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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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
Fix this incredible oversight and I will gladly change my rating. As it stands, an ebook on programming that references samples you can't get deserves a 1 star rating.
[UPDATE]: I have since also bought the physical book just to get the examples. Not my preferred way to get the content but the book is worth the read.
One comment, if you find that a review is not helpful and choose to rate it as not helpful then please add a comment so the reviewer knows what to improve about their input. This way we all benefit. I don't want to waste my time throwing my thoughts on the web if they are not helping someone. While my review is not a detailed treatise on the book's content, it is relevant that an otherwise good teaching aid is severely lacking by not making the examples available online. I don't believe every review needs to be exhaustive to be useful. But that is just my one opinion...