Hidden Shortcuts to Make Level Design Easier in Unity

Even the smallest thing can help you optimize your workflow, this article will be all about simple shortcuts that can make the life of a Level Designer and Unity Developer much easier.

Note: This article will be using Filebase Assets as an example but the shortcuts are applicable to any asset in Unity. Some of the shortcut usages are even “universal” to Modelling Software,although the key-bindings may differ in other editors/software.

Your Tools to Manipulate Objects

You can see a menu set on the top left side of your Scene View, these are your Tools to manipulate objects.

You can toggle between them using QWERTY keys on your keyboard.

Q → View: To Grab the screen and pan around

W → Move in X,Y, and Z coordinates

E → Rotate in X,Y,Z

R → Scale: Change size, length, or width using X, Y, Z axes

T → Rect: Creates a rectangle selection

Y → Transform: To manipulate the object transform values which includes everything from the axis, rotation, and scale.

Duplicating Objects

An easy way to get things done quickly is to duplicate objects in your scene. This is even more useful when you’re using things like tiles, or objects that are repeatedly found around a scene.

You can duplicate objects easily by pressing CTRL + D on your keyboard

Moving Objects with Control

Notice how my duplicated objects seem to sort of snap into place as an I move them. This type of controlled movement is done by holding your Ctrl key as you move.

This makes it so the object moves in quarter units.

This can also be applied to any sort of movement which changes your object transform. Here you can see how it works for rotation by incrementing in degrees.

Rotating Multi-Selected Objects Individually

There are two ways to rotate multiple objects at once:

  • Rotation in the collective common origin/center point: Rotation done in the perspective of the selected objects as if it were a singular object with a common center point.

To use this rotation type you must change the Toggle Tool Point to Center.

  • Rotation in the individual origin/center point: Each individual object that is part of the selection will rotate in perspective to its own personal center point.

To use this rotation type you must change the Toggle Tool Point to Pivot.

Vertex Snapping

Vertex snapping is a very powerful positioning technique that uses specific vertices to snap your object together into place.

  1. To use vertex snap, it may be useful to tweak Wireframe/Shade as it will help you see which vertices you’re snapping onto.
  1. The command you will be using is holding the V key and moving your cursor over to the vertex you wish to use.
  2. Once you are positioned correctly, you can drag your object(while holding v) directly from your vertex onto the object to wish to stitch together.

Bonus: Keeping your Heriarchy Clean

Duplicating objects and level design, in general, can make a mess of your Herirarchy, but you can easily organize it.

  • Create an Empty Game Object for all your Static Objects(objects that don’t move in the scene)
  • Create individual child objects for each category of the objects in your scene. In my case, I only have Floors added for now. Every object relevant to a category must be dragged and dropped within the child object.

Note: You can have a Parent Empty Object for Moving Objects such as moving platforms or anything else that may fit that category.

Now you have a clean and organized Hierarchy!

In the next article, I will be covering how I created a Sci-fi Lab Room using Filebase! Follow me for more Game Dev articles! I am currently covering a series of Level Design content using Filesbase.

Coming soon, I will be writing Narrative Design articles as well. Some of these articles will include what to expect from a narrative design test from a potential employer!

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