Unity Technologies ApS
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- User Reviews
Unity is a multiplatform game development tool, designed from the start to ease creation.
- Object-Oriented Design
- Plug-in Architecture
- Save/Load System
- Professional FPS controller ready to drop in (and tune)
- Streamed loading for the Unity Web Player
- Unity asset server / asset source code version control
- Cross-platform web player content, the Unity Web Player is available for both Mac OS X and Windows users and works with all browsers
- Standalone executables for both Mac OS X and Windows
- Mac OS X Dashboard Widgets
- iPhone Publishing is available as add-on product
- Streaming Asset Bundles: the ability to stream in any asset (terrain, mesh, etc) into the game.
- Asset Processing Pipeline: in larger projects, customizing the art pipeline to avoid repetitive steps becomes crucial. You can now complement Unity's famous asset importing pipeline with any additions you need to make it truly flow.
- Deferred Shading
- Extensible full-screen graphics effects (blur, motion blur, sepia, grayscale, more...)
- TrueType typography
- DirectX 9 and OpenGL rendering support
- Rendering with Shader Replacement: render the scene, replacing shaders of all objects. This makes it simple to make incredible eye-candy like depth-of-field, soft particles, thermal goggles, and more.
- Immediate Mode Rendering: a single function call can render any mesh anywhere, with full per-pixel lighting and custom shader support.
- Lens Flares
- Particle System
- Motion Blur
- Color correcting filter, grayscale, sepia, and twirl
- Skinnable in-game GUIs
- Lightmapping Beast-Lightmapping
- Projected planar
- Blob shadows
- Realtime Dynamic Soft Shadows
- Shadows are dynamic, optimized, and allow self-shadowing (only available in Unity Pro)
- High Level
- Unity comes with an extensive library of 40 shaders including Vertex Lit, Diffuse, Glossy, Bumped, Bumped Specular, Reflective, Self-illuminating, a Toon (Cell) shader, and 9 different particle shaders.
- Everything falls back gracefully on low-end GFX cards.
- Parallax shaders
- GLSL support (in addition to Cg)
- Mesh Loading
- Skinning Native importing from Cinema 4D, Maya, Cheetah3D, Blender. Also support for Collada, FBX, 3DS, OBJ formats
- Occlusion Culling Umbra occlusion culling
- Keyframe Animation
- Skinned character animation
- Procedural Characters and Animation: the ability to stitch multiple body parts into one character, and reassign bones to different characters. The entire skinned animation system is now scriptable.
- Rendering Terrain engine with full editor tools, dense foliage, lightmapping and more
- Basic Physics
- Collision Detection
- Rigid Body
- Vehicle Physics
- Powered by the PhysX Engine, which also supports particle physics
- Cloth simulation
- Build on Raknet
- Supports .NET library and asynchronous WWW API
- Multiplayer Networking (advanced NAT punch-through, delta compression, easy to set up)
- 2D Sound
- 3D Sound
- Streaming Sound Streaming video and audio Based on FMOD, includes sound effects (Reverb Zones, Various Filters: Low Pass Filter, High Pass Filter, Echo Filter, Distortion Filter, Reverb Filter, Chorus)
- Editor provides zero-cost asset pipeline: save a file and it updates automatically
- Editor Extensibility: Create completely custom editor windows, and entirely new tools and workflows.
- Asset Server that provides version control capabilities for Unity projects
- Optimized for use with large projects New Server view integrated into the Unity user interface
- Updates, commits, and graphical version comparisons are all performed inside the Unity editor. Open Source Asset Server
- The enterprise-level database PostgreSQL powers the Unity Asset Server Asset Server offers multi-platform support
- Install the server on either Mac OS X or Linux
- Procedural tree creator
- Beast Lightmapping
- Complete scripting documentation
- Source-level debugging
|License Name||Price in $US||Source Code Included?||Additional information|
- Unity 3 Blueprints - A Practical Guide to Indie Games Development
- Professional Unity and C#: Multi-Platform 3D Game Development
- Game Development with Unity
- Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide
Develop a Windows Game on a Mac? You bet!
After trying most of the major "easy to use" game engines for Windows and pulling my hair out either because of bugs, hidden quirks or missing features, I finally broke down, bought an iMac and started using Unity. It's a sizeable investment for a dedicated Windows developer to make, but I can tell you from first hand experience it was worth every penny.
