Project: One Minute Mood Place (blockout)

Create an expressive environment to be explored through a first person perspective, using only simple shapes or imported images.

Your toolbox:

Blockout tools: Probuilder can make simple 3D volumes within the engine but they can’t be very detailed, no organic forms, no easy way to make holes (booleans).
SabreCSG allows you to sketch environments very quickly in engine.Check out #blocktober
You can blockout with blender or maya as well. Use the .blend file directly in the asset folder for fast iteration.
Images: You can import found images.
Text: You can have UI text triggers or in the environment
Terrain: you can use the terrain component sculpt reliefs from a plane, it can’t do caves overhangs. It won’t do anything realistic by itself.
Sound: you must add some kind of sound. You can add a looping soundscape and looping localized sounds.
Materials: Don’t use the default blockout grid. Solid colors or simple abstract textures are preferred for this assignment, you won’t have time to create environment art.
Lighting: set skybox, environment lighting, fog, early on to set the mood etc.
Effects: you can add post processing effects, and particles.
Borrowed assets: avoid stolen 3D assets since they will overdetermine the layout of your environment. We can negotiate exceptions if you have a good reason.

Expressive Environments

A Pattern Language for Expressive Environments

Brainstorm (blockout)

Pick two prompts and block out an environment that relates to both prompts in different parts of it:

Altered state

– Try to solicit an emotional response through pure movement through space.
– The experience should last about 1 minute.
– Add an exit (I may stitch the scenes together)
You must change the default skybox.
– Read this chapter from Robert Yang’s WIP book about level design: layouts
– First Draw a map of your environment explaining all the pathways and the things a visitor will encounter. Post it in assignments.
– Incorporate a 3 patterns from the list
– Use only simple untextured materials. Not the default grid.

-Complete your 1 minute mood place

Exercise 3: Homeplay

Show and tell time.
Play a game/app either among the ones in the expressive environments page or artwork or game of your choice that relates to your project. Present an aspect of it that you find interesting: a mechanic, an effect, a solution… you can give an overview of the work but try to focus on a narrow aspect and research it as much as you can.
All presentations should be between 5 and 10 minutes and have audiovisual material (a simple video playthrough should be enough) to support it.


You can start from the sound place template, it has a character controller and some basic interaction scripts.

Import probuilder from the package manager, see video below.
Download SabreCSG and install it, see videos below

How do I move around in first person? (You can skip this one if it’s too basic)

How do I block out a level? Can I make simple models inside the engine? What is Pro-builder?

What if I hate ProBuilder? How do you make interiors and windows and door? What is Constructive Solid Geometry? What are brush based level editors?

How do I make mountains and hills in engine? What is the terrain component?

Follow up question: how do I make the terrain not look like crap? What is Microsplat? What is height blending?

Get Microsplat from the Asset Store

Download my Abstract Texture pack

Download additional terrain brushes