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PUBG Corp. defends the use of asset stores as the only way to "work smart"

PUBG is no "asset flip", says PUBG Corp., but store-bought assets are necessary when building maps

PUBG Corp. has refuted the idea that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is an "asset flip", an accusation that creative director Brendan Greene admitted, "kills me a little inside."

Greene touched on the idea at E3 last week, as part of a panel at the E3 Colosseum. In particular, the belief that PUBG is an "asset flip" applies to one of its maps, Erangel, but Greene suggested that the belief is rooted in a misunderstanding about how maps in general are created.

A PUBG map is made in nine months, he said, "and you don't do that without using the work of other artists. But for the most part, most of our stuff is made by hand."

The issue was explored further by PUBG Corp. communications lead Ryan Rigney. In a post on Reddit, Rigney said that "[leaning] on an asset store" is the most effective way to create a map when starting a team.

"Because that's the only way you can spin up a game fast, and for a reasonable price, to quickly find the fun," he said. "Hiring an art team of 40 people to 'try a game' and 'see if it's fun' is simply not a smart way to work - this is what the asset store is for! It's a great resource for teams that want to work smart."

Erangel was a mix of in-house work, outsourcing and purchased assets, but the role of purchased assets has reduced with each new map, as the PUBG team has grown. However, PUBG will always use store-bought assets, Rigney said, "because it just doesn't make sense to build everything in the game world yourself."

Thanks Eurogamer.

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Latest comments (3)

Chris Payne Managing Director & Founder, Quantum Soup Studios5 months ago
I'm quite relieved that the majority of comments on Eurogamer are "how is this an issue?"
It does make the accomplishment of something like Dishonored or Fallout even more impressive though, where all the mundane objects down to chairs and taps are unique designs to fit that world...I really appreciate that attention to detail.
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If one has sufficient funding then you can get a team together capable of churning out the entirety of the assets for a modern game, yes this could be described as a impressive accomplishment considering the scale of such an operation, however getting sufficient funding is often a double edged sword, as it often means your enslaved to the petty whims of a board of director's of a publishing company, many of which have little to no interest in personally playing computer games, and rely entirely on a dubious in accuracy set of common practises to generate profits, which severely limit creativity and excel on churning out sequal's, dlc and new ip with exactly the same gameplay as existing IP.

Smaller operations by necessity must rely on asset stores, in order to make up for the missing man-power required to produce a modern game, as more developers turn to them so more cash heads in the way of asset store middle-ware companies and so also the quality of said assets tends to climb ever upwards, in an ideal world every developer would have resources to tailor make every last system and asset within their own game, but in the real world, asset stores provide smaller entities the opportunity to make competitive games in the current generation they also are ideal for prototyping for larger companies, they are the glue that hold's many indie operations together, and using them for most is simply common sense.

Getting's elitist over those who use asset store's in their games benefits no one, and no indie games dev should have to feel the need to defend themselves over using an asset store, having said that they will still be rightly judged on the quality of the asset's chosen, and how well they made them work together.
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Gil Salvado 3D/2D Artist 5 months ago
You don't simply plug-in store bought assets, it's not as easy as some people may think. Some assets don't have any LODs or the LODs are mediocre or insufficient. The material shaders may not be optimised for performance. And there may be several things else that you may have to take care of until you can really use the asset in your game. Our tech artist had spent two months to implement and optimize all the assets we've bought during Cyber Monday.

Anyway, the art style of you game determines whether you can use assets from an asset store or not. Certain games have such a unique style of art that you probably have to create all the assets on your own. Our studio is developing simulations and thus assets stores are a true blessing for our smaller budgets.
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