And moving on to Unity.

I've been learning how to use Unity as I mentioned in the previous post and so to test my fairly basic skills in the program I decided to write a simple invaders clone (it's a very easy game to write, I did it in under 2K of BBC BASIC once)

Unity has a very jumbled way of doing things it seems to me. I'm not used to having so little control over how things operate and this was the biggest challenge. Putting together the game was pretty easy, sorting out interconnections between objects and various other things was the main problem.
Unity has a variety of languages you can use to write code for. The tutorial I was using suggested Javascript, but I'm far more comfortable with C#, which is another offering, so I went with that. Overall the language use was pretty standard. Unity uses an external editor to modify the code, then recompiles it on returning to Unity, this system isn't wonderful and sometimes when editing multiple scripts Unity will only recompile one of them, also the editor isn't wonderful, lacking some of the modern amenities I'm used to, but overall this works pretty well and I get the impression you're never supposed to be editing more than a few hundred lines of code for each object and expected to do the majority of things in Unity itself.

Unity comes with its own 3D physics engine and hull colliders for a set of primitives. These are fun to play with at first, but trying to do anything constructive with them in a simple game isn't the best bet. I completely discarded the engine for my invaders game as it simply wasn't necessary and having seen some other 'physics invaders' games, it's not really a wonderful new dynamic.
I originally intended on using the collision detection from the physics engine for hit detection, but that proved more difficult than I anticipated. I suspect it is possible, but I wasn't able to get it to work as intended. As a result I do all the collision detection manually. This probably works better anyway as the Unity hit detection will do all objects against all other objects whereas mine just does bullets against aliens and bombs against the player.

So, I actually finished pretty much all this game, save the bombs, last weekend sometime, with just the bombs left which I added this evening since my last post.

My overall feelings are that Unity is a very nice bit of kit, very useful and very easy to use. I'm not sure how much I'll use it in the future at the moment, I've got an idea for a game that would work well with it and I've only just started to uncover what it's capable of (there's model importing, animation and a ton of other stuff I've yet to look at).

Without further ado, here's a link to my Unity game. It requires the Unity web plugin be installed, which should work on sane browsers under Windows and OS X. Not sure about Linux.
I might clean it up and release it as a separate executable, since Unity allows that easily. Will see.

What initially got me to take another look at Unity is this blog post by Sophie Houlden. I've recently started using Twitter a lot more and started following a number of indie devs and she was one of them. Currently she's working on a game using Unity called Lottie's Dungeon. So far there's not a huge amount of content, but it is fun to run around in and right now it costs practically nothing. Her intention is to raise the price as she adds more content, in small increments.
It's an interesting development idea and it's similar to the one that Markus Persson (aka Notch) has done with Minecraft, although he's charging half price until he's decided it's not an alpha any more. It's working for Notch anyway who's made a huge amount of cash and sold over 600,000 copies as of today.

As mentioned earlier, I'm releasing these two games as part of my game-a-month project now. Still leaves me miles behind schedule, but ah well. Maybe "occasional game release project" might be a better name? ;o)
This is project a anyway.

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