Over the past several months, on social media we have had multiple people try and push "shortcuts" to get City of Titans finished. For example, rather than produce a custom player character system, we had several people all strongly suggest we use Daz 3D. When we explained the issues in using such a system, some of them got rather belligerent. One even believed that we could bundle Daz 3D as part of the game itself, that it was a plug-in module for Unreal. From combat animations to city buildings, the pile of options available to game developers today is larger than ever. It is a different world today than it was in 2012. What is available for game developers is far cleaner, far more production ready. Shoot, we now have what are called Asset flippers on Steam Greenlight who take these premade kits and just dump them onto the market for a quick buck. They did not even make anything, just used these alpha play kits as/is. (Look up "Uncrowded" sometime for a great example of this)
There are Starter Kits able to bring nearly a game into an Alpha state in next to no time at all, even an Unreal based MMO. I know this because we used CodeSpartan's MMO Starter Kit for our prototyping and internal testing, to give us a known-good system to test against. It would have been trivial to use our development city map within this and call it an Alpha release.
The issue of these Asset Flippers has grown to the point that their channel of preference, Valve, is taking action against them.
Now, this is not to come down against purchased assets. We use purchased pieces ourselves, from vendors such as Polypixel, PurePolygons, Dokyo, Luos and many, many more. But we're not just rebundling them and calling it a day. They are different pieces, by different artists, so need to be adjusted to fit in. Some cases we had to cut them up, in order for our Builder tool to work with them. We added pieces to modular sets, in order to add more variety. We took the pieces, and worked with them, rather than flop them onto the ground and said "good enough."
Shoot, I've been pondering just making a list of "pieces we've used" just for other games who come along later on, so they can leverage our experience.
What do you all think?
Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider