explorers' club

explorations in dev, science, sci-fi, games, and other fun stuff!

First Impressions: Unity 3D

34 Comments

So I saw some blogger (let’s call him UnityGuy) out there saying, “… if you like ActionScript 3, then you should check out Unity 3D”.  Call me a sucker because I did.  Yeah I bought a Shamwow too.

Anyway, I think Unity 3D is pretty neato.  What blew my mind was the ability to quickly piece together a scene, create a few simple JavaScript…scripts, attach those scripts to objects in the scene via drag & drop, and then assign variables through menus in the editor.  I did this in 15 minutes with no 3D game programming experience, a PDF tutorial and some good ol’ ActionScript knowhow (the syntax is the same, some of the capital letters are funky though).  No lie, it was THAT EASY.

So this brings me to a point of concern:

I come from the good ol’ days of the Sega Master System and Nintendo.  You know, back when 2D was cool.  I think Flash is still the best option for rapid development of simple, intuitive, and fun 2D games.  Also, being the developer behind the as3isolib, I think it is a good 2.5D platform as well.  It is obviously not good for 3D (sorry pv3d folks).  Unity3D and the Torque Engine both offer a better solution for 3D web-based content.  If you don’t believe me, go check out Fallen Empires: Legions over at InstantAction.com.

The concern is that low-priced 3D development tools like Unity 3D will further the gap between what is fun and what is cool looking.  Just think about how many FPS are out there.  Do any of them ever really push the envelope anymore?  Halo vs Wolfenstein.  Yes.  Halo 3 vs Halo 2?  Not really.  Wow, neat graphics, but it just isn’t as fun as say Castlevania 1, 2, 3, etc.  Or Contra?  You can’t beat Contra.  Call me nostalgic or just old, but the point I am making is that the fun factor has been missing for some time now.  Maybe that is because the multi-million dollar budgets on alot of these games goes into looking cool rather than being cool.  I hope that once homebrew game developers start to adopt Unity3D, we might start to see a return to a focus on the fun factor.  Afterall, if it took me only 15 minutes to set up a simple scene, imagine the time I can take to focus on a neat story and neat gameplay rather than micromanaging graphics and such.

Just my 2¢.

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “First Impressions: Unity 3D

  1. That’s kind of the point, actually. We made Unity to lower barriers so developers can drill down and focus on that really important stuff — the stuff that makes the game great and fun for the player!

  2. Great post! GarageGames has been committed to bringing game development to anyone (not just the big studios), and we know our original concept is viable when we see competitors like Unity take our model and stretch in ways we didn’t anticipate. It’s a huge opportunity for game developers and middleware providers alike to see new distribution channels like the iPhone and online portals open up possibilities for smaller studios and even one-man teams.

    It is a great time to be involved in the video game industry. d(^_^)b

    Deborah Marshall
    Torque Product Group Manager
    GarageGames

    • You’re model?? Since when did building indy tools become Garage Games’ “model”.

      Torque sucks. It’s buggy and the devs don’t even know half the questions they’re asked.

    • Very silly comment. Almost like GG are worried. Its far from your model, unity is far more fun to work with. Its gg who are playing catchup. Acting like
      You invented indie tools. Get a grip. You aint that good.

      • This reply makes you sound really kinda stupid. GG has been offering 2D and 3D indie game developer tools a lot longer than Unity3D has. And for decent prices too. I’ve been very happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish with TGE. I look forward to trying out the upcoming Torque3D too. And I also like Unity3D – imagine that

    • Torque is buggy and poorly designed. GG needs to hire people with formal software engineering and computer graphics training, instead of farming out to ‘video game school’ interns. GG does make some good spaghetti though!

  3. Pingback: » Unity3D vs Flash Or Not- Blogosphere Roundup - diamondTearz

  4. I’m hoping that the true game-lovers out there will get comfortable with Unity3D and get beyond the “wow neat” phase and start delving into the wonderful opportunities that this platform provides. I’m still at the “Hey- Wow My cube is bouncing on an elastic” phase of this so I’m of no help yet.

  5. Thanks for as3isolib it is great. Also I agree, no matter the tech games have to be fun. I think that is why flash games and 2d games win out because there were constraints and it was able to be managed by a small enough group of people that it retained teh direction and fun. Just make fun games with whatever tools and you will be successful. Looking cool is just a nice addition 🙂

  6. It’s too bad Macromedia basically pissed away Shockwave 3D — how many companies would give their collective left nut to have Intel program a real time 3D app for them? And Adobe’s efforts to revive Shockwave 3D have been pretty feeble.

    I was hoping the Flash team would get serious about real time 3D, and I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet.

  7. I feel ya man. With such ubiquitous interest in native 3D/GPU support for Flash, you would think Adobe would take heed.

    But then again it gives me an excuse to abandon Flash as a viable 3D game platform and look at Unity and Torque 3D plugins for making even hobby games.

  8. If blurst.com is anything to go by, Unity3D is a great technology for inovation and creativity.

  9. “It[the Flash player] is obviously not good for 3D”

    I take it you mean it specifically in the context of online games. There are hundreds of Flash websites that incorporate 3D with awesome results.

