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Guide for doing well making stock game assets?

polycounter lvl 9
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mrlemonyfresh polycounter lvl 9
Hey all, I'm trying my hand at making stock game assets for devs to buy.

I'm trying to find good guides and articles to get me familiar with the best methods and practices for preparing and selling assets for the best revenue.

I'd appreciate tips as well.

Actually I remember a cool article somewhere that had graphs that represented the most wanted types of assets and the most common available. I don't know where that article is, but that or something like that is most likely to help!

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  • RyanB
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    RyanB Polycount Sponsor
    High fantasy RPG - lots of beginners want to make RPGs
    Retro - vectrex/8-bit/whatever
    FPS - weapons, tanks, destroyed enviro, etc.

    Remember you are selling to people who want to make games, not gamers. Gamers love sports games, but not many indies make sports games.
  • Gmanx
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    Gmanx polycounter lvl 16
    I'd suggest you're going to get most return from a modular asset pack - such as a themed enviro set.

    It's more initial work but the more flexible the end product, the wider appeal it will have.
  • mrlemonyfresh
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    mrlemonyfresh polycounter lvl 9
    Sound advice.

    I feel like in order to begin there's just one thing in particular i need to figure out.
    What is the best way to find niches that would give me an edge over more talented sellers?
    Somewhere between things that have not been made as much, and things that people want and cannot find?

    I say this because I'm relatively junior to the industry and i need every edge i can get.
  • Tobbo
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    Tobbo polycounter lvl 9
    Sound advice.

    I feel like in order to begin there's just one thing in particular i need to figure out.
    What is the best way to find niches that would give me an edge over more talented sellers?
    Somewhere between things that have not been made as much, and things that people want and cannot find?

    That is the one question every seller is trying to figure out. That's business. Try something that you think would be a big hit and see how well it does.
  • mrlemonyfresh
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    mrlemonyfresh polycounter lvl 9
    That is the one question every seller is trying to figure out. That's business. Try something that you think would be a big hit and see how well it does.

    This is a fair statement.

    After doing some research into the current trend of art in games I've decided I want to make an environment pack that uses the stylized games like 'the witness' and 'tf2'.

    I was thinking of doing a concept to get an idea of what I'll need, then working on each cluster of things one at a time. IE: rocks, then ground textures, then misc stuff etc.

    Each time i finish some, i release it on the store as a separate pack. So a rocks pack, a ground texture pack, misc pack etc, then once they are all on the store i create a parent pack which lets a person buy all of the pack at a discount and makes up a unified environment pack.

    Maybe then I create an additional pack which introduces a few variations on all the packs, like a few different pallets that work with the same environment.
    That way i have continuous motivation and income from separate packs and can still have a big end goal, and a little extra.



    What to you guys think about such a plan?
  • Gmanx
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    Gmanx polycounter lvl 16
    That's a good idea - with one caveat:

    If you're new to the business and are creating assets for a highly styled package, make sure that you can maintain consistency in look and design from the first piece to the last.

    If that's doubtful - I'd be tempted to create the whole set at once. Maybe produce a few separate unrelated items first, or something that could complement the set - if you want to get something on sale quicker.

    The main thing to think about is reputation. You want the stuff you produce to be the very best you can achieve and, if you're just starting out - there's unavoidably going to be improvement as you go.

    There's nothing wrong with that - it can often be encouraging to see in a body of work. Just be aware of it.

    Anyway - have at it, do your best and you'll be fine.
  • Equanim
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    Equanim polycounter lvl 6
    Make sure your assets are presented well. If you're selling them on an engine marketplace, get your screenshots from that engine. Look at how the top selling assets are presented. You want to tell buyers, "These weren't just thrown together by a hobbyest, they were crafted by a professional."
  • RyanB
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    RyanB Polycount Sponsor
    You will also learn a lot from the questions you get from customers.

    The number one question I get is "How do I...". I sell mostly particle assets (currently) and it is surprising how many people have no idea of how to instantiate, trigger or use events to spawn particles in their scenes.

    What I would do differently now is create a full demo scene for every package. That means a character in an environment triggering each effect. Most of the better-selling packages now include a demo scene.

    I've also learned a lot from analytics and observations of customers words vs. actions. Things like icon design, Youtube video length, what people say on forums, what type of people type stuff on forums (it's mostly just typing), what forums are worth spending time on and dozens of other small things. Once you start selling lots of assets, you should have lots of data and you can see where you are getting value for your time spent. All of this information is usable when I make my next big push on making assets.
  • Eric Chadwick
  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    I have some experience in this, It might not defer much from what anyone else has said, but just add it to the pile hehe.

    try to think of something new that indie game maker people usually like to create, steam punk? horror games? etc and find something in there that you could do well and there is little of, scripts, rigged character with animations, plugins etc will always sell best, when it comes to environments, a whole environment pack with modular parts and items is the easiest sell, and if you want to make money and still make environments thats usually what you should go for.

    for me I don't really have the time or patience so I went with materials and textures mostly, which worked out well for me.
  • mrlemonyfresh
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    mrlemonyfresh polycounter lvl 9
    This is really good feedback folks, it's well received.

