Character Creation & Customization System

Hi everyone,

I have seen a few posts here and there about interest in character customization / creation.

I have solved all the necessary steps towards making a complete system that deals with clothing, color changes, customized proportions, and so forth. I’m in the process of making a stand-alone package that encompasses everything I’ve put together from scratch (for cleanliness and readability) as well as full documentation & how to’s.

Hopefully, over the next 24-48 hours it will be in a state of near-completion and I can post up a lot of the images of what I’m working on, but currently as I’m restarting it’s all in bits and pieces :slight_smile:

Included:

  • A working example
  • Maya scripts for automating the setup for clothing and so forth & potentially Blender scripts also
  • Full documentation & tutorial on how to use the system and get it working for your game
  • A 3D character with animations for use in the example
  • A UI to show the capabilities that you can update with your own art or use as-is
  • Created fully with blueprints - you wont need to code

How it will work
The system will require setup inside of your 3D package for it, how much depends on how much you need it to do. Initially there will be scripts for Maya and likely for Blender but I can consider supporting other products if they support FBX and Python, however I would have to learn that package sufficiently so there will need to be good demand.

Currently it uses a Character Creation screen to generate all the data to store about the character - such as what items (armor, clothes, weapon) to start with, colors for items and/or skin color, eye color and so forth, and lets you sculpt your character based on the criteria built by the artist. It is possible to have completely different looking characters generated from a single mesh.

The Player will select a base character, and proceed to choose the size of the belly, chest, weight, head shape, jaw size, nose size, and anything you wish to implement. Then the player can select what items to start with and their colors of the items/character.

What I’d like to know from the community

  • How much would you expect to pay for this system?
  • What features would you like to see in this system?

Please share your thoughts :slight_smile:

So you’re using a single mesh? interesting…

Can’t wait to see th results! about the price…well, if it feature all the things you just said I would easily go up to 100$, but I guess that 80$ would also be quite affordable for what it can do

Well, I guess I’ll better start make improvement on my character customization tool as well :slight_smile:

From what you’ve described, it would have to depend on flexibility and ability to modify. The more flexibility and modularity and basic ease of use, the better. And the higher you can push the cost imo. I’d recon Nicolas is in the right ballpark. 80 to 100 would be an acceptable price for a basic character editor package.

You’ll get a lot of interest from the Blender community if you implement a python version - Blender already supports fbx and Maya is often outside their budgets.

From a personal standpoint, I’d love to see something that is as deep as the Eve Online character creator, or even a step further, the Black Desert one. Both of which use a base archetype to tweak from with a lot of flexibility available for types (Eve online uses racial distinctions, Black Desert uses class distinctions). Allowing for asymmetry would also be an awesome feature as not all humans are created equal. :stuck_out_tongue:

For 3D characters and animations, you’re better off making sure that it’s compatible with the UE4 basic rig, as I’ve got a feeling people will be using the prefab animations a lot.

An explanation of processes for coders would be awesome later on, as some people like to avoid blueprint and do it straight in code. :wink:

Looking forward to seeing what you have!

Thank you both for your response :slight_smile:

I was under the impression Blender had issues with FBX due to open source licensing or something. If I can support Blender I definitely will, once the package is working for Maya I will work on Blender support.

The system I have in mind could probably be as complex as you need. There’s a lot of stuff in the tutorial / step by step I’m writing that will tell you most of what you need to know to set it up. There’s no reason it can’t support asymmetry however the example doesn’t have any - again the step by step should show you what you need to know.

When I started making this last night I created a basic character with a few items / shapes to show the process. That was the character I intended to ship with it. For my own game I have a much more complex one but in hindsight perhaps I should just use the one from my game because it shows a lot more of the system’s potential. I will re-rig the character to be compatible with UE4 rig animations.

