Professional Practice: Unity Game Development Essentials:

To begin with one of my Professional Practice targets, which was to learn more about current industry software. I started by renting a book about Unity, which is a Game engine used to create 3D and 2D games, it is free to download but there is a premium version that has more thorough components.

To begin with the book it starts with stating some key components of the program, although most of the components I already know about and are already in other 3D software like 3DS Max, some of the components are only native to unity:

  • Rigid Body Physics – This feature provides an accompanying way of simulating real-world responses for objects in game. A rigid body component is given to assets and objects you want the physics engine to control. Instead of the objects being static and immovable, they can have the following properties using the Rigid Body Physics: Mass, Gravity, Velocity and Friction.
  • Scripts – This is the coding background of Unity and is used to make the pieces all work together.
  • Terrain Editor –  Allows the user to manipulate and change a plane in a quick and easy way.
  • Height Maps – These are 2D graphics with light and dark areas that represent terrain topography and can be imported as an alternative to unity’s height painting tools. These 2D graphic files can be created in photoshop and are saved in a .RAW format.

Next it talks about the UI of the program, to help new users to come to terms with the various pieces that show the information and data. Each part of the UI is movable to allow users to place them in various ways for personal preference. This image below shows the main parts of the UI.

screen1

  1. Scene – This is where the game is constructed and shows what the user is working on.
  2. Hierarchy – This is a list of game objects that have been placed in the scene, ordered by the order you put them in.
  3. Inspector – This area shows the settings for the current selected game object.
  4. Game – This is a preview window of the game being created and can only be active in the play mode.
  5. Project – This shows a list of the projects assets and files and it acts as a library.

After getting used to the interface and got familier with it, I went further into the book and got into basics with one of the main features of the program, the Terrain Editor.

To start with this, I had to add a GameObject called  Terrain, which puts a flat plane into the scene, to the right in the inspector menu, various settings to manipulate and change the terrain are shown. Allowing you to change the size and placement, also there are settings to change the terrain manually:

  • Raise/Lower Terrain – Allows the user to raise and lower parts of the plane.
  • Paint Terrain Height – Allows part of the terrain to be sampled so the user can place the sampled height elsewhere.
  • Smooth Height – If the terrain is jagged and rough, this allows the user to smooth the area to make it look clearer.
  • Paint Texture – A texture can be selected  and then painted onto the scene.
  • Place Trees – Like the texture, a tree or plant asset can be selected and painted onto the scene.
  • Paint Details – Allows the user to get finer textures and details painted onto the terrain.

screen2

Finally I wanted to add a light source into the scene to give the terrain more atmosphere. For this I added a directional light.

Reference: Goldstone, W (2009). Unity Game Development Essentials. Birmingham: Packt
Publishing. p10-36.

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~ by reeceharry on December 11, 2013.

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