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The Devil's In The Details

Actually, the fun is in the details, at least where VR and 3D art is concerned. Getting to the fun part of developing requires some discipline, it requires laying a foundation upon which to build. "Work big to small" was the rule or saying I was taught at art school, and it hasn't failed me yet.

Much like anything creative or constructive, you can wing it, or you can plan it. Winging it does yield some interesting results, but there are plenty of reasons it's not professional, and it's not good for business. It's certainly not good for game development.

People that can make up things as they go and are successful at doing so, usually have a foundation upon which to start. Usually they have thousands and thousands of hours of mastery at their craft.

When it comes to game development, whether it's art or programming, work big to small. Nothing will slow down actual progress more than getting side tracked by details. Except perhaps the apocalypse. Regardless, it will be the apocalypse for your project if you keep getting side tracked. In game development we call it scope creep. Same thing. Same result. It's deadly.

Work big to small. You'll thank yourself when you reach the stage in your project where you can focus on the details.

A 3D art example of working big to small is zooming out. If you're modeling a car, zoom out. Ask yourself, from a bird's eye view, does this look like a car? If the answer is yes, zoom in. Again, ask yourself does it look like a car? Keep referring to that zoomed out perspective, and work inwards. Keep asking yourself, what's missing? Then when you're satisfied, zoom in. Rinse and repeat until you're under the car seat modeling the bolts that connect the seat to the floor. Don't start with those nuts and bolts until your car looks like a car from far away AND up close.

The picture for this blog is just such a moment in our current project, HAX, where I was able to make nuts and bolts, capacitors and resistors for our game. They will serve as robot blood, bits that fall off when robots get damaged. Fun right? But entirely not possible had I neglected to lay down a proper foundation.

Work big to small. You'll thank me :)


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