New at Game Design...

Hi there.
I’m a designer and I work with Cinema 4D, mostly static modeling (not much rigging and animation).
I’m also an avid PC game player - as such, I’ve developed the natural curiosity of the game design process itself and I’ve been trying to understand how the whole process works.
After some investigation, I’ve found myself interested in Unreal Engine.
As I browsed the net, I found this article - Software for Game Environment Artist - with all the hypothetical stages of game development:

  1. Concept Art and Visual Development
  2. Modeling
  3. Sculpting
  4. Retopology
  5. Normal Maps and Baking
  6. Texturing
  7. UV Unwrapping
  8. Terrain Generation Tools
  9. Rendering Your Modeled Assets (Game Engines)
  10. Video Recording and Showcasing Your Work

What do you think? Do you agree with this list? Is there anything missing or too many stages perhaps? The ones new to me are steps “4. Retopology” and “5. Normal Maps and Baking”. What about “7. UV Unwrapping”, can’t I do this in my modeling program - do I need specific software for it? About “3. Sculpting”, its main objective is to have in-game high-res cinematics, right?
Sorry for any newbie questions… I’m really new to 3d game design.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this - any feedback is appreciated.


You would want UV Mapping before doing normal maps/baking/texturing, since you have to have your UV’s made to do that.

Not everything needs sculpting, for games what it is used for is to create normal maps. For instance with a character you can sculpt face details and render to a normal map, which would allow you to have those details on a low-polygon mesh.
Game engines these days also have the option to use displacement maps, where the mesh gets subdivided and then the displacement map can actually push the vertices, like for things like rocks. It’s different from normal maps in that it actually changes the mesh whereas normal maps give the illusion of detail. Sculpting is done quite often for games, so it’s not just for high quality cinematics.
For environments though, you don’t necessarily have to sculpt a mesh to create normal maps, there’s tools to create a normal map from a texture map, along with tools that allow you to basically draw a normal map without having to do the modeling, which can be faster.