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Ph4ntom4
01-12-2009, 11:28 AM
I saw Unity (http://unity3d.com/unity/) mentioned in a new feature on the homepage, and I just took a look at it and it looks fantastic! Am I right in thinking this pretty much negates the need to know how to code to make games? I watched the demo and it looks easy enough to change the engine and do what you want. Obviously you need to make graphics and models but I think I could do them myself with a bit of practice.

I'm doing a university course next year on game deveopment where I will be learning C++ and stuff, so I don't see any point in trying to learn it before, and this looks like a great way to get ready and get experience, and produce a fully functional game.

Obviously i'd need to buy it, but $200 (probably about 130 in England), but that wouldn't be out of my reach, considering it will be very helpful to my education and stuff. Is the indie version (the $200 one) enough to make a fully functional game? What are the other versions for? I'm just asking because somebody might have experience with it :D.

What do you guys think about this?

EDIT: Oops my bad, you actually need an iPhone license on top of the indie one which costs an extra $400. Darn, maybe you can get educational discounts.

Phi6
01-12-2009, 11:36 AM
From the looks of it, Unity probably abstracts and simplifies game development in terms of graphics and physics, but you still need to code all the game logic using c# or JavaScript. Either way, you can't make a game without code!

It's still easier than ObjectiveC because of the higher level syntax, but its technically still programming.

CrocStock
01-12-2009, 02:37 PM
I also looked into this engine earlier on today and from what I saw it looks impressive.. It goes without saying that you need to put in code and your own graphics from other programs but all its capabilities and features sound extremely good.

mehware
01-12-2009, 05:50 PM
From the looks of it, Unity probably abstracts and simplifies game development in terms of graphics and physics, but you still need to code all the game logic using c# or JavaScript. Either way, you can't make a game without code!

It's still easier than ObjectiveC because of the higher level syntax, but its technically still programming.

Yup hes right. Still need to program to make games and there is still a learning curve to every engine. You can download a trial of iphone basic for 30 days I believe if you go here. http://unity3d.com/unity/features/iphone-publishing

With my games once everything is setup and ready for distribution its a matter of hitting option-b and it deploys to your iPhone.

Eric5h5
01-12-2009, 06:50 PM
EDIT: Oops my bad, you actually need an iPhone license on top of the indie one which costs an extra $400. Darn, maybe you can get educational discounts.

I'd recommend getting the Indie license anyway. It will take some time to get enough experience to produce a decent iPhone app, and by then you could have the extra $400. The good thing about Unity is also potentially a drawback, in that it abstracts away all the hard stuff. The reason this can be a problem is because it's very easy to overload the iPhone and produce games that get 5 fps at best. It takes experience and skill to be able to do what you want and still get reasonable performance. It's way more fun than learning Objective-C and OpenGL from scratch though.

Unity is amazing, but it has a pretty long learning curve, especially if you haven't coded before (and yes, you need to code with Unity!). Unless you're a genius, it will probably take at least some months before you can produce a nice slick game that isn't junk.

--Eric

Ph4ntom4
01-12-2009, 07:59 PM
I quickly realized that there would be coding involved, but that isn't a problem. I already have an idea for a simple game which I think if I do it well it could be quite popular. Obviosly I don't want to over burden myself with a complex 3d game, I'll start so I'm going to start with a 2d game because I prefer original indie games like that.

Thankfully, my mum is a gfx designer and has a spare mac that I have installed the trial on, but it is only the indie one, no iPhone support, so I'll probably make it as a web app with the same resolution and then convert it when I get the iPhone license. Is that a good idea?

mehware
01-12-2009, 08:23 PM
You can still download the iphone trial unless your mac is PPC (IIRC). Going the web play route is smart just read in the forums about the limitations of the iphone. (polygon, shaders, etc.)

Adams Immersive
01-12-2009, 08:41 PM
Unity does have a learning curve. But I would say, if you have done some other scripting or lightweight programming before (in my case, Lingo and ActionScript) and have a basic understanding of the necessary code logic for a game, Unity's learning curve is surprisingly shallow. (Depends on your game of course.)

Put another way: learning to program = steep curve.

Learning to program + learning Unity = not that much steeper.

I got pretty rapid results with Unity (before the iPhone existed) but that's not to say I got EFFICIENT rapid results. Certainly when I make something for iPhone I'll need to be a lot more diligent about how I program.

Meanwhile, I've bought Unity iPhone, and am looking forward to digging into it!

Eric5h5
01-12-2009, 08:52 PM
Thankfully, my mum is a gfx designer and has a spare mac that I have installed the trial on, but it is only the indie one, no iPhone support, so I'll probably make it as a web app with the same resolution and then convert it when I get the iPhone license. Is that a good idea?

