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Programming Graphics Games

How Unity3D Became a Game-Development Beast 115

Posted by samzenpus
from the right-tool-for-the-job dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "In the early 2000s, three young programmers without much money gathered in a basement and started coding what would become one of the most widely used pieces of software in the video game industry. 'Nobody really remembers how we survived in that period except we probably didn't eat much,' said David Helgason, the CEO and co-founder of Unity Technologies, maker of the Unity3D game engine. A decade later, untold numbers of developers have used Unity3D to make thousands of video games for mobile devices, consoles, browsers, PCs, Macs, and even Linux. The existence of Unity3D and similar products (such as the Unreal Engine and CryEngine) helped democratize game development, making the kinds of tools used by the world's largest game companies available to developers at little or no cost. This has helped developers focus less on creating a video game's underlying technology and more on the artistic and creative processes that actually make games fun to play. In this article, Helgason talks about how Final Cut Pro helped inspire his team during the initial building stages, how it's possible to create a game in Unity without actually writing code, and how he hopes to make the software more of a presence on traditional consoles despite Unity3D being several years late to supporting the PS3 and Xbox 360."
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How Unity3D Became a Game-Development Beast

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 03, 2013 @12:42PM (#43897243)

    I appreciate that Unity 3D allows small teams or even individuals to produce games that would not otherwise be possible due to monetary and time constraints, but the engine itself is still somewhat lacking and results in games like Receiver, which should be playable on relatively old systems, but instead occasionally drops frames on even modern hardware.

  • Oculus Rift (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Saethan (2725367) on Monday June 03, 2013 @12:52PM (#43897401)
    My only experience with Unity is seeing how its Oculus Rift support has made rapid prototyping of games possible. The headset was out for literally days before the first demos started popping up.
  • by Rydia (556444) on Monday June 03, 2013 @01:05PM (#43897589)

    Allowing more open development is fantastic. However, the summary (and really a ton of people) have the relationship at play with games backwards:

    "This has helped developers focus less on creating a video game's underlying technology and more on the artistic and creative processes that actually make games fun to play."

    The underlying technology, however, is the essence of the game. It's what tells us how mario moves compared to sonic or y metroid cant crawl. The artistic and creative process, while quite important, largely affect how a game is presented visually and thematically. The rise of one-size-fits-all platforms, designed to be broadly used not only between titles but between genres and platforms, has led to a massive homogenization of gameplay. Gameplay, of course, is what makes a game fun to actually play. Setting is not gameplay. Writing is not gameplay, and graphics aren't gameplay.

    Yes, these platforms are customizable, but the distinctness that came with each game or class of games has largely been lost as games increasingly rely on generalized engines. Unity and Unreal (and various other engines) are great, but they're not responsible for freeing developers to make experimental games. To the extent that is happening, it is despite of, not because of, those engines.

  • Thanks unity!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by higuita (129722) on Monday June 03, 2013 @01:42PM (#43898001) Homepage

    I'm grateful because they now support linux and now we have more games. Humble bundle showed that there is a linux market, only a little smaller than the mac one and with steam also supporting linux there is already some pressure to other engines to also support linux (or risk losing some market share on a highly competitive market). Due to this CryEngine is already being ported to linux (sadly still with unknown release date) and several other companies with in house engines are also testing the linux port.

    Again, thanks for your support, unity

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Monday June 03, 2013 @07:25PM (#43900805) Journal

    But isn't this the problem of pretty much all game engines today? I mean you look at how good some of the games in the golden age of 99-04 looked and played, even on weak as hell hardware, and then you look at some of the frankly insane system requirements for modern games, games that only look moderately better than those games from more than a decade ago, and you can tell what having the "any idiot can use this without knowing anything" mantra when it comes to game engines has cost us.

    Everyone talks about "Windows bloat" but nobody talks about engine bloat and how many extra resources all this abstraction is costing us. It will be interesting to see if mobile gaming will bring a return to less abstraction or if like PCs they are gonna have to just grow insanely powerful so they can run engines that let you build by drag and drop.

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