Unity: first thoughts

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Reviews, Unity, Video Game Development
Tags: , , ,

If you’ve never heard of Unity, and are into game development, I highly recommend checking it out. You can reach the website with tutorials, information and documentation at http://www.unity3d.com. You can also download it.

Introduction:

Unity comes in Two forms, the free version and paid version. They both offer an extremely powerful environment for game development. They both also allow you to publish your games for a variety of platforms. The free allows you to publish for Windows or Mac, and the paid also allows you to publish for various mobile platforms, like Android and IOS. It provides an amazing 3D view for manipulating various game objects in the 3D world. It also provides a unique environment for coding, taking an object oriented approach where everything in the world (models, scripts, etc.) are all GameObjects. I won’t go too far into how Unity handles development (perhaps I will in a layer post) but rather how the experience was.

Development in Unity:

Developing in Unity was a very pleasurable experience. The 3D view in incredible, and makes things like positioning things incredibly easy when compared to positioning programmatically, which can be a huge hassle (change position, recompile, tweak position again, recompile, and so on).
In addition, the GameObject paradigm really makes organizing things super easy. Everything in the world is a game object, which can be composed of models, lights, models, and more, and can even be composed of child GameObjects. Because of this, it’s super easy to develop a specific part of the game, without mucking with another unrelated part. It’s also super easy for separate GameObjects to talk!

My Current Project:

My current project heavily relies on objects and collections interacting with each other. Unity has made developing super easy because Unity is set up in such a way as to make what I want to do super easy. For example, my script for building takes my builder object (A small avatar that builds things at its current cell) and creates a building object at the current tile, while checking the bank object and tile collection to make sure we have enough money and theres not already a building there. Normally, with a different game engine, like XNA for example, having these objects interact would be more complicated since I would have to explicitly create the communication system that is already there in Unity.

Also, importing models is incredibly easy and fast. You simply save the model in the correct directory (the assets folder in your projects root folder) and Unity automatically imports the model, and you can see how it looks in the game world, instead of having to compile the whole project just to see the size (god forbid you have to tweak the size repeatedly).

There are many reasons why Unity is incredible, and at a layer date I will further expand on it, but for anyone who is interested in game development, I strongly urge you to try out Unity. It’s free! Go to http://www.unity3d.com

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