Questions for setting up a new game

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SoundStormLabs

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In some time I'm going to be looking for a partner for a new multiplayer game to develop and release on the android market for around $350+40% revenue, and if possible, to wrap the coding for Steam. Although I have done 3D modeling for product design, I haven't done it much for games, so I would like to know how to set it up to be ready for the coder.

One feature is different skins that the player can unlock for creatures with different abilities. However, instead of entire skins, characters unlock "pieces" of skins. This project would likely be done in initially in Unity due to its cross-platforming and capabilities with 3D models. So, how would I set up models purely from the 3D modeling software to allow this system where different meshes can be swapped out in a larger mesh but still retain the same animations? I do not like the idea of breaking up something like a joint of an arm and a leg into two descrete pieces that simply rotate superimposed over each other, I want the vertices of the joint to be connected because that is more realistic and continuous and would also allow the mapping of the texture to look proper. Instead, I want to be able to use the armature or vector curves within my own software or at least have an eqivalent setup that can merge an arm with a shoulder to make a continuous mesh again . And, how many verticies could a platform game with multiple animated creatures handle before needing to worry about graphic latency in the user's device? 

I also have both aftereffects and I would prefer to create particle systems in aftereffects since it is more efficiently focused on that capability, but how would I "save" or "export" a 3D particle explosion in aftereffects to be usable in a unity game?

Another attribute I was thinking is to use cubic tiles in the 3D environment, though the game could also be done as a 2D platformer. However, since the game environment itself will be manipulable, would tiles actually be worse since physics and animation effects would be applied to each individual tile?

posted 2017-11-10T13:24:45-08:00 | edited 2017-11-10T13:32:55-08:00