How to Design a Game World

How to build your videogame world

  • Purchase Environment Assets
  • Purchase a good framework/controller
  • Purchase characters and clothing
  • Purchase props and items
  • Start developing your game world, add characters and gameplay, build a rich lore, tell a story.

You might also want to get some AI in your game, check out how to do it, over here.

What makes a good game world?

You’ll need lots of environment assets to build your world, once that is complete, you can start building in characters and story and gameplay. Get a character controller in there, and some means of presenting dialogue to the player. Then start building lore.

Where can you find game environments?

So with that out of the way, you’re going want to know what the best environment assets are for Unity and Unreal. There are too many to show you even a fraction of them, you basically find 9 versions of everything that exists, but here are some assets I have really enjoyed, or just think look really cool.

Japanese Street – by ART EQUILIBRIUM

This is really one of the nicest assets you’ll ever see. It’s perfect for a cozy little hub world, or a small town, you can double it up a few times and give yourself a lot of room to walk around in. The assets are beautiful, and it’s not very expensive, you can get it in Unity or looking much nicer in Unreal.

ART EQUILIBRIUM is one of the best environment makers on either platform, their stuff is top grade. I would start my character in this part of town, then I built around it. It’s so lovely.

Stylized Graveyard by Sidearm Studios

This is a really beautiful asset, from our friends at Sidearm Studios. This would be great in a horror game, or even a kids game. It could be like Castlevania or something, in my case, it will be one of the places you can go to from the hub world.

It’s really well designed, it’s a wonderful asset.

Easy Survival RPG 2.5

This is going to be it’s own article, but I wanted to briefly go over Easy Survival RPG 2.5 . It’s a really nice framework for building a survival action RPG, I just picked it up, honestly you should too. But the Island itself, isn’t that nice?

This is something more practical than just an environment to download and put into your game, this is a firm foundation for a commercial grade game, almost out of the box. You’ve got a character controller, enemy AI, weapons, guns, melee and unarmed. You’ve got swimming mechanics, You’ve got a minimap, a dialogue system, a quest system, UI, a stat system, character creation, etc, etc, a very fine piece of software.

Suburban Neighborhood

Here it is in Unity, usual for Unity commercials it is of course in HDRP, keep that in mind, but nevertheless, this is a lovely neighborhood. It is well designed, pretty, it has a day and night version, You could easily design a very nice piece of work with this game. For some reason it reminds me of the Sims.

And here is the Unreal version, for your comparison. I can confirm you can achieve these results in reality, this is not touched up to look better than it actually is, it genuinely is this nice.

Polygon Sci Fi City

This one is really nice, it’s a beautifully designed city, full of color and life, with some really neat cyberpunk themes. It is one of the more beautiful assets I have seen, it also comes with a whole host of characters, although they are non-standard to the UE4 skeleton.

Japanese Temple

This is a beautiful Japanese Temple for Unreal Engine 4, currently on sale at half price. It features beautiful golden Buddha’s, of the highest quality. It is as you would find it in the best Japanese Temples in reality.

We will also be discussing a few other Japanese Temples in Unity.

C.V.P. – Japanese Garden

This project has improved a lot since it started in development. It was originally a very humble Japanese temple, well built, calming to walk through, it was already a really good asset, but now it’s even better.

The asset has received a major update, transforming it into a much higher quality temple. The lighting is beautiful, the general quality of the FBX’s is better in every way, it is now a much more professional grade resource.

I am kind of friends with the developer, he helped me a lot with my Unity project, and is very responsive to questions on his discord. He is a good person.

Japanese Temple in Four Seasons

This is a glorious temple. It has three different Buddha’s, one shiny and golden and new, one worn and darkened, and one as dark as soot. I fell in love with this temple when I saw it, and I combined it with the original temple from above, and it created a sort of Zen experience for me. I would go to my temple just to relax, for no other reason.

You probably will too.

Map Magic Material and Maker (M4)

If what you want is terrain generation in Unreal, this is also a really good option. In a Gaia Pro like manner, you can create large scale open world environments, populated with plants and trees. It comes with a grassy biome, a desert biome, and a snow biome. You can also use your own heightmaps, if I’m not mistaken. Check it out if you need a large scale open world terrain.


