Neon Challenge Dev Blog



  • Just me, since I’m using this as a learning experience. I’m a software developer, mostly focused on Augmented and Virtual reality research, with some Machine Learning and art thrown in to keep things interesting.


Assets Used

I already had paid credits with GameTextures, but there is a free tier that can get you 3 textures / month for free (for works that earn less than $2000). Since this challenge spanned two months, I allowed myself 6 textures, which I could have gotten for free if I didn’t already have credits with the site ( At the time of project completion, I have only used two of the six self-allotted substances (one for the pillars, and one for the material being collected).

Tools Used

  • Google Blocks for rapid / rough layout
  • Blender for modeling
  • GIMP for general graphics manipulation
  • Inkscape for vector graphics
  • Adobe Fusion for humans




Color Scheme

For much of the look, I wanted to really go for three main colors in the color scheme. I come back to this and re-baseline sometimes, but it’s just a guide.




Cloth Experimentation

I’ve used many Unity features, but one that I haven’t touched is cloth simulation. The first couple tries were pretty awful, and I’ve had trouble getting it to behave the way I wanted. The material definitely needs weight in order to move right, especially at any length. I started with planes, but I’m really concerned the single-sided texture would peek through at a really bad time… So, back into Blender.

This took me a couple tries to get the way I wanted it. First I took a plane, subdivided and scaled it. I then applied the scale, duplicated the plane, and flipped the duplicate a small distance away from the initial plane. Then, I stitched the sides together one quad at a time (I didn’t know a faster way). Finally, I used boolean operators to create a die to cut the circular shape on the bottom.


After that, I textured it. A simple texture map, a metallic map to go with it, and a normal map… All using Blender, Inkscape and GIMP. The finished banner has an excellent specular highlight action going on when the light hits it right. I’m feeling really good about this one.banner-done.PNG


I knew I wanted the terrain to look alien, but based off of real data. I got a heightmap from the USGS, and set to scripting. The script iterated over the map, getting the height, and putting a simple beveled hex prefab at each height.





Initial Layout

Rough layout in Google Blocks, imported into Unity. This model has all of the major components in the initial design. I know I want my pillars to be hexagonal instead of cylindrical, but it’ll do for now. Also, due to scaling, I wasn’t able to get much detail on the child watching things, so I did a more detailed view of that character off to the side.

Screenshots below are after I’ve brought in the Google Blocks model into Unity. I found it super helpful to put things in VR where I could see the proportion and relationship between elements, and screenshots really don’t do that justice.




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