Benefits to Using Unity
- Available Resources
- Strong Community
- Unity Representative Outreach
- C# Programming Language
- 2D Toolkit
- Cross-Platform Support
- Cost to Use Unity
- Unity Asset Store
Unity has tons of resources available. Some of these resources are from Unity, and some are from the Unity community.
Unity has a team of people called Unity Evangelists who go out and give workshops using Unity tools as well as online tutorials. One of my favorite, and who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several times is Mike Geig. Follow Mike Geig on Twitter, if you don’t already, and check out some of his and other Evangelists’ Unity tutorials on YouTube. I’ve learned a lot from him and other Unity Evangelists, and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t know what I know today.
There is also a great forum where you can post questions and ask questions. There are places to just chat about game development, meet other members, and talk about Unity. Just be careful, though. If you want to ask a question, be sure to do a thorough search to make sure that question hasn’t already been answered. They do not like duplicate content.
The Unity Asset Store, which is part of the list, is also amazing. It has artwork, animations, and tons of other things to help you make your games. Some of the stuff is free, some of it costs money.
There are also lots of tutorials from all sorts of people. Just do a Google Search for Unity Tutorials and tons of video and written tutorials will pop up. You will definitely need to be more detailed in your search, and we suggest using the search tools to keep the search to the last year so you don’t pull up tutorials for the 2014 version of Unity.
Community was mentioned above, but we wanted to stress just how amazing the Unity Community is. Whether you are new to game development or a seasoned professional, everyone is welcome. The pros are always helping the beginners, and many have their own tutorial channels to answer questions that people ask them.
Unity sends reps out to be involved with the gamedev community. They give SWAG to people who attend their workshops, and seem to enjoy interacting with the Unity developers. Eimear Studios’ team members have attended workshops over the years and enjoy the online tutorials they give. We also love all the SWAG we have acquired over the years, including a shot glass, a Rubix cube, and t-shirts.
Unity Representative Outreach
Unity also has an internal team of representatives that directly reach out to the developers who are using their game engine. Eimear Studios is very involved with our rep. When we have questions, we just email him and he responds within 24 hours. The reps also ask about their engine and if there is anything we feel is missing from their toolsets that could be useful in a future release of the Unity Engine.
Unity’s Education outreach is also amazing. Eimear Studios does work with schools for STEM education and Game Development education. They have a program specifically for educating students on how to use their software to make games. Also, they offer a certification option to receive an official certification of your knowledge of Unity, which is helpful for students to show on their resumes when looking for jobs at game studios.
In the past, Kendra Corpier, CEO of Eimear Studios, has also held events and game jams where Unity helped to sponsor by Unity giving keys for game jam winners to use their pro tool for free for a year and various SWAG to give away at the events.
C# Programming Language
This is more of a personal preference for the team at Eimear Studios. We all enjoy programming in the C# language more than other languages. Our team also has the most experience with C# and it’s the language that the Unity Engine uses.
Eimear Studios also prefers programming over WISIWIG (What You See Is What You Get) engines, because we feel we have more control over the our games’ mechanics and how they function within the game. Many game engines today have an option for making a game without any programming, but this limits your ability to control what happens in your game and create new mechanics.
Now, that’s not to say that WISIWIG editors are bad. They just aren’t for us.
If you haven’t noticed already, we enjoy making 2D games, with our first title, Enfield’s Apocalypse, being a 2D game. However, we want to create something uniquely beautiful and not pixel art.
Unity’s 2D Toolkit and 2D animation tools are amazing for getting the ‘feel’ we want for our game. And, after a few days of tutorials, were very easy to understand and use. Even the 2D lighting is fantastic, allowing us to focus lights on specific objects, layers, or the whole world.
These 2D tools are especially great because they work on a 2D axis, rather than the 3D axis normally used for games, which saves memory usage.
In today’s world of game development, there are tons of consoles and platforms to publish your game to. With Unity’s cross-platform capabilities, it makes it super easy to publish a game to the Xbox One, change a few settings and then publish a build for PS4.
Now, that’s not to say you won’t need to make some adjustments for the different builds, however, this will allow you to make a complete game, publish your test builds for each console or platform, and then make the few adjustments as necessary for each console or platform.
Other game engines offer cross-platform functionality as well, but we really like how Unity does it both with the controller settings and publishing settings. It works for us.
Cost to Use Unity
Every game engine has a slightly different way to approach how they make money from the developers who use their SDKs. Eimear Studios likes how Unity handles it. The company has several offers that cost money, depending on what you need to develop or how big your team is. But for indie developers, Unity realizes indies don’t have much money when starting out so they have a free version of the game engine.
Developers can make and publish their games for free. The free version of the engine does not offer a few pro tools, including analytics, and when the game is published, a Unity splash screen will play for about 5 seconds at the launch of the published game. The only requirement to be able to use and publish games using the free version is that your studio does not have a net value (made money from games or investment money within the last 12 months) of more than $100,000.
Eimear Studios is still in our Seed Funding stage and has not raised its initial investment funding yet. If you are interested in talking with Kendra about investing in Eimear Studios, please contact her directly at email@example.com.
Unity Asset Store
The Unity Assets Store has tons of things for developers to use in their games. Some things are free and some things cost money. You can adjust your search settings to find exactly what you’re looking for, or you can just browse the whole store to see what people are putting up. A lot of what the store contains are assets and plugins created by developers like you or me.
When you purchase an item from the Unity Asset Store, you are supporting a fellow gamedev. Unity does take a small cut of the profit to keep the store supported and running, but some developers do make some extra money by creating things for the asset store.
Unity Game Engine Conclusion
Now, Eimear Studios has listed why we use this game engine. That’s not to say that the Unreal Engine or any other game engine is bad. Our team is more experience in using Java and C# programming languages. We also all have the most experience with using this game engine. The tools they offer fit our game design needs, and we do love the interaction we get with Unity reps and available resources from the Unity community. So, Unity works for us.
But what about you?
- What is your favorite game engine?
- Why do you like it?
- Let us know in the comments below!