Learning Level Design with Unity (Pt. 2)

Learning Level Design with Unity (Pt. 2)

Justin Horner's photo
Justin Horner
·Apr 10, 2022·

As you may recall from the previous article, I'm now on a quest to get better at level design by creating a sci-fi building. I started by adding the floors by using multiple floor assets to create a somewhat varied design.

Well, I now have some walls to show. Not exciting, but necessary, nonetheless.

Wall Prefabs

Of course, I'm not going to make all these walls without the help of a few prefabs. The wall design is going to alternate between light and dark, with a thin row between two dark panels.

hallway-wall.png

level_design_walls_01.gif

Once I had the two wall designs created, I made them into prefabs that I could use around the entire floor, making the process much faster than it would have been otherwise.

wall-final.png

Column Prefabs

Another lesson I'm learning as part of this process is what it takes to give a structure the a sense of verticality. Yes, we have walls, but by adding a few columns, we can emphasize it even further.

scifi-columns-assets.png

I made column prefab from this colum structure based on these three assets.

columns-structure.png

I used several column instances to create a sense of architecture and verticality to the level. Here's the final result.

ezgif-1-eb5a714fda.gif

Doorway

Finally, I used the column assets to create archway leading to the main room. After a lot of duplicating, rotating and translating, here's the result.

archway.png

Ceiling

Hallway

Let's first add a ceiling for the hallway. I started by using a repeating asset to cover the top, then started replacing assets to add variety.

ceiling_hallway_01.png

ceiling_hallway_02.png

I finished it by adding some vents and piping near the walls.

ceiling_hallway_03.png

Main Room

Another lesson learned is to add detail to ceilings because most players will look up immediately when entering a building. With the design so far, we're practically asking them to look up, so we don't want just a flat surface ceiling.

First, I duplicated the floor, raised and rotated it to face downward. I then used these assets around the edges of the ceiling to add some piping, ventilation, and struts. Finally, I used our trusty column assets to finish the ceiling of the main room.

ceiling_main_01.png

ceiling_main_02.png

Summary

I've applied the same rules when creating the walls; balance avoiding repetition and maintaining a sense of consistency, and make life easier by creating prefabs early to use throughout the design process.

The big takeaway so far for me is seeing what can be done with just a few assets; by scaling, rotating, and combining them, we've managed to create columns, a doorway, and ceiling details.

Stay tuned.

Take care.
Stay awesome.

 
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