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Game Developer Question: Creating Your Own Content vs Outsourcing

So looking around everywhere, there are sites that sell various things for your game creation, but I wondered how many developers/studios actually use those outlets as opposed to creating them themselves? There are a lot of aspects in which I’m either not familiar with or am not very experienced with, such as texture creation, effects etc. There’s things such as SpeedTree and places such as GameTextures.com and I just wanted to know: is there any downside to using these external resources compared to creating them yourself?

I don’t have a problem modeling things but I haven’t strengthened other areas such above, texturing/effects, and along those lines. If I look at Indie to AAA games, I wonder which ones use these methods and which ones create everything from scratch. Basically my question is: is there any downside to outsourcing a lot of content? Because I don’t have any experience in shipping full games, I tend to worry about things such as “lack of originality” or “lack of ability” and things of that nature and it causes me to want to try and do everything myself. Sadly that turns into taking a long time on one thing and wondering if I should just outsource the areas in which I lack. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

That’s not really outsourcing, many people use resources like that. Like with Speedtree, it’s going to be at a high quality and cheaper than doing it yourself.

As for real outsourcing, where you pay a studio in like China or India to make your content, probably most AAA studios do that, the only issue is that the results might not be as high quality as you might want.

A very large amount of companies, both indie and large, outsource their assets simply because it’s faster. Using applications to create your assets is, as darthviper said, different. As for downsides, the main issue is control. If you have the skills, doing it yourself is always the better choice because you can ensure you end up with a perfectly optimized asset that fits your exact needs and is of the quality and style you are aiming for.

Originality should be more of a design thing. I would always recommend to do it yourself if you know how, and don’t worry how long it takes you. But that’s just the way I grew up with making projects. It does take a very long time.

Ah, I guess I had the wrong word in my head. Well yes, it’s much easier to use the 3rd party content when you aren’t able to make it yourself. My main question was whether or not there was a downside or if it’s in any way looked down upon when using those methods, or if it simply doesn’t matter.

EDIT - As I’m currently learning alone, a lot of things are beyond my knowledge. Most of the time I don’t mind attempting to do it myself, but there are always times when I wonder if it would be wiser to just purchase what I’m after. Either way, I’m glad to see it’s not a big deal to deal with external content in this way.

It would be more looked down upon if your end product didn’t really fit together. A large amount of games using third party assets don’t bother to ensure that they fit together, so you end up with varying art styles, texture sizes, poly counts, etc. and it gets really messy in a hurry. If you take the time to ensure it all fits together and sings, it shouldn’t really matter in the end.

I’m relieved to see that all that really matters is the end product and how you use what you have. Thanks for responding quickly and helpfully!

It’s a good opportunity to familiarize yourself with the various aspects of content creation even if your endgoal is to largely use third party assets. Treat every opportunity as a learning experience.