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Beginning 3D Game Development with Unity [Paperback]

Sue Blackman


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Beginning 3D Game Development with Unity 4: All-in-one, multi-platform game development Beginning 3D Game Development with Unity 4: All-in-one, multi-platform game development
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Book Description

Jan. 28 2011 1430234229 978-1430234227

While there is a wealth of documentation and a huge online user community, learning Unity is challenging for those with a background in 2D or 3D art rather than programming. Artists who have learned 3D tools such as 3DS Max, Maya or Cinema 4D or come from 2D tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator may find programming games difficult, and may be new to key concepts in game production.

Beginning 3D Game Development with Unity introduces the key game production concepts in an artist-friendly manner, removes the hurdles to understanding scripting, and enables indie game artists to learn how to produce casual graphic adventure games in the style of Tell Tale Games’ Tales of Monkey Island series while providing a firm foundation in game logic and design.

  • The first part of book takes you through the process of understanding the logic involved in game interaction and creating game assets through the use of small examples that are built upon and expanded gradually.
  • The first section introduces key concepts informed by extensive real world experience in game, training and media production.
  • In the second part of the book, you build a small casual point-and-click adventure game with the assets you developed during the earlier sections.
  • By the end of the book, you can actively use the Unity 3D games engine, having learned the necessary workflows to utilize your own art assets; you'll also have an assortment of reusable scripts with which to build future games.

What you’ll learn

  • How to build interactive games that work on a variety of platforms
  • Take the tour around Unity User Interface fundamentals, scripting and more
  • Create a test environment and gain control over functionality, cursor control, action objects, state management, object metadata, message text and more
  • What is inventory logic and how to manage it
  • How to handle 3D object visibility, effects and other special cases
  • How to handle variety of menus and levels in your games development
  • How to handle characters, scrollers, and more
  • How to create or integrate a story/walkthrough

Who this book is for

Students or artists familiar with tools such as 3DS Max or Maya wanting to create games for mobile platforms, computers, or consoles, but with little or no experience in scripting or the logic behind game development.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Apress (Jan. 28 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430234229
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430234227
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.8 x 5.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #330,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Sue Blackman has been an instructor at in the 3D field for nearly 20 years at both Art Institute and Community Colleges. She has been involved with the commercial development of real-time 3D engines for over 10 years. In the past she has been a contributing author for New Riders (Max4 Magic), written for AMC Siggraph on Serious Games, and written product training and instruction manuals for learning to develop content with real-time 3D applications used by mutimedia departments in by Fortune 1000 companies including Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed amongst many others. In addition to writing and teaching, Sue has been the lead 3D artist on a several games for Activision or their subsidiaries.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book out there on game development for Unity June 23 2011
By J. Wang - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, this is an advanced book (for game artists who want to make their own game). It goes from easy to advanced very very quickly. The author has the ability to break down very complex material into easy to understand and approach. The programming part can be difficult if you have no programming experience. However the author explains it well, so as long as you go slowly through the programming (if you really want to learn it) it's VERY doable.

I'm working through the book, and am at chapter 4. I'm blown away by the information in this book, as there are many explanation of real-time game mechanics that I wasn't aware of. As this book is aimed at game artists who want to develop their own game, this information is invaluable. Unity is a real-time game engine and as such, many things from game assets development to game processes have to re-thought and redone. In my own case, as I've used 3DSMax to develop 3D content for traditional media (animated logos, advertising, etc.) it's a completely different thought process. There are a lot of concepts (which applies to all real-time engines as of this writing) and implementations of those concepts that I have not seen anywhere else. The details are amazing so far and I don't think the author withholds any information like other books.

I also own Unity Game Development Essentials by Will Goldstone, Unity Game Development by Example by Ryan Henson Creighton. This is the order I would do the books in order to get the most out of learning Unity:

1st - Unity Game Development by Example by Ryan Henson Creighton
If you just installed Unity and have never developed a game before and want to create one, start here. Really easy to understand little projects and get you started. Also a great book to start learning about Unity Javascript (I like to call it unityscript, but that's not the official term).

2nd - Unity Game Development Essentials by Will Goldstone
If you have some experience with Unity (after playing with it for 40 hours or so) and want to learn somewhere, check this out. Some easy projects, gets into more details but still focused on Unity essentials.

3rd - Beginning 3D Game Development with Unity by Sue Blackman
This book is 1 project. You actually get to build a difficult game by the end of the book. People don't think classic adventure games as difficult. After all, you are just going around exploring, picking up objects and solving the problem/mystery/adventure. But it is one of the most complex to program because the logic and management of the logic is difficult for most people. Then you have to translate that logic into code and make it work. The scripting will be complex and you really have to sit down, pay attention to learn it. If you know object oriented programming, it will make the going easier. If you have never programmed before (and hence don't know any different), it's easier.