    @Eric Chadwick

    I can't believe i forgot to check the wiki.. still I'm glad i was able to serve as an example, being linked there :)

    @RyanB

    Yeah, on receiving feedback, I'm thinking i'd get one of my friends to use my assets in their project for free and let me know what they think. That way i figure i'll avoid making any severally embarrassing mistakes. You know, the ones that make you go 'Screw this, i'm playing tf2'.

    @Jonas Ronnegard

    I was thinking about making a texture pack with this project. Maybe I should release to ground materials first?
  • levigilbert
    You can check the Unity asset forums to see what people are saying. Don't expect that since 1 person is begging someone to make jellyfish guns you're going to go gangbusters on your jellyfish gun asset pack.

    I'm guessing a lot of it is trial and error, test stuff out, figure out how best to present it and play with pricing.

    Possibly do a free guide with your assets to show how to use them.
  • DireWolf
    I'm a gamer and I prefer RPG xD
  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    as Gilbert mentioned about guides and such, it's very important to keep stuff easy to understand and around the same quality standard, I made the mistake in the beginning of just throwing stuff out there, which sank my total score a bit, not good.
  • mrlemonyfresh
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    mrlemonyfresh polycounter lvl 9
    So this is what I've modeled got so far..

    upload_24_8_2015_at_13_26_08.png

    If you were making a game level with a existing assets would this seem like a pretty comprehensive variety of rocks to work with?
    Once this is done I'll figure out what the surface is going to be like.

    I think for the shader I'd like to have crumbly rock in the occluded areas and plantlike projected down onto flat surfaces but I imagine I'll need to get help from a programmer for that..

    In addition to these props I'm going to have maybe 2-3 ground textures included, so that a person can get started making a level if they bought this pack alone.

    I've worked at a studio before but most of the time my boss would just be like 'this is what we need next' and they'd put it together in the game. So i don't really have a solid idea of what would make up a good kit of nature props for a level.
  • Chimp
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    Chimp interpolator
    What I want from stock asset authors:

    1. One of the biggest things people don't think much about is colour. Every project has a different pallette, so don't force yours on everyone else. Provide your albedo as a PSD with your colouration on separate layers.

    2. Provide high-poly model if possible to allow for re-baking, reuving, etc our end.


    3. Please respect convention. I hate downloading an asset to find jpeg textures and 2000x2000 textures.

    4. Decide on a look, whatever it is, and do a year's worth of assets in that style. Nothing makes me want to pick up my wallet if there's a wide range of high quality, editable content.

    Apart from that, the obvious stuff is to ensure you adhere to the standards of the industry. Provide textures for both major PBS inputs (metallic, spec) as well as a bunch of useful maps like convexity etc.

    Ultimately give me lots of consistent, editable work. Remember your job isn't to stand out in games, its to blend in. You don't do hero assets, you do everything else -- let us blend it in ourselves, edit it to make it fit our work, don't put barriers in front of that. Provide source and be consistent :)
  • RyanB
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    RyanB Polycount Sponsor
    I've worked at a studio before but most of the time my boss would just be like 'this is what we need next' and they'd put it together in the game. So i don't really have a solid idea of what would make up a good kit of nature props for a level.

    Look at the top ten grossing (not paid) in each section and copy those. Look at how many assets, what formats, etc.

    Current #1 has:
    - 9 types of stones
    - 1 tilable stone texture
    - 8 fully editable trees and bushes
    - 12 textures of grass
    - 11 ground textures
    - 2 particle presets (falling leaves and ember)
    - 2 2D mountains for backgrounds

    Includes demo and tutorial, very important! #1 request is "how do I...".

    Your market is noobs, not pros. There aren't enough real pros to buy assets in large volume. If you help them, they will buy more. Give them tutorials and demos.

    * Paid is how many sold.
    Grossing is how much money was made.
    You want the most money, not the most sales.
  • mrlemonyfresh
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    mrlemonyfresh polycounter lvl 9
    Good feedback guys..

    Ryan, really nice points.

    I actually found a pack that was very similar to what I'm doing in a lot of ways.

    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/12165

    This guy did pretty well... maybe I can try to aim for the same quality.
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