I have seen the Black Desert creator, and I can see how the majority of it was done. I can build towards a similar result but the initial release will have less features. Initially I planned to make the back end for the system, but if I can deliver a package where you just replace my UI with your UI - then hey, why not?

I shall also do my best to help coders implement this - possibly a separate document of how things work under the hood once the art assets are in UE4.

Cheers! Back to working on this :slight_smile:

Blender did have some pretty annoying issues with fbx around the time when ue4 was released, but, as with most open source projects, the sudden availability of awesome tools seems to have galvanised the community into pushing a whole bunch of fbx patches through and now Blender exports to 7x versions of fbx. which are compatible with ue4’s current fbx version.

In terms of sales. If your example work that people can use right off the bat is amazing and eye catching, you’ll make more sales. Sadly, people are swayed by such things no matter how much they say they’re not superficial. So if your example scene is all pepped up on shaders and explosions and bikinis you’re golden. :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s great to hear. I will do my best to support Blender and was hoping to find a way even prior to posting this, so this is good news.

As for your later point, nail on the head! - but come to think of it, if I include an appealing character - and why not, I was a 3D artist before I was a programmer - more people will be interested in buying it.

I suppose I will push this back a couple more days, it’d be worth if it people get a better result from it. I will post my updates when they happen.

Currently I am developing the Maya scripts for automating the setup needed. I am nearing the end :slight_smile:

Hi Viilqi,

Sounds Nice. You could probably set up a Thread Poll with different price options to get a survey on what the community will pay. I personally feel the ca$h cow for such Character Systems is in the Clothing/Armor, Accessory, other Attachment Assets supplied for them. Taking in consideration the Free 2 Play Model, these are the same items Players are willing to pay for to personalize their Characters in-game. I’m approaching sales licensing terms for such assets with that method of distribution in mind.

I’m interested in features that support Character Prefabrication and Network Replication. MMO Devs need such a system for Player Customization. Open World Devs need to auto-generate characters to fill-in the City with life. I’m using such a system in my single player RPG to populate the world with Characters for the narrative. I would anticipate the system to have means to save and distribute character configurations over a network.

Hi guys,

Quick update so you know this is still alive and kicking. Wish I had a bit more time to invest :slight_smile:

I have completed the first version of the Maya script & interface, and am modelling the character to be included then some items for it. Will post up a screenshot once the modelling and texturing are both done. Am thinking about a second character so one of each gender.

Following the creation of the character the next step is to setup the interface and blueprints in UE4. Getting there!

Hi there,

We’re in agreement about the cash potential in selling cosmetics in games, and nowadays it is my favorite business model (say no to pay2win :slight_smile: ) - even if someone doesn’t buy anything their friends may, and having more people around keeps the game alive and kicking.

Everything I make in one way or another has a strong multiplayer component which is what spurred the thought to make this system. I have plans sitting in my head to make a full NPC generation system as well - it will probably also make the initial release and be a part of the package not a separate purchase - and really, it’d be incredibly simple after all the work for the player creation is done. Once you boil everything down to the core, there is just a bunch of variables (and not a whole lot of them either) that need to be stored away on the database for saving and distributing over the network.

So the answer is ‘yes’, this will definitely be as network / MMO friendly as I can make it.

Cheers for taking the time to respond :slight_smile:

Blender is my 3D Package of choice (and I’m a 3D Modeling novice), and the requirement for Maya is an issue for me (it always has been working with UDK & UE4). I would like to know more detail as to why this is required. I would expect the tool to be* turn-key *once I add it to my project.

There are scripts that automate all of the setup inside of Maya which is for taking care of the clothing etc.

I should really edit the OP and make things clearer, the earlier discussion pertained to Blender actually - it’s very likely these scripts will also have Blender versions when I learn the software. I was under the impression Blender still had FBX issues but I’ve been told those are resolved now.

I don’t know what you mean by turn-key in that context.

Hello friend, you complete this project? I have interest in acquiring it, at least the part where it is possible to customize the shirt!