3D models for a new game

Hi everyone
I've just started working on a new game, and I'm busy with the planning / budgeting stage.
So one area of the game I'm not sure about is some of the 3D models. I can do the programming, and I have others who can help me there. I have 2D and conceptual artists for those assets, but I don't have anyone for 3D models.
Basically I want to weigh up what it would cost me to see if it is viable. I plan on using UE for development, although I don't think that would impact the work of the artists making the 3D models.

I know the cost highly varies depending on what you want, but I was wondering if anyone could give me a ballpark estimate what it would cost for a model.
I'm no artists, but what I think I need:
-It is a PC game, so not low poly count models. I'm guessing like 6-10Ktris
-Fully rigged with 10 or so animations (walking, attacking, dying etc)

I was looking around on the asset store, and found this:
That is pretty close to what I want (and I might consider taking it as one of my options). I probably don't need something quite as good, but I want to get it as good as I can afford.
The creatures needs to be non earth-like.

So after all that, what I'm really asking is
-What will a model like that cost me on average (for an original design)?
-Is there even anyone on these forums that have the capacity to do these (lets say 5)?-
-would it just be easier / cheaper for me to buy something like the pack above?
-I've also considered dropping the 3D model thing and just using my 2D artists and make a 2.5D game instead (think don't starve).
-Any other suggestions? Let's pretend that learning 3D modeling for me or my team is not an option.


  • edited
    I'm a little biased, being an artist, but I think there's a pretty big difference between buying developer tools and buying art off of these marketplaces. Developer tools can be used across multiple projects without players ever seeing what tools you used. They're (generally) not front-facing, the way that art is. Art direction affects the quality of your screenshots, capture footage, marketing and various other bits of hype. An art direction that is so generic that an asset store asset could plug into it is likely not to be innovative, and unlikely to stand out in the ocean of games out there. That said, maybe art isn't the thing that makes your game stand out anyway, and it'd be better to spend your resources on the bits that are innovative to raise them to the level of truly outstanding so that they can carry the generic art.

    If you already have 2D artists, and they do good work, I'd be hesitant to switch to making 3D games unless there was a really good reason for it. I'd consider working within the team/constraints that are available to me.

    As to how much it'd cost, as you say, it's highly variable, and depends very heavily on the game's art direction and the detail that an asset is visible at in the game screen -- not just in terms of number of triangles, but also the texture resolution (a higher resolution texture needs more detail in the sculpt; maybe you want the higher detail sculpt anyway for marketing or cutscenes or something) and animation complexity (more bones to rig and animate).

    I no longer freelance, and I don't want to screw over other people who might want to take this on, so I'd rather not throw out numbers, but 5 aliens, rigged and animated individually, with ~10 animations each, is months of work (i.e. orders of magnitude more expensive than an asset store asset).
  • Great. Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty blind when it comes to art, and I'm not afraid to admit it. I wouldn't even be able to tell you what I like about something I like. So it helps to get opinions of actual artists about these things.

    That being said, I know this and that is why when I think about making a game I tend to think more in gameplay mechanics than art style. So the game will not be aiming to be unique through art style, but rather gameplay. But your points are very valid and I will definitely keep them in mind.
    So it brings me back to the 2.5 aspect. That is very much doable with the artists I know (at least I think so). I'm pretty sure I can start the game as a 3D project, fix the camera angle and have billboard style assets. At least to get a prototype out and get some feedback.

    Thanks again.
    Thanked by 1Elyaradine
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