You'd be better off making the graphics resolution independent rather than trying to do 480x320, since Unity is really a 3D engine (although it's mostly pretty easy to do 2D), and getting pixel-perfect 2D art isn't really natural in that environment. Not to mention that 480x320 is going to be a pretty small window on most monitors. Other than that it's a good idea.

--Eric

Ph4ntom4
01-12-2009, 09:24 PM
I was going to use sprites as most of the art, it seemed to have worked for that monkey swinging game.

Eric5h5
01-13-2009, 12:09 AM
I was going to use sprites as most of the art, it seemed to have worked for that monkey swinging game.

Unity does have a couple ways of doing real 2D, but neither is particularly suited for gameplay graphics--they're mostly intended for stuff like menus, HUD overlays, etc. What works best is to put the sprite graphic on a simple plane model (2 polygons), and move that around. I did that with this Space Invaders clone (http://www.starscenesoftware.com/UnityInvaders.html) I made a while ago. You can also use 3D objects but just keep the gameplay pure 2D, like this Asteroids clone (http://www.starscenesoftware.com/Unitroids.html) I also did.

--Eric

blt3d
01-13-2009, 07:15 AM
Hey guys. I've been using Unity for about 2 months now. I had very little programming experience before jumping in, so don't that let deter you from trying it. Unity's version of Javascript aka "UnityScript" is pretty easy to pick up. The online docs and iphone/scripting forums are gonna be your best friend, so if you do decide to go that way, bookmark those sites now.:D

In regards to 2D game design, while Unity definitely leans to the 3D side, 2D is still doable. All the games I've designed were 2D, using the same methods. Orthographic cameras, movement along the Y and X axis, and alpha textures on 2D planes.

Finally, the overhead of the engine is a bit of a problem. I've yet to see a Unity game on the App Store that's under 10 megs. You have to manage your assets and scripts well, making sure to compress your textures as much as possible, minimize the amount of draw calls and optimize any physics related code.

Sorry to hijack the thread lol, :rolleyes: just trying to help. I know I would have killed to have someone tell me all this when I got started!

aspartan
01-13-2009, 08:06 AM
and getting pixel-perfect 2D art isn't really natural in that environment.
--Eric

Let me get this straight, does this mean Pixel graphics will not look sharp generally on iphone, or is it just unity issue?

Ph4ntom4
01-13-2009, 10:28 AM
So you're saying that if I want to make a top down shooter, I need to create a flat plane (2 triangular polygons)? Wouldn't that take up a lot more processing power than if it was pure 2D? Also, I have top-down sprites that I want to use, how would I put them in?

I want to make something like Crimsonland (http://www.crimsonland.com/?menu=screenshots), just to give you an idea of what i'm on about.

blt3d
01-13-2009, 11:55 AM
So you're saying that if I want to make a top down shooter, I need to create a flat plane (2 triangular polygons)? Wouldn't that take up a lot more processing power than if it was pure 2D? Also, I have top-down sprites that I want to use, how would I put them in?

I want to make something like Crimsonland (http://www.crimsonland.com/?menu=screenshots), just to give you an idea of what i'm on about.

I believe for a game like that you could just make it in 3D space and have a top down camera.

Eric5h5
01-13-2009, 01:44 PM
Let me get this straight, does this mean Pixel graphics will not look sharp generally on iphone, or is it just unity issue?

It's a Unity issue, if you use the "sprite on plane" method. If you use the 2D methods in Unity, it's easy to have pixel-perfect graphics, but as I mentioned, they're not really suitable for game graphics for various reasons, but are meant for score readouts and so on.

So you're saying that if I want to make a top down shooter, I need to create a flat plane (2 triangular polygons)?

Yep.

Wouldn't that take up a lot more processing power than if it was pure 2D?

Yep. ;) A pure 2D game would be more efficiently done without Unity. Although if you did use Unity anyway, you can mix in 3D effects for more "bling" as long as you're using a 3D engine.

Also, I have top-down sprites that I want to use, how would I put them in?

The same way as you would with a side-view game...it really makes no difference; it's just how you draw the sprites.

--Eric

Adams Immersive
01-13-2009, 03:01 PM
Also, you have to ask: does it matter to you if a 2D game in Unity uses more processing power than if it were made from scratch in pure 2D? If the iPhone can handle the game fine either way, then processor usage really only affects battery life. And lots of games draw battery, it's a well-known factor, and that doesn't stop people from gaming. (Some games I prefer to play plugged in, that's all.)

Ph4ntom4
01-13-2009, 03:10 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys, I'll probably stick with Unity. Does anyone know any good tutorials on how to make art for games?

