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How Unity3D Became a Game-Development Beast

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the right-tool-for-the-job dept.

Programming 115

Nerval's Lobster writes "In the early 2000s, three young programmers without much money gathered in a basement and started coding what would become one of the most widely used pieces of software in the video game industry. 'Nobody really remembers how we survived in that period except we probably didn't eat much,' said David Helgason, the CEO and co-founder of Unity Technologies, maker of the Unity3D game engine. A decade later, untold numbers of developers have used Unity3D to make thousands of video games for mobile devices, consoles, browsers, PCs, Macs, and even Linux. The existence of Unity3D and similar products (such as the Unreal Engine and CryEngine) helped democratize game development, making the kinds of tools used by the world's largest game companies available to developers at little or no cost. This has helped developers focus less on creating a video game's underlying technology and more on the artistic and creative processes that actually make games fun to play. In this article, Helgason talks about how Final Cut Pro helped inspire his team during the initial building stages, how it's possible to create a game in Unity without actually writing code, and how he hopes to make the software more of a presence on traditional consoles despite Unity3D being several years late to supporting the PS3 and Xbox 360."

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And Unity Still Sucks (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897243)

I appreciate that Unity 3D allows small teams or even individuals to produce games that would not otherwise be possible due to monetary and time constraints, but the engine itself is still somewhat lacking and results in games like Receiver, which should be playable on relatively old systems, but instead occasionally drops frames on even modern hardware.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897271)

Too many layers of abstraction. Think of this as the SDL of 3d game engines

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (4, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897515)

SDL is actually quite thin, close to hardware, abstraction layer.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897701)

No. 3D hardware heterogeneization sucks. More than half of the layers that you despise are there for that reason.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43898657)

No. 3D hardware heterogeneization sucks. More than half of the layers that you despise are there for that reason.

No, the layers are there to make it easier for developers to produce applications that work on a variety of hardware. The result is an application which plays to the lowest common denominator and never takes advantage of hardware which stands out from the pack. When you add another layer of abstraction on top of it, you just add more issues- all the applications using the framework end up looking and feeling similar.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#43900805)

But isn't this the problem of pretty much all game engines today? I mean you look at how good some of the games in the golden age of 99-04 looked and played, even on weak as hell hardware, and then you look at some of the frankly insane system requirements for modern games, games that only look moderately better than those games from more than a decade ago, and you can tell what having the "any idiot can use this without knowing anything" mantra when it comes to game engines has cost us.

Everyone talks about "Windows bloat" but nobody talks about engine bloat and how many extra resources all this abstraction is costing us. It will be interesting to see if mobile gaming will bring a return to less abstraction or if like PCs they are gonna have to just grow insanely powerful so they can run engines that let you build by drag and drop.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43902433)

I think your hypothesis only goes back 6 years or so, not ten :)

Seriously though, modern games don't look much better than the original Crysis, and what improvement there has been doesn't seem much better than throwing more polygons and texture resolution at the problem. It seems we've reached a point of diminishing returns.

There is, however, utility in more hardware power... that next-gen Oculus Rift isn't going to render for itself!

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#43903085)

I don't know about that, I thought Mechwarrior 3 and 4, No One Lives Forever 2,Freelancer, and the original Far Cry looked pretty damned good and with the exception of the last one the system requirements were pretty lean.

Honestly i believe that since that time we have gone backwards as before since the engines and graphics were pretty much equal you had to come up with other things to sell the game, like GHOUL physics in Soldier of Fortune I & II, good writing and funny dialog in the NOLF series, or having smart AI that would call for help and flank you like in far Cry and the first 2 FEAR games.

So while I have nothing against more power, I am running a hexacore CPU after all, I just wish they would use that power for something other than a few more stupid lighting effects or a bloated engine, instead give me larger worlds, smarter bad guys, hell I have been playing the Crysis games of late and I don't think the AI is as good with those as they were all the way back in Far Cry 1, its just prettier, but not by much.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897319)

that's got little to do with Unity and more to do with shitty coding.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897409)

There still hasn't been a single AAA title developed with Unity 3D, despite their many claims.

Unity is useless for team projects, version control is an absolute joke, particularly when dealing with assets.

The only people that seem to like it are those using it to create shovelware from their bedrooms by tweaking the limited number of tutorials.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897539)

There still hasn't been a single AAA title developed with Unity 3D, despite their many claims.

Cities in Motion 2 just came out...

