I am learning Unity

Unity 2D, that is. With 4.3, Unity has added a whole new 2D toolset. This is great if you want to make a game but don’t have an army of 3D modelers and level designers to help make your game look halfway decent.

The only downside right now is that 2D tutorials are scarce because it’s so new (to be fair, this guy is doing great stuff) . However, the most important parts of the 3D stuff still apply here, which is great if you’re already familiar with Unity. If you have experience with object-oriented design patterns then a lot of it makes intuitive sense. I still need to actually make something to get a hang of it though, and since I’ve outpaced the tutorials I’ve found, I’ve been plunging headlong into a stupid throwaway project called Tanks Versus Mummies.

(If you’re an OG Epic Banana fan, you may recognize this as a playable game-within-a-game in Another Day at Work: Wednesday)

screenshot of the in-development Tanks vs. Mummies

Screenshot of the in-development Tanks vs. Mummies. Right now it has mummies but no tanks.

So far Unity is great to work with, thoroughly documented, and robust. On the 2D side of things, I don’t like the lack of a snappable grid (resulting in unaligned pixels) but since the meat of Unity is in its code and not its scene editor people recommend creating level layouts in an external format and reading them in. The fact that we’re also dealing with a camera instead of a fixed resolution kind of grinds my gears but maybe I need to get with the times. Anyway these aren’t major problems, just aesthetic gripes.

8 thoughts on “I am learning Unity

  1. Glad to see Epic Banana back in business and embracing Unity. Sure beats Cocoa and Klick N Play in some ways. I’d love to see your stuff on Mac & mobile in addition to PC.

  2. I seem to remember unity having a nice snappable grid for movement along a single axis, I don’t recall how to set grid size but I know that when dragging a gameobject in the editor if you hold ctrl it will do a grid snap.

    I really wish I could remember right now how to set widths and such, but it definitely is there. I want to say I found it in a youtube series about cloning pokemon in unity.

    • I found something along these lines, you can set a grid and drag in such a way as to move objects in a grid interval, but if you move it off the grid it doesn’t ‘snap’ back to a gridpoint, if that makes sense. I found some good plugins for this, and generally it seems the pros don’t do their level layouts in unity anyway, they make an external format and have unity read it.

      In any case it’s not bugging me as much as it once was. Thank god I don’t want to make another isometric game for a while.

  3. I’ve been using Unity for about 3 years and it’s nice to see what other people are going with it. Good luck with your game.

  4. Are you in experienced with programming? It seems like many of the problems you have is because you’re using a tool for what it was never designed for: a 3-D game engine for 2-D retro games.

    If you really hate programming, you should at least invest some time into trying some other game development engines. There are tons out there. For example, the award winning Gemini Rue was done with Adventure Game Studio. Clearly, I’m not saying use a point-click engine for an isometric game. But what I’m getting at is there are other engines out there that won’t make you feel like you have to fight an uphill battle for everything you want.

    • You’re right, Unity has only recently started trying to include 2D stuff into their engine. Parts of it are still rough, and at its core it does want to be a 3D engine.

      However, the more I play with it, the more I’m liking it. I actually got started with it in order to get closer to the programming side of things, coming as I am from MMF. It’s striking a balance between coding everything from scratch, and having most of the code take place in a black box. So far, none of these problems have been dealbreakers. I’m tempted to show you my latest project.

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