Unity in Action, 3rd Edition
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I’ve been programming games for quite some time, but started using Unity only relatively recently. Unity didn’t exist when I first started developing games; the first version was released in 2005. Right from the start, it had a lot of promise as a game development tool, but it didn’t come into its own until several versions later. In particular, platforms like iOS and Android (collectively referred to as mobile) didn’t emerge until later, and those platforms factor heavily into Unity’s growing prominence.
Initially, I viewed Unity as a curiosity, an interesting development tool to keep an eye on but not actually use. During that time, I was programming games for both desktop computers and websites and doing projects for a range of clients. I was using tools like Blitz3D and Adobe Flash, which were great to program in but were limiting in a lot of ways. As those tools started to show their age, I kept looking for better ways to develop games.
I started experimenting with Unity around version 3 and then completely switched to it for my development work at Synapse Games. At first, I worked for Synapse on web games, but we eventually moved over to mobile games. And then we came full circle because Unity enabled us to deploy to the web in addition to mobile, all from one codebase!
I’ve always seen sharing knowledge as important and have taught game development for several years. A large part of why I do this is the example set by my many mentors and teachers. (Incidentally, you may even have heard of one of my teachers because he was such an inspiring person: Randy Pausch delivered “The Last Lecture” shortly before he passed away in 2008.) I’ve taught classes at several schools and have always wanted to write a book about game development.
In many ways, what I’ve written here is the book I wish had existed back when I was first learning Unity. Among Unity’s many virtues is a huge treasure trove of learning resources, but those resources tend to take the form of unfocused fragments (like the script reference or isolated tutorials) and require much digging to find what you need. Ideally, I’d have a book that wrapped up everything I needed to know in one place and presented it in a clear and logical manner, so now I’m writing such a book for you. I’m targeting people who already know how to program but who are newcomers to Unity, and possibly new to game development in general. The choice of projects reflects my experience of gaining skills and confidence by doing a variety of freelance projects in rapid succession.
In learning to develop games using Unity, you’re setting out on an exciting adventure. For me, learning how to develop games meant putting up with a lot of hassle. You, on the other hand, have the advantage of a single coherent resource to learn from: this book!