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Why We Love Unity 3D.

I can remember in 1997, programming a game with Macro ASM and Microsoft C++, and thinking to myself, wow that only took me a summer to make the sprite engine. Now it’s time for Collisions.

Then came Direct X, where it only took you a Charles Petzold book for some windows, and a Visual C++ compiler, and away you went, chasing down hundreds of pointers and references and having to think about every hardware piece for compatibility.

Then Flash. Wow I loved how easy flash was to program, and 8bitrocket.com was the coolest site.

Now, the new King.

Unity combines all of the greatness of Flash, Cinema 4d, scripting, components, assets management, and just delivers a powerhouse of a workflow. Not only that it deploys to Xbox, PS3, Android, iOS, PC, Mac, and now Flash (Beta) with ONE code source. Just make sure you HARD TYPE every variable:

public var damageMultiplier : float;

Within two weeks I was creating things that looked and performed as well as things that took me a year to program. I was blown away with how smooth it ran on my Nvidia PhysX system on my Quo Mac/PC Hybrid.

The prefab selection so far is just awesome, and the expandability of some kits such as ‘detonator’ is practically a school in how particle s behave in a real explosion.

The heavier mathematics have been absracted from the math-nervous (such as Matrices and Quaternions) but having the knowledge is definitely still obviously a great asset, as I do enjoy working within my own physics system from time to time. Not because it is more accurate, but because it is more fun, or specialized for what i’m doing. Extra Springiness like Mario is way more fun sometimes than actually falling at a gain of 9.8/m^2/second. Sometimes good ole acceleration*.98 is good enough in the old delta. Especially if you like having your guy change directions when he’s falling…

The interoperability with c4d is great. You just model in c4d, texture in photoshop, and just bake the textures on from your render menu in C4d (release 12), then when you save into your assets folder, Unity auto-detects the changes to your asset and reloads them in its internal library. It then updates each instance of your prefab linked to your updated master instance, and it is something like heaven on how clean it works.

We plan on discussing tips and tricks in this section, such as the top five stumbling blocks of getting to know Unity, so stay tuned!

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