As you might know from a previous post, I am very much interested in combining the concepts “art asset” and “JMonkey”. I proposed some community game project, but others have rightfully pointed out there are some flaws in this idea. The main flaw is that people usually just want to make their own game (i.e., their own story, assets, gameplay, …). I completely understand.
I have been thinking some more though, and would like to share my ideas.
First, a very realistic question: would anyone be interested in having some art assets designed, modelled, exported, … by another person? I could help, at least if I like your asset proposals (something with characters).
My next ideas gravitate (again) slightly towards an idealism . But read on! My ideas are based on a few assumptions, that I hope are valid. First, I am making the important assumption that there are “artistic programmers” and “programming artists” on this forum. Of course, it goes without saying you are all in the first category :). Check. These categories are also not necessarily mutually exclusive. Indeed, I am sure there are programming artists out here (there is at least one).
The second assumption I am making, is that there are people here that are good at programming, have great game ideas, but do not have the time to make the assets. So, how do they get the assets then? Blendswap, Turbosquid, to name a few. This could work, but sometimes some additional time is needed to tweak these assets, add animations, and to export them. It might be nice if such programmers could post an idea for an asset (e.g., a character or prop description), and some interested artist picks up the idea, designs, models, exports, … and you have a finished asset. The obvious advantage would be that the programmer-guy has his assets, based on his idea (or enriched by ideas of the artist). To suppress objections from the legal department, I henceforth assume the artist uses a “creative commons” license (we are mostly hobbyists anyway, right? :))
There is a win-win situation here. Indeed, the artist can enjoy picking up an open assignment and using this as a guideline. I personally believe this gives a sense of purpose, and stimulates creative thinking (two things an artist likes). The artist can try to make the assets really nice. Moreover, once completed, the asset can be put up on display for others in the community to use, not just the programmer suggesting the idea.
Two important things to note: (1) the programmer is free to post ideas and choose among existing assets, and (2) the artist is free to choose among posted ideas (or propose his own). There is no real commitment or slavery required from either side, because it is a win-win situation. And no time constraints are imposed either. This arrangement makes sure both parties have their own creative control, so it forms a flexible network among creative people. Sure, “bad” asset ideas don’t get executed, and “bad” assets don’t get used. This stimulates people to submit good ideas, and create nice assets. It also helps in improving the asset pipeline.
Would anyone be interested in this? Let me hear!
Note, no changes to the JMonkey website infrastructure are required: we can initially just use forum posts (and links to files, images, …).
I look forward to your feedback. I am sure this idea is at least slightly more realistic than my previous idea.