Unity does lack a few features I'd like to see, but most can be worked around one way or the other (and the developers and community are always the first to come through with some help). The flexibility and utility of this software is nothing short of amazing and Otee's product support is second to none.
If you're an indy developer and you're serious about developing a game for Windows without serious C++ coding, get yourself a Mac and a copy of Unity.
Best tool, best workflow, best community
Unity is the only game development engine I have used, and I don't want to go experimenting with any other. I've been spoiled by the interface, the ease of scripting, the built-in physics, and the one-click publishing. The developers and users create an excellent knowledge base on the forum and community sites. Never before have I posted a question and had the project lead answer it with such speed that it made my head spin.
The unique object linking with scripts really makes scenes easy to create. Creating object behaviors through scripting is easy as pie, and it is no more difficult to make use of physics than directly altering an object's transform properties.
I haven't even been able to dig deep into particle systems, mesh-level alterations, or the animation system, but the documentation is there and when I have questions, there is always an answer. New versions of the engine always yield great new features, with lots more planned for the future. It also integrates very well with free tools like Blender and GIMP.
Fun, Fast, Freakin Awesome
Unity makes it fast and easy to bring your world to life. Its part of the apple experience of making things easy to use, intuitive, quick, and beautiful, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The things I do in Unity are some of the most self rewording pieces of art and interactivity I have ever made.
The features in Unity are amazing. Next-gen graphics and physics at your finger tips. You can import from a amazing variety of art packages with no special exporting required. You have a arsenal of pre-made shaders and a extremely friendly shading language to wrap your own. You may not have source code access, but because the devs listen and the speed at which they get updates out, it does not matter. The limits of the engine are becoming endless extremely quickly.
The BEST thing about Unity is the amazing community. I have made countless friends all over the world through Unity. It has brought me to work with people I never could have dreamed of. The talent and knowledge of the community grows every day and because of its helpfulness new people are immediately thrown into a amazing and creative and fun bunch of people.
Thank you OTEE!
It just rocks
I smile a lot while using Unity. Why? Because even after starting to learn it just a week ago I can create stuff that would take a complete programming beginner several years to get to a point, where you'd have a 3D-game engine and maybe a physics engine. Even that would still not include the diverse game editor, which honestly looks daunting at first. After you've tackled through the tutorials and played just for fun with all the endless possibilities it offers, you'll feel extremely comfortable with it. The $249 Indie version offers more than I can handle far into the future.
I've never seen a better support for any product. Sometimes you get a feeling that devs creating commercial software are like demi-gods sitting somewhere far above you. The devs for this game engine are extremely friendly, helpful and I don't understand how they manage to squeeze so much time to help everyone while regurarly adding cool new stuff into their product.
This engine is frightening!
This engine has been available for a little over one year and it's rather obscene how good it's getting. The editors at devmaster can't keep up with the engine updates. I've been using it since early betas and it has been inspiring watching this thing mature from great into unstoppable.
As a user of this engine, you could not ask for better support or community. No one gets ignored and everyone gets heard and responded to in a positive way. It actually makes not having the source code to this engine nice! For the past year I have been focusing on the games and not the internal junk. Bugs get resolved insanely fast, the developers are really on top of this. I'm not talking about just major bugs, but little minor things. OverTheEdge has a great attention to detail, and it really pays off.
The structure of the engine, how you actually make your game, is ingenius. Everything in your scene is a GameObject, which acts like a bag of Components that can talk to each other and other GameObjects. Some of these components are Rigidbody, Box Collider, any custom script you write, Mesh Morpher, Particle Emitter... it goes on. I've heard this a lot recently from new users: It's easier to learn than most 3D Applications interfaces. It manages complexity very well. No more twisted chains of multiple inheritance. This is how engines *should* be designed.
As far as how you get your stuff into the engine, there isn't much to talk about. You just save things into your assets folder, and they auto update as you update them. It's empowering to have things this fast. You try things you wouldn't have before. You think about your game, not the hurdles you'd need to jump to try something as you would in another engine.
If you'll excuse me, I have games to make and ship.
The tool I have been waiting years for
My game already existed (and worked, more or less) on a non-Unity platform, in 2D, but the code was hard to work with and the results were mediocre. I really didn't want to start over, but I thought I'd use the Unity free trial to see how my 2D concept translated to 3D. Best move I ever made: I rebuilt the whole game FAR better than before, in a fraction of the time the original took me.