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897773)

There hasn't been a triple aaa title released that didn't have it's own in house engine developers that was any good.

Skyrim being the last one I played.

Call of duty sucks balls.

Halo, Unreal, Half Life all great titles all releasing stuff all great games, but they have no need for unity3d. Same with FarCry but they sold out and are producing arcade shit instead of military grade simulations so screw them.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43898585)

Also I don't mean to flame "arcade style games" or shooters. But the original Far Cry set expectations for a really good strategic and tactical simulation. With AI that would organize accross the level to face you. It was never amazing. But they jaded me by going in the direction they did.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43899245)

"There hasn't been a triple aaa title released that didn't have it's own in house engine developers that was any good. Skyrim being the last one I played."

Logical sentence linkage fail.

In agreement, or disagreement, with your point (depending on what it means to you to be playing a sequence of games among the set of what hasn't been), Skyrim uses Gamebryo. The degree to which it does, and the rationale for omitting credit, are open to debate.

http://peter.corrosivetruths.org/2011/12/21/is-skyrims-creation-just-gamebryo/ [corrosivetruths.org]

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899605)

Your correct. They were the last major triple A title I played that used an in house engine. And I have a love hate with it and the Elder Scrolls Construction set. But I thought it was worthy of praise.

There hasn't been a triple aaa title released that didn't have it's own in house engine developers that I know of...

**** ramble ramble ramble *** list some more triple A's with their own engines.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899645)

Though there have been a few built around the aforementioned franchises engines, but they aren't in long term mental storage for me ;p Wikipedia has a few lists...

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#43901021)

That doesn't have anything to do with the engine, in fact there is a ton of great games that used their own tweaked version of the Unreal engine, its management chasing CoD money that make too many studios crank out bad clones.

And just because they build an engine in house doesn't mean that engine won't suck balls, look at how practically nobody but their parent companies use the Doom 3 or Crytek engines, the Crytek engine used on Crysis 1 was so bad that the fans had to make a patch to drop the living hell out of the graphics on the last level because no matter what hardware you had the engine would crap all over itself on that last level so badly even high end cards couldn't handle it.

At the end of the day it isn't about who makes the engine, its about what you can do with it, hence why Unreal engines dominate more than any other, at least last i checked. But as far as Unity3D...is there any big selling triple A titles that use it? Last i heard like RPG Maker it was one of those niche engines used to crank out indie games. Not that there is anything wrong with that, finding an underserved niche and catering to it is one of the oldest business tactics there is and if they can make a decent living in that niche more power to 'em, but I honestly haven't heard of any 30 million plus AAA titles using it as the engine.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897919)

There still hasn't been a single AAA title developed with Unity 3D, despite their many claims.

Cities in Motion 2 just came out...

Cities in Motion 1 and 2 are fine games, but they are not really AAA titles.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897781)

AAA titles cost millions to produce, and are mostly bland risk-averse garbage. (With a few notable exceptions)

Unity enables creative people to publish high-concept games that are actually a lot of fun. They're often cheap too. I'm ok with this, because I've found that playing a handful of cheap games that are very good at one or two things to be a lot more interesting than large bland titles that do nothing well.

If your game is a success you can move on to better frameworks or brew your own.

Of course, Unity also enables a lot of crap companies to make shovelware games, but that's a function of the market ant not really unity's fault.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897833)

Amen. +1 million virtual meta mod points from me. Spend them however you feel lol...

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43902739)

Can I convert them to gems?

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (2)

RoboRay (735839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898879)

There still hasn't been a single AAA title developed with Unity 3D

Meanwhile, games like Kerbal Space Program are far more compelling than any AAA title ever developed, and it's still in alpha.

/shrug

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899095)

I did not know this, but http://endless-space.amplitude-studios.com/ [amplitude-studios.com] which is on par with a Civ game to some degree in depth. (or maybe even a bit better since it's further abstracted from reality) Is a really good Unity3d game.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897411)

>that's got little to do with Unity and more to do with shitty coding.
Or the shitty coding of Unity.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897403)

It results in games like Legends of Aethereus. It's only limitation is that of the Artist, you sir are trolling. It should be noted also this Engine is constantly evolving and adding NEW things for the foreseeable future.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897645)

It doesn't run on linux. Flash does.
That they have problems porting it, doesn't speak well of their codebase.

