Game Development Reference
Quick Standard Assets
You're a student. One day you wake up and your room looks different. You can't quite put
your finger on why. It just looks wrong, somehow, well… bigger. You roll over and slap your
face on the bare floorboards. Instantly you're awake. You understand. Your bed's gone. So is
your pillow, sheets, the wardrobe, your chair, and the bedside cabinet. In fact, it's all gone.
You leap up and bound down the stairs to face your housemates. They've left you a note
on the kitchen table: "You can have your stuff back, as long as you can remember what was
there. Whatever you can't remember goes to the dumpster." You think, "Where did I get
such hilarious housemates?" but you're uneasy. What did I have in my room?
We all get so used to stuff that we don't really see it anymore. That is, unless you're one
of those people with a photographic memory. Most of us aren't. Take it all away and we
won't be able to tell what we're missing—just that things don't look right. Rooms and places
are sterile without random things and junk. A litle empty, but we don't know why. That's
worth bearing in mind as a game arist. Most of your job is down to seducing the player into
thinking they're in a real place. If the place feels sterile, empty, you've failed. The answer to
this is to start paying atenion to the world you live in - and that starts with the room, bus,
train carriage, or plane you're in now.
Ask yourself—is this place neatly organized? Is this stuff where it's supposed to be, orderly,
or just lying around? Is that table straight or at an angle with the wall? Is the sheet on that
bed ironed or crumpled? Is that bag or suitcase new and shiny or a litle bit worse to wear?
Have the objects that are here perhaps seen beter days?
As an asset and level creator it's actually best to lean on the side of worn, weary and aged
than neat, orderly and new. That's what we'll base this chapter on. Let's create some
standard assets that are going to give a sense of life to the scene, without stealing the show.
You should almost not noice them, but if someone took them away, you'd feel something