AppStoreGamer
01-13-2009, 09:53 PM
JUST TO CLARIFY
You NEED to buy the Unity Indy license AND the iphone standard version ($600 all together not $200)

I was new to programming. Never written any code before in my life (except for some basic AppleScripting). Got unity and unity iPhone about two months ago. With A LOT of help from the Unity Forums (the sole reason Unity succeeds) I was able to get ROLLY out on the app store. I'll admit, it isn't stunning and definitely isn't the best game in the world but it just goes to show what two months of learning and some hard work does!

Unity takes a modified version of JavaScript or C# by the way, so don't think you won't have to learn how to code.

AppStoreGamer
01-13-2009, 09:55 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys, I'll probably stick with Unity. Does anyone know any good tutorials on how to make art for games?

Here's a great video tutorial to learn your way around Unity and get a fairly decent game going.

http://willgoldstone.com/learn/#

games42
01-15-2009, 01:06 AM
Here's a great video tutorial to learn your way around Unity and get a fairly decent game going.

http://willgoldstone.com/learn/#

I really want to make games but have zero experience other than knowing photoshop and some BASIC BASIC javascript...what's the best way to learn from start fo finish? Books? Can you recommend any? Do you even think I SHOULD or is my head just in the clouds after hearing all the success stories?
thanks!

Adams Immersive
01-15-2009, 01:25 AM
I really want to make games but have zero experience other than knowing photoshop and some BASIC BASIC javascript...what's the best way to learn from start fo finish? Books? Can you recommend any? Do you even think I SHOULD or is my head just in the clouds after hearing all the success stories?
thanks!

I recommend doing some of the many Unity tutorials, from the company and from the community. A JavaScript book might be good just to cover programming basics like loops, variables and conditions. In the end, though, you'll learn a lot trying (and maybe failing) at your own ideas. So start small.

Everyone has to start somewhere. If you expect instant results, your head may be in the clouds :) If you simply expect that you'll get there in the end, you're probably right!

games42
01-15-2009, 01:51 AM
I recommend doing some of the many Unity tutorials, from the company and from the community. A JavaScript book might be good just to cover programming basics like loops, variables and conditions. In the end, though, you'll learn a lot trying (and maybe failing) at your own ideas. So start small.

Everyone has to start somewhere. If you expect instant results, your head may be in the clouds :) If you simply expect that you'll get there in the end, you're probably right!

Thanks alot! but you said javascript....don't you mean Objective-C or Cocoa? Is there a difference from javascript? Also I've seen alot of people recommend these books, but If I'm going to be using Unity, would books like this help me at all or are they not connected?
1) Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK (http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-iPhone-Development-Exploring-SDK/dp/1430216263/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232002128&sr=8-2)
2) Cocoa(R) Programming for Mac(R) OS X (3rd Edition) (http://www.amazon.com/Cocoa-Programming-Mac-OS-3rd/dp/0321503619/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232002262&sr=8-1)

Thanks alot and I'd love to hear everyones opinion! THANKS!!!!

Adams Immersive
01-15-2009, 01:55 AM
Thanks alot! but you said javascript....don't you mean Objective-C or Cocoa? Is there a difference from javascript? Also I've seen alot of people recommend these books, but If I'm going to be using Unity, would books like this help me at all or are they not connected?
1) Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK (http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-iPhone-Development-Exploring-SDK/dp/1430216263/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232002128&sr=8-2)
2) Cocoa(R) Programming for Mac(R) OS X (3rd Edition) (http://www.amazon.com/Cocoa-Programming-Mac-OS-3rd/dp/0321503619/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232002262&sr=8-1)

Thanks alot and I'd love to hear everyones opinion! THANKS!!!!

You can skip those books unless you're making a game engine from scratch. If you're using Unity, then you'll do your coding in JavaScript. (Or C# or Python/Boo if you prefer. Most of the tutorials are for JavaScript though and most people seem to stick with that.)

The best learning materials will be Unity materials. Some JavaScript basics are important, but the details of making a game will all be Unity-specific. And there are lots of tutorials and searchable documentation to help you if you decide to wade in :)

games42
01-15-2009, 02:46 AM
You can skip those books unless you're making a game engine from scratch. If you're using Unity, then you'll do your coding in JavaScript. (Or C# or Python/Boo if you prefer. Most of the tutorials are for JavaScript though and most people seem to stick with that.)

The best learning materials will be Unity materials. Some JavaScript basics are important, but the details of making a game will all be Unity-specific. And there are lots of tutorials and searchable documentation to help you if you decide to wade in :)

Thanks a million! So basically just get unity and use their tutorials and help/message boards?
ps I've heard people mention that they've made a game simply with photoshop and x-code (such as scoops)....firstly is that possible? Secondly and sorry for this...but what is x-code?

