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Unity 3.X Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide [Paperback]

Ryan Henson Creighton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2011

A seat-of-your-pants manual for building fun, groovy little games quickly with Unity 3.x

  • Build fun games using the free Unity game engine even if you've never coded before
  • Learn how to "skin" projects to make totally different games from the same file - more games, less effort
  • Deploy your games to the Internet so that your friends and family can play them
  • Packed with ideas, inspiration, and advice for your own game design and development
  • Stay engaged with fresh, fun writing that keeps you awake as you learn
  • Updated for the latest 3.x release

In Detail

Beginner game developers are wonderfully optimistic, passionate, and ambitious. But that ambition is often dangerous! Too often, budding indie developers and hobbyists bite off more than they can chew. Some of the most popular games in recent memory - Doodle Jump, Paper Toss, and Canabalt, to name a few - have been fun, simple games that have delighted players and delivered big profits to their creators. This is the perfect climate for new game developers to succeed by creating simple games with Unity.

This book starts you off on the right foot, emphasizing small, simple game ideas and playable projects that you can actually finish. The complexity of the games increases gradually as we progress through the chapters. The chosen examples help you learn a wide variety of game development techniques. With this understanding of Unity and bite-sized bits of programming, you can make your own mark in the game industry by finishing fun, simple games.

Unity 3.x Game Development by Example shows you how to build crucial game elements that you can reuse and re-skin in many different games, using the phenomenal (and free!) Unity 3D game engine. It initiates you into indie game culture by teaching you how to make your own small, simple games using Unity3D and some gentle, easy-to-understand code. It will help you turn a rudimentary keep-up game into a madcap race through hospital hallways to rush a still-beating heart to the transplant ward, program a complete 2D game using Unity's User Interface controls, put a dramatic love story spin on a simple catch game, and turn that around into a classic space shooter with spectacular explosions and "pew" sounds! By the time you're finished, you'll have learned to develop a number of important pieces to create your own games that focus in on that small, singular piece of joy that makes games fun.

What you will learn from this book

  • Find out how people are using the amazing new Unity game engine
  • Develop and customize four fun game projects, including a frantic race through hospital hallways with a still-beating human heart and a catch game with a jilted lover that morphs into a space shooter!
  • Create both 2D and 3D games using free software and supplied artwork
  • Add motion, gravity, collisions, and animation to your game objects using Unity's built-in systems
  • Learn how to use code to control your game objects
  • Create particle systems like shattering glass, sparks, and explosions
  • Add sound effects to make your games more exciting
  • Create static and animated backdrops using multiple cameras
  • Build crucial elements you'll use again and again, like timers, status bars, title screens, win/lose conditions, and buttons to link game screens together
  • Deploy your games to the Web to share them with friends, family, and adoring fans
  • Discover the difference between game skins and mechanics, to earn more money from your games

Approach

The book takes a clear, step-by-step approach to building small, simple game projects. It focuses on short, attainable goals so that the reader can finish something, instead of trying to create a complex RPG or open-world game that never sees the light of day. This book encourages readers hungry for knowledge. It does not go into gory detail about how every little knob and dial functions - that's what the software manual is for! Rather, this book is the fastest path from zero to finished game using the Unity game engine.

Who this book is written for

If you've ever wanted to develop games, but have never felt "smart" enough to deal with complex programming, this book is for you. It's also a great kick-start for developers coming from other tools like Flash, Unreal Engine, and Game Maker Pro.


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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutly the best, but be weary of Unity 3.5 March 6 2012
By Thess TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This book specifies 3.X because they probably didnt realize 3.5 would be so different.
This book has been absolutely amazing; but ive had to do ALOT more homework, research, recoding etc because 3.5 is so vastly different from 3.4 and earlier.
heres a list of those differences.

Particle system is totally new, from the ground up, nothing looks the same, acts the same or references even close to the same as the book
and some features are gone totally - like "autodestruct". i had spent about 3 hours using google before i found out that
you now have to SCRIPT this feature - simply check if still animating and then unload it.

The models imported are done differently, and come in weird as well as auto parting - something 3.4 and earlier "asked".

some function names have changed slightly. will need to use the unity reference, very easy though
** i did the whole book in C# and not javascript which the book was written teaching, coverting was easy but i thought id put
that out there in case this was the reason, but i doubt it **

some functions like world space arent even close, for example you cant set X on an object like in 3.4
the book said do something like this ObjectName.Position.X = 100; this will now compile error, you have to do ObjectName.Position = Vector3 (X, Y, Z);
I found myself redoing alot of code to make up these changes.
they added another function to objectname.position.set(x,y,z) but i dont use it, and i think still needs a vector3.

