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Encyclopedia > Unity (game engine)
Unity

Developer: OverTheEdge
Latest release: 1.6.2 / May 1, 2007
OS: Mac OS X (creation and deployment), Microsoft Windows (deployment only)
Use: Game engine
License: Proprietary
Website: unity3d.com

Unity is an integrated authoring tool for creating 3D video games or other interactive content such as architectural visualizations or real-time 3D animations. Unity is similar to Director, Blender game engine, Virtools or Torque Game Builder in a sense that a graphical environment is the primary way of authoring the game. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Software development is the translation of a user need or marketing goal into a software product. ... A software release refers to the creation and availability of a new version of a computer software product. ... May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the CE era. ... An operating system (OS) is a set of computer programs that manage the hardware and software resources of a computer. ... Mac OS X (official IPA pronunciation: ) is a line of proprietary, graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of proprietary software operating systems by Microsoft. ... A game engine is the core software component of a computer or video game or other interactive application with real-time graphics. ... A software license is a legal agreement which may take the form of a proprietary or gratuitous license as well as a memorandum of contract between a producer and a user of computer software. ... Proprietary software is software with restrictions on using, copying and modifying as enforced by the proprietor. ... A Web site (or colloquially, Website) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos and other digital assets that is hosted on a Web server, usually accessible via the Internet or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML, that is almost always accessible via HTTP... Namcos Pac-Man was a hit, and became a universal phenomenon. ... Macromedia Director is a media application created by Macromedia—now part of Adobe Systems. ... // Game Blender Requirements Version: 2. ... Virtools is a software developer and vendor, created in 1993 and owned by Dassault Systemes since July 2005. ... Torque Game Builder, otherwise known as TGB, T2D, and Torque 2D is a game engine designed for 2D games based off of the Torque Game Engine. ...


Although the editor only runs on Mac OS X, it can produce games for either the Mac or Windows platform. Support for making games for the Wii game console has been announced for 2007. Mac OS X (official IPA pronunciation: ) is a line of proprietary, graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of proprietary software operating systems by Microsoft. ... The Wii (pronounced as the pronoun we, IPA: ) is the fifth home video game console released by Nintendo. ...


Unity has a hierarchical, visual editing environment with detailed property inspectors. Assets are created externally, in various 3D modeling, graphics, and audio software. These assets are then imported and assembled into a game using Unity. Although many of the most popular 3D modeling applications are supported by Unity, its integrations with Maya, Cinema 4D, and Cheetah3D are the most complete. Scripting is built on Mono, the open source implementation of the .NET Framework. Because of this, programmers can use JavaScript, C#, or Boo (Python-inspired) syntax. 3D computer graphics are different from 2D computer graphics in that a three-dimensional representation of geometric data is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... CINEMA 4D is a commercial cross platform high-end 3D graphics application produced by MAXON Computer GmbH of Friedrichsdorf near Frankfurt, Germany. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Mono is a project led by Novell (formerly by Ximian) to create an ECMA standard compliant . ... The Microsoft . ... JavaScript is the name of Netscape Communications Corporations and now the Mozilla Foundations implementation of the ECMAScript standard, a scripting language based on the concept of prototype-based programming. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Boo is an object oriented, statically typed programming language developed starting in 2003, which seeks to make use of the Common Language Infrastructure support for Unicode, globalization and web style applications, while using a Python-inspired syntax and a special focus on language and compiler extensibility. ... Python is a high-level programming language first released by Guido van Rossum in 1991. ...


Unity uses Ageia's PhysX physics engine for dynamics, OpenGL for graphics and OpenAL for sound. Deployment options are Microsoft Windows executable, Mac OS X executable, on the web (via the Unity Web Player plugin for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Mozilla, Netscape, and Camino), or a Mac OS X Dashboard widget. It is also possible to adapt Unity content as a Mac OS X screen saver. Unity is generally used for rapid development and prototyping. It includes some graphical contents with it. Unity can detect the graphics power available and use lower quality graphics to fall back on when too little power is available. Ageia, founded in 2002, is a fabless semiconductor company. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Physics processing unit. ... A physics engine is a computer program that simulates Newtonian physics models, using variables such as mass, velocity, friction and wind resistance. ... OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a standard specification defining a cross-language cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 3D computer graphics (and 2D computer graphics as well). ... OpenAL (Open Audio Library) is a cross-platform audio API. It is designed for efficient rendering of multichannel three dimensional positional audio. ... Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of proprietary software operating systems by Microsoft. ... Mac OS X (official IPA pronunciation: ) is a line of proprietary, graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... Windows Internet Explorer (also called Microsoft Internet Explorer) is a series of proprietary graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft and included as part of the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems starting in 1995. ... Firefox may refer to: Firefox (novel), written by Craig Thomas, published in 1978 Firefox (film), the 1982 movie starring Clint Eastwood, based on the novel Firefox (arcade game), the laserdisc arcade game based on the movie Mozilla Firefox, a web browser The Red Fox or the Red Panda, based on... Map of Africa 1890 Look up safari in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Mozilla was the official, public, original name of Mozilla Application Suite by the Mozilla Foundation, nowadays called SeaMonkey suite. ... Netscape Communications Corporation (commonly known as Netscape), was an American computer services company, best known for its web browser. ... Camino is a free, open source, graphical Web browser based on Mozillas Gecko layout engine and specifically designed for the Mac OS X family of operating systems. ... Dashboard is an application for Apples Mac OS X v10. ...


