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Game Development with Unity Paperback – Jan 19 2011

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PART I: AN INTRODUCTION TO UNITY AND DESIGN. 1. Preface. 2. Introduction. 3. Basic Overview of the Unity Engine. 4. Designing Concepts. PART II: BUILDING THE GAME ASSETS. 5. Environments - Setting the Stage. 6. Characters. 7. Props. PART III: ADDING INTERACTIVITY. 8. Instances and Prefabs. 9. Custom Interactions (Scripting) and Input. 10. Physics and Animations. 11. GUI. PART IV: POLISH AND FINISHING TOUCHES. 12. Lights and Shadows. 13. Cameras and other controllers. 14. Particle Systems. 15. Sound and Music. PART V: PUBLISHING AND DISTRIBUTING BUILDS. 16. Making Builds 17. Basic UNITY debugging and Optimization 18. Publishing and Distribution Techniques Appendix.

About the Author

Michelle Menard is a freelance writer and game producer. After receiving a double bachelor of arts in Applied Mathematics and Music from Brown University, she decided to jump into the games industry by getting a master's of fine arts in Game Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She authored the first edition of Game Development with Unity in 2011.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A solid beginner-intermdediate book March 3 2011
By C. Lee - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very well-written book on Unity game development. It discusses, in detail, virtually every aspect of Unity interface, gives a good review on Unity Javascript and in some cases C# when the differences between these languages merit attention. The entire book centers around the 3rd person character control, which is missing in other books on Unity. I especially liked the natural & logical flow of discussion from the starting level creation phase to the final stages of optimization and publishing. The number of pages is over 460 rather than 350 and appendices are on the accopanying DVD. The DVD also has useful resources and all the project files in the book. The only thing I don't like about this book is that it is based on Unity 2.x version. Thus, like other books so far published no new aspects introduced in Unity version 3.x are found here, either. Still, the material coverd in this book holds in version 3.x, if some minor modifications are made. Overall, this is a well thought-out book and the price is quite reasonable, so I believe you will get your money's worth.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Solid Book to learn Unity3d with May 30 2011
By mike ferguson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished reading this book from front to back. This book is a great introductory book to Unity3d. It walks you through the process of putting a game together from beginning to end. The book spends a large portion of time on coding in the middle. By the time you finish, you will be comfortable using unity's Javascript, but you will still need to study the language much further using the unity documentation or some other source to learn more about all the unity specific functions and classes. It should be noted that you don't need to be a javascript expert to use unity. Unity's implementation is actually a little different from regular javascript anyways. You only need the knowledge of core javascript, not client side. If you know actionscript 3, you're golden as it's basically the same. Knowledge of any basic programming language like java or c++ is all you really need. The book won't show you much of how to make you're own textures and doesn't talk about modeling characters and animation rigging, but I didn't and don't expect it to. It's about the unity3d engine, not modeling.

There are definitely quite a few errors in this book. However, it does not deserve the low ratings it has. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone. It should be noted that on the very last page, the author explicitly acknowledges that there are "intentional" flaws that the author left in the widget game, but doesn't say what they are... Perhaps the people complaining about the errors didn't even read the whole book? Anyways, the author should have pointed out where the mistakes are in the book as she put them in. At a couple points, complete sections of code were missing... and there were plenty of typos. I wonder if the author just said there were intentional errors at the end to excuse the poor proofreading? Despite all the errors, the book is still great; not excellent, but great. The errors are all minor. If you can't figure them out, you should probably find another career because you are bound to make tons of errors as a programmer/game developer.

My only complaint is that it didn't go in to more detail on certain things, but then again, this is an introductory book. It should be noted that this book is written for unity3d version 2.x, but it will work for 3.x. The only difference is a couple menu options are changed when viewing specific things. I wish there were more books on unity3d that were up to date and went in to more depth on all aspects of the engine. I'm not aware of any "advanced" unity3d books that are out yet, at least at the time I'm writing this. Considering how few books there on unity at the time of this writing, the author should be applauded for her contribution.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good for beginners, next to useless for anyone else Nov. 18 2012
By M. Lounsbury - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you have no experience with Unity, then this is an ok book to get you started. It will lead you through the very basics of how the program works, including things like what objects are, how to use the hierarchy, and other basic functions. It also has the added bonus of coming with an example cd that has things like models with built in animations, allowing you to simply plug them into the game and have them work. This is also its major flaw in my opinion. You can't expect to make a game using only unity. Most people who want to create their own games, and have zero experience with it, will need to know quite a bit of information not covered in this text. Far too much time is spent explaining how to use the landscape creator and place trees in your scene. That space could have been better used for other topics.

Most people who want to make their own game will want to design their own character and other assets. You'd need to use Maya or Max to model the character, to UV the character, to rig the character, and to animate the character. You'd also need to use a program like Photoshop or Mudbox to paint the character. While this may sound like a lot of added text, you'd be surprised by how little instruction it takes to explain these steps. Getting good at them is just a matter of practice. You cant write a book about game development and not include asset creation. For example, my game has a bird. I need to create a bird somehow, and get that bird to flap its wings. I know that I need to do all those things in Maya, and I manage to set up a flapping wing animation. Great, how do I transfer that animation form Maya to Unity? Google it and save yourself $40.

I am a game design student and picked up this book as a reference for when I needed to figure out how to do something in game, either via the editor or via script. I have been disappointed at every turn. Either the information provided is too limited or the example given is to basic that its not actually helpful. Luckily I generally know what I'm looking for and can use the Unity API scripting reference online to figure it out. I was hoping this book could fill in the places the API was lacking, but in reality this book has sat on my shelf for the last year collecting dust. After a month of trying to utilize it as a reference, I simply gave up. Every once in a while, I pick it up to look for something on the off chance it might shed some insight into what I'm looking for but I'm always disappointed.

If you have no experience with unity at all, and are looking for something to give you the basics, this isn't a terrible place to start. However, you can find better tutorials on Youtube for free.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Very Good Resource Feb. 4 2011
By Merrie Schonbach - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written and good book for Unity 3D engine, I recommend adding it to your resource collection. The author goes over 3rd person controls and other controls that the previous books published did not. I recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Book on Unity Development! Feb. 14 2012
By MLC - Published on
Format: Paperback
Michelle Menard's book is a bit more advanced than Will Goldstone's book. Both of these books played an important part of my continuing education in Unity.

Unity 3D is a huge topic and she touched on the major areas you will want to be familiar with, as well as a bit of depth that more experienced programmer/developers will like. I appreciated the more advanced animation functions/states and only wish the book had gone into more detail in that area. But at least she let you know that these advanced capabilities exist - the Unity Reference is usually more than adequate once you know where to look.

It's a shame that the folks not getting the DVD in the Kindle version are bringing the ratings down so much. Otherwise, I think we'd see that this is truly one of the better books on Unity out there. Thank you Michelle for the hard work it took to get all this excellent information down on paper and sharing it with us.

I do wish that the publisher would have spent some more money on printing higher quality images though. Still, it is a great value and I need to save money where I can. Regardless, here's hoping for high-color images on her next book! :-)

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