Runs on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897799)

http://unity3d.com/unity/multiplatform/desktop

Re:Runs on Linux (4, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897925)

Unity3d can build a target application that runs on Linux, but the development environment only runs on Windows or Mac

File bugs against both Wine and Unity3D (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899215)

the development environment only runs on Windows or Mac

Does Unity3D have a public bug tracker? If so, file bugs for problems encountered while running the Windows version in Wine. In fact, file them against both Wine and Unity3D.

Re:File bugs against both Wine and Unity3D (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899759)

Running something under wine does not qualify as runnable under Linux.

Plus, I the distro I use doesn't support wine on a 64-bit platform yet.

Wine is like GNUstep (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899939)

Running something under wine does not qualify as runnable under Linux.

From the point of view of Linux and X11, Wine is an executable format (PE) and a UI toolkit (like GTK+ and Qt and GNUstep and SDL). It's not like Wine is an emulator or anything. If an application that works in a free reimplementation of the Win32 API isn't "runnable under Linux", then an application made with GNUstep isn't "runnable under Linux" either because GNUstep is a free reimplementation of the API now called Cocoa.

Plus, I the distro I use doesn't support wine on a 64-bit platform yet.

Then your distribution is broken, and you may want to build Wine from source in a 32-bit chroot [winehq.org] .

Re:Wine is like GNUstep (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43900361)

Then your distribution is broken

More specifically, winehq does not particularly consider the distro worthy of supporting. That's a failing of winehq by my reckoning, not Slackware, specifically.

you may want to build Wine from source in a 32-bit chroot.

Running windows applications with various degrees of success (I've heard that .NET applications have a lot of trouble) is not sufficient incentive for me to create a 32-bit chroot that would offer me no other advantages, since I can already run 32-bit linux applications just fine.

It's not like Wine is an emulator or anything

It takes an existing binary compiled for a particular operating system/platform and runs it on a different one from that for which the binary was targeted. That makes it either a virtual machine or an emulator. Calling wine a virtual machine seems a bit of a stretch though. Is the only reason to not call it an emulator because its moniker says so?

Re:Wine is like GNUstep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43900653)

Haha glad to see you still have to frankenstein your system and build custom kernels to get wine to work properly...

you should still be able to just do a make install though from source and get some functionality

Slack was not built for wine though. Don't give wine to much crap over it. Slack is for clean, tried and true servers. And Patrick Volkerding does an amazing job with maintaining it for that purpose.

Through a partition on there for debian, gentoo, or archlinux and give wine another shot.

Wine as a paravirtualized Windows clone (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43900739)

[Wine] takes an existing binary compiled for a particular operating system/platform

"Platform" is nebulous enough to allow this. Qt and GTK+ are themselves "platforms" in a sense.

and runs it on a different one from that for which the binary was targeted. That makes it either a virtual machine or an emulator.

"Virtual machine" is closer because an application that uses Wine executes as a user mode process directly on the CPU without an interpretive or dynamic-recompilation step. Perhaps paravirtualization [wikipedia.org] is even closer, as Wine could be considered a clone of Windows designed to run as a guest within a UNIX or UNIX-clone operating system. Is support for Linux applications in FreeBSD [freebsd.org] an emulator?

Re:Wine as a paravirtualized Windows clone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43900793)

I would consider wine a security risk on a multiuser system with sensitive data or critical importance. Unless that system was specifically for the task of running critical wine apps. But even then. Thats not a good way to do whatever you need to do.

Games and personal use are what it is meant for. And if I saw someone install wine and play some minesweeper app on a database server with passwords I would be disappointed .

I would be hesitant to allow it on a trusted network without a specific need and maybe tripwire at least to watch over that computer. But I am paranoid.

Re:Wine is like GNUstep (1)

petman (619526) | about a year and a half ago | (#43901931)

Wine is a compatibility layer. That's it. It is neither a virtual machine nor an emulator. An analogy is if you add an extension to Openoffice to make it able to edit, say a Word 2013 document. That doesn't make the Openoffice extension a Word 2013 emulator. Likewise, Wine allows you to run Windows executables in Linux, or in other words, you can run Windows programs in Linux using Wine, but Wine itself doesn't emulate an operating system.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43899895)

It's only limitation is that of the Artist, you sir are trolling.

Ahh, so trolling is only OK when Mike Frett does it. [slashdot.org] Got it.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43902479)

It results in games like Legends of Aethereus. It's only limitation is that of the Artist, you sir are trolling. It should be noted also this Engine is constantly evolving and adding NEW things for the foreseeable future.