I've heard multiple Windows-only developers, in the Unity forums and in person, talking about moving their existing projects to Unity, and getting Macs just to do so. It's worth the effort of starting a game over, and the cost of buying a Mac. That's how good Unity is. (And Unity works well with many other apps, including Windows tools.)
Many 3D engines have a long feature list, but Unity's is jaw-dropping, lacking only easier multiplayer networking (as of v1.5). The Aegia PhysX engine is amazing, the numerous shaders are great (and easily customized), and deployment to Mac, Windows, AND web player is very welcome. Browsing the Unity site didn't impress me as much as browsing the online manual (under Support) and the script reference. The sum of all the little features is even more impressive than the big headliners. Particle systems. Animated lights that cast masks. Blob shadows. Baked lightmap support. Bones animation. Lens flares. Reflective rippling water. Realtime script-driven geometry modification/generation (such as terrains). Ragdolls, complete with a wizard to help assemble them! The physics engine is so good, it knows that the rubber of a car's tire stretches when you first accelerate. Screen resolutions and input (mouse, keyboard, gamepad, joystick) are all handled for you, even the dialog where the user customizes her setup. Prefs-saving (whatever values you need) is taken care of. Stereo audio just works--objects sound like where they are. And based on Novell's Mono, you have all the power of .NET. For me, that means reading and writing text files (nice for localization) but the sky is pretty much the limit. And just about every part of Unity is extensible--you can even write your own shaders, and add commands to the app menus, and people do so all the time.
The feature list would go on forever--suffice it to say that Unity does a LOT, and what it does is highly customizable. You're not sitting there thinking "what can I do with all these tools?" You're thinking "I already KNOW what I want to do, can Unity make it happen?" The answer always seems to be yes, and that crosses a threshold of flexibility that few apps ever touch. You're not crafting elaborate workarounds, you're combining tools in elegant ways that make your vision happen on-screen, surprisingly quickly.
Ease of Use:
Unity is accessible to non-programmers, although a scripting background is important: making your game do just what you want will always mean some programming. But I'd even recommend Unity as a way to get INTO scripting--it's no worse a starting point than Flash and ActionScript, I would say. You'll run up against some issues that stump you, but the forums and IRC channel offer excellent community support, and you'll soon know your way around the coding. The included color-coded text editor is a nice touch. You can even edit scripts while the game is running, and watch the effects as soon as they re-compile.
Integration with other apps is great. I use LightWave which relies on a free exporter plugin (an annoying extra step), but other apps like Maya and Photoshop have a more direct workflow. You just edit the source file and re-save, and Unity automatically re-imports it back into your scene with zero clicks. True-type fonts automatically import (though I've had to do it by hand for fonts that include both bold and regular in one). GarageBand is great for making game music, but relies on free convertor software to get into Ogg Vorbis format for Unity.
The creation environment is very nice--basically ALL your tools fit in one multi-paned window, so you really feel in control and not lost in a sea of dialogs. There's an Inspector to adjust any property of any object (even script variable have boxes to type into!), and two hierarchical list views: one of all the files in your project folder, and one of the objects used in the current scene/level. Plus one or more 3D panes, showing your in-game camera or any other view you want. Play the game right in the editor, complete with pause and step-forward. Hit spacebar to make any pane (3D view or list) full-screen for a closer look.
Everything is drag-and-drop simple, from parenting to re-organizing your assets. (Yes, you can move and rename files halfway through a project and Unity keeps all the connections working.) Want to attach a script that makes a character chase something? Drag the script onto the character. Want to define the object the character is chasing? Drag the target object onto the box in the character's Inspector. (When you write a script, anything global appears in the Inspector, anything private does not--so you're in control over what is or is not exposed to the editing GUI.)
A lot of the ease comes form the scripting, though, not the graphical environment. Unity has commands ready to do SO many things I'm used to doing by hand-coding functions. Want to know what objects are in sight of your character? Raycast. Want to animate it? Use transform to change X,Y, and Z, or just add a force and let the physics engine take care of it. Want to know the exact coordinates on the surface of your character where a projectile hit? Unity can extract full details of every collision. Need to create or destroy an object, manipulate parenting, rotate one vector around another vector, change a sound volume, make your text change color when the mouse rolls over? Just about anything you have in mind is there in the scripting reference. You don't have to invent a lot of wheels yourself. That's why scripting in UN-familiar Unity has been faster for me than scripting in the tools I have use for years.
If I find myself writing more than a couple lines of code for something, I have to stop and ask myself if I'm making Unity harder than it has to be. A glance through the manual often reveals that the page-long function I was writing can be handled by one line of code in Unity.
