Synty Studios has been an asset developer for over 3 years now, we were started in New Zealand by two industry veterans in 2014 from both the games and film industry and later added another highly skilled team member to help out with production.
Over the years we have focused on 2 main asset brands, the Simple series, a blocky cartoon style that works well for mobile games and the POLYGON series, a higher fidelity faceted style that can work well for PC/consoles and VR/AR products.
We did a lot of research and development on how the POLYGON aesthetics would look. We wanted to create something that was a little bit more detailed than our “Simple” series, for use in FPS or VR/AR. We decided to keep much of the artistic details as a base but change the cubic look. Some of the POLYGON assets still work well with the Simple series as the color palette is very similar and apart from not being cubic they are geometrically similar in design.
We started producing assets in 2014 just for fun. We really enjoyed the design aspects and having our own creative freedom to do what we wanted.
We are very selective about contract work. We have helped out some friends on their indie game projects but we avoid doing contract work in our Simple or Polygon styles.
We love the design phase of each pack; as a studio we sit down and play some of our favorite games in a similar theme. For example, watching the Vikings TV show during the production of our Vikings pack was great inspiration. We did the same with Black Sails and our Pirates pack.
We also listen to our customers’ requests and try our best to get a feel for what would be the most popular choices from the hundreds of comments and emails we receive daily.
We try not to plan too far in the future because we like to keep things really open. That being said, we still have a few sub-brands like Fantasy, City, and Historical within the POLYGON brand that we try to build up.
Our work has been used all over the world, from training to final products. Recently we received a physical book from London that used our Simple brand for all the media. Very cool seeing our work on printed pages. You can see a preview here.
Pricing and Promotion
We price our work based on time spent on the assets plus current market trends. One of the issues with digital enterprise is the prevalence of online piracy. If stuff is too expensive it will get pirated, too cheap and it undervalues the content and the market. We believe in setting prices that are reasonably global – they might be cheap for someone in the US but for a user in South East Asia it still might be expensive.
Our primary place to promote our work to our customers is our Facebook page. We use social media to share upcoming packs via trailers, screenshots and small Sketchfab demos of our art assets.
We generally make some really cool promo scenes, then create versions for sale with the assets broken out and laid in a grid so it’s easy for a user to preview. We really like the lighting and post effect options on Sketchfab so we absolutely chuck a few of those on, including the Bloom, image Sharpening (.19) and the Ambient Occlusion.
We have been using Sketchfab for a long time as a promotion tool for our assets, so once we heard they were going to create a store we happily jumped on board. We really like the fact that we don’t need to spend ages creating detailed marketing material. Sketchfab really is what you see is what you get; users can inspect the models which gives them good confidence in what they are buying.
We generally like to try new stores and new platforms and see how they go. There is a huge market emerging with photogrammetry as a new method for asset generation as hardware on PC and Consoles improve there will be a greater need for high fidelity content.