So much for Legends of Aethereus - their entire web page is devoid of noscript support, so most of it shows up empty for me.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897453)

Not to mention the free version locks features away unless you pay for it.

At least CryEngine lets you muck around for free (minus the Autodesk menu crap).

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897803)

To be fair, they need to offer some sort of incentive to purchase it.

Although I agree with you... it's annoying. Just saying I understand it.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (5, Insightful)

s13g3 (110658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898963)

LOL... "muck about", he says, as if that is relevant.

At least Unity lets you create and publish games, and for free at that. Go ahead and "muck about" in CryEngine, get something like the basis of a game conceptualized, start building and importing assets and writing code. Let me know how relevant or useful that is when you realize you need more than $1 million USD per license for CryEngine and everything you learned "mucking about" has no bearing on development processes or standards in an engine you can actually afford to release in without being owned by a AAA-class publisher or succeeding in a record-breaking Kickstarter. There's a REASON indie devs don't use CryEngine.

Because otherwise, CryEngine has little to no bearing on developing in any other engine. How do I know this? By spending 3 years as a member of the dev team for Mechwarrior: Living Legends, as well as being a developer at my own studio, working in... you guessed it, Unity3D. After the MWLL project wound down, a group of us set out to start our own studio, and even with numerous, highly-placed contacts at CryTek, we *still* chose Unity for a reason: value, because Unity is actually affordable by us merely mortal developers without Chris Roberts-like bank accounts and industry connections and multi-million dollar Kickstarters.

I could release a game in Unity tomorrow. It might look like crap and have bugs, but I can release and publish a game in 24 hours. CryEngine? HAH, good luck with that. At best, it still won't work or look any better than my Unity game would, due mainly to the quality and quantity of art that I could produce, which the engine has nothing to do with, and the amount of code I could pump out, which CryEngine doesn't just automagically make better. If you've never *worked* with CryEngine (ala, more than just "mucking about"), you simply aren't qualified to comment about features being locked away or unavailable in Unity, much less things just working, because no matter the features CryEngine might let you "muck about" with, they're not relevant if you can't afford the engine license in the first place. Despite what the fanboys think, CryEngine is not some shining bastion of game engine perfection that can do no wrong: and it is a giant square peg that fits in a giant square hole, filling a purpose, whereas Unity is a little more like a bunch of legos - the starter kit for which is FREE - that, when assembled, fit a series of differently shaped, if generally smaller holes, and it fits them well.

I doubt anyone who has actually published a title in CryEngine AND Unity would say this is is really anything more than and apples and oranges comparison at best, as they are different engines with different strengths and weaknesses, and they fill different niches within the game development community.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899967)

Cliffy B gets a call from Peter Alau to confirm the "Make Better Button" that's powering Gears of War 3..

Be careful what you wish for... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jace_Hall_Show#Season_3 [wikipedia.org]

It's out there...

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (3, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43900209)

but you're comparing unity with CryEngine... when you should be comparing it with Irrlicht or Ogre or similar.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43900583)

that is when you realize you need more than $1 million USD per license for CryEngine

Bullshit. Indie developers can get it for a 20% royalty on revenues. Most indie games make a couple hundred thousand dollars at most which would put their licensing fee a few magnitudes lower than your claims. Now, yes, that is still probably more expensive than Unity3D But your claims of needing more than a million dollars is absolute bullshit unless you're either a AAA studio (in which case 1 million USD is a drop in the bucket) or you're such a widly successful Indie studio that makes 5+ million USD on their titles (which I doubt is very common).

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (5, Insightful)

bluescrn (2120492) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897927)

Unity doesn't suck (although the workflow doesn't suit everybody). A lot of Unity users are inexperienced, and don't fully understand how Unity's rendering tech works.

Without a background in lower-level games/graphics programming, It's very easy to over-use expensive features (pass-per-light dynamic lights, projectors, full-screen post effects) without knowing what Unity is having to do behind the scenes.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (2)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899013)

I am starting to use Unity, despite not knowing C# (though it's easy enough to pick up) and find it beneficial to someone who has a bit of a coding background, but absolutely no experience or knowledge of "okay, I know how to write code, but how do I apply it to making a game, where you have so many different layers and abstractions. . . .?"

I mean, I could use something like SDL or a number of other options, but after the "make a ball move around on the screen" part, I have no idea where you go. How do you turn that into a small engine or a small game? In fact, this seems to be where a lot of fledgling game makers get hopelessly lost.