Exporting a finished product is also easy: choose your platform and click Build. That's it. If your game has multiple levels, you just drag them into the build list.
Stability and performance:
Unity has a few quirks and bugs, but surprisingly few for the scope (and low cost) of the product. Not huge deal-breakers, and the developers seem to be good about fixing them, but glitches exist. I'd say less quirky than Flash, more quirky than Photoshop. My impression is that Unity is far more polished than most low-cost 3D engines, however.
Performance of games I build has been great. I can animate a LOT of polygons as smooth as glass without needing a recent computer. On lower-spec machines, you live without bump mapping and other top effects, and can still achieve smooth framerates. Some things look different from GPU to GPU, but then that's true of commercial games also. Much older versions of Unity have been used for commercial products, and with v1.5 just out, the platform is better than ever. (You can even play Unity games with Intel integrated graphics, but it's limited enough that I wouldn't want to build my games on such a machine.)
As far as script performance, I'm used to Director where your project will bog down when the per-frame scripting gets complex. Not so with Unity--your code is compiled to run fast.
Community support is great. The developers are in the Unity forum all the time, offering help and gathering feedback. Fellow Unity users on the forums are a great source of advice and scripting help, and are welcoming to newcomers. Ask a question in the forum, "can I do this?" and occasionally the answer is "yes." More often, the answer is, "yes, and here's exactly how." There's also an IRC channel, and a community Wiki full of ready-to-use scripts and shaders that add even MORE features to Unity. I wondered if you could do multi-colored fonts... there it was in the Wiki. I suggested a feature to drop objects precisely onto the terrain so I didn't have to tweak them in side view... there it was in the Wiki.
Docs are HTML, linked to the context-sensitive Help buttons in the app, laid out professionally and nicely cross-referenced, with many example code snippets. A number of amazing illustrated tutorials are included, such as a First Person Shooter with enemy AI, multiple weapons, sentry guns, and HUD; and a racing game with driving physics advice and enemy AI drivers. Not things you normally think you could build in a day, but with Unity you can!
* The docs have no global Search function--you must rely on Spotlight (my recommendation since it also covers the PDF tutorials), or doing a Find on the script reference page (best when you already know the scripting class you are after).
* Realtime multiplayer networking is handled by .NET/Mono, and although possible, is not yet accessible to the non-programmer the way the rest of Unity is.
* The Indie version (free trial then US$249) doesn't lack much, but be aware of what it does lack: full-screen effects (glows, film grain, Depth-of-Field, motion blur), full-scene reflection/refraction (though skybox reflection works in Indie), and third-party plug-in support. And Windows deployment is limited with Indie: Web deployment only, and with a "Unity" banner displayed to Windows users. Great for testing your creation on Windows, but when you want to sell to Windows users you'll want Pro. That said, both Pro and Indie have a great price for what you get.
I'll be buying Pro as soon as Indie pays for itself--which may be a matter of weeks at this rate! My own shareware titles aside, Unity lets me offer a lot of high-end power to my freelance clients, for less time/money than my non-Unity competitors can match. I can even whip up 3D demos to present to clients, in very little time. In just a couple of weeks, Unity is already helping me bid for jobs.
I have been waiting a long time for a 3D authoring tool that really lets me build games instead of fighting and debugging. After many disappointments from other tools, Unity delivers.
Another Unit for Unity
The message below the review box requests that reviewers be objective about their scores; users of Unity will have no trouble with this. Objectivity is what Unity is all about and what allows it to excel in every category. Its objective is simplicity, and its simplicity is its treatment of your assets as interacting objects. All the interaction is taken care of: connect the characteristic of one character to the behaviour of another, or create a relationship between two lifeless objects with a mouse-drag. Because the rules of the relationships are flexible and exposed, it feels like a game of its own, say a one-player chess match, where instead of playing white against black, left-brain against right, you're arranging the pieces of both sides into a shader-enhaced, dynamically lit, real-time snowflake.
But the only thing it's currently missing is networking and as fast as the features are being added I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
Unity Game Engine
I have tried several major game engine over the years and Unity beats them ALL hands down. You don't have to spend weeks before you can even start getting content into your game - with Unity it litterally takes minute - create your object in just about any 3D app and drag it across into the modeling window and there you have it! Unity has all the latest shaders (again just drag and drop to apply them to you object), a large number of presets (just drag the FPS across and you are ready to run around! How easy is that :-)
Having tried various different game engines, I finally settled for Unity. Put simply, it rocks!
