What is Unity

What Is the Unity Real-Time Development Platform?

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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!

Ultimate SFX and Music Bundle

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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

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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

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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!

UModeler is Here to Bring Features You Need to Unity

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If you’re not already familiar with the process, importing, exporting, and designing your models in different programs can be a real pain. UModeler aims to take some of those issues away from you by allowing you to do your modelling right in Unity.  By skipping the middle man, whether you’re using Blender, or 3Ds Max, or what have you, you’ll save time, and keep your flow going.

You can design your characters, levels, and worlds all within the Unity Editor. I personally feel the more that I can keep myself within one program, the more that I am going to get done. If you already have a lot of experience using another 3D modelling software, this may not be an overall game changer. However, if you’re in the beginning stages of game developer, and you want to get to market quickly, UModeler just may be the perfect asset for you!

UModeler has been built with you in mind. There are tons of high quality assets that have been made with it. There are tutorials complete with narrations to help you master it’s intricacies, and a community that is ready to discuss the asset, or share in your joy at your finished products. It’s quite the package.

Is UModeler Better than Other 3D Editors?

It’s a good question, but a bit difficult to answer. If you’ve already mastered another product, then you’re just setting yourself up back behind the learning curve again. Perhaps that’s not ideal when you really want to get your game off the ground.

However, if you pick up programs quickly, and you just want the functionality for prototyping, then it may very well suit your needs. Further, if you have no prior 3D modelling experience, then UModeler may very well be the best place to start. You’ll learn all aspects of your game development flow right in Unity, potentially saving you hours of compatibility issues.

If you need to be able to model within Unity, or you haven’t yet learned a modelling program, then pick up UModeler, you won’t regret it! If you need any more help getting on the game dev path, check out our guides!

Where are the Shapes!

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Whether you’re building a neat little puzzle game, or an immersive 3D experience, the need for lines and Shapes in your project is going to come up. Perhaps it’s when you’re designing the UI. Perhaps you have 2D beasts spawning in your 3D world? Or perhaps the entire gameplay that you’ve planned can make use of the wonderful tool that is Shapes.

Whatever the case, Shapes does what you’ve most likely wished that Unity already did. It allows you to create shapes and vector graphics right in Unity. Whatever your need, Shapes is going to have you covered. 

Perhaps by combining this with some of the other pristine 3D assets on the Unity Asset Store, you might even get your game done far sooner than you’d have expected! The straightforward setup, and versatile library will come in and solve your primitive drawing needs in Unity.

The documentation built by the developer is quite elaborate, and certainly covers everything you’re going to need to get started. It’s well organized, and complete with examples and code snippets that make learning a breeze. Shapes is a Unity Asset that is a great way to expand your toolkit in a meaningful way!

What Can I Expect from Shapes?

Several of the commentators will quickly point out to you that the lack of Unity vector tools is a bit of a nuisance. Perhaps you took to Blender or another tool to get the job done, but the work around is clumsy and surely more of a nuisance than it was worth. With Shapes you can get everything done right in Unity and you’ll save yourself some time.

Go and check it out, you won’t regret it. Once you’ve done it, come on back and share some links to your projects below!  What are you waiting for?

 

Stealth Must Have: The Dialogue System for Unity

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When you consider buying assets from the Unity Asset Store, you might be stuck on buying complete engines, or perhaps that amazing looking dragon, or awesome landscape generators. These are all great ideas! However, if you want to truly tell a story that hits home, more often than not you’re going to need some human connection. You’re going to need to have characters that tell their own stories. You’re going to need the Dialogue System for Unity.

Coming up with the dialogue for your characters is often hard enough. Trying to balance the emotional with the comedic. Trying to be mysterious but not so much that your player’s can’t tell what’s going on. There’s a lot to consider. For Indie Developers such as ourselves often we can get bogged down in that and not even realize the massive task we have ahead. Designing and implementing the dialogue tree that we took forever to write. The Dialogue System for Unity was designed to take that off of our backs, and we need to thank them for it!

The asset comes with demo’s and tutorials to help you get your words into the game as quickly as possible, and there’s even a forum where you can exchange thoughts and ideas with the publisher and their community. 

You’ll be able to build large, dynamic, branching conversation trees! Make your cutscenes come to life and so much more. If it has to do with dialogue, then the Dialogue System for Unity is your go to!

How Are Others Using the Dialogue System for Unity?

Heavily, heavily, heavily…. okay, that’s enough heavily, but seriously the reviews are weighted in the incredibly positive direction. Games of all types use dialogue in one way or another and the Dialogue System for Unity was designed to step in and take that job on for your no matter what.

Simple to get started, and complex enough to suit your needs. You will not regret using this asset for your projects! Once you have it, if you need more inspiration, check out our latest (and old! Sorry!) #YGTInspiration post! A new one is coming soon!

Have you used the Dialogue System for Unity? How did it work for you?

What Game Dev Looks Like With the TopDown Engine

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Some people may get into game development with a lot less background in programming and building a project than they would like. For those people, using an established engine can mean the difference between realizing their dream and building an amazing game, and well… not. Using the TopDown Engine can give you the edge you need to actually make it to market.

If you’ve played with Unity a little bit, you know how absolutely versatile it is. That versatility comes at a cost however, and that cost is complexity. The TopDown Engine helps to remove some layers of that complexity by giving you a 2D and 3D engine that comes with player controllers, screen effects, an inventory engine, and so much more. 

