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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.
Once we've created our project and a scene in that project, we can start making some simple pieces and moving, rotating and scaling them around to construct our game. I've opened up my 0204 start scene by double clicking on the icon in the assets folder. And there's the first person controller I put in as well as the main camera that's created as part of that scene. Now I'll make some simple objects and look at how to move, rotate and scale. I'll begin by choosing Game Object, Create Other and Plane.
We can see here there's a collection of simple primitives, lights, some game-specific things like GUI textures, and also audio and terrain objects. A lot of times we can get by with a simple primitive in our game. Often a lot of our colliders or simple things that restrict a player for example can be made of an in game primitive and don't have to be imported over from Maya for example. We'll do our lighting here in Game and we'll also put on our graphical user interface objects. I'll make a plane and there's my plane here in the scene view, actually somewhat above that first person controller.
For moving I'll press W, or click on the Move tool up on the top left in the UI. I can move this object around on one, two or three axes, depending on where I click on that Move tool. I'll start out by clicking and dragging down on the green y axis making sure that this plane sits below the first person controller so we don't fall through the endless space when we play our game. Alternately, clicking and dragging on one of the planes, such as xz here, allows us to slide an object around on that plane. Finally clicking and dragging in the middle can slide this object around in 3D if we'd like.
I'll duplicate an object by pressing Ctrl+D, and now there are two planes perfectly coincident. As a side note, for games, we need to make sure that things are not fighting on the z axis. What this means, in more technical terms, is that we need to avoid coplanar objects where the faces or polygons are perfectly overlapping. And they fight in z space as seen from the camera, each one jockeying to be on top and producing a flashing or winking effect in our game.
I'll rotate this second plane by pressing e for rotation and holding Ctrl to snap the rotation while I click drag on that red x rotation ring. I've snapped this plane up 90 degrees and I'll presswW to move it, pulling it up first on the z axis and then back on the green y. If you notice, my axes are set to the local axis here. I can change this by clicking on the local or global button on the top left of the user interface. The local axis of this object shows that it's been rotated 90 degrees.
The world y is up in Unity but this object has it's y off to the side because I rotated it. Now I'll snap these planes together. Pressing v as in Victor and clicking without dragging, to position that move tool where I'd like it, snapping to any one of the vertices in the scene. Then I'll snap these planes together and I have a light type connection. It's important to snap when you can. We should make as much effort as possible to have things be solved exactly. So that when the graphics card is drawing the objects in their light, it does not have to think about a hairline crack between objects that definitively, these two, well, boring squares are exactly put together and will not leak light through that corner.
To scale objects, press r for Scale. We can either scale as we can also move, by clicking and dragging here in the view over in the inspector in the transform section. I'll put the z for this plane at 0.5. Entering that in and pressing enter, and now this plane is half the size of the original. I'll press w to move once more, hold v for snap, and make sure that I click in the scene view, pressing f to focus in, and positioning that snap on the bottom left of that plane.
Then I'll snap it down onto the other, hold Shift to pick both and press f to focus once more. Zooming in, we can see now I have a shorter wall again with that light type connection. Objects in Unity are drawn single sided. If we spin around the back of these objects, we can see that they're invisible. And under the floor, it doesn't show anything at all. We need to make sure that when we model and bring things in, they're modeled correctly with the correct facing normals. Making sure everything is single sided ensures that we can keep our draw calls low.
If you'd like to switch around your view and be able to see different ways of shading, drop down under texture and choose wire frame or choose textured wire. This is the equivalent in Maya of smoothed plus edged faces, but it lets us see not only the wire of an object but how it's going to shade in that game. Lastly, we can configure our view to show the RGBAlpha whether its transparent or not and overdraw. At the moment this isn't too big of a deal. Its drawn in a dull red because there's just one object there.
When I start to stack more objects and overdraw, we'll see them get lighter and lighter reflecting how many things the game engine is looking through before we call them down. If we're dealing in textures, we can see our bitmaps or different texture resolutions. But at the moment with no textures applied, this isn't going to make much of a difference. I'll go back to RGB and there are my objects and my scene. I can move, rotate, and scale as I need. A final note on scaling. If we have a prefab meaning that it's title is shown here in blue, scaling that prefab creates a new object and will drastically increase the number of draw calls we're making.
Scaling a game object that's created in Unity, such as these planes doesn't affect the draw calls as drastically. So keep in mind where you use scale. Also from a design perspective, make sure that in simply scaling things to fit, you think about the sizes of objects you're going to need and craft them correctly. It's much better for the emission in gain for things to look like they're made to the right size instead of small objects simply blown up to fill space. To finish, I'll save the scene, choosing File > Save Scene.
This will save everything I've done in the scene, those 3 carefully positioned planes and any materials that are applied. The view of the scene however from the main camera, is saved with the project. So keep in mind that when you open up a scene, unless you've saved that project, you may see a slightly different view of the scene and you can always navigate around to frame in what you'd like.
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