Environment Assets & Shader

Even though the setting of "Danger Darrel" takes place in a hot canyon, the environment should still be lively to contribute to the overall aesthetics in the game.

Since the primary focus is to provide a smooth gameplay mechanic on mobile devices, these need to have as little impact on the performance as possible.

Static trees and plants seem very lifeless, so I started exploring low-performance options for animating these assets. Gras, bushes, tumbleweed etc. should have movement simulating a light breeze going through the canyon valley. I decided to further explore Unity Shader Graph and was amazed by the endless possibilities of creating various effects.

For anyone starting with Shader Graph, I can highly recommend the following tutorials on Youtube:

As you go through these tutorials, make also sure to have a look at the Unity Shader Graph manual. In the shader graph itself, you also can get documentation information for the nodes if you are not too sure on what they do. When I started using Shader Graph, I was a bit overwhelmed but by just using an empty projects and connecting the various nodes it started to slowly becoming clear how individual nodes can be combined and how these interact with each other.

With the "plant" shader in place, it was time to create some plants. Below is a short video of the process in Illustrator with the final outcome in Unity 3D with the created shader applied.

The great thing about Shaders in Unity is, that it can be setup to be used for various materials. In this case, the Shaders primary purpose is to mimic the wind. By applying this shader to other materials in Unity, all sorts of elements that should be affected by wind can be visualized, whether its a bush, grass, tree etc.

I would love to hear your ideas! Feel free to drop a comment or message!