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Designing the game

From: Unity 4.3 Essential Training

Video: Designing the game

Game design is a large and complex topic and a multifaceted

Designing the game

Game design is a large and complex topic and a multifaceted one, ranging from psychology to interior design to scripting and implementation. Understanding at least the basic workflow of making a game is important. Before we dive headlong into our game editor, we need to see where it sits in the pipeline, and what we'll be doing in the different software packages we'll use. We play games to immerse ourselves in an alternate reality. This is something that every game designer, and anybody associated with the making of a game, needs to keep at the forefront of their mind.

And it's especially important when we're deep in the technical workings of implementing a part of that game. It's very rare to walk down the street and encounter a dragon for example, but we play games because we'd like to have exactly that experience. We're in a street and suddenly there's a dragon and we have to decide what to do. We crave that luxury of often artificial fear or the ability to do something that we cannot do readily in our daily lives without fear of the consequences. In that same vein, not many of us are elite special forces soldiers tasked with repelling the invading alien army, but we play games for precisely that purpose.

Even simulation games, or serious games exist to immerse the player in a version of a reality. There are training sims for example, for planes. It's very difficult to take a novice flyer and put him or her in a cockpit of a multi-million dollar plane. But in a training sim, we can get a lot of experience in flying that plane and understanding how the controls behave and seeing the consequences of our actions. We as game designers have to keep this in our mind. That things need to be seamlessly, obviously right and not break the illusion of that immersion in that reality.

Unity is a versatile game authoring tool. We'll use it in facets to make our game. It's a game editor, where we stitch together multiple levels and other components to make a full-fledged game. It's also a level editor allowing us to bring in and place assets, and add interactivity making the actual place that the player will play. It's a game engine, and this is actually the software that drives the game the player is playing that when they're seeing the graphics up on screen, Unity is pushing that out, and driving it in whatever platform they're using.

And finally, it's an authoring tool. Coupled with MonoDevelop which comes with it, we have powerful scripting available, allowing us to not only add interactivity, but craft whatever it is we need to make our game well, fun to play. The typical game design workflow will vary from studio to studio. Every different company or batch of designers has their own particular workflow that they like, that they feel gives them the best art and the best implementation. We'll create assets in a 3D modeling packages. For example we'll use Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds mask, Pixelogic Zbrush, Autodesk mudbox, or any number of other applications for the actual production of our assets.

These packages have full-fledged modeling and unwrapping features. We're not only modeling the polygons as we want them, but telling the texture how to flow around that object and adding in as much detail as we feel we need to see in our game. We'll also see our 2D drawing programs come into play, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. These will allow us to craft textures, a fundamental and important part of gaming. These textures add richness and realism as we're constrained in how much we can push around in real time in polygons.

And so seeing what we think is the full detail of our world provided by the texture is of utmost importance. We'll implement our assets then in Unity. We'll import, place, and add materials to our models that we brought in. We'll also add animation, interactivity, and scripts to these assets, transforming it from simply a navigable environment to a place we can interact with and affect our world. Unity supports a number of scripting languages. We can work in C#, JavaScript, and Boo which s a Python variant.

This gives us a lot of flexibility. Rather than using a proprietary code, we're using a code that is common knowledge. There are a tremendous amount of resources available for these scripting languages. And this affords us the flexibility, not only in how we implement our object in Unity, but to custom craft whatever tools we feel we need to make this game more fun to play. With this understanding of our process, we can jump in and start to make our game, and see where we really sit in our world.

