Those tilesets are sexy. Seeing new tilesets is like getting introduced to a new lego set.
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Unite 2015 Boston is one of many conferences held by Unity Technologies to promote the Unity game engine. These are some of the highlights from last week gathered by Brian Moakley for raywenderlich.com (check this website – it’s awesome).
Unity Training Day
The training session had about 200 developers who attended and it was led by Will Goldstone and James Bouckley, both of which, had great chemistry together, balancing each other during the session. The focus of the training session was on building a local multiplayer game called Tanks, where two players fight each other one on one as tanks. The session was a walkthrough from beginning to end of the process of building the game.
Topics such as managing the state of the game, writing camera tracking were covered, and extensive coding were covered, so it made for a tricky and ambitious teaching lesson. So although the training day could have chosen an easier game to build, Tanks showed its awesomeness by the end. Along with that the two teachers randomly picked 4 attendees to go on stage to play Tanks in a competition where the grand prize winner takes a Unity Pro License home. It was a good time for all.
John Riccitiello and the Keynote
What better way is there to start off the Keynote than with the CEO of Unity Technologies, John Riccitiello. He announced that Unity would be helping developers not only with game tools, but marketing as well, because just making a great game itself it not enough.
The service they are offering to help developers get their games discovered is called Made with Unity and it give developers a chance to share their stories with the community and have their games promoted. It can be thought of as a social networking platform for gamers and developers to get in contact with one another, building a connection.
The one thing they didn’t go over was making games with the Personal version of Unity. The issue with this is that the game will be made with a splash screen and not just that but the games are little to no quality, and there are game developers that put these games onto Steam. This is a problem that should be addressed with Unity.
Unity 2D will be receiving tile maps in combination with the ability to write custom brushes. This will let you to make “smart tiles”. For example, if you drew a road using horizontal road tiles and the road intersected with a perpendicular vertical road tile, the brush would automatically choose an intersection tile or a curve tile. Basically, based on your brush, tiles will be context aware.
In terms of building your game, Unity will offer a free plan for their Cloud Build service which automates your builds for you. Once your build is fired off, Unity will do the work and then deploy it to a device for testing. Custom targets are now offered so your build can be configured for various platforms and the Cloud Build supports PC, Mac, and Linux.
Analytics can also now be integrated with one simple click with the SDK being a part of Unity. It allows you to easily keep track of how players are interacting with your game, thus giving you the knowledge necessary to better your game. Also, heatmaps will be included, so you can determine bottlenecks in your level design, and as a cherry on top, unified solution for in app purchases is provided.
There were many sessions at Unite, but the common theme among them was virtual reality (VR). Unity knows that VR is the future and wants to bring all of their developers along as well, this is especially known with the release of Unity 5.1, which provides native support for VR.
In one of the sessions titled “Best Practices for Multiplatform Distribution”, the process for porting the title “School of Dragons” onto multiple platforms was talked about. The developers of this talk were able to configure Unity to enable or disable assets and shaders for the build for each platform specifically. The great thing about this is it showed that scripts for your games can be written and Unity provides deep scripting control of the editor itself to help you out with business needs. On another note, there will unfortunately not be an open source Swift port to Unity.
You could find a PlayStation booth showcasing the Project Morpheus headset and a cops and robbers game that implemented use of the PlayStation Move. Players could take part in epic high speed shootouts. Besides this, of course, there were plenty of other booths with VR experiences to be seen.
However, the one who got much of the attention was Google with their Project Tango initiative which is a tablet for augmented reality. They had people take nerf guns with the tablet attached to them. The tablets then projected a shooting gallery at the wall with targets to hit. Whoever beat a certain score would win a $600 dev kit for Project Tango. With all that, the conference was highly successful.