I eventually just caved in and realized that instead of dreaming of writing my own engine from scratch in C and building a game around it (thinking a roguelike or Dwarf Fortress style), I might benefit from learning how to use a system that has a workflow and sort of gives you a path for "where the fuck do I go from here?". Once I have a clue, maybe I can go back and write something from scratch and be all artisanal.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43899419)

I agree that a good programmer with a background in low level and graphics programming will do a better job with any engine, but that doesn't really apply to Unity because you don't get the source code, even after you buy the full versions for consoles, etc (which are pretty expensive). It's a complete black box, your experience in low level programming is worthless if you can't fix the bugs.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43898283)

I appreciate that Unity 3D allows small teams or even individuals to produce games that would not otherwise be possible due to monetary and time constraints, but the engine itself is still somewhat lacking and results in games like Receiver, which should be playable on relatively old systems, but instead occasionally drops frames on even modern hardware.

Receiver was built in less than 7 days. I'm pretty sure they didn't spend a lot of time optimizing it for legacy hardware.

http://www.wolfire.com/receiver

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898359)

I agree. It's been over a decade and it's still in a shitty state. The only reason to use it is (was) reach. It seems that Unreal, which performs better and is tooled better, has the same reach. If you make one of the thousands of shitty games that this "article" refers to, then you'd even make less than the $50k/yr limit, making unreal's UDK free.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

DaveyJJ (1198633) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898993)

Do let me know when the full UDK *editor* can run in OSX.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (1)

slart42 (694765) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899003)

I agree. It's been over a decade and it's still in a shitty state. The only reason to use it is (was) reach. It seems that Unreal, which performs better and is tooled better, has the same reach. If you make one of the thousands of shitty games that this "article" refers to, then you'd even make less than the $50k/yr limit, making unreal's UDK free.

But then, if you make shitty games making less then UDKs $50k/yr limit, you likely wouldn't succeed in shipping your game at all without Unity. Unity does make game development very accessible and allows many people to make games (some of them shitty, but also many great ones), without needing to understand all the details of the tech. That won't stop you from using that understanding to make much more pushing games if you can.

Re:And Unity Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43901135)

Receiver suffers more from being a concept game developed in ~7 days. There are many sections of code that are obviously poorly done, and someone familiar with the engine and language could probably find more. I'm not saying Wolfire are poor coders, just that the game was coded under a time limit and during many sleepless sessions.

Beast? Is this a joke? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897291)

Time to rename this place to slashnoob.org

Re:Beast? Is this a joke? (1)

bluescrn (2120492) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897941)

Well, Unity does contain a lightmapping tools named 'Beast'...

Re:Beast? Is this a joke? (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43900681)

Well, Unity does contain a lightmapping tools named 'Breast'...

FTFY

Oculus Rift (5, Interesting)

Saethan (2725367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897401)

My only experience with Unity is seeing how its Oculus Rift support has made rapid prototyping of games possible. The headset was out for literally days before the first demos started popping up.

Re:Oculus Rift (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897733)

And that's always the point of an SDK. It's not to improve the quality of polished work, but to give a framework that does all the overly duplicated work for you, so you can focus on the unique parts you care about.

If you want a high performance sports car, you're going to need to reinvent the wheel to make it perfectly mesh with your design. If you're just trying to develop a cool idea to attach to your car, why would you?

Unity sucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897513)

I always roll my own game engine. Reinvent the wheel because I'm a foss-tard that never finishes anything and forks everything.

God only know what I'd be without u. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897533)

How in god's name do they dodge a bundred million patent lawsuits?

Re:God only know what I'd be without u. (5, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897699)

Pfft, noob. Everyone knows you let a company build up a nice wad of cash before you unleash the patent lawyers.

Re:God only know what I'd be without u. (1)

mehemiah (971799) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897879)

God, I wish you weren't so correct. :-(

Re:God only know what I'd be without u. (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43900287)

True, but the troll patent companies are losing at this point.

Frameworks are great, but ... (5, Interesting)

Rydia (556444) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897589)

Allowing more open development is fantastic. However, the summary (and really a ton of people) have the relationship at play with games backwards:

"This has helped developers focus less on creating a video game's underlying technology and more on the artistic and creative processes that actually make games fun to play."

