My realization about Unity3D and our future with it.

Since The Last Post

So it’s been an interesting month or so since I decided I was really going to go “all in” with Unity3D.  I’ve always loved what it can do, all the platforms it can reach and generally what people have created with it making games I have enjoyed.

 

Long Live Unity

Roger has made amazing progress with Unity as a seasoned programmer, Unity has been a natural extension for him to make games for 2D and 3D for him.  It was so great to see all the fantastic games he was able to make happen with Unity and I’m excited that it will be something we will continue to make Part12 Studio games with.  I just wanted to stress that I still love Unity, I just realize my brain/temperament is not conducive to express those ideas with code.  I used to struggle with making music with the old tracker programs vs using MIDI for music composition. Amazing music was created with those tools, but I didn’t work well in those environments.

 

Unity3D + Scripting Sucks (for me)

However, I’ve realized that as I got more familiar with Unity3D, that it’s not for me personally.  I’ve seen a number of tutorials and understand how things work and while I’m not a seasoned programmer, I watched numerous videos watching people make things with Unity3D.  What I have come to realize is that creating games in this kind of “coding” world is incredibly boring, error prone and annoying to figure out.  I’ve realized that if I had no alternative to make games, I would not be developing games.  Design?  Yes I would still be doing that and very much in the game industry, but just not as one who does the building.

When I found GameSalad indirectly, it opened a world of game possibilities previously out of my reach due to my lack of time/interest/inclination to learn and work with languages like ActionScript 3.0 back in the day or C#.  For the first time ever I was able to explore game ideas without getting bogged down by the need to have a programmer be willing to make my idea a reality.  Let’s face it without either significant money or finding a very self motivated developer with some spare time, not much can happen in a game.  Coders have their own ideas too so while I have had the fortune of working with great developers in the past and continue to work with others today, it was still very constraining.

 

Unity3D + Playmaker (last chance) 

Now while I’ve officially thrown in the towel spending any more energy on Unity3D, I am still hopeful to eventually use  Playmaker as a means to make games with Unity3D.  Playmaker is a very cool tool I have dabbled with in the past, but over time as I’d come and gone learning about it, I noticed with each new version of Unity3D, the tutorials were becoming more and more broken.

 

Some Fun and Games

So in spite of my best efforts,  I couldn’t pass on some chances to make some games.  My wife asked me to make something for her and I couldn’t pass on a chance to do that.  There was a contest going on from Microsoft that I wanted to get in on so it was added incentive to get something up and running before June 1st.

Bee Active (done in about a week)

Voider (90% done in 24 hours)

I had so much fun working on these projects.  Yes it cut into some of my study time for Unity, but it was absolutely a joy to do and it was time well spent.  Both of these games are on web, kongregate, iOS, android, windows 8 and windows phone 8 and more..  so the ability to reach many many platforms producing good performing products has been very exciting!  Hopefully I win something from these efforts, but if not, it was still fun.

 

Construct 2 Is My Lady

I spent a good two weeks or so doing nothing but Unity3D coding tutorials and found it difficult to work in.  The idea that I would someday be able to go from scripting from tutorials to making my own games is a chasm so great that while I’m sure it could be overcome in time, I didn’t have a good feeling of how long would it take. How many months of basically not producing anything worthwhile would it take before I would then begin the road ahead to figure out how to make things fun?

I’ve seen how much work it takes to get a platformer game setup.. I’ve seen how much thought has to go into making simple things to work.. concepts to master.. calls to remember and know when and where to use them.. forget about what it would take to figure out how to do something innovative and original..

I have found that Construct 2 can still do so many awesome things and enable me to explore ideas now rather than having to learn a whole new way to express myself and then figure out how to achieve what I want through those expressions.

I’m going to return to Construct 2 and leave Unity3D for folks who enjoy coding.  I’m grateful that developers who are on the Part12 Studios team know it and enjoy using it so much, but for me, I realize now that Unity3D is a tool just as much as Construct 2.

 

In Conclusion 

A musician creates music, not paintings and painters make paintings, not music.  Some people excel in both, but most folks find themselves favoring one form or another.  At the end of the day it is all Art.

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About Caleb

Game Producer at Part12 Studios here in greater Boston area. Caleb loves game design and the execution of game development. He is also a semi-serious old school skater and a married father of two wonderful boys.