Is there a way to create characters from scratch?

I have several ides for unique and original characters, I would like to start building my own game from the ground up but I want to start with the main characters of course. What is the best way to go about this process?

Hello RevyTwoHands327,

First of all thank you for posting this question here. I assume because you are posting this question here that you are eventually going to develop with the UE4 engine.


In order to answer this issue I will have to start at this questions most basic level. Developing video games can be handled in many different ways. The first question that is typically asked is what kind of game am I trying to make. Will it be a FPS/Top Down/2D side scroller? After the initial thought process of the type of game you will be making you can start to think about what kind of systems will be implemented. What are the key mechanics that will drive the combat/play of the character/ enemy attacks/ etc. At this step you will need to decide, based off of the mechanics, how to make your characters. If you need your character for something like mario where his actions are limited to running and jumping and attacks by bouncing off of an enemies head then the creation of this character will not be all that complex. What I mean by that is you do not need him to crouch down, bend over, sling a gun over his shoulder, or do other actions that require a fair amount of planning and execution.


Now that you have the initial design stages hashed out it’s time to actually create your character. There are a number of ways to do this, and again it is based of of the style of game and what you need your character to actually do. If it is a 3D game that requires the creation of medium to high end characters and rigs I highly recommend either Autodesk: Maya or 3DS Max. Both are made by Autodesk and are are free for students. If you are on a budget you can look into Blender. Each of these come with their own pro’s and cons. You can look into each and decide what will work best for you. Blender has it’s own set of rules for creation and exporting out of that particular program while Max and Maya probably have the largest learning curve. If you want to create a 2D game then you will need an image manipulation software and then look into Unreal’s documentation regarding how to set up sprite sheets, how to create Paper 2D games inside of UE4, and the workflow that designing that style of game involves.


After the first stages of game design are done you will need to start researching the development inside of UE4 itself. With all software there are limitations and workflows that will help boost performance. Along with that there are how to handle certain systems like your heads up display, gravity, health and damage, and a number of other things that can be handled through code and visual scripting. These are done typically at the end of the game development pipeline and should be implemented only after all of your other components of your game are in place. In other words your .fbx imports correctly, your textures render correctly, there aren’t any major issues that causes UE4 to crash that are directly involved with your assets.


After all of these steps have been taking comes the the important troubleshooting stage of the gaming pipeline. Things like can I jump outside of my map, are there any major game component issues that cause my game to break, what is my framerate, can I package this game out of UE4 and so on.


To summarize the gaming pipeline is all about planning and making sure that along the way things do not break and you don’t lose sight of your goals when creating a game. IE you don’t move on to the next development step before you are sure that the step you are on is complete and there are no issues. I will link you to several sights that deal with the planning of video games and this should give you a generalized idea of how to begin.

There is a series on YouTube called Extra Credit. The title is Making your first game that is very motivational and will address some of the pitfalls of the gaming pipeline.

I hope this was informative and I wish you the best of luck when developing your game.


I already have my GDD in place as well as my character concepts, I’m currently going for my BA in game design and am aware of how to brainstorm into making my character, I’m literally just asking, "What buttons do I push to make this cylinder turn into a torso, and this NURB needs to look like a face, how do I do that? I want her to have “stand idle” functions incorporated in the if statements, how do I sync the if statement for the stand idle with the clock? How do I sculpt her into existence basically, Stuff like that. Are there any reference points or chapters I can look up here that would introduce me into how to literally “build” my character?

I probably should have been more specific in my question, after re reading it I gave no indication that I already knew what I wanted to make, just didn’t know how to sculpt her.

This is a fairly good tutorial on how to sculpt/build a female body in MAYA. There is not magic button that just creates a character and it involves a great amount of work and understanding of the human body. This should get you started however.

From there you can look into rigging and binding the joints.
Good luck with your degree. You may also look into an account with digital tutors. I personally used this site when going for my BFA.


The thing is I have looked at several Youtube tutorials, they are all rushed and sped up, I was hoping for something well guided and more step by step based. I do appreciate the help, but I’m still just right back where I was in the beginning… Sorry if this is disheartening or in any sort a let down.

So, you will need a subscription to access many of the wonderful tutorials that this site has to offer. However, these tutorials are made by professionals for the sake of learning and breaking down to the very basic levels. This teaches everything from beginner to advance level and I believe would benefit you the most.

Again, I used this when going for my BFA and has been a go to for myself. At this time I will be closing this issue. You will need to search around for a solution that works for you. Since this issue is not UE4 specific and more of a gaming pipeline question I cannot comment further. If you are having difficulty with your character such as Animation, Importing, or other issues along that thought process in UE4. Please open a new thread with a detailed description of the issue you are experiencing and any information that could help us better answer your question.