Software & Services

Unity Game Engine Review (Free)

In the Asset Store you´ll find a big variety of finished content and materials. You´ll be surprised how much content you can find for free.

Unity is a cross-platform game engine that was developed by Unity Technologies in June 2005. As of 2018 Unity Game Engine has extended to feature up to 27 platforms. The engine can be used for many things such as three- dimensional and two-dimensional games, animations and its also used for creating simulations. There have been several big releases since the launch in 2005, the latest being in Oktober 2018 being version Unity 2018.2.11.

Below you´ll see one of the many animations created with Unity.

CGI 3D Animated “The Butterfly Effect” Short Film by Unity Technologies. Featured on http://www.cgmeetup.net/

Overview

As mentioned Unity provides the users with the ability to create games in 2D and 3D, and the primary scripting API is offered in C#. this applies to the Unity Editor in the form of plug-ins, and the games, also when it comes to the drag and drop functionalities.

The primary language used for Unity before was the previously supported Boo, that was changed with the release of Unity 5 after a version of Javascript called UnityScript was released that favored the C# language.

The engine has support for the following graphics APIsDirect3D on Windows and Xbox One; OpenGL on Linux, macOS, and Windows; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS; WebGL on the web; and proprietary APIs on the video game consoles. Additionally, Unity supports the low-level APIs Metal on iOS and macOS and Vulkan on Android, Linux, and Windows, as well as Direct3D 12 on Windows and Xbox One.

Within 2D games, Unity allows importation of sprites and an advanced 2D world renderer. For 3D games, Unity allows specification of texture compression, mipmaps, and resolution settings for each platform that the game engine supports, and provides support for bump mapping, reflection mapping, parallax mapping, screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), dynamic shadows using shadow maps, render-to-texture, and full-screen post-processing effects.

Since about 2016 Unity also offers cloud-based services to developers, these are present: Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, Unity Certification, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Everyplay, Unity IAP (“In-app purchase” for the Apple and Google app stores), Unity Multiplayer, Unity Performance Reporting, Unity Collaborate, and Unity Hub.

Unity supports the creation of custom vertexes, fragments (or pixels), tessellation, compute shaders and Unity’s own surface shaders using Cg, a modified version of Microsoft’s High-Level Shading Language developed by Nvidia.

Supported Platforms

The Unity editor is supported on Windows and macOS, with a version of the editor available for the Linux platform, albeit in an experimental stage, while the engine itself currently supports building games for 27 different platforms.

The platforms are listed as the following: iOS, Android, Tizen, Windows, Universal Windows Platform, Mac, Linux, WebGL, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, SteamVR, PlayStation VR, Gear VR, Windows Mixed Reality, Daydream, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, tvOS, Nintendo Switch, Fire OS, Facebook Gameroom, Apple’s ARKit, Google’s ARCore, and Vuforia.

Unity formerly supported seven other platforms including its own Unity Web Player. The Unity Web Player was a browser plugin that was only supported on Windows and macOS via Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, and Firefox, however, it was deprecated in favor of WebGL. Since version 5, Unity has been offering its WebGL bundle compiled to JavaScript using a 2-stage language translator (C# to C++ and finally to JavaScript).

Unity is the default software development kit (SDK) used for Nintendo’s Wii U video game console, with a free copy included by Nintendo with each Wii U developer license. Unity Technologies calls this bundling of a third-party SDK an “industry first”.

Unity Game Engine Review

In the first ten years after the Unity launch the product came as a paid version, that could be bought outright. In 2016 the corporation changed to a subscription model instead, of which you will find four different types. One of them being free and three of them paid versions.

Games created with the Unity game engine

This list holds too many titles for me to put them in this post, so click here to see a full list at Wikipedia.

Conclusion

I have played around with Unity for at least five years, and I highly recommend it. It really boosts my creativity, even doh I’m not going for a full game or animation movie, as for now, at least.

By now I have only used it for making beautiful environments to either use as an image or putting myself into the scenery with greenscreen recordings.

Also fooled around with making small game environments, content and characters. And I always used the free version! which will get you very far unless you are a serious game development company.

In Unity, you can also create objects, characters, environments, and other content you can put up for sale in Unity`s Asset Store, here you can find everything and save a lot of time making your own content, in almost every category.

You will be surprised how much content you can find for free. (see top free packages) And like every other program, you can find guides to almost everything on the Community Forum and on dedicated websites and YouTube

So if you enjoy creating creative content in 3D space, maybe Unity is what you are looking for. Or maybe just try out the free version!

Note: Like any other program the hardest thing, is to get used to the interface and keybindings, invest the time, view some tutorials and you´ll be creating awesome content in no-time.

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