Building Modular Game Assets
Portalethium is a sci-fi game that the CG Cookie crew developed for the purpose of A) playing and B) learning. It's a tower defense game that was built from the ground up using Blender for 3D asset creation and Unity for game development.
If you haven't played the game yet, please play it here!
Modular modeling madness
We decided that a modular environment was the best way to approach building the game level. Modularity works like Lego's, where pre-built pieces are interchangeable and extensible. This allows for a flexible level-design process that's perfect for iteration. It's also much easier to build a collection of interchangeable pieces than it is to build and texture an entire, un-modular level.
What You'll Learn
Everything about asset creation for games is accomplished with resource efficiency in mind. This means using fewer polygons for models, overlapping UVs where able, and getting the most bang-for-our-buck out of our textures.
- Modeling for modularity: These assets are sci-fi in genre and hard-surface in shape. Therefore the modeling approach is polygon modeling.
- Efficient UV layout: To keep our assets as resource efficient as possible, we're going to combine all our models' UVs into one texture space. Also we'll overlap UVs where possible to accomplish texture symmetry, as well as overlap UV's of duplicate pieces of geometry so they all share the same texture info.
- Texture Painting: Our textures are generated using an "evolutionary" approach where portions of maps are painted or baked with Blender and then layered together in Photoshop to create final versions. We will also be painting textures to take advantage of Unity's PBR shading system.
- Exporting & Importing: Portalethium is going to be built with Unity, so I'll show you how to export our assets from Blender and import into Unity. I'll also cover the workflow of updating our assets between the programs as we progress through the creation process.