It's asset management is brilliant, save an asset, its updated in the game. Open it up, change it, save it, it changes in the game.
Although I have had a few (minor) problems with the engine, the support has been amazing and very fast response! Good stuff!
I tried so many engines from the free ones to the not so expensive ones. When I first heard about Unity, I said to my self, another game engine. But when the engine released version 1, I downloaded the demo and gave it a shot. The engine gave me goosebumps! I can built a prototype in a few minutes, Unity community is very helpful!
OTEE developers just keep on updating the engine making it more powerful than before!
Users make request on the wish list and next thing you know it's on the next release!
Version 1.5 has new tutorials and more examples, you can built a game just using the built in scripts in the tutorials.
Community has a wiki to share scipts, tips and tricks.
I've been trying to make a game since I first played pacman and donkey kong. Unity engine is the only game engine that's built for creating games from scratch!
Awesome features, stable, top notch support and community.
If I can start making a game using Unity engine, anybody can!
OTEE nailed it!
To put it simply... WOW!
Unity is so intuitive that I got more done in my first hour with it than I did with all the engines I've ever tried - combined! It's feature rich, flexible and pipeline is a breeze. As they say "it just works!" Stability? Rock solid. Go try it for yourself. There's a fully functioning 15 day demo. (15 days seem short? Wait til you see how much you get done!) Browse the forums while you're there and you'll see how dedicated this crew is. Support is as good as it gets and the community's great.
The best indie game engine available...
I don't have much to add to the reviews already posted here. I'm primarily a Windows user and purchased my iMac specifically to run Unity Pro. I don't have any regrets. Version 1.5 is dramatically improved over previous releases. I can't wait to see what the geniuses at OTEE have in store for the future!
Unity exceeds expectations
How many times have you visited a web site extolling the tremendous virtues of a game engine with glorious screenshots and endless feature lists only to find using it painful and unintuitive?
Unity delivers. It's true that artists and novice programmers will be excited to get things going right off the bat, but don't think that means there is no depth to the engine. The editor is organized and sensible, there are some pre-written scripts and "no-pipeline" importing of models, and easy to follow tutorials. That's what makes it so approachable.
It's already been mentioned by others, but the community around Unity at this time is patient, helpful, and knowledgeable... and excited. The developers are very giving and very productive, with regular, substantial updates that show they've been paying attention to their users.
Furthermore, if you are an idea person, Unity is a dream. Putting together something playable after learning the basics is pure joy and the speed encourages experimentation.
The features are at a 4 because there are still a couple of upcoming features that have yet to be implemented. The big one is plug and play networking. There is nothing keeping you from building your own networking solution from the .NET library, but the Unity community has pretty high expectations as the rest of the environment has set the ease-of-use bar very high.
If you have a mac and are interested in making a game, you need to check out Unity.
NOTHING else like it.
The simplest way i can put it, i probably would not be making a game right now if i did not happen across Unity. IMO calling it an "engine" almost does it a disservice, as it is more of a complete game development environment. There's nothing to compile, no libraries to hunt down, no components to "glue" together etc.
The level of instant gratification you can get with Unity is pretty amazing (especially if you're coming from other engines such as crystalspace or torque). If you are more of an artist like i am, expect to make a simple playable scene in about a day. If you have some programming experience you could easilly have it together in an hour or so. For me at least it makes game development much more fun and less like a chore.
There are some features i would still like to see in Unity. A basic networking package thats as easy to use as everything else is the main thing (though if capable there's nothing stopping you from coding it yourself, and i am aware this is in the works for a future release). The documentation just got an extensive upgrade, but i still think it could be tightened up & more simple to navigate. Being a bit poor myself, better blender support would also be ideal.
All in all, Unity just works, and it works very well.
One last thing i have to mention: the support for Unity is STELLAR. The devs are friendly, helpfull and generally seem to never sleep. The excellent forum community is very patient & generous with their time as well.
Finally anyone can make games!
I have never been much of a programmer, but I consider myself to be a decent game designer and Unity3D seems to cover all the territory I am weak in.
I have tried many game engines, even those that claim to be RAD, but the reality is that I was never able to get any far using those tools. Unity3D is different - the first time I fired up the program demo I was astonished - everything was so logical and intuitive, all the preparation I had was gained through the introductory tutorials and soon I had all the skills to build something playable.
Overall a fantastic engine! Recommended!