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With my question I want to know if DESIGN 2D/3D skills are necessary in order to create a game using some engine like UDK or Unity.

I have experience as a developer, and experience with openGL, I have also some experience with 3dMax, but Im NOT able to design something from scracth. I simply dont have the skills.

In this kind of engines, is there a way to create and customize levels or characters for example?

Thinking in something related, I will think in the character editor of games like World of Warcraft, etc. I would like to know if the creation of levels and characters would be like that.

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Obviously, assets will need to exist. If you want to make Cubes on a Plane: The Game you won't need much. Unity is free for indie use (including a 30 day trial for all features) and UDK is free unless you make something like $50K on the game. So, grab them and find out if they will work for your needs: & – chaosTechnician Mar 1 '12 at 19:18
Thanks, I checked both Unity and UDK, but my question is more like, not having any 3d design skills, is there a way to easily create characters? For example, if I want to create a cowboy, do I need to open 3dsMax and create EVEYTHING from scracth, or is there any tool that I can choose the shape, the clothes, the face, etc... – user13995 Mar 1 '12 at 19:28
@chaosTechnician: rofl "Cubes on a Plane", brilliant, really brilliant. You deserve many Internets for that. – o0'. Mar 3 '12 at 10:14
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'm going through the learning stages on character creation right now, and yes you'll need those skills to make those objects. (I'm a programmer).

I haven't used Unity in almost a year. When I was, I noticed it could only create primitives (cubes, spheres, etc...). So environment creation and character creation were out of the question.

In UDK/UE3 you can do a lot of environment work with their object brushes (create primitives, terrain, edit them, etc...), but the creation of detailed static meshes should still be done by a 3rd party modeling tool (3DSMax, Maya, Blender, etc....). Also for character creation in UDK, that must be done by a 3rd party tool because you need to rig the model.

Hope that helps

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Also if you're a student you can get almost all of the tools you'll want to use for free. – CSMHowitzer Mar 1 '12 at 19:53

Unreal and Unity do not have the kind of feature that you're looking for. There simply isn't a way to easily create a custom character with different sliders and then import it into your game, for that you will have to learn Maya, 3dsMax, or some similar program.

However! Since you have experience as a developer, you should try and feel comfortable with using simple meshes to prototype your games. You don't need all the detail of a animated/rigged/textured cowboy to prove that your game is worth making.

If your design is good and your code is reliable, finding art assets should be the last part you need to worry about.

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