SketchUp for Game Design

Robh Ruppel

The SketchUp is a user-friendly entry level modeling program which can be utilized for prototype game design & modding.

With its 3D visualization and physics-based simulation tools SketchUp facilitates game designers and developers to generate a realistic, visually immersive game environment, levels, and props. A game designer can get the ability to make presentations and concepts rapidly, effortlessly and reasonably.

SketchUp consists of drawing layout functionality which is very useful for story boarding. With SketchUp the game developer can boost the game development procedure by inserting realistic details quickly. They can utilize 3D drawing to manage every shot competently.

SketchUp contains an edge regarding modeling and it promotes the application & progression of free and open source 3d models as well as game resources, high quality textures. All the 3D models created with SketchUp can be imported to third party game engines like Meshlab, GIMP and Unity 3D to transfer the models into usable 3D game assets for making games.

The game developers can snap digital photographs and utilize SketchUp to convert them into 3D objects for quick, fun, game formation. They will be able to create realistic 3D models like terrain, buildings, barrels, rusty fencing vehicles and low polygon 3D objects to transform the game alive.

SketchUp facilitates surface rendering in changeable styles, puts up third-party "plug-in" programs with photo pragmatic rendering and allows position of its models inside Google Earth.

The game developer can find models free from an online repository of pre-built objects known as 3D warehouse and download cars, ships, people, trees and anything else they like from there.

SketchUp comes up with various versions and among them SketchUp Pro is very useful for game developer. With SketchUp Pro, they will be capable of exporting the models to utilize in other software. SketchUp Pro can produce 3DS, OBJ, FBX and COLLADA (DAE) files, with others. The game designer can make their ideas with SketchUp quickly and transfer them into their preferred 3D program.

The game developer can create complete game Graphical User Interface (or GUI) with SketchUp and then export it to any third party programme like 3D Studio MAX for rendering and finalization to be programmed into the game in the end.

SketchUp provides the following wide array of benefits to the game designer/developer:-

  • Make perfect designing for game level
  • Generate superior quality textures for games
  • Create dazzling graphics
  • Obtain a 3D walk-through of all models
  • Add materials and colors as well as texture, lighting, entities toward surfaces
  • Create quick animation
  • Model low-poly game assets to be sold in game asset stores
  • Photo texture models for ultra pragmatism
  • Form game ready" textures & models from photographs
  • With in-built Sandbox tools sculpt irregular terrain
  • Put in lighting and walk around in game visualization
  • Make a physical 3D environment and objects with professional game art, levels and props
  • Save pre-set views to demonstrate all through presentations
  • Find instant aerial imagery and terrain for several location from Google Earth
  • Set up your character controller
  • Fencing areas of your creation

There are lots of resources through which a game developer/designer can enhance its design skills. Robin de Jongh released a book alias “SketchUp for Game Design”. The book provides step-by-step tutorial and screen shots which may be very useful for newbie developer for developing 3D games. The game developers will come to know - How to make a complete game level with realistic 3d models, textures, levels and props.

The book is available from Packt Publishing or on Amazon (along with a version for Kindle).

Stefan Boeykens, the renowned architect-engineer and doctoral Researcher at KU Leuven had personally reviewed the book and provided his valuable opinions regarding the pros and cons of the book. Go through the following link to get the review.

Review: Google SketchUp for Game Design

The renowned art director and concept artist Robh Ruppel utilized SketchUp for designing award-winning video games known as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. SketchUp was applied to visualize the environment of the video games. It was the leading video game of 2009 and considered as the most critically acclaimed game of the year.

Go through the following video to get the detailed process for creating the video game.

Robh Ruppel has also given an exclusive interview on how he utilize SketchUp in making decisions and designing shapes in this video game. The interview was published in SketchUp artist.

Robh Ruppel – Google SketchUp in Game Design

Coen Naninck also presented a brief case study on How SketchUp is utilized for game modding. Go through the following link to get the details.