I've been coding 2D games exclusively for a while, partly because I have very limited graphics skills, partly because it takes less effort to make something look great, and partly because I have very limited time in which to code.

I have an idea for a very simple 3d kids game that I'd like to build; it would be based around a player roaming a randomly-generated city and looking for a particular building (eg. dollar store, grocery store, bank, etc.)

My question is: Would it be feasible to build this in Unity, using only free models and animation (presumably from Turbo Squid), in a decent time-frame?

In terms of features, this would range in extremes from "generate some random buildings, paths, and select one as the winning building to locate" to adding people to talk to, objects to interact with (water, ladders, keys and locks, ropes, etc.)

I haven't touched 3D modelling for years (I used 3D Studio Max 3.x back in high school), and I don't have 3-4 hours to spend creating, rigging, and animating models. That's really the crux of my doubt. I also don't have cash that I can spend on models/animation.

So to summarize, my main two questions are:

  1. Is it feasible to create a decent-quality game using free stuff from Turbo Squid?
  2. Are many/most/all of the models from TS compatible with Unity?
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what to tag this question with, honestly. Any help? \$\endgroup\$
    – ashes999
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 17:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think I sorted it out for you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't there be a tag about free resources? \$\endgroup\$
    – ashes999
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ free sums it up IMHO. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 17:17

3 Answers 3


As the adage goes, you get what you pay for.

Sure, you can find free assets to probably technically fill most of your needs (and with the embedded Unity Asset Store it's even easier, but without the breadth of content that TurboSquid provides).

But you're not going to have a consistent look. Quality is going to be all over the place. And you might not find a particular kind of building you're looking for. And depending on what kind of assets you find it might be pretty hard to get a set of things that fit together in some kind of city generation scheme. You'd be much better off just having a single static level you throw together manually.

  • \$\begingroup\$ All very good points -- especially the quality point. That is something I'm worried about. I do intend to try it out and see how far it gets, but I would like to hear from the community / people who have tried it before, if I can. \$\endgroup\$
    – ashes999
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're trying to sell your game, you're probably not going to have a lot of luck. If you're trying to, say, get funding for a proof of concept it's probably fine. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetrad
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 19:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ My goal is to learn Unity, primarily, and distribute it for free. Thanks, I think I will give it a shot. Sounds like the answer is "yes, but it might be a bit ugly." \$\endgroup\$
    – ashes999
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 19:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Bonus point for "consistent look". I found that the assets freely available are actually pretty good if you take the time to sort through them, but they are not consistent. So you end up with a game that looks like a spoiled toddler's toybox. \$\endgroup\$
    – drxzcl
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 8:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps if your game is compelling, a talented artist will take pity on your "programmer art" and offer to help out. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 15:46

Building wise you'll have more luck with sketchup and Google warehouse library

And if you don't have a never version I doubt you can animate any of them(since those models generally have no animation)

You will have better luck using Blender and scouring the web for free stuff,but you will have allot of import problems, if you have some basic topology skills and texture as well as animation you might manage with free stuff,but then you have the trouble of license

I don't see it as feasible,you will probably have more luck with paid packs but not by much


I have made some projects with Unity and am also not willing to pay big amounts of cash for good 3D models. So yes it is possible but for an exampe: At turbosquid if you search for the tag buildings you will find about 100 models. from wich 2 are good looking but Medieval themed. the rest is like a cube with a roof and 2 textures. My advice, what i did, get a little knowlege of a program like Maya or 3dsMax and im sure you'll be verry capable of making some decent models in a small timeframe.

as for free models, it is possible. But quality wont be to high im afraid.

Good luck on your project, it sounds like a verry fun game for the young ones =)


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