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Should I create my own assets for levels if I make my own game?

^What title says. I’ve not been modeling or sculpting even once as I am very new to game design, but if I happened to want to make a serious, serious game to put on the market would it be a bad idea to use others assets? Now I know there is a reason for the Marketplace of course, but do you think it would matter?

Thanks in advance!

I’ve played games that were more or less entirely made using royalty free assets. I think there’s some stigma, but at the end of the day your game would be more likely to sell than it would if it was filled with programmer art.

It’s something I’m coming to terms with and having to swallow myself. I know my art wouldn’t stand the test of a “finished” product.

It definitely matters, but it also very much depends on the game type and the assets…
In level design using different materials and scaling can completely reinvent meshes
Not so easy with vehicles, weapons and characters though. so it just depends.
Space games have more latitude than open-world GTA or historical RPGs etc too.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you can cleverly tweak the assets then anything is possible.

I think it’s perfectly fine getting simple things like vegetation, rocks, street signs or random stuff to use as decoration… (so for level design, it’s alright) …but I don’t think it’s necessarily a good idea to use bought assets for things that player attention is focused on for a significant portion of time - like characters, weapons, enemies, etc. I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with using them, but if someone recognizes a “zombie model” in your game’s screenshots as the same one that’s also appeared in several other shovelware games, chances are they’re not going to want to buy your game.

I agree with Bohrium. It depends on which objects you buy and which you make yourself (or hire an artist to make specifically for you), it depends on your specific project, your art style, etc. For example, if your game has a realistic art style and you need a model of a generic real-world weapon, say an AK-47. Buying that online is perfectly fine because chances are that it would’ve looked pretty much the same if you had modelled it yourself - a realistic AK-47 is a realistic AK-47 (okay, people who’re into guns would probably tell me that that’s not the case but you get my point), there are only so many ways you can model/texture it. Same goes for realistic, generic materials like rock, wood, basic metal, etc. Especially when you’re working on a one-person project, it tends to be way more efficient to buy a lot of your materials, rather than make them yourself.

What you should create yourself is stuff that’s specific to your game. So, say you’re making a fantasy game and your main character explores the ruins of a fictional, ancient culture with its own fictional architectural style, script, etc. In that case, you wouldn’t want to use some random fantasy pack you got off the internet, you would want to make sure that these assets actually fit your world, story, etc. and the only way to do that is to make them yourself (or to have them made specifically for you). So yeah, in other words, anything that’s so generic that it wouldn’t make a big difference whether you used something pre-made or made it yourself, you can buy. Anything that’s specific or easily recognisable as an original piece of work on its own, you should probably think twice about.

Things get much more complicated if you’ve got a stylised or cartoony art style, though, because then it becomes a lot more difficult to keep your art style consistent. You need to make sure that all the assets you buy fit in with your game’s style (which is much easier with realistic games because there tend to be more realistic assets out there than stylised ones).

Thanks for your answers, it clarified some things for me :slight_smile:

I know that is true, but in my opinions is ridiculous. We need break this tendency.

Many people with big ideas have no money for custom assets.
When the same assets you can make a good games and a bad games.

Just find some artist that wants to make game similar to yours. Talk with that person, find game you both want to do, problem of assets solved.
I know it is easier said than done, like 99% of people who want to do game disappear after 2-3 weeks. So keep doing your game, do not worry about assets yet, use some default placeholders. When you have solid gameplay demo you you will have much bigger chances for finding artist that actually sticks to project. Also if you d osome great gameplay you may get epic dev grant, or kickstarter etc.