The underlying technology, however, is the essence of the game. It's what tells us how mario moves compared to sonic or y metroid cant crawl. The artistic and creative process, while quite important, largely affect how a game is presented visually and thematically. The rise of one-size-fits-all platforms, designed to be broadly used not only between titles but between genres and platforms, has led to a massive homogenization of gameplay. Gameplay, of course, is what makes a game fun to actually play. Setting is not gameplay. Writing is not gameplay, and graphics aren't gameplay.

Yes, these platforms are customizable, but the distinctness that came with each game or class of games has largely been lost as games increasingly rely on generalized engines. Unity and Unreal (and various other engines) are great, but they're not responsible for freeing developers to make experimental games. To the extent that is happening, it is despite of, not because of, those engines.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897741)

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. There are some games where it's more about things external to the mechanics. In fact, for some games, though the game is otherwise OK, the developers implementing their own mechanics leads to an extremely screwed up game that would have been far better off using a proven engine.

With that said, I haven't messed with unity3d yet but I'll have to give it a try at least.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (5, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897789)

You can build a 3d physics sandbox (Kerbal Space Program) or a 2d side scroller in unity, there's not a lot of homogenization going on with Unity.
 
Unreal is used for FPSes, as well as 2.5d side scrollers like unmechanical. People were building flight sims with the Quake 1 engine (Airquake). Simply having a 3D engine doesn't shoehorn you in to a particular style of play.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (2)

Crash24 (808326) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898515)

Unreal is used for FPSes, as well as 2.5d side scrollers like unmechanical. People were building flight sims with the Quake 1 engine (Airquake). Simply having a 3D engine doesn't shoehorn you in to a particular style of play.

Not just Quake. A little over a decade ago I worked on a vehicle-based total conversion for the original Unreal Tournament [moddb.com] that centered on air combat.

Model view (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898019)

The underlying technology, however, is the essence of the game. It's what tells us how mario moves compared to sonic or y metroid cant crawl.

"metroid can't crawl"? Do you think Halo is a "pretty cool guy" [knowyourmeme.com] too? Let's correct that for a bit:

[The 3D engine technology is] what tells us how Mario moves compared to Sonic or why Samus cant crawl in Metroid.

In terms of a familiar MVC-style abstraction [wikipedia.org] , the 3D engine forms part of the "view" on top of a "model" containing game mechanics. The model generates new positions for the game objects, and the view draws meshes at these positions. The model could be implemented in Python, Lua, JavaScript, or assembly language for an 8- or 16-bit virtual machine for all anyone cares.

Re:Model view (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43899401)

The y cant metroid crawl phrase is a reference to this: http://kotaku.com/y-cant-metroid-crawl-guy-beats-metroid-is-hilarious-510191575

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898355)

Why would metroids crawl? They can float!

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43898695)

There is a difference between engine/technology code and gameplay code. Gameplay code makes mario jump and Samus crawl, the underlying technology just draws sprites at screen, something that was done traditionally in hardware, but now requires extensive software support due to the complexities of modern games and hardware. Unity doesn't free you from coding jumps and crawls and you will differentiate your game as much as you want with your own C# or javascript gameplay code.

Writing your own 3D engine is pointless at this day and age, and won't much to differentiate you from the competition. You will be throwing triangles to the hardware and compiling shaders just like anyone else, with worse performance, as you won't have the experience, dedication, and resources of a dedicated technology team. Even if you have all of that *and* a novel game concept that would actually benefit from a custom engine, you'll fight an uphill battle as hardware vendors will still tune their drivers and hardware to the needs of the popular engines instead of yours.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43899239)

I would argue that the artistic and creative process fully includes gameplay. Unity ensures that gameplay programmers, artists, game designers, musicians can get to work without worrying about implementing the deeper level functionality. You still have total control over gameplay in Unity and its wrong to assume that you don't have the ability to make unique and entirely different gameplay experiences with the tool.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43899473)

You have a very limited definition of the essence of a game. Sometimes it is the story and characters, sometimes the setting, sometimes the game rules.

