Back in February this year, the team at Born Ready Games were in the middle of promoting the new, improved version of their Space Shooter Strike Suit Zero, for release on PS4 And Xbox One. One of the improvements for the new version were greatly improved in-game texture models. The question was posed: How can we best show off these visual improvements?
Obviously, screenshots and videos were created and shared to show the game. But with the new models and textures at the heart of the new version (they revamped the game and the story too, but that’s not easily shown in assets), Jamin, their community manager, experimented with Sketchfab.
Sketchfab’s elevator pitch would be the Youtube for 3D assets. You can upload a model and its textures and it will show online on their portal through their webGL viewer and would allow you to embed it on your own website – or any website for that matter.
Here is one of the models that were used to promote Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut at the time:
What was interesting as well, is that the ICO Media team (the team at ICO that handles the PR operations for our clients) went with it and shared the links with the media as they were promoting the game. Most outlets decided to go with the regular screenshots. But some of them embedded the Sketchfab models: http://kotaku.com/strike-suit-zero-transforms-into-a-ps4-and-xbox-one-gam-1525942124
In parallel, the great folks of Allegorithmic, a software company providing tools to create the next generation of textures (and if you follow me on social media, you’ll know I am a big fan of what they do – I even sit as an advisor to the board of the company), mentioned Sketchfab as friendly enterprise and suggested I should meet with them.
Fast forward the past few months, I am now talking regularly with them and finding out even more interesting ways they are working on sharing in-game assets. For instance, “annotations” have been introduced, allowing the camera to be set at a specific angle relative to the model and show some relevant text:
I can very easily imagine this being used in the context of game – discussing a new element of content and highlighting its in game features that way.
Of course, they won’t replace screenshots anytime soon, but there is an opportunity for Sketchfab to carve its own niche and give a way for fans to explore their favourite games in a new way, as well as get an interesting preview of what’s to come. If you want to know more, ping @albn on twitter and say I sent you (he has no idea I am writing this blog post, hopefully it will be a good surprise).
Edit: I was pointed at a video game asset (from an artist’s portfolio) using the annotation system