Unity is targeted at small-team development, with an optimal size of 1-10 people. The main reason for this is that it lacks any kind of built-in source control, maintaining the latest assets from multiple people can become a burden with large teams. A programmer could fix this problem by integrating source control software. Serious Games Interactive is an example of a company which has chosen to develop internal source control software.


Unity was a runner-up in the Best OS X Graphics category in the 2006 Apple Design Awards. The Apple Design Awards is a special event hosted by Apple at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. ...

Contents

Major Features

  • Integrated development environment
  • Support for Bumpmapping, Reflection mapping and Parallax mapping.
  • The ShaderLab language for using shaders, supporting shaders written in Cg. Render-to-texture and full-screen post processing effects are also supported in the Pro version.
  • Support for the PhysX physics engine.
  • Scripting via Mono.
  • Automatic asset importing - assets load into Unity and automatically imported, and are re-imported if the asset is updated.

Bump mapping is a computer graphics technique where at each pixel, a perturbation to the surface normal of the object being rendered is looked up in a texture map and applied before the illumination calculation is done (see, for instance, Phong shading). ... An example of reflection mapping. ... Parallax Mapping (also, Photonic Mapping, Offset Mapping or Virtual Displacement Mapping) is an enhancement of the bump mapping or normal mapping techniques applied to textures in 3D rendering applications such as video games. ... Cg or C for Graphics is a High level shader language created by nVidia for programming vertex and pixel shaders. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Physics processing unit. ... A physics engine is a computer program that simulates Newtonian physics models, using variables such as mass, velocity, friction and wind resistance. ...

Drawbacks

  • Currently there is no Windows version of Unity's IDE, sometimes requiring studios that intend to use Unity to buy new hardware.
  • Studios that use Unity are reliant on Over The Edge to provide software updates to keep their games up-to-date with modern features unless they get source code license.
  • Unity's IDE has limited tools available for debugging scripts; for example, there is no way to stop execution of scripts in the event of an infinite loop.
  • Unity has no integrated source control and is therefore not optimal for teams of more than a few people. Further, it is not compatible with some external source control management software.

History

Before commercial release, Unity was in several years in development. Gooball was released in March 2005 with a pre-release version of Unity. GooBall is a Mac OS X computer game by Over The Edge Entertainment and published by Ambrosia Software. ...

  • June 2005, Unity 1.0.1 was released.
  • August 2005, Unity 1.1 release added building games for Windows, C/C++ plugin support and more.
  • December 2005, Unity 1.2 added image postprocessing effects, ragdolls, blob shadows, built-in first person controller, ability to extend editor with custom scripted wizards and more. Unity 1.2.2 release in March 2006 added support for building Mac Universal Binary games.
  • June 2006, Unity 1.5 release highlights were web browser plugin for Windows, new character animation system, Universal Binary editor, car physics and lightmap support. 1.5.1 release in September improved support for old graphics hardware and added Unicode support.
  • November 2006, Unity 1.6 added support for browser-to-game communication, streaming of levels in web games, Windows Vista support and more audio effects.

Full release notes can be found here.


Games

Some of the released and in-development games created with Unity are:

  • GooBall - the first commercial game created with Unity
  • Big Bang Brain Games, developed by Graveck Interactive and published by Freeverse
  • MegaPixel, developed by Yogware and released on shockwave.com
  • Global Conflicts: Palestine, a serious game in development
  • Open Fire, a freeware game created with Unity
  • WolfQuest, a serious game in development by eduweb
  • shiftcontrol uses Unity for a number of commercial non-game projects
  • Tiki Magic Mini Golf in development by Mondo Robot, to be published by Freeverse
  • The Late Call a neo-noir stealth game currently in development at ByDesign Games

More projects using Unity can be found in Unity's gallery. GooBall is a Mac OS X computer game by Over The Edge Entertainment and published by Ambrosia Software. ... Freeverse Software is a computer game software developer, specializing in Mac games. ... Freeverse Software is a computer game software developer, specializing in Mac games. ...


Licensing

There are two main licenses: Unity Indie ($249) and Unity Pro ($1499). The Pro version has additional features like render-to-texture, postprocessing effects, ability to build standalone Windows games. Unity Pro is also required for businesses with over $100,000 turnover/year. There is a free 30 day trial of Unity Indie.


Both Indie and Pro licenses include the development environment, tutorials, sample projects and content, support via forum and future updates in the same major version (i.e. buying Unity 1.2 gets all future Unity 1.x updates for free).


Source code and educational licenses can be negiotated on a case by case basis.


External links

  • Unity Website Official Web site
  • Unify Unofficial Unity collaboration community and Wiki
  • WidgetMonkeys Unity-created 3D Dashboard widgets
  • New Old SKooL More Unity-created 3D Dashboard widgets
  • Creative Mac Review A review of Unity 1.5.1 by Creative Mac

 
 

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