This is a really good city generator, you can make large scale cities with this, very professional looking ones too. They’re not perfect, some of the assets lack colliders, but if you want to quickly build a full sized city to walk around in, in an open world New York style game, this is the place to go.

Just be prepared for a few bugs….

Japanese Classroom and Hallway

If you want to make your game in a Japanese School setting, this is a really good option. They have beautiful designs and everything is very high quality. There’s a whole range of stuff, enough that you could build an entire game out of just these assets. This covers the basic classrooms you’ll be creating, but there’s also hallways, gyms, swimming pools, facilities, cafeteria’s, medical labs, art rooms, libraries, etc, etc.

All purchased separately of course. 🙂

But technically if you did, it would be the ultimate game, if done correctly. I would like to have all these assets, just so the character can go through that massive environment, a game in itself, as one of the many places in the world to visit.

Japanese Alley

This is a beautiful alleyway, with night and daytime versions. At night it is beautiful and dark and lovely. The whole area exudes personality and begs you to make interior levels for every door in the alleyway. In my own game I combined it with Japanese Street, and one of the important characters lived there.

Gaia Pro 2021

While we’re on the topic I believe it is worth mentioning Gaia Pro 2021 again. It streamlines the process of building big beautiful environments for your open world game, and I even made an island covered in cherry blossom trees. You can use your own resources to populate the levels or go with the stuff that comes out of the box. It is very versatile and to say it saves you a lot of effort, implies it is even possible to make something this good for a beginner, price tag is hefty but it’s worth it and often goes on sale.

Module Based City Creator

This is not really a city creator as such, this is just one big giant model of a city, if you quadruple it up, so the roads connect still, you can make a really nice environment to run around in. It has a cool kind of Chicago look. Very nice.

Hong Kong Street – by Art Equilibrium

Much like Japanese Street, this asset by Art Equilibrium is really wonderful, really beautifully produced. This time we’re in Hong Kong, so you have cool Chinese graffiti everywhere, and lots of neat shops.

You could make something really wonderful around this. It kind of reminds me of Sleeping Dogs.

The Daz Store

I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention the Daz Store. For instance, here is the Morning Subway Commute Bundle.

There are a few things to note about Daz. First of all, you don’t just pay for the product, be it an environment, character, item of clothing, or bundle of goods. With the Daz Store, if you wish to use the model in a game, or anything interactive, you must pay an interactive license in order to utilize it. If you’re on a team of developers, one of you must own the license, and ALL of you must own the asset. There are also new team licenses on offer, for bulk character usage.

For an indie dev, the prices are really good. If you’re the only person who is going to be making your game, this place can get you commercial grade resources at bargain basement prices. They import directly into Unity and Unreal. You can also transfer over characters and outfits, which default into the humanoid rig.

You can purchase morphs, which allow the use of morph targets in Unreal, or blendshapes as they’re called in Unity, which let you deform your characters into all kinds of different shapes, make them older, big and fat, skinny and thin, make them pregnant, you can retexture them into craziness, apply materials and substances to the exterior. There’s so much you can do with this program.

But unless all you want to do is sit around taking still images of your characters, you will need a license to use them in your game. Do not forget, you need a license for every item used, or bundle of items, you will get in legal trouble if you use these assets without a license.

They have every possible kind of human 200 times over, they have clothes for every occupation, they have almost any environment you could require, at a discount cost. They have fantasy characters, orcs, mermen, demons, centaurs, satyrs, they even have Humpty Dumpty. They have EVERYTHING.

I cannot recommend this store enough if you are a single indie dev and you want better quality character models than a AAA studio.

Stylized Medieval Village by Sidearm Studios

Here’s a preview of our new resource for Unreal. It’s an enormous town, beautiful and lush. There is lots to do here, and lots of places to go. You could make a whole game just out of this one town, but it would work even better as part of a whole.’

Sidearm Studios make top quality assets at a drastically reduced price, if you need a big medieval town, I would go with this, instantly. I can already see all kinds of fun I could have with this.

Looking forward to working with it.

So that’s it for now, I need to get moving, I hope you enjoyed this, and I hope you learned something, Have a great day!!

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