I think games go through a couple of stages of development, the first being concept demos and then prototyping, and finally content creation. Since a lot of Blender projects stay at or around the first two stages most people don’t need to create a lot of content. Content creation can include making art assets but also giving all your monsters stats, creating weapons and other items and setting the stats for them too, as well as creating the rules for how they can be used or combined. It includes making levels and dialog trees for in game dialog if you have that.
When I have got to that stage in the past I usually used a spread sheet and manually entered data but it was slow and painful. I spent 2 weeks just entering data for an old project.
Here’s a look at the prototype of the data entry helper I’m working on:
The plan is to make it flexible so you can change the boxes around, change what they are recording, add other things like displaying the model along with the animations being assigned so you can check how they will look. You’ll also be able to shift the screen up to get at a list of already written entries. These can be loaded up for editing with just a click. I want to add a function for autocomplete for existing animations or game objects, and spell checking. I was looking at this interesting blog today for ideas on how to improve my data entry helper. It’s actually amazing what can be achieved with the tools we have right here with python and blender.
I think helper utilities are very useful and I’m interested to know what other people do with them, or would consider doing with them. I might share a couple of mine once they’re finished.
Actually when I first started out with Blender I set the attributes of monsters and weapons by changing the value of properties on the in game objects. This was the worst way to do it because I couldn’t remember who had what stats, I couldn’t compare them without taking notes in a spreadsheet, and it took way too much time to navigate around the 3d view, find the character or weapon, scroll though the endless properties to find the one I want and then change it. After that I learned to make a setup script which would get attributes for a particular entity from an external dictionary.