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This video is part of

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Unity 4.3 Essential Training

78 video lessons · 8075 viewers

Adam Crespi

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  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
    2. What you should know before watching this course
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 24s
  2. 21m 21s
    1. Designing the game
      4m 39s
    2. Setting the project
      4m 9s
    3. Exploring the Hierarchy, Scene, and Inspector windows
      5m 45s
    4. Creating and transforming objects
      6m 48s
  3. 21m 34s
    1. Organizing the Assets window
      2m 55s
    2. Exporting objects from 3D modeling programs
      8m 33s
    3. Importing and configuring models and textures
      4m 54s
    4. Setting properties for models and textures in the Inspector
      5m 12s
  4. 29m 8s
    1. Introducing the game environment
      4m 27s
    2. Placing the player controller
      4m 29s
    3. Publishing project settings
      5m 32s
    4. Adding sky and fog
      8m 17s
    5. Fine-tuning the First Person Controller
      6m 23s
  5. 57m 25s
    1. Creating the terrain geometry
      3m 29s
    2. Forming the topography
      9m 54s
    3. Painting the terrain textures
      7m 9s
    4. Painting trees and forests
      10m 55s
    5. Painting grass, shrubs, and 3D geometry
      9m 38s
    6. Painting detail meshes
      8m 46s
    7. Adjusting terrain settings
      7m 34s
  6. 39m 45s
    1. Creating materials and assigning shaders
      8m 56s
    2. Handling multiple materials
      7m 13s
    3. Adding textures to a material
      3m 57s
    4. Manipulating textures
      5m 20s
    5. Adding reflections to materials
      8m 1s
    6. Creating lit materials
      6m 18s
  7. 47m 12s
    1. Creating GameObjects
      5m 2s
    2. Understanding components
      6m 15s
    3. Using colliders for barriers
      6m 22s
    4. Using colliders for triggers
      8m 1s
    5. Exploring physics
      8m 22s
    6. Working with Physic materials
      5m 3s
    7. Adding joints to rigid bodies
      8m 7s
  8. 20m 33s
    1. Setting up prefabs for animation and batching
      5m 8s
    2. Animating an object
      6m 32s
    3. Adjusting timing in an animation
      3m 50s
    4. Animating transparency and lights
      5m 3s
  9. 11m 58s
    1. Importing skinned meshes
      4m 51s
    2. Separating animations into clips and states
      3m 14s
    3. Creating transitions between states
      3m 53s
  10. 30m 22s
    1. Customizing ambient light
      2m 59s
    2. Creating the sun using a directional light
      5m 49s
    3. Using layers and tags for lighting
      3m 32s
    4. Adding spot and point lights
      4m 25s
    5. Using point lights for fill
      4m 30s
    6. Adding and fine-tuning shadows
      5m 10s
    7. Creating lighting effects with cookies
      3m 57s
  11. 9m 15s
    1. Adding scripts to GameObjects
      2m 42s
    2. Using correct script syntax
      6m 33s
  12. 23m 7s
    1. Setting up a 2D project
      3m 13s
    2. Importing sprites
      2m 30s
    3. Slicing in the Sprite Editor
      3m 6s
    4. Layering sprites and setting the sorting order
      5m 12s
    5. Creating 2D colliders
      3m 12s
    6. Adding 2D physics
      2m 25s
    7. Animating 2D elements
      3m 29s
  13. 30m 25s
    1. Creating light shafts and sunbeams
      5m 20s
    2. Using ambient occlusion to add gravity
      4m 37s
    3. Adding depth of field
      8m 40s
    4. Applying motion blur
      5m 46s
    5. Tuning color for mood
      6m 2s
  14. 38m 16s
    1. Exploring water effects
      7m 36s
    2. Working with wind zones
      2m 8s
    3. Using an audio source
      4m 3s
    4. Creating a sound zone
      5m 59s
    5. Triggering audio
      3m 37s
    6. Adding audio effects
      3m 13s
    7. Creating particle systems
      2m 26s
    8. Adjusting particle systems
      9m 14s
  15. 25m 23s
    1. Setting up occlusion culling
      5m 52s
    2. Enabling batching to reduce draw calls
      3m 28s
    3. Testing in the game window using statistics
      4m 27s
    4. Building a development build and debugging
      6m 0s
    5. Building the executable
      5m 36s
  16. 49s
    1. Next steps

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