Monday, March 11, 2013

It's been a good run

Before you go into a shock-induced coma; no I haven't stopped developing games. After many years of being a major proponent of writing my own engines, I have succumbed to the enticing call of Unity 3D.

The decision came while I was working on our new game (the secret one). I was busy writing a 'shader' in JS for the canvas that would allow us to use overlay blending for lights. Except for the fact that it took too long to generate the resulting image it was working fairly well. It was at this point that I realised just how often I was faced with this kind of issue. As much as I would like to continue developing my own engines, I hardly went a day without needing to resort to some kind of hack to achieve something simple.

So I've moved over to Unity. The choice of game engine was a fairly simple one: I could still easily deploy my game (even more so), development is still very speedy (again, more so) and unlike many other game engines where the work of the programmer devolves to scripting events I could still feel like I was achieving something. Even though Unity supports JS scripts, I've opted to rather code in C# (if you're going to do something, do it right).

I've spent the last week learning Unity and it's been a rocky road but I feel I'm at a place now where I am no longer hampered by my lack of knowledge and development on the secret game can recommence at full speed (we'll reveal exactly what it is very soon, we promise).

Here's a screenshot of how the game looks in the Unity player. The overlay blending on the lights is working now and we think the effect is amazing.


  1. Love the fact you decided to use Unity. Screenshots looking good as well. Interested to see how this develops, also interested in your artwork, taking your advice you give me on my blog seriously :). Keep it up!

  2. Wow, didn't see THAT one coming! :D Unity is pretty awesome. I liked it, though I thought it was too easy on beginners (read: me). That's why I'm learning DarkBASIC Pro - it seems to be a good place to refresh and learn more down-to-core programming skills.

    Looking forward to the release!

    1. Believe me, neither did I. It all happened so quickly. Your argument about Unity is the reason I never started using an engine. But it turns out, I still get to do tons of programming, as long as I don't download things from the asset store.

      For instance, I got to write my own name generator, shader and all the usual actor and item managers I'd usually write so I'm happy.

      I'll still carry on doing the lower level stuff I enjoy like writing my own rendering engines but those will just be for fun as I've finally accepted the fact that if I want to finish a game, I need to use an existing engine.