Adams Immersive
01-15-2009, 03:46 AM
Thanks a million! So basically just get unity and use their tutorials and help/message boards?
ps I've heard people mention that they've made a game simply with photoshop and x-code (such as scoops)....firstly is that possible? Secondly and sorry for this...but what is x-code?

Xcode is Apple's official (free and excellent) toolset for making iPhone AND Mac apps. You can make anything with it, and some simple games may not be out of reach of beginning Xcode programmers. Definitely possible.

But for other games, especially with 3D, Unity saves time and complexity.

games42
01-20-2009, 01:21 AM
Xcode is Apple's official (free and excellent) toolset for making iPhone AND Mac apps. You can make anything with it, and some simple games may not be out of reach of beginning Xcode programmers. Definitely possible.

But for other games, especially with 3D, Unity saves time and complexity.

Sorry if this is a stupid question but is x-code the same as objective-c? What would be the best way to learn it so I can make a simple 2d game for the iphone such as scoops, up there, wurdle etc...
Thanks!

Adams Immersive
01-20-2009, 01:30 AM
I haven't learned it yet myself :D But when/if I do, I'll start with the video tutorials that Apple has, and the documentation that comes with Xcode, and then I'll decide if I need a book too or not. I've learned a lot of other programming environments and I usually don't bother with books, but I'm sure people here could recommend some good ones.

Objective C is the language you'd be programming in, and Xcode is the tool you'd be using to do it:

http://www.apple.com/macosx/developertools/xcode.html

It's free, and it came on your OS X DVD, but a newer version, plus the iPhone components (including an iPhone simulator app) that you need to go with it, can be downloaded. You have to sign up for the iPhone developer program, but it's free to do so. (You can pay later if you want to sell through the iTunes store.)

http://developer.apple.com/iPhone/program/

Diablohead
01-20-2009, 06:08 AM
I have been looking into Unity over the last week and it looks extremely interesting, the biggest thing I like about it is that it let's you jump straight in to a half built engine of sorts where you start adding or adjusting things to how you prefer, code and value editing to achieve the game you want to make.

I plan to learn Unity and some coding once I finish my 3D course at university this year, so my plan is to make all the assets now and then learn how to roll it all together into a game over the summer.

It should be a fun experience.

morscata12
01-21-2009, 05:28 PM
If you use Unity to make iPhone games, do you still need to code on a Mac? This is the only thing keeping me from starting iPhone game design is the lack of an Apple computer.

Adams Immersive
01-21-2009, 05:32 PM
If you use Unity to make iPhone games, do you still need to code on a Mac? This is the only thing keeping me from starting iPhone game design is the lack of an Apple computer.

Yes you do. The Unity engine is coming to Windows at some point (it can already make games FOR Windows, but right now you have to make them on a Mac). But even when that happens, Windows users will only be able to make Windows and Mac games (and browser games). To make an iPhone game, you need Unity AND you need Apple's Mac-based iPhone tools.

I'd suggest waiting until you were going to buy a new PC anyway. Choose a Mac at that time, and install Windows on it. Now you have that new PC... and a gateway to iPhone development too!

Diablohead
01-21-2009, 05:54 PM
If using Unity just for iPhone and touch application creation the Mac would only need to have average spec right? I personally can not afford more then a few hundred at the most on one.

Adams Immersive
01-21-2009, 06:00 PM
I'd say LESS than average spec. Check the system requirements for both Unity and the iPhone dev kit, but I suspect they're low enough that any recently-made Mac would exceed them.

I know I've used Unity on a Mac that was many years old, and it was fine, and it came with Xcode just like every Mac. I didn't actually try the iPhone tools on it though.

Tons of computing power is nice of course, but in this case not required.

mehware
01-21-2009, 06:16 PM
I am pretty sure you need to at least have OS X 10.5.6 to do iPhone Development.

A good way would be to get a mac mini, unity indie, an unity iphone basic.

And you need the $99 to apple to be a developer.

Adams Immersive
01-21-2009, 06:21 PM
I am pretty sure you need to at least have OS X 10.5.6 to do iPhone Development.

I think so. And 10.5 (Leopard) has pretty low requirements:

867MHz or faster processor (any kind)
DVD drive
512 RAM

I'm not sure if an Intel-based Mac is required for the iPhone tools (I don't think so) but I'd strongly recommend it anyway: that's the future (and can run Windows if needed).

Note that a new Mac Mini MAY be on the way soon (there are rumors), which may be a good deal worth waiting for--or it may make remaining stock of the current Mini go on sale (look for deals near the bottom left of Apple's store site).