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Interested in game making? Start in Unity—a game engine for mobile and desktop games and real-time simulations. Author Adam Crespi shows techniques used in game development with Unity and introduces the basics of scripting and game functionality. First, learn how to import models and textures, organize your project and hierarchies, and add terrain, water, and foliage. Next, Adam explores how to use lighting to bring the game to life, and add rendering, particles, and interactivity. The end result is a sample game with a lush environment, fully animated characters, and some basic interactive gameplay.
Terrain in a game is its own special animal to make. The reason for this is that there's, well, a lot of it. That quite possibly, even in a small game like this, we can deal in a square kilometer or two of earth. It's very reasonable in a game, depending on the size and expansiveness of the world, as well as how fast the player can move, that we'll deal in several square miles of terrain. If we're dealing in a game such as a train simulator, for example, it's quite possible we need hundreds of miles of terrain.
However, depending on how fast you go, you can adjust the level of detail you need and also depending on how high you are. If you're playing a plane sim game, for example, you may be dealing in pretty much flat terrain with just a few large mountains, and we don't need nearly the detail that our slow walking game in the gallery does. We'll start out by creating some terrain here in Unity. It's a native Unity object, and it subdivides as we brush in features like mountains. It's different from a modeled object we bring in from Maya.
So we're going to make it here and form it around the buildings to add a backdrop against that sky. I'll choose, Game Object>Create Other, and Terrain, and make a terrain object. I'll press F to focus, and here it is in my Scene View. My buildings are the small gray cluster on the left side of my terrain. And it really gives a good idea of the scale of this terrain. It starts out at a kilometer square, and we can always upsize it, if we need. This'll work pretty nicely.
I'll make some low rolling hills around this gallery cluster and depress the middle of the terrain to form a lake bed. Later I'll put in water, and the terrain will bound the view all the way around. It's perfectly natural to not see through a hill. Now this may sound odd to say, but if we have hills, it's okay that they are blocking the view of whatever is beyond them. It's a reasonable way to end the scene. And, so this is a great way to kind of bound this entire world. I've got the terrain selected, and I'll pull it over on the x and z axes, roughly centering it around my gallery.
I'll focus in again by pressing F. And, it's a little difficult to see exactly where that gallery is. What I'll is to turn off the effects. What we're seeing here, and why everything is grey, is because of that fog we added in. The fog distance was three hundred meters. And so with a kilometer square of terrain, we're seeing quite a good bit of fog essentially obscuring things. Up on the top of the Scene View, there's the Effects button. And we can either drop it down and turn off effects selectively or just toggle them all off.
And now we're back to our gray, game colored world and ready to manipulate the terrain a little more clearly. I'll also turn off the grid. We can just see that grid when we orbit around. And I'll drop down under Gizmos, and uncheck Show Grid for now. Now I'll switch over to Textured plus Wire and I can really see that terrain. That little dark cluster is my gallery, and there's the default terrain subdivision. It starts out actually fairly coarse, and as we brush in with the terrain we can see over here in the Inspector under Script, we'll get more subdivision very iteratively and on the fly.
For now though I've got terrain in place, and I'm ready to start sculpting my mountains. And I'll work with broad strokes first and then add detail, color and finally trees and grasses.
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