You’ll have access to moving platforms, destructible objects, keys, doors, and bears. Wait… not bears… maybe bears? I don’t know this seems to have absolutely everything else. Honestly the TopDown Engine will give a new game developer what they need to see the project through, and to me that makes it an absolutely vital asset to the Unity community.

If you’re looking for some other vital assets, check out my 2D Vital Unity Assets list, and the 3D Vital Unity Assets list.  Both contain great suggestions to get you past the development blues and to the rush of actual launch!

How Well is the TopDown Engine Reviewed?


This is always an important question and I try to cover it as fairly as possible. The reviews on the Unity Asset Store are not even mixed, with the vast majority at 5-star. If you’ve been here a few times you’ll know by now that I like to cover the negatives first, and for the TopDown Engine there is certainly a negative.

TopDown Engine really isn’t meant to be used piece by piece. This engine was designed to replace a whole boatload of work that you will otherwise have to do. It’s amazing at it, but you may want to design some portions and due to the complexity you may have difficulty there. Of course, depending on your skill level, you may not.

Now, you may be wondering, that’s not really a negative is it? You’d be absolutely correct. Honestly, if you’re looking to build your first, tenth, or thousandth game, this is more than a great deal, it’s an amazing deal. The TopDown engine has been around for a while, so it’s definitely been through the ringer, and it has a feature list the size of some apartment buildings. Okay, not really, but just go read some of the reviews, you can’t go wrong.

Have you given TopDown a try? Let me know how it went below!

Feel – The Unity Asset That Brings Your Game To Life

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When Using Feel, Your Users Will Feel it All

Bringing a game to life, I mean really to life, is a momentous task. You’ve got to design it just right so that it meets the expectations of your players, and doesn’t surprise them in the wrong way. One of the things that players have come to expect is feedback, that is, their actions need to have an effect on the world. They need to Feel it!

On the Unity Asset Store, you can find an absolutely fantastic asset for just that purpose, Feel. Feel has been designed to be an absolutely irreplaceable part of your Unity toolkit.  The asset has been developed to include tons of tutorial and demo content to make sure that you quickly get the ropes. Further, with the ability to easily add feedbacks to your objects, and then tweak them endlessly you’ll be able to give your Unity game it’s own unique feel in no time at all.

Is It Really Worth It?

It’s always hard to tell from a quick video whether or not an asset is going to live up to the hype, but if you take some time to read what others are saying about Feel you’ll quickly be reassured. The only review currently not 5-Star on the Unity Asset store seems to be from a user that may be having version issues, and in either case the publisher reached out that same day to offer some assistance.

The remaining reviews, again all 5-star, paint Feel as an absolute essential. It will save you time building feedback and life into your product that will translate into longer play-time and hopefully just a little bit more of a return. 

Just think what you could do with that camera shake after you’ve made your own explosion sound effect!

Have you tried Feel? Let me know in the comments below!

 

MicroSplat Ultimate Bundle

MicroSplat – The Ultimate Shader Bundle for Indie Games

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The MicroSplat Ultimate Bundle is bringing more to the table than your average asset. I mean, it better be at the price, but just take a look at what can help you within your game today. You can quickly turn your game into an interactive wonderland. Where your world reflects the sum of all of the actions taken thus far. It’s an impressive collection of different assets that will bring your game’s terrain to a completely new level.


By purchasing this bundle, you’re taking advantage of a massive discount on the collection as opposed to buying them individually. Just watching the video above, you’ll see all the different things you can do with these shaders.

The video itself opens with a dragon that drags its tail through the snow leaving a path in its wake. Followed quickly by a cart roaming through a desert town kicking up sand as it goes, and then a massive snowball that leaves a trail behind it as it rolls on its way.

Further, built into the package you have Digger integration to dig down into your environments! Create massive lava flows and show the wind gliding across your barren landscapes.

With tools that allow you to blend your shaders with the environment and absolutely great performance, this package of shaders for Unity will not let you down. You’ll be able to build expansive living worlds that don’t seem static to your player. It will help you build Your Game Today!

How has the Microsplat Ultimate Bundle of Shaders Been Received?

The bundle hasn’t been around long enough to accrue many reviews, as of writing it is sitting at 3. However, each of them is a 5 star! Further, the individual packages that comprise the Microsplat Ultimate Bundle have the following ratings:

I think the track record of the included packages above basically speaks for itself. The MicroSplat Ultimate Bundle is a gold mine for creating an amazing, breathtaking game that shows off your vision in the greatest ways.

In reading many of the comments on the various included packages, people are pretty supportive of the developer! There is plenty of praise going around and a common theme is that the products are kept up-to-date which is great when it comes to being an asset for a constantly evolving product like Unity.

 

I found a 4-star review on MicroSplat – Wind and Glitter, but they neglected to leave a comment so I have no idea what they felt could be improved. 

In the MicroSplat – Terrain Holes module there was also a single 4-star review. They have indicated that for making a tiny hole in your terrain it is probably best to use a different solution, however, they still point out that it is a useful add-on for water features and other bigger shapes!

Overall, the value of this package speaks for itself if you’re looking to build a larger majestic game. What are your thoughts?