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Unity First Impressions part 2
by Semen Frish on 08/14/14 08:05:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


We've started up with a new Unity #game for mobile devices recently. Working on #tech demo/#prototype and sharing more first impressions.

Get Unity 3D
  1. What I like most is good documentation. The video lessons from their official site were enough for the beginning. Now I’m also watching the lessons here . The examples on this site are only on Js. It would seem to be uncomfortable if you want to write on C#, but you can easily write a code of equal value on both languages and the best part is that scripts on unity can be also written on both of them and they will work together without any problems)) I’m not sure yet which language to choose. JS is kind of closer to flash, but C# is easier to read when it comes to large amounts of code. I hope I’ll decide soon.
  2. The most complicated thing so far is to understand the unity application structure itself. At some points it crosses path’s with flash and is complicated by 3d frills. It’s hard at the very beginning, because after working with 2d graphics it was a little unusual that you need to at least set the lights for the scene, or else it will be dark like in… )) After 2d, it’s also hard to allocate objects in 3d space. A simple drag-and-drop with the cursor doesn’t always work. Sometimes you’ll have to switch between different projections and drag the object in each one of them.
  3. It’s important to understand what prefab is. It’s a MovieClip analogue, only with a more complex structure. I didn’t puzzle out all of the details yet, but they can be easily created on the scene with a simple drag-and-drop as well as with a dynamic code.
  4. What also made my day is that if class contains public parameters, they are shown in fields of object inspector and can be edited manually from there.
  5. I really liked the simplicity of adding physics to the object. It’s quite simple to add a Rigidbody component to the object and it will begin responding to the physics. You can set such parameters as weight, gravity etc. The manipulation with physical factors also doesn’t seem to be quite complicated. For example, gm.rigidbody.AddForce( Vector3(0,20,0)); - is a sort of a way to kick the object up (it will gain a one-time speed-up depending on the indicated vector). There are a couple of more useful things like that, which can come in handy and will save plenty of time for quickly written trash-games.
  6. I also haven’t got the time yet to figure out how you can simulate the accelometer and gyro sensor on your pc. Once again, I’ve spent enormous amount of time on testing one code line, which responds to the accelometer.
  7. In the morning, I heard that a new version of unity with 2d native support was released. I’m curious about what they came up with :)

We've got a demo and sketches goes first I guess.

Also I'm still planning to expand Unity on Windows Phone impressions in previous article R&D for Moblile Game Development

That’s all for now, see You soon :)

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Kenneth Barber
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I tend to agree with your flash analogy. I spent a lot of time in flash with that style of workflow a good while ago but have since been using more code centric libraries like Cocos2D and LibGDX, after a brief stint doing raw opengl and DirectX development. I am having quite a bit of trouble reacclimating to doing things in a more multimedia design tool workflow, as offered by Unity.

On one hand there are many awesome Unity components pre made that I would normally have to implement myself. These are a huge time saver and can help you focus more on differentiating factors, more on the things that make you game unique.

On the other hand I tend to do thing procedurally, and though Unity allows this, it feels forced and I often feel like I should just do good old manual drag n drop level design instead. I also sometimes feel like my code is disjointed in Unity, like it got invited to the party late because it was someone's lonely cousin, no longer the center of attention. I also miss being able to dip down and implement custom nodes in raw OpenGL ES and algorithms when I need something unusual/special.

Frankly though, if 3d or multi-platform is the direction you are going, Unity will get you there faster, and the multimedia design tool nature of Unity allows for a more visual creative experience. Being able to grab an asset, drop it into scene and then apply few script components to it to bring it to life is a much more familiar workflow to most.