This post is going to address a serious concern with creating games in a team. Maintaining coherence between a large volume of people is key to crafting visual flow.
It’s crucial to have an Art Bible, Programming Bible, or whatever other highly regarded reference you’d like. Each artist and programmer has a unique workflow, naming conventions, etc. Without a solidified method of content production, miscommunication is inevitable.
Let me give you an example. Say an artist does not rename any of their objects and forgets to freeze transformations/delete history. When that is imported into Unity, the people working in engine are faced with a mess of pCube1’s and 2’s as well as a slew of other problems. If another artist also forgets to rename all of their pCube1’s and 2’s, and those assets are imported into Unity, they will overwrite everything the previous artist has done. See the importance of naming conventions? Naming conventions/comments are also important among programmers in order to improve legibility and reduce time wasted trying to interpret other programmers’ code.
Not only is the Art Bible important for the asset pipeline, it’s also important for the artists to understand the color palette and style at a quick glance. This document is meant to be a reference and is best to have open at all times. Have an art question? Check the Art Bible, it should be addressed in there.
For anyone looking to get started on a reference document, here are the areas we covered in ours:
- Color Palette concepts plus reference photos
- Environment scale
- Architectural proportions (door sizes, etc.)
- Object modeling and texture standards
- Time period references
- Commonly used material references
- Other art/movie/game references
- Technical guidelines for exporting
- Technical guidelines for naming
- Modeling Pipeline, tips, and standards
Huge shoutout to William Falk for putting the Art Reference together. I’m confident to say that confusion has been lessened among the artists because of this document.
‘Til next time.
Part artist, part programmer