When we originally started working on our Alpha map, Seneca, many moons ago, our initial idea was to create the map with marketplace assets, and in time slowly replace them with custom made ones. In theory, we thought that this would speed up production, and help us achieve our goal of having a functional map more quickly.
The major problem with this strategy is that when utilizing a plethora of marketplace assets, they all have their own master materials, and their own shaders and ultimately they have varying quality.
As Cold Comfort is an online multiplayer game, it is essential that it runs smoothly. The more complex objects or textures are, the more of an effect it will have on game performance. While the original version of Seneca looks simply stunning, from a game-play perspective it was a disaster, as we were getting between 10 and 60 FPS depending on the amount of objects and materials visible.
So… it was back to the drawing board.
We have a solid 3D team, so creating assets, although somewhat of a time consuming process, they are optimized according to our own specifications regarding complexity and quality.