Unity Focus: Lighting up Space Noir

Unity Focus: Lighting up Space Noir
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

September 3rd 2014 at 10:00AM

N-Fusion’s art director Carissa Isolano reveals the Unity plugins and features that helped create Space Noir

Why choose Unity for Space Noir?
We chose Unity for Space Noir as it has become our engine of choice. Its flexibility is great and the entire team is familiar with the engine, which makes it easier for us to iterate quickly. We always knew Space Noir needed to be a beautiful, graphically high-end game, and we needed to allow our artists to experiment and quickly iterate on their work.

Being able to view in real-time, and have access to some of the industry’s newest tech, has really enabled us to push the boundaries of what our team would have been able to accomplish elsewhere. Unity has also allowed us to not be bound to a particular platform, and the usual restrictions that come with adapting to the hardware for it.

And working with Unity Games has afforded us a larger presence in the marketplace and a creative freedom to get the job done right.

How did you accomplish the visual quality of the game, given that it’s targeted at mobile platforms?
Unity has allowed us access to some great features both inside the engine and via plugins. Our game was built from the ground up using Marmoset Skyshop, which is available in the Unity Asset Store. This has helped to quickly unify all of the assets in a scene within just a few moments of setup, and the results are truly amazing. It allowed us to focus on generating new assets while still maintaining the same overall look and feel to every material added.



We also made use of Shader Forge, which enabled us to create new shaders extremely easily and rapidly. This, mixed with the Unity engine’s huge array of post-processing features, really helped to create a unified theme to our game that comes off as feeling very crisp and polished.

What other features on Unity were useful?
Something new we were able to explore was Asset Data. This played a large part in streamlining the integration of the many enemies, bosses, and weapons, as well as the live tweaking and balancing of the game.

We also wanted to ensure a large view distance in our game, and making use of Unity’s easy to use Level Of Detail system has worked out great to this end. You can view our entire worlds with no need to clip out far away geometry, and it makes for some great views. Mecanim allowed us to efficiently control our animations, and get the most out out of them with re-targeting across our biped characters.

Which features would you like to see added in future versions of Unity?
We’d like to see better source control support as that is a constant frustration for us. A cinematic editor would be very useful as well.

A lot of our favourite features also come from the plugins we have used to supplement the engine, and some of these are very worthy of being integrated into the engine itself.