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Why you Should Check Out Unity

A while back, my buddy seantron showed me some of his 3D games he’d been working on including this one. My initial reaction was “how the heck did he get the chopps to do that?”. While, Sean is an incredible developer with a ton of creativity, doing things like loading models, texture mapping, or even basic 3D projects are flippin hard.

A while back I tried my hand at 3D and made sort of a basic Minecraft style game from scratch using OpenGL ES. Let me tell you, it was brutal (and I have been coding for almost 10 years). This project took me a week or so to ramp up, get basic cubes and textures going and a simple first person view.

Enter Unity

Sean had mentioned to me that he used this 3D engine called Unity to create his games. While I had tried XNA, I had never heard of Unity and figured it was similar (basically a framework with some convenience methods for loading models, mapping, etc…). Boy was I wrong…

Unity 3D is more than just an engine. It is an application that allows even the most novice of developers to create beautiful, rich, 3D games. I’m serious. Check out this demo below of an app I made in unity in about 3 hours using this tutorial. The crazy part is, I wrote almost no code. Much of the interactions and game were developed using drag and drop and free assets.

Link to my awesome game

Getting Started

I was very reluctant to learn Unity at first as the interface appears to be a bit daunting. However, once you check out a few tutorials, it becomes second nature. Here are a few places to get started:

InfinitAmmo’s Unity 3D tutorial series – This was where I first began. He does a great job at going over the basics of Unity while keeping things interesting.

Getting Started With Unity on Active Tuts+ – This is where I made the game you checked out above. Take an hour and do the first in the series, you will be very surprised with the outcome.

Unity 3D tutorials – Unity has a wealth of information and demo projects on their website. They come with the source and comprehensive PDFs detailing various aspects of each of their demo games.

After completing at least the top two series’, you should have enough knowledge to begin hacking on a game of your own. I know that I do :)

Conclusion

I hope this has been enlightening and I really urge you to check out Unity.

Happing Coding!

Unity 3D’s Website

This post is part of iDevBlogADay, a group of indie iOS development blogs featuring two posts per day. You can keep up with iDevBlogADay through the web site, RSS feed, or Twitter.


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