If you’ve been working with the provided assets in any game editor, you’re probably getting tired of using the same old assets over and over. Maybe you can’t import anything new, so you’re just stuck with what you have. What do you do then? MacGyver it!
When it comes to working with what you have, it seems like a dead end, but this isn’t necessarily true. There are ways of creating things you don’t have out of what you do. You just have to get a bit creative, and remember that the following three methods are going to be your best friends.
Change the colors! While this sounds simple, it is an effective way to alter what you have already. It’s also a good way to set the mood for a level, especially if particular colors play a key role. By changing the colors on an asset, it becomes easier to either make stand out or blend in, whichever is desired. Remember to pay attention to lighting when adjusting colors.
When you have a lot of the same mesh in a single area, things start to look repetitive. This is where rotation comes in handy. Simple rotate the different meshes so that they are not all facing the same direction. This will give the illusion that there are more meshes than there really are. The most common use of this technique that I’ve come across is with foliage. Bushes, trees, even rocks can all start to become very repetitious without any rotation.
This is by far my favorite technique. There are so many assets just sitting there, waiting to be put to use. Think of your assets like Legos, or building blocks: there are a lot of different shapes, sizes, and colors, but they’re all meant to do one thing, and that’s to build something. Combine different assets into new objects. It may not be as nice looking as just having one asset, but it gets the job done. In one of my levels, I wanted a sailboat. While I could have just imported a free sailboat mesh, I felt they didn’t fit the theme of the level well enough, and instead opted to craft one out of the grungy assets I was already using. I’ll be posting more on that level very soon, and I used this combination technique constantly throughout, so check it out for more examples! Just remember, that as long as you get the basic idea across of the object you’re trying to create, other people are going to see it and realize what it’s supposed to be.
Got another way of mixing it up? Leave a comment with your ideas!