    • Correct. I think 3D gaming is still best left to those technologies that fully exploit the capabilities of a modern computer (e.g. the GPU). I have seen some really neato websites where 3D flash content is present, tho not entirely the focus of the experience.

      • A quick addendum. I purchase Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the XBox 360 a while back. It is by far one of the best games I have played. Funny how I have probably played more of the 2D Castlevania and Metroid games than I ever have of the 3D games of today. 2D rocks and Flash rocks 2D pretty well.

  10. Unity’s Networking was not properly implemented.. it’s all f’ed up..

    • Could you elaborate on that? There are lots of aspects of Unity networking, so it would be really awesome if you could pinpoint what you’re not satisfied with, what you’re trying to do and what you’re trying to do it with.

      It could be that the solution is closer than you think.

  11. interesting post. at my last job as a 2D game developer/designer (our shop used both flash (web) and C++ (downloadables)), this conversation came up often.

    i think one of the major issues, particularly with a mouse+keyboard interface, is that 2.5D (3D on a flat screen is a far cry from a real, spatial experience) is incredibly hard to build interfaces for. i’ve seen plenty of beautiful 2D games, from cartoony aesthetics like World Of Goo and Viewtiful Joe to mind-blowing generative stuff like Geometry Wars and Clean Asia.

    anyway, i digress; the point is not that 3D can create a better graphical experience, it’s that, with some exceptions, 2D still lends itself to simpler, more engaging interfaces and player experiences.

    in an FPS, for example, looking over your shoulder is nearly impossible. in a 2D game, if you’re walking right, you push left on the controller. done. games don’t necessarily *need* the complexity that many 3D games force on the player, but almost always end up with clunkier interfaces that get in the way of gameplay.

    i haven’t used unity3D yet, but would love to; i think these interface issues are a tough nut to crack, but worth spending time on. would be nice to see developers spending more time on creating solid 3D gameplay and less on mediocre 3D graphics.

  12. I never understood why there haven’t been more on-rails 2D/3D hybrid games like Pandemonium or Spider form about 10 years ago. 2D games are often more fun to play and there are a lot of genres that we don’t see much of these days. I think it just comes down to the ease at which detailed 3D models can be created versus 2d sprites.

  13. Some points about unity:
    – It is still a limited system. The point in case that there isnt a single AAA title even looking at using this engine (this should ring _some_ bells).
    – All the current set of games are _very_ small in scale of objects, which is always going to be an issue with online content (you cant deliver 1GB of assets easily, and meanwhile PC assets needs increase at ever exponential rates).
    – Torque is a joke in comparison to Unity. Whoever was completely wrong. Torque has NEVER previously provided the sort of online streaming capabilities that Unity has, so please dont mislead people. Torque is like Irrlicht, Nebula Device, Ogre and so on – requires massive investment of time to develop a title. Unity is so far in front of this its simply incomparable.
    – Better comparisons for Unity are Shockwave 3D, Various Basic 3D packages and similar.

    Hope this helps.

    • Hi Grover

      While it’s true there aren’t *many* AAA titles, you might want to look at Fusion fall from Cartoon Networks. That one isn’t exactly a small scale webgame by any reasonable standards.

      You have a very valid point about it being tricky to deliver massive amounts of assets easily over the web. Unity does have a number of facilities to address this, but in essence you’re right: That is never going to be easy. It’s not impossible though. Again, have a look at Fusion Fall.

  14. Pingback: diamondTearz » Unity3D vs Flash Or Not- Blogosphere Roundup

  15. Pingback: Unity vs Flash or not -Blogosphere Roundup – Version 2

  16. Pingback: Unity vs Flash or not -Blogosphere Roundup

  17. actually 3d system in 5 years gonna be change and we will put trash all gpus..:)

  18. Pingback: Unity vs Flash or not -Blogosphere Roundup —Infinite Unity3D Infinite Unity3D

  19. Pingback: Unity vs Flash or not -Blogosphere Roundup | Infinite Unity 3D

  20. Pingback: Unity3D vs Flash Or Not- Blogosphere Roundup | Infinite Indie

  21. I never understood why there haven’t been more on-rails 2D/3D hybrid games like Pandemonium or Spider form about 10 years ago. 2D games are often more fun to play and there are a lot of genres that we don’t see much of these days. I think it just comes down to the ease at which detailed 3D models can be created versus 2d sprites

  22. Unity’s Networking was not properly implemented.. it’s all f’ed up..

  23. thank you for this article. I am also learning Unity3d to make some games and your article has helped me get some insights and ideas. Thanks again.

  24. thank you for this article. I am also learning Unity3d to make some games and your article has helped me get some insights and ideas. Thanks again.

  25. 10 yıl önce Pandemonium ve Spider formu gibi on-rails 2D/3D hibrid oyunları daha olmadı neden hiç anlamadım. 2D oyun sık sık oynamak için daha eğlenceli ve biz daha bu gün görmüyorum türlerin bir yeri vardır. Ben sadece detaylı 3D modeller 2d sprites karşı oluşturulabilir hangi kolaylığı aşağı gelir düşünüyorum

  26. thank you for this article. I am also learning Unity3d to make some games and your article has helped me get some insights and ideas. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s