To me it is analogous to building custom cars. You could be a purist and start by building your own set of tools. You'd eventually end up with a slightly more custom car. But as long as the existing tools allow you sufficient range to creatively customize then there's probably no reason to develop new ones. And you can produce unique cars more quickly using mostly existing tools.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899479)

Oh please, the essential mechanics of most genres have been the same for decades. What differentiates a great game from a "lather, rinse, repeat" game is whether it got you engaged by the game or not, running around collecting weapons and ammo to shoot random monsters a hundred FPS games can give you. But if you got no story, no characters to get engaged in, no enemies with any personality I'll guarantee you'll get bored quickly even if the gameplay is fine. It's just a grind to reach the next level of more grind and essentially it's all grind. Better weapons, better armor, new levels, new abilities, higher stats, sounds like every RPG I've played. And yet if done right it's fun, you also feel like you're progressing through a story and you're shaping your own character. It's not the engine that does that for you, not at all.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year and a half ago | (#43900271)

> But if you got no story, no characters to get engaged in, no enemies with any personality I'll guarantee you'll get bored quickly even if the gameplay is fine.

Minecraft and the 80's disagree with you.

Narrative should ALWAYS take a BACK_SEAT to gameplay.

You can have a fantastic game without narrative, but you can't have good game with narrative without gameplay. Gameplay is necessary, Narrative is sufficient.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43901181)

I suppose that depends on how you define gameplay.

It is possible to make a game with extremely simple gameplay, if that gameplay is polished and pleasant. With a good and complex narrative however. That is a different formula I think than you are imagining perhaps. I say that it can work. Even a bit of poor gameplay can be made up for by Narrative. I don't remember the Ultima series having amazing stat systems and RPG elements, they were just glossed over. However they were complex enough to metagame.

Increasingly complex gameplay does not add as much to a game beyond a point of marginal return. Narrative may however.

But adventure games. Star Trek 25th Anniversary for example. Extremely simple rules. The gameplay consists of exploring environments with left and right click and a few action buttons. But lots of narrative. A lot of dialog to explore, some for fluff and some for important clues. Although that particular example is an exception because you pretty much need to access the library computer and do some mathematical thinking to complete the game, making gameplay interesting again. Perhaps the best example off the top of my head might be the Longest Journey games which offer a lot of depth and context but the puzzles were simple and straight forward. Even some bad gameplay such as fetch quests.

By the way I hated fighting things in the Ultima games. I couldn't understand the stats or items. But I managed to play through it as a kid anyway. Because I had to know what happend to the Avatar and his pals and Britannia.

Sorry to provide a counterpoint to your good post. I generally agree that gameplay is critical.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (1)

Molt (116343) | about a year and a half ago | (#43903175)

Have a look at "To The Moon". The game mechanics are so sparse that without the narrative it wouldn't compare positively o a lot of Flash games, but when you add the need to see the story through to the end and the result is something pleasingly memorable.

I'll agree that a good game needs some level of gameplay, but that doesn't mean narrative should take a back seat to it. My personal favourite games tend to be those with very strong narrative even if they don't have exceptional gameplay, games such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Planescape Torment, or the Fallout series. It's a matter of personal taste.

Re:Frameworks are great, but ... (2)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year and a half ago | (#43902261)

The underlying technology, however, is the essence of the game. It's what tells us how mario moves compared to sonic or y metroid cant crawl.

Well not really. Looking at just mario and sonic. What is really different between the two? Ignore the maps, and levels. The biggest difference is that sonic can speed up in certain scenarios. Other than a few other minor difference (super mario can swim, shoot fireballs, and fly in some games) you could achieve both games using the same engine. Yes, you might have to tweak some of the parameters. But it isn't the engine that sets the two apart, it is the game play and the artwork. Setting, graphics, and writing is definitely gameplay. The fact that mario can fly or swim isn't based on the engine. The fact that sonic can go fast, or explodes into rings when he dies, isn't based on the engine (well the engine has to support his speed)
Just look at the games that come from the same engine, and notice how different the game play is.

Similar products (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897639)

The existence of Unity3D and similar products (such as the Unreal Engine and CryEngine)

That's reaching, big time. Unity is great but they aren't in the same league.

they should make rings with the word UNITY on them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897703)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toAEQTsidvg

I had to do it.

FTFY (5, Funny)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897739)

This has helped developers focus less on creating a video game's underlying technology and more on anti-piracy tecnology, ad-serving technology, nickel and dime technology.

Re:FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43897817)

no shit dude, drm sucks. no wonder this industry will die/is dieng.

Re:FTFY (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#43900565)

no wonder this industry will die/is dieng.

/. displays a shorter collective memory as the time passes.
I mean, almost at the end of all comments so far and no mention to the awesomenesslessness of gamemaker?

Re:FTFY (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898395)

It also cleared our schedules to watch a lot more porn.

