Is simply surviving not good enough for you?

We've opened Steam Workshop for The Dead Linger. Now what? Well, that's simple. We're going to be taking submissions for all kinds of items, objects, structures, vehicles, creatures, and more! If we at Sandswept see something we like, we're going to include it in a future update to The Dead Linger!

Upset that we haven't made that super awesome weapon you want? Don't wait for us -- make it!

Wish we had a specific vehicle in the game? By all means -- create it!

Wondering why your house isn't available to explore and survive within The Dead Linger? Seriously -- get on this!

Want to make some zone layouts with our fancy Watertower - Scene Creator Tool? [Coming Soon!] You're in the right place.

Okay, you get the idea.

It's time you take the apocalypse into your own hands.

Through the power of Steam Workshop, you can submit finished 3D models and other content for community feedback and developer review for a chance to actually have them incorporated into the game as official content! To publish an item for consideration, read the FAQ and various guides below to ensure you're doing everything right.

New to making content for games? Watch the video and read below to get started!

Not new to model making but very interested? You can pick up The Dead Linger on Steam.

DISCLAIMER: We will not accept items that contain offensive imagery or any copyrighted or trademarked material.

Some examples of forbidden content:


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the steps to making a 3D item, object, vehicle, building, etc?

A: Here are broad steps involved in making 3D content:
  1. Concept: Come up with a good idea in words. Trust us, this is the hardest part.
  2. Design: Draw in 2D or 3D what it will actually look like.
  3. Model: Using a 3D program, create the clean polygon model that will actually be in the game.
  4. Unwrap: Unwrap the 3D model like skinning an animal (UVs) so you can texture map it.
  5. Texture: Using your UVs as a guide, start with a basic color. Add more colors. Add more details. Add scratches. Add dirt. Paint away! Repeat.
  6. Skin: If your item attaches to the player or has moving parts, you'll need to bind the model to a joint or create a skeleton for it.
  7. LOD: All items will need to be represented with multiple levels of detail. Check the guides for more information on that!
  8. Test: Load your item in the TDL Item Testing Tool and make sure it works as intended. [Not Yet Available]
  9. Publish: Upload it to the steam workshop with the TDL Workshop Uploader Tool! Include really clean screenshots, and maybe even some video!

Q: What formats are we dealing with here?

Great question! These are mandatory. We will reject files that do not use the correct formats. You must own the content you are submitting. We will repeat this many times to ensure everyone understands that. We will not ever be taking copyrighted content.

Q: How does the item publishing process work?

A: Like this:
  1. You create an item that meets the submission requirements.
  2. You test your item using the TDL Item Testing Tool and verify it is correct. [Not Yet Available]
  3. You publish your item to the Steam Workshop through the in-game item publishing tool.
  4. We review your item and decide if it meets our requirements to be added to the game.
  5. If selected, we will contact you and let you know. We will integrate the item into The Dead Linger.
  6. We will extensively test your item and make any necessary changes to ensure it fits.
  7. We will add it to the game, decide how it operates, and balance it properly. It will appear in an upcoming build!
NOTE: Content creators may suggest what their item or object does (if applicable) by including that info in their Steam Workshop submission description, but we at Sandswept will make the final gameplay decision and balance the item accordingly.

Q: Where can I find good tutorials to learn 3D modeling?

A: Search for “speed modeling” on YouTube. There are a lot of digital art communities online with great information. Here are a few that we like to visit.

Q: What are some guidelines for matching TDL's art style and improving the chances of my item getting in?

A: This is a tricky question as the artstyle in TDL is always aiming to be realistic, but it also has to remain unified at the level of detail we're working towards. For example, photo-realistic textures are good, but having a flat surface with a heavily detailed photographic texture on it might not fit the style of geometry. Everything must match as closely as possible to the quality and style of existing items. So here's some general guidelines we follow when creating items:

Q: What software tool should I use to make my item?

A: It varies depending on what we're doing, but this is generally what we'd suggest:

Q: I am a 3D artist, how do I get started?

A: If you want to do clothing items, you need to download and install our TDL 3D Workshop Package. This includes the TDL Item Testing Tool as well. [Not Yet Available]

For other items, we'll assume you know how to create content and our tutorials (coming soon!) will help out with that if you're stuck. See questions below for additional information and guidance.

Q: What are the polygon and/or triangle count limits on my item?

A: Keep the polygon/triangle count similar to what's already in the game.
Very rarely will we accept an item too far away from these numbers. See next question for LOD information.

Q: Any guidelines on the creating the LOD models?

A: Yes! Here's an LOD guide from Sandswept 3D Artist Chaoss Pierce:

Q: What resolution should my textures be?

A: Texture sizes should not be larger than 2048x2048. Preferably no smaller than 256x256 for smaller objects. We will scale your textures accordingly when we process it into the game. Including your higher resolution textures will give us the most 'wiggle-room' to work with your item.

Q: Any tips on creating textures?

A: Maintain the same texture density of other models in the world. If your item is lacking in small details compared to existing objects, add more. If your item has way too many scratches or scuff marks compared to other items, clean it up a bit. Remember; everything should look used, but not completely abused OR polished and pristine.

As far as format, send us your textures in .PNG format. Remember to include all of your files (models, textures, etc.) and associated normal maps. Alpha channels should be stored in the diffuse PNG image. Normal Maps should be in "Dot3" format. If you don't know what that means, don't worry; if your normal maps look like this then you are good to go.

Q: Where can I get the models of the existing characters and other reference objects so I can build my item in context?

A: Download and install our TDL 3D Workshop Package. This includes the TDL Item Testing Tool as well. [Not Yet Available]

Q: I've made a model and textured it; How do I test them in the game engine?

A: Use the TDL Item Testing Tool. [Not Yet Available]

Q: Do I have to use the TDL Item Testing Tool?

A: If you don't use it, your chances of the item getting rejected are much higher. Always test your items thoroughly!
[Not Yet Available, ignore this question until that changes!]

Q: What about other items, such as Journal Entries, Sound Effects, or Music?

A: We will provide some documentation on those in the future. Here's some quick tips on those:

Q: My item just got rejected. Why?

A: Chances are that it didn't meet one, or several, or possibly all of the guidelines listed below:
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