We all love gorgeous landscapes, characters, animation and mechanics!
For us one of the benefits of working in 3D and Architectural Visualisation(ArchViz) for over 20 years is that much of the experienced gained can be transferred into creating beautiful scenes and experiences in Instinction. Particularly organic models like plants, we've had to create countless plant models to satisfy a particular clients landscaping needs and in doing so we've had to create models that were simply not available on any online repository or marketplace. For those who don't yet know, we started our ArchViz business in New Zealand 5 years ago and that business funds the creation of Instinction, and we have now combined both our ArchViz and game development under one umbrella, Hashbane Interactive.
When it comes to ArchViz it is common practice to recognise bought models in renders created by other studios, that is because ArchViz is commercial art and it does not often make sense to recreate 3D models that you can simply purchase and utilise, it's not only common practice in the industry but also an acceptable practice too.
When deadlines are looming and budgets are tight it is undoubtedly the smartest approach! Why would an ArchViz team spends weeks modelling assets that are generic, particularly with plants, furniture etc. That effort could instead be spent making content that has real value somewhere else in the scene and/or animations.
This approach is viewed vastly differently in game development and is sometimes incorrectly viewed as nothing more than an asset-flip, which we will discuss in more detail below.
“Everyone that contributed to the creation of Instinction, whether in-house or bought, game art or game logic, everyone, even those whose content won't be used in the final game will get listed in the game credits”
We've completed hundreds of projects in ArchViz all over the world, Canada, Papau New Guinea, South Africa, United Kingdom, commercial and residential, from airports and museums to hotels and schools, we could go on, but most of our clients have been in Australia and New Zealand and these two countries fall into the Oceania region. This region has very unique native plants, which we simply were never able to find quality 3D models for, so we started making them in-house, and eventually started selling some of the older ones on CGTrader, 3Dsky and CGmood marketplaces.
How flattering was it for us to then see some of our competitors using our plants in their renders and to this day they still use our content, and use it they may, we couldn't be happier!
In fact we continue to give away some of our models for free, this includes photogrammetry models, HDRIs and photography, and furniture models, some can be found on the aforementioned sites and also Evermotion.
We're transferring this asset creation experience into creating wholly unique models for Instinction that will not be found anywhere else. While in early development we chose to partially populate our scenes with some owned and bought assets, the final release of Instinction will mostly contain our own models and outsourced assets where needed. We'll reveal some of the new assets in future posts.
In early production we are leveraging a combination of built-in-house models, outsourced work and purchased assets, it helps us move through development faster and smarter. We also take great pride in paying for incredibly well-made assets and contributing to the creators that took the time and put the love in to make them, we thank you greatly!
Everyone that contributed to the creation of Instinction, whether in-house or bought, game art or game logic, everyone, even those whose content won't be used in the final game will get listed in the game credits as a thank you for their contribution to making Instinction a reality. We strongly believe in paying our dues and offering a united front in developing this game.
We continue to reach out to every content creator whose work we have used, even in our early work-in-progress tests to let them know their assets have been used and that they will receive full credit in the final release.
Not everyone that contributed is a content creator, we've also reached out to and been approached by industry professionals, from Weapons Experts to PhD Palaeontologists, all credit will be given to those too, except where they choose not to be named.
A Raging Controversy
Use of bought assets is used by virtually every major studio and the slander surrounding it is not new disinformation, but is often used by the misinformed to conveniently label and even by competitors to launch smear-campaigns against what they perceive to be their rivals. Now of course there are two sides to this and some dodgy studios try to quickly line their pockets by selling rubbish or even incomplete games using easily accessible assets. Unfortunately even well meaning studios feel the brunt of a very much misunderstood label and the stigma is forever more within the industry.
Even the likes of PUBG, Getting Over It and Flappy Bird to name a few had to defend themselves against this manufactured cancer within the industry.
We've linked some articles below to read more about it, notable excerpts include:
"Making wholly original video game assets such as 3D models is a time-consuming and expensive practice that even big game development companies can’t always swing. As such, many developers end up outsourcing work to other countries, or sometimes purchase assets from online stores; the two biggest game engines, Unreal and Unity, both offer popular asset stores. It’s an extremely common practice used by countless game developers, which is part of why video game credits are often so long. Despite the reputation created by some of Steam’s terrible games, using premade assets is not inherently a bad thing. In most cases, these assets simply help developers focus their talents on what actually matters." - Patricia Hernandez - TheVerge.com
"The first thing to understand is that if you’re just starting up a team, you’ve got to lean on asset store work because that’s the only way you can spin up a game fast, and for a reasonable price, to quickly find the fun. Hiring an art team of 40 people to “try a game” and “see if it’s fun” is simply not a smart way to work — this is what the asset store is for! It’s a great resource for teams that want to work smart." - Brendan Greene - PUBG
“For me, a game can be ‘high quality’ on the strength of its ideas, its music, its rule design, its gamefeel, its use of color, or its writing, even if every other element of the game is minimal or slapdash” - Bennett Foddy - QWOP and Getting Over It
In a future development blog we will discuss internal goals, our roadmap and milestones. Stay tuned for others too.