As a result of my boredom and lack of productivity, I’d figured I’d learn a new skill both prominent and useful to the video game industry in the future as it is now. Last Summer, I attempted to create a 3D model and essentially code it into a game for my own personal use and appreciation. The experience itself proved to be very tedious, and the learning curve involved in this had been as well. It’s an interesting field of work, but has the potential to be incredibly frustrating if you don’t have very good guidance or resources (to which I did not as it started out).
- It took about a week to complete the task in its entirety. Normally, whenever I’d feel the need to make my own unique “custom edit” for whatever game I’d been frequently booting up, it’s usually something easy like a model “skin” or texture. The game I decided to mod was
Team Fortress 2.
- I thought it would be silly if I replaced the knife used by the Spy class with a long, pointy snail named “Escargore,” a joke on behalf of the Spy being French (and boy,
Almost instantly, any humor involved in the process suddenly dissolved itself into grief over how difficult the road ahead was going to be (and boy, was it dif-ferent). After downloading the software and video tutorials required to go about my business, it was time to begin. I attempted to follow along in the footsteps of the nasally-voiced gentleman explaining what size shapes to select and how to arrange them.
While following the tutorial, I realized something. He’d provided the link to the wrong fucking program. Not only was my motivation smothered in blankets that could suffocate children, but I’d have to wait hours for the enormous 3D-software program to re-download and backtrack any progress I’d made.
After much more unmentionable trial-and-error, I’d finished the tutorial (three times). However, things just weren’t going my way. After much frustration, I abandoned my individual labor skills and decided to go to Facepunch for assistance. Despite the poor reputation this site has sometimes been credited with, the mod support was very helpful. A user named “pogothemunty” took it upon himself to act as a mentor basically for my project. And with his guidance I was able to trudge through the phases of not only the modeling, but the coding as well.
The latter of those things was significantly more difficult than the other. I found myself spending hours “ctrl+f-ing” text documents to scan over pages containing thousands of game parameters and whatnot, all the while convincing myself not to drop the project at this point. After days of this, we’d finally knocked out the reoccurring problem which had been that the game wasn’t detecting the model or its skins due to the misplacement of a few letters in the text.
To this day, I use the very same weapon model in-game, never dissatisfied with its amateur appearance considering the amount of effort I’d put into the whole thing. Although I could have quit on it anytime, I’d been very dead-set on finishing something, proving to myself that if others had done this, I certainly could too. Overall, the experience was as enlightening as it was informative, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to try it.