“Unity Game Development Essentials” Review

After a long period of waiting – it’s finally here! I’m not actually talking about the book. I’m talking about the ability for everyone to write games. Unity is a long waited system of IDE, runtime, browser plugin and many other incredible stuff we needed for a long time, but we haven’t found what we were looking for.

As soon as I accidentally discovered Unity, I was immediatelly taken by it’s posibilities. Yes, it was the Islands demo. I’ve never seen something like that in a browser. And it worked without a glitch, with unbelievable rendering speed for a browser plugin.

After installing the IDE (which is free for use in its basic form, respecting some conditions) I realized it is a revolutionary product. Not only it allows everyone to write high quality browser games, but it implements all important and modern stuff used in gaming industry. It takes care of everything – from physics to rendering. All what is left for you to do is – make a good game.

This book introduces this revolutionary IDE and it should help you to take your first steps in Unity world. After the introductory chapter about 3D concepts to 3D newcomers, the following chapter brings you into the IDE. Step by step, the book introduces other functionalities and ways how to use them.

There are many concepts of Unity which this book covers, but if I have to choose the most important ones, I would go for component based development and scripting. A word about each.

A component based system

Gaming industry took many steps from it’s infancy to where it stands today. From a technical point, there were many different philosophies on making a perfect system. There were many debates about the arhitecture of a perfect API.

From todays point of view, some of design patterns were really missing in the past. The most important one is the component based approach to game development. It replaces a deep hierarchy of classes used in the past (which were hard to maintain and extend) with the architecture of classes which act as behaviours; the desired object behaviour can be built with those classes in composition.

Using the composition more than inheritance, Unity succeedes in addressing problems from the past.

This book introduces the component based concept and covers it with many useful examples.


Another powerfull concept used in Unity is scripting. Scripts are basically text files containing code (in your language of choice – Javascript, C# or Boo) added to your game objects. Scripting is usually related to weakly typing, which is indeed the case. Each script can address the properties of object to which it is attached to, as well as object’s components (including other scripts).

So easy as drag and drop of the script from a library you build your object behaviour. And there are a number of pre-made scripts coming with the Unity installation. The book explains the usage of these scripts, as well as writing of your own.

Except these two, there are many other revolutionary concepts covered in this book, such as:

– collision detection, rigidbodies and physics engine
– texturing and lighting
– component referencing and accessing
– audio and input
– particle systems
– menu and GUI

Overall – a very good book with excellent examples (and code) which will help you dive into the revolutionary Unity 3D!

Title: Unity Game Development Essentials
Author: Will Goldstone
Language: engleski
Number of pages: 316
Release date: October 2009
ISBN: 184719818X
ISBN 13: 978-1-847198-18-1
Topics and Technologies: Unity
Rating: 4/5

Danko Kozar, February 2010

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