From 2D to 3D! The Unity game engine

Recently, while researching more about the subject of game development, I discovered a wonderful game engine called Unity. The basic version is free (there is a Pro version, which has many more features but isn’t free), and it includes all you need to start making your own game straight away, with its own IDE included and many pre-made features and components ready for use. The game supports three main programming languages- Javascript, C# and Boo- and since I have some experience with Java, I am now learning Javascript (don’t confuse the two, they are not the same, albeit very similar concept-wise). Writing scripts for use with Unity is very simple, and a lot of the legwork is done for you by the game engine itself, and all you need to do is drag and drop scripts into the game engine’s interface to automatically apply a script to a game object. From a design point of view, the interface is a dream, allowing for quick, visual editing of your game world in a virtual 3D space to resemble your finished product. Some tricky aspects of game production, such as cameras and lighting, are handled by the engine itself, allowing for more fluid gameplay and better graphics. I’ve been playing around with it for a couple days, and I dont really have much to show about it, but anyone looking to develop 3D games will definitely love this. I made a very basic scene where you can move the camera around, and whenever you left-click, it places a cube, which then falls to the ground. It’s extremely simple but took no time to make, which shows the ease at which you can play around with this to create whatever you want.Image

Its design-focused basis allows for incredible precision in creating your game environment, which will please perfectionists everywhere. It is also easy to import 3D models and animations from popular modelling packages such as 3ds Max, Cinema 4D and Blender. I chose to use Blender, since it is free and open source, with many of the features of costlier packages. Now I can make my own models of characters, items or scenery, give them animations, import them into Unity and they’re ready to go! Hopefully I can get a good prototype game going with this (I have planned to make a practice platform game based on the old Crash Bandicoot and Spyro games, it should be great!), and I will get back to you with my progress! Oh, and I haven’t given up on my 2D Java game, I’ll still show my progress with that sometime. Oh, and here’s the link to the Unity website: http://unity3d.com/unity/ . Thanks for reading!

-Daniel

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