No coding (4, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | about a year and a half ago | (#43897997)

how it's possible to create a game in Unity without actually writing code

Kinda like how you can build a car out of legos without doing any engineering.

Re:No coding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43898675)

That explains the performance.

Thanks unity!! (4, Interesting)

higuita (129722) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898001)

I'm grateful because they now support linux and now we have more games. Humble bundle showed that there is a linux market, only a little smaller than the mac one and with steam also supporting linux there is already some pressure to other engines to also support linux (or risk losing some market share on a highly competitive market). Due to this CryEngine is already being ported to linux (sadly still with unknown release date) and several other companies with in house engines are also testing the linux port.

Again, thanks for your support, unity

Re:Thanks unity!! (1)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898565)

It probably has more to do with android, less to do with steam.

Re:Thanks unity!! (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899489)

To this day I've never seen a unity app running on linux. I heard there is a linux "web player" - i've never seen it in action nor is there hair nor hide of it on the website. The developement tools are OSX and Windows only. Unity supports linux about as well as adobe flash as far as i am concerned. N.

Re:Thanks unity!! (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899799)

It isn't out yet (so it doesn't necessarily go against your point), but Kickstarted Dungeon Keeper clone War For The Overworld is Unity-based and intends to release on Linux.
https://wftogame.com/ [wftogame.com]

Re: Thanks unity!! (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43902629)

Kerbal Space Program

Re:Thanks unity!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43904113)

You aren't looking hard enough? There are several early titles out already.

http://www.desura.com/games/frozen-nightmare
http://forcedthegame.com/
http://www.wolfire.com/receiver
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/08/2-unity-for-linux-games-made-available-for-demo

You can run any Unity Web game in Linux. Try this http://skyshopdemo.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/

Re:Thanks unity!! (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899561)

As someone who makes native cross platform games, I disagree. Other 3D engines with open source licenses exist, like Ogre3D, Cube2, etc. Unity is marketed heavily. I see their marketing everywhere. Like this damn slashvertizement. They are not needed.

It has made many a cool game for Linux a reality! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43898297)

Yes, almost too much good games coming up for Linux.

Don't imitate what they did if you want success (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43898427)

Survivorship bias [youarenotsosmart.com] is around to make very probable you starve to death or lose most of your money as they almost did.

not only games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43898661)

A coworker spends part of his free time collaborating in a non-profit project that recreates clandestine detention facilities during the last dictatorship here in Argentina, and Unity makes their work much easier. You can check it out at http://www.ccdtye-caba.com.ar/home.html (in spanish only)

stopped supporting? (1)

musikit (716987) | about a year and a half ago | (#43899513)

i like unity. very simple and nice engine that only gets more complicated as your project gets more complicated however there are a lot of downsides to it. but everytime i ask for support i never get any so i guess they dont support unity just make unity.

Well done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43900265)

I do my share of cursing over Unity's idiosyncracies, but looking back at it, what Unity has allowed our small studio to do - seven people, we've built mobile games, X360/kinect games, e-learning, transmedia projects, and have PC and Wii U projects in the works.

Messy as it is, it's been a good investment. Each step in learning Unity has carried over to the next project in some way. I started out as a graphic designer, for instance, and now know my way enough around the necessary rendering choices and shaders to optimise for most anything.

I "like" the Unity but where are the games? (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#43902093)

I see Unity being talked all over the place. I'm not a game dev so I never really used it, but from the videos and tutorials I've seen, it seems to be a quite nice IDE+game engine kit to work with. However, I can't help but to feel that everything good about it is superficial and on a real world application it sucks. Why? Never played or heard of a single good(neither good as "in my opinion" nor good as in "critically acclaimed") game, indie, hobbyist or mainstream, that uses it. There must be a reason for that.

Re:I "like" the Unity but where are the games? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43902767)

Because when a game is released they tend not to plaster "Made with Unity" on it.

However, if you look at the games list there may be a few on there you'd recognise: http://unity3d.com/gallery/made-with-unity/game-list

Sure, there's alot of mobile games on there, like Bad Piggies and Temple Run 2, but there's a few really good PC indie games, like Dungeonland, Pid, Guns of Icarus and Endless Space

Ubuntu's Unity? (1)

satuon (1822492) | about a year and a half ago | (#43902775)

Just a question, is Unity3D connected in any way to Ubuntu's Unity, or do they just happen to share the same name?

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