This book assumes total newbness for unity, but not scripting.
I would suggest a basic understanding of either JavaScript or C#, either will do you perfectly so flip a coin.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
By Sol_HSA
Format:Paperback
I've been considering getting into unity for a while, but I've been too lazy to do it in the usual self-learning method of trial and error. Okay, sure, there are online tutorials but nothing which inspired me. So I thought maybe a book would do it.

So I picked up this book. I'm a fan of learning by doing, and all I really needed to get into Unity is some hands-on practice to get my bearings as to where to find what. The book walks you through writing a bunch of games, starting small and building up from there. It painstakingly explains everything that's going on, meaning that more experienced developers can browse through the book quickly, but people new to the world of code aren't left behind.

A lot of the book is dedicated to whetting the readers' appetite on what's possible with unity, without going too deep into it (simply because it would be impossible to cover everything in one book). There's also a lot of humor, which may be irritating if all you want is hard facts, despite which I did find myself chuckling at some of the jokes.

I would have liked a bit more attention to the content pipeline (using blender and photoshop, for instance), but I understand that would have expanded the scope of the book too much.

As a tutorial book, it's a very good springboard into the wonderful world of game development. And it did serve my purposes well, too.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book but don't buy the kindle edition Nov. 5 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Is it a five star book or a one star book? How to rate a fun, thoughtful, well organized, well taught tutorial that is not very useful because all of the formatting, which the author so carefully thought through to differentiate between types of points they want to draw our attention to, were stripped out in the conversion to Kindle?

If you want a laugh read the part of the introduction where he writes "I'll call your attention to a critical piece of information like this" and "I'll highlight a crucial gotcha like this" and all eight or ten of his formatting styles are basically the same. It even says "in a block of code I'll call attention to the key concept in bold" and the bold got stripped out. What a joke. Amazon, Kindle group, and the publisher should be ashamed.

Having gotten that off my chest, the book itself is really nice. If you have the patience to follow it through start to finish, it is a great example of the art of teaching.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for Non-Programmers! Dec 17 2012
By Kathryn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This guy is an amazing writer and I hope he writes a whole lot more books in his lifetime because for ONCE, my kid (11)and I could just work through a book, learn something really hard, and have it be a fun and non-frustrating experience. He will say "click on the little button with a landscape icon". Thank you Ryan Creighton, because ever other book would have said, "while in landscape mode..." without ever telling you what actual button to click.

I want this guy to write books on PHP, Google Sketchup, Blender... I would rule the world, it would unlock so many pieces of software that are just too hard to learn because the support materials are awful. And yes, Unity 3x, your support materials are awful. Newbies and non-programmers are never going to use this unless you create materials like this for regular folks.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok Book, Horrible Code Examples! Nov. 14 2012
By Matt W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book hoping to get starting with developing Unity... The author does a very good job at describing what things do, but the problem is a lot of the code examples are just plan wrong. Code won't run correctly or you will NOT get the same result as the book. I am only on chapter 5 and I am battling with it.

Even the downloadable samples from the publisher or broke or incomplete.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Springboard to the wonderful world of game development Nov. 29 2011
By Sol_HSA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been considering getting into unity for a while, but I've been too lazy to do it in the usual self-learning method of trial and error. Okay, sure, there are online tutorials but nothing which inspired me. So I thought maybe a book would do it.

So I picked up this book. I'm a fan of learning by doing, and all I really needed to get into Unity is some hands-on practice to get my bearings as to where to find what. The book walks you through writing a bunch of games, starting small and building up from there. It painstakingly explains everything that's going on, meaning that more experienced developers can browse through the book quickly, but people new to the world of code aren't left behind.

A lot of the book is dedicated to whetting the readers' appetite on what's possible with unity, without going too deep into it (simply because it would be impossible to cover everything in one book). There's also a lot of humor, which may be irritating if all you want is hard facts, despite which I did find myself chuckling at some of the jokes.

I would have liked a bit more attention to the content pipeline (using blender and photoshop, for instance), but I understand that would have expanded the scope of the book too much.

As a tutorial book, it's a very good springboard into the wonderful world of game development. And it did serve my purposes well, too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Beginners Only June 12 2013
By Michael Gareth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I quickly realized that this book was not written for me. I have been making games a while, so when a book spends several pages describing very core fundamentals, I end up skipping a lot. I was literally skipping several pages at a time though most of it. I really just wanted a book to walk me thorough how things are put together, not describe to me what game development itself is. If you know nothing at all about game development, this is probably a really good book. It reminded me of the program through which I learned. If you've ever programmed at all, though, and especially if you've ever made games, this will appear rudimentary. If you want to learn how to program and have fun doing it through game development, this could be a cool place to start. Ultimately, I ended up using it as a springboard for the free tutorials on the Unity website.
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