Experiencing Unity 4.5

Over the past few years I’ve heard mixed reviews of Unity. Some said it was a terrible, slow beginner’s tool and others really sang its praises. I think that by joining the party late I’ve skipped many of the bugs and odd quirks that narked some people as so far I’m having a great time. The user interface is intuitive, the code makes sense and for speed of development I don’t think anything can beat it.

I’m entirely accustomed to pure code projects as opposed to using graphical tools. Coming from a mixed Flash/C++ background I have experienced both sides and I usually prefer the code based approach. Graphical development environments seemed to get in my way with options buried in long lists or they would hide functionality in an attempt to appeal to the average user. Unity however seems to provide a good balance of accessible controls and flexibility. I could completely bypass the UI and do almost everything in code but I found myself using the UI more and more. I especially love the way coded references to objects can be set by dragging the object over the desired parameter in the component list.

The entity-component model is something that I’ve been adapting to since we began using Flambé and I really like it. I think the rationale behind breaking code down into smaller reusable components that can be applied to any object just makes sense. Two completely unrelated objects can share the same functionality without having to extend the same class and with minimal code duplication. Components become like building blocks; I want a car so I add a 3D car model, a physics block, a steering code block, etc. This code re-usability works even better with the variables exposed in the Unity editor as I can write the car steering code once and, by adjusting some parameters in the UI, reuse it to drive trucks and perhaps bikes without writing additional code.

I also like how much Unity gives you built in to the engine: Physics, a level editor, an animation editor and much more. What is extremely impressive is how the UI blends all of this together into an almost drag and drop kind of approach. With little effort and some rudimentary Blender skills, I was able to create a simple 3D object and have it animated and jumping around a 3D plane with full physics in less than an hour. For an actual project this would obviously take much longer but from naught to something in that amount of time is impressive.

I’m having plenty of fun experimenting with Unity and I have yet to try any of the advanced features. If all goes as well as the first impressions, I think I will enjoy using Unity in our future projects.

Tags: , , ,

DFDS Jack's Epic Adventure
Jack's Epic Adventure
Can Games Boost Marketing Campaigns?
Can games boost your marketing?
CKSK Coors Light Ice Cave Challenge
CKSK Coors Light Ice Cave Challenge
Can games increase footfall at your exhibition stand?
Increase footfall at your expo stand
White Label Conga Challenge
Conga Challenge
Every Second Counts Conga
Every Second Counts Conga
A Sackful of Christmas Games
A Sackful of Christmas Games
Beat the Beasts
Beat the Beasts
Win a Nintendo Classic Mini: NES
Competition Time!
White Label Rooftop Runner
Rooftop Runner
We do games, we love games, but why should you?
We do games, we love games, but why should you?
6 things to consider before commissioning a game.
6 things to consider before commissioning a game
Beazley Conga Challenge
Beazley Conga
Jingle Jet
Jingle Jet
How much does a mobile game cost to develop?
How much do mobile games cost?
5 Things I Discovered While Writing 'Attack of the Tempus Fugitives!'
5 Things I Discovered While Writing 'Attack of the Tempus Fugitives!'
Game Developers Available For Hire.
Game Developers Available For Hire.
Attack of the Tempus Fugitives!
Attack of the Tempus Fugitives!
Farter Christmas
Farter Christmas
Dani's Castle - Hidden Treasures
Hidden Treasures
Fairly OddParents - Scary GodParents
Scary GodParents
New website, new beginnings with HTML5, HAXE & Unity
New beginnings with HTML5
Choices
Choices
The Marathon
The Marathon
Tiny Tumble Bubble Art
Tiny Tumble Bubble Art
Dick 'n' Dom's Hoopla!
Dick 'n' Dom's Hoopla!
Edward and the Strange Invasion
Edward and the Strange Invasion
Share Take Care
#ShareTakeCare
TIGA Games Industry Awards
TIGA Awards
We’ve Added More Sick, Snot, Danger and Explosions...
Sick, Snot & Explosions

Comments

Be the first to comment on this post!

Add to the Comments

Submit