A lot depends on what kind of content you need to make and how your artists want to work.
The first thing I’d start with, I think, is to make sure your artists have an easy-to-use and repeatable way to get their content into a format the game can use (FBX). You could think of your goal here as “make sure the artists never need to use ‘File -> Export Selection’”
I think in this day and age, we’re not doing a whole lot of asset setup in DCC. You can do a lot of that in Unity these days (materials, sockets, etc.). You’re really just getting geometry, joint, and animation data out of your DCC app.
Then I’d turn my attention to the character pipeline. Other folks might have better answers to some of these questions, but here’s a few things to think about:
- Do you need first person hands?
- How many skeletons are you going to use?
- How are you going to make sure you can update rigs on in multiple animation files?
Some other uncollected questions you’ll probably want to answer:
- Where do artists store their source data (.ma/mb, .psd, .ztl, .sbs)?
- Where do artists store game data (.fbx, .tga)?
- How will you develop tools for your artists?
- PyCharm, check code into P4, publish latest tools to a network drive that users pull down from
- How will you update the tools your artists are using?
- I’m a big fan of bootstrapping Maya before it launches to include my managed code and its userSetup.py in the Maya script paths, so someone can launch Maya without the tools pretty easily
Best of luck! It’s a tough spot to be in. Be sure to check out the Tech Art Bootcamp presentations from previous years. In particular I think 2011 and 2015 might have some really useful talks for you.