BTW, game programming is NOT like business programming. The loops and vars may be similar, but there are a whole lot of game mechanics and logics that are completely different. Being able to program web stuff in Javascript is not game programming in Unity Javascript. Game programming is a completely different animal, and requires different thought processes. Form follows function. If the final function is game (not web), the form (programming) will also be different.

For me, this book IS A KEEPER. I'd gladly have paid $55.00 for it, and at the Amazon price, it's a steal. The book didn't have a CD for the assets and final code. It will be published on the Apress website. I can't wait to download them and finish the book!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unity 3D and Adventure Gamming Aug. 10 2011
By G. Poschman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This review is long overdue, and although I have not completed the book, it is already worth the price of admission for me. I have been interested in computer adventure game programming for some time and have worked with several engines, but all of them have been lacking. The truth has always been, I have wanted to work in 3D, but I have not been able to afford a 3D engine that met my criteria.

My granddaughter's boy friend attended a community college class on game development using Unity 3D. When he said there was a free version (the price is right), I decided to look into the game development engine. There are a number of excellent tutorials and the reference manual is sufficiently technical and there were a number of books out there, but it was beginning to look like what I wanted wasn't available.

Finally I did an internet search and discovered "Beginning 3D Game Development with Unity: All-in-one, multi-platform game development" by Sue Blackman. Now that is a mouthful for a book title. I read it's description, and some reviews and I decided to invest in the e-book version in PDF format. When I got the book, I had no problem in down loading it and I had no problem in finding the assets and downloading them. I realize that some have complained about that process, but it was seamless for me and I have been working with the book for a couple of months now.

With regards to my background, I am a JavaScript programmer, I have some graphics skills, but I am not an artist. This book has been excellent in bringing me up to speed in Unity and the game building walk through has been easy to understand and use. Sue Blackman has done an outstanding job explaining the issues of 3d game programming, how to use Unity3D, and how to apply it to adventure game programming.

There are three ways to approach how to use this book, and the following is my recommendation on how to follow through. First have an "E" version of the book. Think of it as a tool. Have the PDF version open and have Unity 3D open side by side on your computer. Sue Blackman provides the JavaScript as you move through the book, and it is a simple matter to copy the script from the pages of the PDF as you progress through the book. Follow through the chapters and pretty much do everything by rote. You may wish to back up and review parts as you progress, but after reviewing whatever you need to, continue on step by step.

My second approach, at some point you will become comfortable enough with Unity that you will want to strike out on you own, at that point you may want to work on the book projects and you own. I do not recommend this, unless you have a game design already in place, if you do, than go ahead and continue on the book projects while developing your own game.

If you do not have a game design in place continue through the book and finish the projects as she provides them.

In phase three you may wish to, in fact you should purchase the paperback version of the book. I realize you are buying the book twice, but it will be worth it. Once you get a game design in place, start your own project, and use the PDF version of the book for quick snippets of code, use the assets as the fit your needs, and use the paperback as a quick reference to access the index and the subject of whatever topic you need to look up as you build your own game.

This is the mode I am currently in and I have found the book to be an invaluable asset.

Although the book does focus on the adventure game genre, it is applicable to a number of different genre's and the knowledge the book supplies in applicable in all of the different game genres.

Gene Poschman
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as advertised. Sept. 17 2011
By Eric Gibson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've just completed the entire book and I am very impressed at the completeness of the subject matter. This is less a manual than a project for building a First Person, Point and Click style adventure game. The author doesn't get into shooters and action oriented gaming, but building an extremely rich and interactive environment to explore. All the basics for animation, lighting, and sound effects are covered, but where the book really shines is in learning to design inventory items and mechanical puzzles common to the Myst series or the Lucas Arts games. In several places the author walks you through the simple ways to accomplish the desired effect and then carefully teaches you the most flexible, efficient way. So, no matter what type of game you want to design, the scripts you write during the course of this book will be invaluable.
Also, the author Sue Blackman is active on the Unity Forums and was very responsive to questions or requests for help with scripting. All in all, this was a fun way to learn.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Has errors Jan. 23 2012
By Allek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Book starts ok, but then it has a lot of script errors, which renders projects unusable. If Author will
fix the source code then it might worth giving it a try. On the errata page of the book's website, they listed
all the errors that people have submitted, but no solutions posted so far.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book to learn Unity July 18 2011
By L. Figueroa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first Unity book I have tried that takes the time in the first chapter to define the terms I will need to understand to use the tool, other books just assumed I knew which left me confused. Another thing I loved about the book is that it used the latest version of Unity - the last book I tried learning from referred to menu and dialog items that no longer existed. I found this book easy to follow and understand. It has many screen shots to assist you on following along. I found this one a "keeper" and the only book I would recommend to start learning Unity. In addition, to address the reviewer that gave the book one star - the book contains a web site (the author's) that directs you to the APRESS web site where you can download all the assets used in the book - a treasure trove.
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