Xavier Nelson is a prolific game story writer and developer, renowned for his effort on games like the Hypnospace Outlaw. He lately asked devs and followers on Twitter about different ways games have re-used assets. The resulting replies are filled with some amazingly productive and artistic asset recycling.
Constructing games is really difficult and takes a long period. If you are like me and have never really made a game before, it can be nearly unlikely to realize just how hard development can be or how long it can actually take. Developers will often reuse assets in creative ways. But as Nelson also revealed to me, reusing assets isn’t continually a time saver and is a reference to how creative scientists can be.
While some gamers might see this as dull, the truth is this is an essential way and encourages developers to finish developing games in a less amount of time. And some of the techniques developers reuse their ideas are just as productive and entertaining as the narrative or action found in their games.
Developer Jessica Ross revealed that on one anonymous game, she had to mimic a character having their mind ripped out of their body. However she didn’t have time to mimic a heart so instead relied on some pastries. “I didn’t have time to recreate a heart, so I just procured a baguette, measured it down, and coloured it red.” As shown by developer Ruby on Twitter, Warframe re-uses many sources in various distinctive ways. For example, as seen in the tweets above, some weaponry and armaments are scaled up to and used to create new geometry on ships.
A Twitter user, Carl Muckenhoupt, experienced how Telltale reused a character model from a poker game to generate an enemy in another game. All it needed was a name change and a mustache.