Games Engines Theory 5 Week 5 Lesson 5

This week's Objectives

Look at the various background props and items that can be added into the scene

Discuss different types of objects and ways of interacting

Fighting Games backdrop

What objects can go into a scene

Skyboxes- quite simply the sky and world around you that you can't touch. Importance- what is half the screen going to be in an outside game? What are they staring at? With bad sky comes?

Simple way is just a cube map like below more complex way- render a whole 3d object then scale it appropriately

Props are the extra bits added to the scene, the rocks, machines, extra bits and pieces.

Can be interactive or not, vast majority not- used to make a scene look more vivid, more realistic. All contributes to polygon count. Tradeoff- performance vs looks- like environment- hardly/ rarely seen means low quality- seagulls anyone?

Props are mechanics that have eaten a big Thanksgiving dinner; they don’t move unless someone asks them to get off the couch and do the dishes. Designers and artists can place these items into the level to make it feel more like a real place. Sometimes props act as bar- ricades or obstacles for the player to avoid, jump over, or take cover behind: ■ Desks and chairs ■ Parked cars ■ Barricades ■ Statues and gravestones ■ Refrigerators ■ Fences and walls ■ Coffins and alters ■ Fire hydrants ■ Mailboxes ■ Filing cabinets and tool boxes ■ Computer consoles ■ Tables, wardrobes, and dressers ■ Crates ■ Potted plants and water coolers

Punk407 DeviantArt- (C) Valve Labs


In the below screenshot from Fallout 4

  • which would be props?
  • what is the skybox?
  • What is the environment?
  • Which of the elements would be interactive and which not?
EMOTION THROUGH ENVIRONMENT Lightly wooded grassland feels different from steamy, claustrophobic jungle, which feels different from arctic tundra. And these feelings shift with time and season—winter feels different from summer, night different from day, rain different from shine.

Designing Games - Tynan Sylvester

Environment and props can affect mood, realism, immersion, settings, all these things can be influenced by changing the setting. Adding and changing these settings can have a profound effect on your game.

Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft, 2008) from


How can environment and props be used to influence game balance and provide feedback?


Andrews, M. (2017). Game UI Discoveries: What Players Want. [Blog] GamaSutra. Available at: [Accessed 9 Jan. 2017].

Masters, M. (2015). DT Exclusive: Game Environment Tips from a Halo Artist. [Blog] Digital Tutors. Available at: [Accessed 9 Jan. 2017].

Rogers, S. (2014). Level up!. 1st ed. Hoboken: Wiley.

Sylvester, T. (n.d.). Designing games. 1st ed. p.26.

Created By
Simon Hunt

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.