Creating a Sci-fi Lab Room.
Objective: show the reader how I created my Sci-fi inspired laboratory.
As I expand my skills as a game developer, an important aspect is the ability to create breathtaking environments for my projects. I understand it takes people of immense creativity and talent to build these worlds, and it’s quite likely an art that I will never be able to master. Nevertheless, it does remain necessary as a software engineer to grasp the process at hand since it allows you to understand the necessary steps to tweak the final product until it matches the vision of the graphic artist.
This is where the “Guide to Beautiful Games in Unity” course by GameDevHQ comes into play.
Using Filebase assets (Want to know more? See my previous article regarding Filebase here), my instructor provided a logical methodology in scenery design, demonstrating various artistic principles and explaining how to best apply certain shortcuts to expedite the manipulation of game objects using the various Unity tools.
It all starts with the floor and learning how to vary the pattern to keep the Player visually engaged. Using identical tiles would have quickly made the floor “disappear”. Adding variety, both in color, material, and texture, adds depth and perspective to the scene.
Then came the walls. These were also constructed using “floor” tiles stacked and combined as required to add diversity. It was recommended to stack the tiles using a “light / dark / light / dark / light” pattern. I found this very effective visually as it “breaks up” the wall, making it more interesting to look at than just a plain repeating design.
Next, I built the archways and supporting columns. These add a sense of height to the room. You can see, once more, how the overall visual effect is one of grandeur. It feels massive and heavy.
The columns were then used to “build” the supporting struture on the ceiling, while the existing “floor” tiles were used to create the “ceiling”. This kept a similar theme to the ceiling, and the elaborate structural layout adds enough variety to make the Player curious.
I then blocked off the entrance, building the wall with existing elements already in the design of the room, but again making enough changes to keep the visual effect interesting.
I then created an elevated platform staircases on either side.
Then came the addition of computer terminals, suspended monitors, and other exotic laboratory “stuff”.
Using an existing dark floor tile, a shaped it using the transform tool, and created a lattice work which was saved as prefabs in order to built the support girders for the large computer monitors.
The final step in my process was to add colliders to the various surfaces (floor, walls, ceiling, equipment, and stairs). Note how the staircase collider is basically a sloped rectangle; this allows for a smooth transition as the Player “walks” up and down the stairs.
Now, with the room basically finished, the last step was to save it as a package for easy importation later into URP or HDRP projects (more on this in a later article).
Now it still took me a few hours to complete this “laboratory” module. This is not what’s important here. The goal of this challenge was to practice using Unity’s shortcut keys to expedite the process of creation (read article here).
Another important aspect which was stressed throughout was to keep your work organized. Take the time to create various folders to keep all the game object elements grouped into specific areas of your environment. Keep the “static” and “dynamic” objects separated. Adopt these practices, and not only will you find your scene more enjoyable to work on, but other members of your team will sigh with relief!
Even though this article was light on details, I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading! :)