Welcome everyone to the party

One of the goals of making this specific game was to learn and gain experience with 3D modeling and Unity. I had experience with both tools but never tried the full workflow from one to the other.

The apartment of the game itself was designed using ProBuilder (an Unity tool) and, up until making the humans in the game, I had only done simple props and objects where the bad geometry was less notable.

One of my big concerts with modeling people was making clothes and texturing them. That’s why the initial concept for the game involved grey and red human figures. Unfortunately, people who played this version of the game weren’t a fan of this choice.

Making the first human was simple enough. There’s a great tutorial on YouTube that covers how to make a low poly person and adding bones to make simple poses wasn’t hard either. The big problem was making clothes.

My “process” involved copying the faces I wanted to be covered in clothing and then separating them from the main object to then give them volume. The worst part was dealing with the bones and having the clothes follow the movements of the main object when I tried put it in different poses. I fought a lot with Blender and objects clipping or being all messed up. At first I was doing a new variation of the human model for each new person I added to the game, that meant I was fighting this battle each time.

For a while the idea of working on the game became unpleasant. I had more than 30 characters to add to the game and I felt that a slight misstep when making them would turn into an headache. I didn’t try to do anything fancy either, only long sleeve shirts and t-shirts. The idea of trying to make more elaborate clothes made me “scared”.

The idea of making a human character and having them wear something looks simple since it’s a common need. Many games have characters in them and you can even switch what they wear sometimes! That wasn’t the case for me and I couldn’t even find many tutorials that covered this or described a “standard way” to accomplish it.

I assume that I was doing it wrong and that I had made my life more difficult than it needed to be. By the end of this grueling process I stopped messing with the human model and instead only changed the textures. Doing this from the start would have been wiser given my skill level. Looking at all the models I made, I am happy with one of the hair pieces and the fact I made someone wear a nice beanie (I liked the beanie enough to use that model three times!).

If I could go back instead of tweaking the model each time and re-doing the clothes I would have had four base models and then I would change the textures and hair around. Even the hair I would re-use after a certain point.

Moving the 3D models to Unity was easy. It was important to make sure that all the transforms were applied and then it was drag and drop. The size didn’t match between the two programs so I always had to scale the models.There were a few instances where the models had a 90 degree rotation and where I had to recalculate UVs (when a face of the model doesn’t show up on Unity is probably a UV issue) but that was it. The textures were automatically added to the model 90 per cent of the time as well.

After all of this I will never look at clothes in games the same. I am also close to being done with this game. Fingers crossed and thank you for reading!

Miguel Condez @miguelcondez