Unity here I come – first Unity 3D test

I really pushed the boat out today, purchasing a Pro license for the Unity 3D engine when I have hardly touched the free version.

I have had a bee in my bonnet about finding a way to bring all my creative hobbies together in one package and some form of interactive 3D media might be the answer.

Anyway, racked with guilt, I put Diablo 3 to one side tonight and forced myself to learn something about Unity. I resubscribed to Safari Online Bookshelf and started a book called Unity Game Development Essentials.

Here’s a link to what I created after reading a few pages in the preface.

Unity web player – bouncing ball

It took me a long time to convince myself that Unity was the right direction to take but in the end the main factors were:

  • Ease of learning.
  • Simplicity of distribution.
  • Size of distribution package.
  • Evidence of good games that have been written with the product.
  • Support for complex 3D objects and interactions.

I have a programming background so I don’t need a tool that removes all coding requirements. However, I don’t want to spend much time programming if I can help it because the main goal is to support creative urges, not technical ones.

I looked briefly at the Unreal Development Kit but that had some serious drawbacks for me:

  • Huge executables.
  • Lengthy install process with some weighty pre-requisites e.g. .NET4 and DirectX
  • In-your-face (and up your nostrils) branding.
  • Seemingly massive learning curve

This is not a well-rounded view. I honestly looked at UDK for a few hours and watched a bunch of video tutorials. However, based on my 30 minutes with Unity tonight, I am happy with my choice though still a little nervous about the longer term impact of the money I’ve just spent.

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