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Unity 4 is here
Unity 4 is here
November 14, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

November 14, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi
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    12 comments
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, Art, Design, Production



The latest version of mega-popular development platform Unity is now available.

First announced just shy of four months ago, major additions to Unity 4 include DirectX 11 support a new in-engine animation system called Mecanim, which ships with 150 free motion-captured animations.

New platform support includes, for the first time, publishing directly to Flash, and a preview of Unity's Linux deployment.

Unity has proven to be a popular tool amongst Gamasutra's readership, which is why it was named to the Front Line Awards Hall of Fame by our sister magazine, Game Developer.

Unity 4.0 is available here.


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Comments


Groove Stomp
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The new animation system looks astounding. I can't wait to try it out!

Simas Oliveira
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Since the readership here is much very familiar with Unity, let me pose a question:

Past 2 or 3 years (when I became a Gamasutra reader, incidentally) I tried to chase a dream and decided to dive deep in hobbyist level game development (i'm a senior IT consultant, very familiar with programming but not a daily duty anymore for a few years now).

At first I tried self-study, began with XNA. Then I enrolled in a post-graduation game design/development course, and chose C++ with VS as my preferred tool. I had to drop the course because of frequent work related travels, and now I'm back at self-study again.

So I ask you this, being an initiated but not expert programmer/designer by any means, how highly would you recommend Unity to me?

A little more background: I chose C++ because I am already familiar with the language and IDEs, and pretty much anything related to it can be found in the first page of a google search (which is important!). I prefer 2D because the gap in complexity moving to 3D is pretty huge. The project I've been working on is a TD game, because seemed easier than other genres (how little did I know) and I quite liked them.

William Johnson
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This might be a bit too basic for you, but WalkerBoys have a pretty good tutorial system for making a few games using Javascript. For the beginner game designer.
http://tinyurl.com/b3568ko

Javascript isn't really all that different from C++, but you can also use C# in Unity which also isn't all that different from C++. In fact, most any programming language isn't all that different from C++.

Jeremy Alessi
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Don't go into Unity with an all programmer mentality and you'll be fine. Unity is an all around tool that deals with the highly abstract concept of making a game very well. BTW, use C# for your code. JavaScript is so nice but at the end of the day you'll start pulling your hair out because of compilation order issues that arise when mixing languages.

Luis Guimaraes
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I'm far, far away from a great programmer.

But in Unity I can get a working prototype in 30 minutes, or build an stealth AI that, when you're being chased you can run into a room, open the window, hide behind the door and see the agents chasing you through the window they think you jumped.

So well, I know I don't want to work with another architecture for making games. Component-based development it the best thing that ever happened to game programming.

I'd recommend it very highly.

#thankyouunity

Nuttachai Tipprasert
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Unity is not a good choice for making 2D games. To be frank, Unity3D, as the name suggested, is not designed for 2D games development. The 2D system practically doesn't exist at all. Their UI system is so useless that every projects need to use 3rd party libraries or their own custom UI framework. So, if you are planing to develop 2D games, Unity is not the best solution for you.

But apart of those flaws, I really loves this engine. It's very easy to prototype your games within short period of time. The learning curve is very low. You only need not more than 2 hours to understand the basics concept of the engine and then you can start working on your game right away. The price might be a little bit too high for indie developer, though. But the good point is, you only need to pay them once and continue using the engine forever. There's no royalties. You don't need to renew the license for every new title. In the future, if you are planing to develop 3D games, I recommends Unity.

Jeff Kessleman
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I agree completely. Using Unity for 2D games is like using an elephant rifle ti hunt quail.

If you want to do cross platform 2D game development in C#, try Monogame.

Toby Grierson
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I went into Unity with an "all programmer" mindset and it's the best tool I've ever used for most purposes.

It wouldn't be my first choice for 2D, however there are toolkits for this.

Daniel Koenig-Schieber
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I'm coming from a very similar background as you and started using Unity3D (basic) also for a 2D project and it worked out really well. The motivation behind this is that my wife loves real-life picross (called Nonogramm around here) riddles and I set out to write a computerized version that is able to parse arbitrary images, threshold them and basically create a 40x40 pixel puzzle out of it.
The entire project took me about 3-4 weekends, which was rather short considering that I come from Java development and decided to learn a bit C# on the way.
I did spend a bit of money for a 2D solution that helps with sprite sheets and generally makes handling things a bit easier, but that wasn't necessary at all for completion, but rather saved me some time and was worth the money for that reason alone.

If you are comfortable with object oriented designs and also a bit with production tools like Gimp, Photoshop etc. (just from a look-and-feel perspective), you should be able to get started right away and arrive at some tangible results soon.

I found the documentation to be useful for my purposes and if I did get stuck with something, it seemed that there were at least 3 forum discussion on the community boards that also offered different solutions and/or workarounds.

Certainly, I could spend a lot more time on polishing the presentation level, but from a purely functional perspective, the game works and the technical backend proved itself to be solid enough to run in a browser as well as standalone on PC and Mac as advertised.

Overall I got away pretty happy (my wife, too) and will certainly continue to use this for other things.

Jim McGinley
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(I haven't tried Unity 4, so maybe this has changed) Out of the box, Unity's entire pipeline and interface are designed for making 3D games. It does this exceptionally well. As a result, when you're just starting in Unity, it's easier to build a 3D game (using primitives) than a 2D game. Highly recommend buying/downloading a 2D Unity extension to help you rather than learning how to do it yourself.

i.e. Sprite Manager 1 is free. You can download here
http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/16763-SpriteManager-draw-lots-of
-sprites-in-a-single-draw-call!
http://wiki.unity3d.com/index.php?title=SpriteManager

Jack Niehsner
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Awesome stuff! Just started learning 3.5 a couple of weeks ago, and it's truly as good as they say. Yes, Unity may not quite be industry standard, but it is perfect for the hobbyist game maker.

Eduard Morales
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IMO, Unity is indeed a good choice for making iOS and Android 2D games. We have developed a 2D action puzzle game for those operating systems and the result has been quite satisfactory, with pretty good performance and audiovisual quality!


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