Walking Sim – Unity Asset Creation

As we break up for half term we were told our Unity games would be up for peer review and play testing on the day we return. Outside of the class work I’ve yet to invest any time into this other than fixing mechanics taught in class once I’d taken the files home. I’d prefer to take the start of a themed idea into class with accompanying assets and have the best part of a week and a half *cracks knuckles* time to get to work!

I’d said in a previous post I was going to keep to my sci-fi theme, flicking back through that post I took inspiration from the corridors from Alien for a couple of reasons.

  • The ease of modelling a corridor, hopefully as long as I keep all modelling measurements I should be able to make modular assets that’ll fit to each other to make fleshing out the scene quicker.
  • Keeps the environment compact and claustrophobic, so I should be able to guide the player in directions fairly easily without too much hand holding.
  • With a little bit of low lighting I should be able to get some atmosphere going
  • If I model all the assets planar without depth, the mesh collider should work on the inside and save on polys as it’ll never be seen from the outside.

I made a few scrappy sketches to think of the shape of the corridor and a connector piece between corridors before I committed to fiddling with Maya. Hardly my usual quality but not the point.

20161031_230804edit
Very rough concept sketches of how I wanted the shape of the corridor to look.

Now sadly a couple of days went by before finishing up the models and making this post, so I don’t have any in progress shots. Classic mistake, my bad! Check on my Digital Tutors post to see what else I was doing during these couple of days. Here are the finished pieces.

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To make up for the lack of in progress shots, I’ll ramble a little while about the process. A lot of it was an organic flow, other than my scrappy drawings I didn’t have a complete plan. I started with a corner connecting piece and used transform mirroring and edge loops to place enough symmetrical edges to make the shape for the opening. This face was then cut out on either side and the normals were flipped before adding a few ridges to help catch the light/cast shadows.

I took the faces from the octagonal connector and used these as a starting point for the corridor, extruding the edges to keep the same dimensions and then worked in the rest of the detail with edge loops and cut. I tried to keep most of my models symmetrical in all axis, simply so I could work on one quarter and then mirror to duplicate geometry. This also made it easier to make edits for changing the room sizes. Eventually I’d like to make some alternate corridors with a single door and no doors however for now I can simply block off certain sections with locked doors. The methods I used to model these came straight from what I’d learnt from the Digital Tutors videos.

To add a few extra details to the scene I spent an hour making some quick models of a crate, a pipe and a ceiling light. In space nobody can hear you interior decorate a grey corridor!

Now for the biggest disappointment and something to work towards in the future. All of these assets I’d intended to bring into Unity with the textures baked on. Picking the biggest and most difficult section first (the corridor) I actually lost the best part of three days failing to texture. Squeezing all the UV shells even onto a 4096×4096 texture just didn’t give enough detail leaving most sections looking pixelated. It is a large object with a lot of surface area and a lot of repeated geometry, I’m aware there is a method for stacking similar UV sections on top of one another to take the same texture information, so in future I’ll try and research this method and try again.

Twelve years ago when I had a little experience with 3DSMax I know there was a way to give an ID number to a selected set of faces and could apply basic planar textures using the ID number as a reference. I tried googling to see if Maya had anything similar but couldn’t find an answer.

Once in Unity all the assets became a big lego kit, simply requiring parts to be aligned together and having a mesh collider attached. I didn’t have a plan for an environment going in so what I have so far just happened organically. Here a few stills to show how it looks so far (with added sky box I got from the Unity store).

level
Due to the reversed normals you can see into all the sections from the outside.
render-sort-of2
However once inside, all is fine!
render-sort-of3
I borrowed two assets from the Unity store to decorate the largest empty room.
render-sort-of
So where’s the Xenomorph?

For a first time doing this kind of modular building I’m thrilled with the end result. There is a great sense of satisfaction from walking through an area you personally modelled and imported. Can’t wait to see it all textured once I figure it out!

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