What scale should I use for a little board game

Hi, I just started learning Unity and began creating a little board game. In reality the game board would be about 0.5 meters wide. Should I try to model it exactly that size in Unity, using the conversion 1 Unity unit is 1 meter? In that case my game board would be 0.5 units wide and the 1 cm ball which moves around the board would be 0.01 units.

I’m asking because at first I didn’t pay any attention to the scale, so the game board is currently 20 unity units wide and the ball’s diameter is 1 unit. The ball’s movement seems to be sluggish now and I read somewhere that to achieve the most realistic movement with default physics parameters you should model the game world to match the real world dimensions. I tried to scale the game world down, but it looked stupid because I had to zoom to max level to even see the 0.01 sized ball in the scene view.

Another approach to make ball’s movement more realistic it to adjust gravity and other physics parameters at Unity’s physics manager. I tried to increase gravity and max angular velocity a little and it certainly made the movement much better.

I’m now thinking which one is the recommended approach in Unity (not only for this game but in general): To stubbornly model the game world to match real world dimensions and stick with default physics parameters as long as it is possible. Or to scale the game world as you want, for example making the game player always 1 unit in size despite it being 1cm or 2m in real world, and then adjust the Unity’s physics parameters to achieve realistic and smooth movement.

1 unit = 1 meter is fine for FPS games and alike, and works as a general rule of thumb. But 1m=1unit is not always good, for example a game about universe can have “Earth is 1 unit wide” or such.

In your approach, I feel that having let’s say “chess piece” that would be one 1 unit tall would be just fine. Try it out with a few objects and test the physics. I’m sure you can get decent results fast, and then go for the way it works for you.