In this tutorial, we’ll show you how make a to wooden ball-in-maze puzzle, like the kind with a two knobs and a marble, complete with a main menu and pause overlay!

Complete game

By the end of this tutorial, you should feel comfortable:

  • Managing Scenes
  • Creating overlay menus

You should also gain a better understanding of how physics forces affect objects.

Let's Begin

Clone the marbles project and import it into a new 3D Unity project named Marble-Maze. Remember, you can clone to your Desktop using

cd Desktop
git clone

It should have some assets in a folder called "Downloads."

Downloads folder

Be sure your project is set up to be 3D.

3D settings

Create a new folder called "Scenes" and save the current scene as Play in that folder.

Play scene

We’ve used scenes in other tutorials, but what are they, and why have we been using them?

A Unity Scene is a collection of Game Objects that you can load or unload during gameplay. The word "scene" is actually incredibly descriptive of what a Unity Scene is; you can think of a Unity Scene as the equivalent of a scene in a movie or play, with the Game Objects as set pieces, props, and actors. When you switch scenes, you unload the old Game Objects, and then load in the ones in the new scene. By default, objects don’t persist between scenes in Unity, though, you can tell Unity to make certain objects do this, if you ever need to.

We’re going to use Scenes to make our Main Menu totally separate from our Gameplay, since the two of them will follow different logic and since we want them to look significantly different.

Building Your Game Scene

The first thing we’ll want to make in our tilt-a-ball game is a board we can tilt around.

Create an Empty Game Object named Board and then add some Cubes as children to it to make a 30 x 20 board with a raised edge. We’ve chosen to use a Cube for the floor here rather than a plane because, when players tilt the board around, we expect them to be able to see the board from below, and a Plane would appear invisible from below, which would seem unrealistic.

The board

To make our board a little easier to see and to make it look more realistic, we’re going to cover it with a the wood texture in our downloads folder.

Create a new folder called Materials, and, in it, create a new Material called Wood.

Wood material

Select the Wood Material, and, in the Inspector, select the little circle next to Albedo to set the Albedo Texture to the asset "wood." You can find the asset more easily by typing its name in the search bar in the box that appears.

Change wood albedo texture

The wood texture

Double-click the asset to set it.

The wood texture set

Now Shift or Ctrl select all the Cubes that make up your Board’s geometry, and apply the new Wood material to them by setting the Material with them all selected.

Apply the wood material

Applied wood texture!

Unity’s pretty darn smart in that it lets you set properties on like Game Objects at the same time if you have them all selected! You can also use multiple selection to see if objects all have the same settings; Unity displays a little bar wherever properties have multiple values across Game Objects, like in the local position of the Cubes above.


If you have feedback on this tutorial or find any mistakes, please open issues on the GitHub Repository or comment below.

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