What You Need to Have

The type of computer that you need to create these killer characters is the same type of machine that you use to play these types of games. Just like with first-person shooter games, the faster the computer and the more memory you have, the better. To get the most from this book, here is a list of the minimum system you need:

■ Intel Pentium III or later processor or AMD running at 500MHz minimum (Dual Intel Xeon or dual AMD Athalon or Opteron [32 bit] system recommended).

■ Primary operating systems: Windows XP Professional (SP1), Windows 2000 (SP4), or Windows XP Home (SP1).

■ 512MB of RAM (1GB or higher recommended).

■ Graphics card supporting 1024x768 16-bit color with 64MB RAM. (OpenGL and Direct3D hardware acceleration supported; 3D graphics accelerator 1280x1024 32-bit color with 256MB RAM preferred.)

■ Optional: sound card and speakers; cabling for TCP/IP-compliant network; 3D hardware graphics acceleration; video input and output devices; joystick; 3-button mouse.

■ A graphics tablet (optional), which greatly helps with texturing.

■ Internet Explorer 6.

Also, having a digitizing tablet like a Wacom is helpful. Mine is a 4x6, and it's great for texturing. It lets you sketch as if you're drawing on paper and ideally incorporates itself with Photoshop. The Wacoms are pressure sensitive, so the harder you press on the tablet, the thicker the brush lines are.

Finally, please check out the Web sites in Appendix B, "Related Web Sites and Links." I didn't figure out everything in this book on my own! I spent years perusing Web sites and learning techniques and info to create this stuff. If you want a job in this industry, do this type of homework. In the end, you'll have a remarkable portfolio.

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