you just had to go and say that, didn't you?
Well, yeah, it is easier to transfer skin textures then try to eyeball it. It is best to try to get as accurate as possible to the real thing.
What language will you be using?
Yes, one of my friends is currently going to college for programming. Yes, I have made games before. I imagine C++
But I totally get how making your own engine is fun. I had the most fun with AI. I had code for "seeking" enemy ships, that would home in on the player in the X or the Y, or both. Those were pretty easy to kill, since they pretty much get right in front of you. But they are also difficult to dodge. I also had code for "dodging" enemy ships. They would dodge bullets by moving on the X or on the Y, or both. XY dodgers were almost impossible to kill. Even worse, the levels would sometimes (randomly) spawn XY-dodger-XY-seekers. They stayed right on top of you all the time... but got the hell out of the way if you fired at them. I also had a lot of fun with weapon behaviors... which really are coded the same way AI is. It was a very satisfying project for me, even though it was only 2D, and pretty unambitious, and very unfinished. Maybe start more in that direction, so you actually can make some progress faster, and hammer out who is going to be fulfilling what role.
I had so many programming errors when I made my first game. It is a nice little hobby, spend 4 hours of programming for 10 minutes of game play just to hear people say "meh". I think the most frustrating part is having people tell you have grammar errors and then going back and fixing them. Because if I want to change any dialog text it is not like it is in one big word document where I can just scroll down and fix, each line of text is hidden some where that I randomly place in a code or in a trigger, I pretty much have to dig through everything to find it, then change the words and see if the text can still fit on the screen or if I have to resize it and what not. If it is just some glitch in the game those are easy to hunt down and fix.
There is nothing original left in the world. If we do make our own creatures, they will just resemble something someone else saw in a different game and be all like "well, this is just a bad rip off of blah-blah-blah" or what not. This way people will know it is a nostalgic homage to all their favorite past and present games. But, really, many ways can you reinvent a human soldier or just keep making new designs for a pistol?
I mean look at Halo, look how popular that game was, but did it have anything original about it? No, it was just another generic shooter game but yet everyone loved it and when asked why no one could give a more in depth answer then "IT ROCKS!!"
But just to be a tad original, I might add in a bunny race.
...like you'll do two weapon textures and promptly forget the project.
Yeah, it will take a lot of time and effort to do it.
People loved Halo because it was one of the first mainstream games to incorporate one button melee and grenade buttons as well as limiting the weapons you could carry. This combined with excellent combat AI and killer set pieces made for some of the most exciting combat encounters that could be very challenging without feeling cheap. Fights felt very dynamic and would often play out very differently when played again.