Best way to format characters/models in game?

Hi all

I just have a few questions on the best practices to employ while making characters and models for a game. Mainly one that would be RPG type.

How is the best way to make them? Lets imagine for the sake of the example that there are 3 separate races in the game.

EXAMPLE: 3 separate bodies- One for each race, and say, 5 different heads for each race, then you would just pick and choose to make characters and NPCs individual. Choose from different skin textures. Armor and clothing is also made separate and can just be placed with the character model.

Would this be too CPU intensive, loading all these different models and textures??

Before I start modelling characters and NPCs for the game, I need to know the best way to do it. How do modern game companies go about this without slowing down the game too much?

Thanks guys!

EDIT: By the way I am not the programmer for this project, only the 3D modeller and texturer. I have no experience with scripting - So please be gentle and try to keep it simple if you need to mention it :slight_smile: Thank you

The number of textures used has an significant impact on the performance as what would normally happen would be that you would combine together all of the active meshes that use a single material reducing the number of draw calls that are needed to render out the model. So even though you have 20 pieces, once configured your programmer might be able to combine them into much fewer pieces that share the same material.

It might be worth looking at these videos for an asset store asset that does some of this combining for its purpose.

It might be possible to automatically atlas (combine) the textures from multiple parts into one but you will always have problems if you are using a shader property to affect the color(s) of something and those colors differ from part to part.

Really the loading isn’t the problem - it’s the number of different ones on the screen at the same time. Unity will hopefully dynamically batch calls to draw the same meshes and materials so it’s hard to exactly predict.

This script from the Wiki could be used to combine together the multiple parts after configuration.