What is Unity?
Unity is a game engine (Game development IDE) powered by Unity technologies. It is used to develop computer games for various platforms such as PC, Console, mobile and etc. According to the Unity website's PR page it is the choice of over 45% of the world developers. Unity's theme is "democratize game development".
In the earlier it was supported only for the OS X. But at the Apple's worldwide developers conference, it was extended to target 21 platforms such as Android, Apple TV,Blackberry 10, ios, Linux, Playstation 4, Playstation vita and etc. As well as there are so many targeted API for the Unity such as Direct 3D on Windows, Xbox 360,OpenGL on Mac, Linux and etc. There are five major unity versions have been released now. Latest Unity version is Unity 5.5.0. Nintendo's Wii u video game console platform used Unity as it's default software development kit. Unity publishes with four license options like personal, plus, pro and Enterprise.
There are lot of top games are made with the Unity such as Fairvalley, Nothin' But Net, LBV Race, and etc . As well as there are so many unity customers in the world such as NASA, Microsoft, Electronic arts, LEGO, Nickelodeon and etc.
Unity Game development Benefits and barrier.
Some of benefits are listed below according to the world developers' perspective.
- Fast development. It used agile game development and supports speed prototyping and quick release.
- Good support for de-bugging , Multithreading ,collections and etc.
- Support for multiplatform development
- Several deployment platforms such as Consoles, Browsers, Desktop and Mobile .
- Easy sound implementation and audio engine.
Some of barriers are listed below according to the world developers' perspective.
- Performance issues are hard to find and fix because no source code are provided.
- Expensive when you need entire feature list of unity.
- Additional cost goes to Mobile pro license.
- Does not support for HTML- WebGL for now.
- When moving through build targets needs re-importing everything.
- Time taking when working on multiplatform games.
Minimum System Requirements for Unity Game Engine.
OS: Windows 7 SP1+, 8, 10; Mac OS X 10.8+. Windows Xp & Vista are not supported. Graphic card with DX9 or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities.
Additional platform development requirements.
- iOS: Mac computer :OS X 10.9.4 version and Xcode 7.0 or higher.
- Android : Android SDK and Java development kit.
- WebGL : Mac OS X 10.8+ or Windows 7 SP1+ (64-bit editor only).
- Windows Store : Windows 8.1 (64-bit) and corresponding Visual Studio and SDK , Windows 8.1/Windows Phone 8.1: Visual Studio 2013 or later For running games.
- OS: Windows XP SP2+, Mac OS X 10.8+, Ubuntu 12.04+, SteamOS+.
- VGA card: DX9 or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities.
- CPU: SSE2 instruction set support.
- iOS player with iOS 7.0 or higher
- Android : OS 2.3.1 or later.
- WebGL: Any desktop version of Google chrome, Firefox, Safari and etc
- Windows phone or Store Apps : 8.1 or later.
Download Unity editor from the www.unity3d.com and install it on your device.
Features available now in Unity 5.
Scripting is easy and flexible and compilation speed to native code is fast as C++. It has highly optimized graphics pipeline for DirectX and openGL. By using Unity you can publish games to your platform of selection at the click of a button. Currently supported platforms are mentioned above. It is a uniquely extendible tool. Also reduce graphics bottlenecks, time Controlling of asset loading, importing assets into games and enhance the performance of the game.
There is an ability to create and edit animation clips directly inside unity. As well as can control over the animation playback without the need for complex scripting.
Wonderful visual fidelity among high end mobile, desktop and consoles. Ability to create water with real time reflection and refractions. Use HTML –like markup to control font sizes, weights and typeface selection.
There are so many audio effects in the unity game engine such as configure different audio states with snapshots, create complex effects by using several mixers, can trigger events from within the audio playback.
In addition to above features Unity's team license includes support for third part systems, Unity runs smoothly on minimum hardware requirements and take up almost no disk space , You have to do few changes to your existing scripts when turning a single game play in to a networked game play, easy to find navigation path in the unity game engine , easy to import stream videos from the net and embed in game and also it has proper iOS crash reporting facility .