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Apocalyptic Characters (Asset Store) - Creative Discussion

Hey everyone, not sure if this is the proper place to post about this, but DarkSoe contacted me about some characters he was interested in having me produce as purchasable assets on the asset store (Unreal, Unity). You can see my freelance artist post at https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?25644-LFW-PAID-Stephan-Messier-Character-and-Production-Artist; I’ve been interested in creating more assets for purchase since I started freelancing, but I haven’t wanted to produce assets without a purpose.

It occurred to me last night that there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to actively participate in the production of, or customize the assets you purchase. The problem seems to be that though you’re purchasing some decent characters for cheap, they’re the same asset the other guy or gal is using, and it’ll never be as good or as customized as contracted characters. How do you make your game stand out? There seem to be a lot of smaller or singular devs with minimal budgets on the forums, and while guys like CheapModeler are filling those gaps in service, I feel like there could be a more systemic solution to this problem (if it’s even a problem).

The big picture solution would essentially crowdsource asset development, democratically pulling feedback and design choices directly from the people purchasing the assets and intelligently curating content. It’s about creating content fundamentally produced to meet community needs. I feel this is the biggest gap in the production community right now, and while there are amazing tools and assets at our disposal, there’s a separation of developer and content that just doesn’t need to be there. I feel like there’s a possibility to help make some fundamental changes to the way we produce content, so please let me know if this is good idea, or a bad one.

So in conjunction with describing these potential character assets I’d be producing (with the interest from DarkSoe) I want to discuss the asset store situation (Unreal, Unity, TurboSquid) and learn more about everyone’s experience, what they like about it, what they don’t like, and what they’d like to see more of. If possible, everyone should post a bit about each subject and not just about singular things/complaints (I’m not interested in discussing asset pricing for instance).


The characters DarkSoe pitched to me are Last of Us inspired, survival/apocalypse characters, 2 human variants and 2 zombie variants. There are a lot of zombie apocalypse characters on the market, and while I’ve been interested in producing a few just as general portfolio pieces, if there’s a way to set them apart as assets why not produce them to that end? What would get you interested in purchasing this set of characters? What’s going to get you amped about them? The production quality? The design? The features (rigged, retargeted, full engine integration)? Customizability? Complete texture PSDs with layers/groups? Full outfit customization? Weapons? Let me know what you all think.

I may be completely wrong about all assumptions I’ve made, so please let me know if that’s the case. I’m interested in providing as good a service as I possibly can as a freelance artist, and if there’s a way to improve the indie development experience I want to hit it hard. So give me some feedback in this thread, or shoot me some emails and we can discuss it personally.

Thank you for spending the time to read this. I appreciate it.

(Here’s some recent characters I created for reference)