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I am no graphics designer, but I'm a good developer with lots of experience. So, my question is the following:

Are any 3D design skills required for game development? If not, how does one write a game with 3D characters without having to design them?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why did someone downvote this? I've run across plenty professional software engineers (and once, interviewed one!) that thought a game development team was entirely programmers, who also somehow produced all the graphics. The answer is simple, but it's a legitimate question. \$\endgroup\$ – user744 Jan 24 '11 at 15:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your support Joe Wreschnig! In fact, I have a clue that 3D design is necessary to produce such game as FFXIII, for instance. But since there are 3D engines, etc. I am only wondering whether these are enough to begin with, somehow. I know this sounds vague, but my idea about game development is as well! =) \$\endgroup\$ – Will Marcouiller Jan 24 '11 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Question should say "required for 3D game development". Answer is trivially "no" if you're not making a 3D game. \$\endgroup\$ – chaos Jan 24 '11 at 16:15
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Like with just about any skill, like math, the answer is no, it's not required, but it helps.

So how do you cope with it? You find someone who has the skills required to help you. Or design something that does not require said skills, like in this case, a 2d game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 2D games seem the way to go for easier and faster learning, in my opinion. What do you think of that? \$\endgroup\$ – Will Marcouiller Jan 24 '11 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ 2D games are indeed fertile ground for learning. They also can be developed into commercial products. Many web, phone, and downloadable games have been made by independent studios with only a handful or even a single developer. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Langston Jan 24 '11 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ And quite many 3d games are 2d at heart.. mass effect 2 is actually pretty 2d =) \$\endgroup\$ – Jari Komppa Jan 24 '11 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ -1 For "like math". Math is ALWAYS required (note: I did not actually downvote). \$\endgroup\$ – michael.bartnett Jan 24 '11 at 19:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ Some bits are required, true, but for most of it, it's enough that you know someone who does. =) It doesn't matter if you know how matrices work if you can just use them as black boxes.. \$\endgroup\$ – Jari Komppa Jan 24 '11 at 19:58
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You don't have to design your own characters as some characters already exists, you just have to find them, you can even substitute a character with boxes when your prototyping the gameplay until you find a partner.

However Level Design is a different beast altogether even if they are just boxes it can make or break the gameplay and are intrinsically linked to the game design.

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