What is Unity

What Is the Unity Real-Time Development Platform?

If you’re interested in Game Development then you’ve no doubt stumbled upon the Unity Real-Time Development Platform game engine in your travels. If you haven’t, or if you simply want to know more, then let me introduce you to the Unity Real-time Development Platform. Often referred to as Unity, Unity 3D, or the Unity Game Engine, this tool has quickly become a mainstay in the development world. Since being launched back in 2005, it has built a certain amount of ubiquity that could surprise some given that it’s not backed by a game studio that has released some of our most popular games.

Over the years, Unity has picked up more and more features, all while refining those that already existed. As of now, what was once the Unity 3D Game Framework is now a multi-use tool that is used in many different industries. It’s used for rendering professional or hobbyists images and videos. Architects can use Unity 3D to bring their blueprints into a much more visual medium, allowing them to then get more interest from their potential investors. It has uses in Film, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Gambling and so many more industries. It has truly become a force of its own.

Slowly but surely this juggernaut, through its accessibility, and numerous training courses has wormed its way through a huge chunk of the game development world. Now, not only do they continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with a unified game development framework, they’re taking their software and pushing for you to be able to use it for many other purposes. It’s safe to say that Unity 3D is no longer just a game development framework, but rather a multi-purpose tool, more akin to something like the Microsoft Office Suite of products. It’s ubiquity will see it get ever more market share as time goes on.

How Do I Learn to Use the Unity Real-Time Development Platform?

As with all things, the biggest advice you’re going to hear online is for you to practice. However, learning Unity in 2021 comes with the serious advantage that training material is absolutely everywhere! Not the least of these sources is Unity’s very own, Unity Learn!

I’m going to be upfront with you about a very common question that you’ll hear when it comes to Unity Development. No you do NOT need to subscribe to Unity Plus if you are just starting out. While you should always read the terms and conditions on anything you sign up for, as of writing you don’t even need to subscribe to Unity Plus in order to sell your game. Take the time to learn game development before you sink too much money into it. Not only will that let you feel less guilty for not quickly getting your game on the shelf, but it will also help you to really learn the underlying mechanics of game development, and really get to know which assets will be most beneficial to you.

A common truth when it comes to game development is that everyone has a unique skillset. Not only that, but even if you try to learn everything there is to know about game development, there’s a really good chance that you will still have some things that you excel at more than others. That’s completely okay and expected. If you take the time to work through the Tutorials on Unity Learn, then you’ll really get to know which assets you’ll be better off spending money on, and which ones you can live without and build yourself. Myself, I end up spending my money on Music and Sound Effects because for me these are the most difficult aspects of video game creation to get right. You? You might be a modern-day Mozart. Only you know, and you’ll know more when you’ve completed the tutorials.

I recommend that you work your way through the tutorials on Unity Learn (Affiliate Link) or simply navigate to Unity’s website and access the Learning Portal. The learning portal is free as of the writing of this article. Once on the learning site, spend your time working through the many tutorials there. Do you have to finish them all to learn how to use Unity 3D absolutely not! Are you going to be better off the more you complete? Yes, yes you will.

Should I Subscribe to Unity Plus?

Once you’ve become comfortable with Unity and built a few projects, know that you will likely want to release your game. This is when it comes time to decide whether or not you want to put the money down on Unity Plus (Affiliate Link). It is not required until you hit a certain income threshold, but there are several reasons that you may want to subscribe beforehand:

Unity Plus Grants Access To:

  • Unity’s Ad and Monetization Framework;
  • In depth cloud diagnostics to see how your game is performing in the real-world;
  • 25GB of Cloud Storage space with Unity so that you can store your projects on the cloud and access them wherever you are;
  • and most importantly, Unity Plus provides you with splash screen customization.

For the most part, you can use other ad services without a problem. You can build your own crash reporting system, though make sure you have the users permission before transmitting anything. You can also do without storing your projects on the cloud. However, a huge goal in game development is going to be brand recognition. That’s how you’re going go from releasing your first game, where almost no one knows who you are, to your 10th game, where people become excited to see your logo pop up on the screen. If you do not subscribe to Unity Plus, the logo that pops up is going to be that of Unity themselves. If that’s okay with you, then absolutely use Unity Personal until you meet those income thresholds, but if not, check out Unity Plus (Affiliate Link).

Should I Buy Assets for Unity 3D on the Asset Store?

I’ve touched on this above, and I think you should take a look for yourself: 

Just look at the amazing options that are available for you to get finished Your Game Today!

There are literally thousands of assets that are going to make a huge difference when it comes to the final quality of your game. More than that, they can save you hundreds of hours of tinkering while still maintaining a high-quality product. See often you’ll spend hours on making just one aspect of your game perfect, when there may have been an out-of-the-box solution to your problem that could have saved you all that time.

There is a common fear among new game developers, and actually developers in general when it comes to frameworks, assets, and whatnot. New developers tend to want to build everything themselves, but you really need to put that thought into perspective. When you’re building a website, you don’t need to redevelop React, you just use it right? You’re not going to build the web browser for your users either no? How about the operating system?

Modern computing stands on the shoulders of the giants of today, who stand on the giants of yesterday, and all the way back to the earliest of mathematicians. Don’t get caught up trying to do it all yourself. Make use of the tools available to you because otherwise people will beat you to market, and you’ll spend far less time there yourself.

