and it’s free. I love how easy it makes painting tileable textures with its wrap around mode and I’ve lost more time to playing around with all its different brushes than I would like to admit.
  4. Bubbl.us (mind map software):  This next one is a little different because it’s not generally associated with game development but it’s been invaluable to this project.  Most of these are tools used for developing ideas you already have sorted out but sometimes you need a tool for sorting out the ideas that are in your head. Bubbl.us is perfect for that. It’s a mind map app that allows you to put stuff down on paper and then go back and organize it as you see fit. I’ve used mind map software before usually the interface expects you to have a pretty good idea of what you want to make before you make it but this one makes refactoring easy enough that you can work really free form and just jot things down.
    An actual mind map from project Zeds
    An actual mind map from project Zeds

     

     

  5. MakeHuman (free character creation software): I feel like MakeHuman is pretty well known but I’ll add it here anyway just in case. MakeHuman generates free human models to use in game. The models are fully rigged and are generated off values you set. Even if you only use the model as a starting point for your own sculpting it can save you tons of time in your character creation workflow.
  6. UE-Tools-Addon (A UE4 plugin for Blender): This one is an absolute must. Working on assets in blender intended for unreal is not easy. There are a ton of pitfalls you can accidentally hit. Whether it’s in the scale being off or the orientation being wrong. Trying to import fbx throws issues and trying to export them even more. The UE Tools Addon is an absolutely amazing collection of tools that can help you avoid those pitfalls.  If you plan on working on Unreal assets in Blender this plugin is a MUST! I wasted way too much time before i found this trying to rig and export models. This thing is awesome.

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