Unity 5.3 Prototyping with New Polygon Sprites

In a move to allow for faster prototyping, Unity 5.3 introduced a new 2D feature known as Polygon Sprites. What is it? How does it work? and Who should be using it? How can it help your current workflow.

Getting Started

Polygon Sprites are a great new feature that allows you to create quickly predefined sprite images that can be used in your game. To use these new sprites, select your project window tab, right-click > Create > Sprites and choose your sprite shape from the collection of square, triangle, diamond, hexagon, circle, polygon.

Create Polygon Sprite

Create Polygon Sprite

Once selected an image shape will be created in your project like any other imported image asset. You can rename, organize, create prefabs and modify the color.

Select Polygon Sprite

Select Polygon Sprite

Changing your Sprite Image

After adding your new polygon shape assets to your scene and creating a rough prototype it’s time to polish things up a bit. By naming and organizing your assets based on their use or function, i.e. (stone wall, gem, ammo, power-up) you can replace the prototype image with your updated graphic. Like any other unity 2d image asset simply swap out the sprite image used by the game objects sprite render.

  1. Start by selecting your prototype game object, either in your scene or your prefab.
  2. Once Selected, go to the property inspector tab and look for the sprite render component
  3. Change the sprite by dragging and dropping your new sprite on the sprite render or clicking on the circle selector option to the right of the sprite field to pen the select option.
Select Sprite Replacement

Select Sprite Replacement

Final Thoughts

A key to creating great prototypes is speed over complexity. The goal of a prototype is to iterate quickly over ideas, theory or mechanics; yet we often find ourselves fiddling with art assets and creating the perfect demo scene. With the new 2D polygon shapes feature in 5.3; Unity attempts to help you focus on experiences and less on replaceable assets.