One of the areas I've been most concerned with, being a solo developer, has been the 3D assets.

My primary skillset lies in programming-- that's where I'm most confident. I've been programming computers since I was a small child, when my friends and I used to use a computer in games of cops and robbers. We'd pretend that the computer was a bank terminal, and I'd programmed a simple QBASIC program to make various alarm noises whenever one of us tried to "hack" it.

I've had some practice doing traditional art as a hobby, and feel quite happy with my photoshop skills, so the texture and ui side of things isn't that concerning... but 3D modeling still feels quite new to me.

Until October of last year I'd never produced a model in my life. The tools, the techniques, and a lot of the concerns involved (like mesh topology for animation) were complete unknowns when I started out, and I'm only just now feeling like I'm getting capable at things.

Species design

So, the image you see is where I'm at now. I feel like these characters are something I can be happy with.

A lot of the shapes are still pretty rough, and before I'm satisfied with them they'll need a lot of detailing work done... but I feel like they represent some of the concepts of the species I was interested in.

The next step, before really detailing these, will be getting them into the engine. If I'm very lucky (or just persistent), I'll be able to make the clothing modular, and also keep the unique stances/proportions while having them share the same set of animations.

It's taken a lot of practice to get this far. One of the things I've discovered is that, for me, developing a good technique has been almost as important as developing core modeling skills. Now if only I can figure out a good technique for modeling hard-surfaces like spaceships...

If you'd like to see what my process looks like, I've been considering doing some kind of zbrush livestream. Let me know if you're interested in the comments below, or drop me a line on twitter @JeckDev. Hope to hear from you soon!

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