You can make your game, and you can make every part of it with Unity if you want, but if you find an aspect difficult, then check back often for hints, tips, and suggestions for building Your Game Today, with the Unity Real-Time Development engine!

What have you build lately?

Ultimate SFX and Music Bundle

If you haven’t been over to the Asset Store lately, or if you’re having trouble finding enough sound effects for your game, you’re going to want to go and check the Ultimate SFX and Music Bundle Out.

Go to the asset store page and just give a listen to the vast amount of sounds on the demo track. It’s an unbelievably huge collection and this is the type of asset that brings your game to life. We know that game mechanics are important, we know that graphics are important, but as game developers we can’t let our games become boring to our ears. I know I spend some time gaming with the sound off so I can hear the little ones if need be, but for the most part we need the sound to fully immerse ourselves. This bundle is worth it just for the sound effects, let alone the music that comes with it!

A word of warning, the file is absolutely massive. So when you import it you’re going to want to know what you’re looking for. It might be best to load this into it’s own Unity Project so that you can import everything and sort through it there. Then, once you know what you want, just import those and save yourself the multiple import times. This is a small price to pay for such an immensely useful collection of sounds though! In the reviews it was noted that the developer is aware that this can be a pain, and they even offered to provide source files to make this process easier, but it’s best to contact the developer themselves if you’re determined to try this route.

Many reviews also mention just how quick support is to provide assistance, and really just the overall quality of the sounds and music tracks. Really, as a solo or small team developer, you can’t really live without this one.

Have you given it a shot? Do you have a favourite Ultimate SFX & Music Bundle sound track? Let me know in the comments below! Looking for some other options, you could also check out Finding Music For Your Game Today.

A Look at the Amplify Shader Editor for Unity

One of the most complex and complicated tasks you will face while developing your 3D game is likely to be shaders. Game mechanics jumping from 2D to 3D aren’t even that much more complicated, you’re simply adding another dimension. Technically you could probably even add a 4D in there without too much over-complication, but that’s really beside the point. The Amplify Shader Editor for Unity won’t make learning shaders any easier, but it will make it easier to lend your project industry leading effects!

In the video above, you can see the Amplify Shader Editor in use. You can see the enormity of different options you have to make the very same polygons represent very different things. Shaders are a complex piece of the game development puzzle. Quite honestly, I think that the Amplify Shader Editor will increase the complexity rather than decrease it. However, it is going to make your life a whole lot easier using this asset, rather than trying to build the same or similar functions on your own. Seriously, save yourself the development time. Spend it on making your game mechanics more amazing. The story pop. Or really just keep that time for yourself. 

Does the Amplify Shader Editor Help That Much?

The reviews on this asset are immensely positive. They rave about how many more features are available in this asset than there are in ShaderGraph that comes with Unity. They even go so far as to state that there are far fewer bugs which quite honestly I can’t speak much to that as my experience with ShaderGraph has been all right. Best of all, many of the reviews mention just how positive their experience has been with the support from Amplify Creations.

Honestly, for the price, you’re not going to see many products that are going to expand your games look better than the Amplify Shader Editor. Sure, you’re going to have to spend the time to learn how shaders work regardless, but the vastness of the new features this will bring to your Unity powered polygons is going to overshadow that bit of work. Once you have jaw-dropping graphics in your game, you’ll agree.

Better yet, if you’re using UModeler, then when combined with the Amplify Shader Editor you may find that your entire workflow, from basic polygon to ultra-realistic canoe (lol) can take place entirely within the context of Unity. How much better could it get?

Have you already given the Amplify Shader Editor a shot? Let me know how it went below!

Procedural Generation Grid in Unity

Quite honestly, level design is just a huge part of the game design process. You can spend hundreds of hours getting your code to just the right spot, and then… BAM!!!… you’re hit with hundreds more hours sitting there piecing your levels together piece by piece. Sure, you could spend a bunch more time designing your game to put itself together, but is that really the best way? Did you know that there is an asset for procedural generation in Unity that can save you an astronomical amount of time? This tool is the Procedural Generation Grid found on the Unity Asset Store!

Seriously, just take a second and watch how easy this asset makes procedural generation in Unity. You don’t have to spend hours selecting each individual item. Placing it juuuuuuuust right on the x, y and z axis’. You can generate interiors, roads, exteriors, you name it! Just watch as they put together an absolutely huge dungeon in what seems like no time at all using Procedural Generation Grid.

But Why Do I Need Procedural Generation Grid?

Honestly, I’m sure you could build it yourself. In fact I’m likely to write some tutorials on the subject before too long. Procedural Generation Grid saves you from two things. One, you don’t have to build that code. Now you may be thinking, “hmm, don’t I just have to type ‘Instantiate(GameObject, blah blah blah)” and you’re not entirely wrong! But! You need to write codes and create algorithms that will place all of these objects in specific ways. Maybe you don’t want a bunch of books to spawn in the corner like some sort of trash heap… well… unless you do. No! We19 want your procedural generation to spawn realistic lived in looking rooms and cities.

The second thing it saves you from, well you’ll remove an entire chunk of development from your dev cycle. Procedural Generation will just be something you’re not having to build. Time is money my friend! Combine this with UModeler and you’ll build your entire game out, from the comfort of the Unity Editor, in no time at all!

Looks like your game can be ready in no time! Have you already checked it out? Drop a comment below to let me know how it went!