Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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Unity Levels Up?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 29, 2013

The big buzz in the game dev community has been about Unity’s embrace of 2D support, announced Wednesday. It’s … big.

Unity Introduces New 2D Tools

I figured something like this was in the works when they hired the guy responsible for the best-selling NGUI toolset. I expected that it would be more limited to UI improvements, but apparently they’ve taken GameMaker’s professed desire to be the “Unity of 2D” to heart, and decided that they wanted Unity to be the Unity of 2D.

We’ll see how it goes. There’s a lot of crossover between 2D and 3D, but there are a lot of differences as well. I’m talking 2D graphics, here – with sprite-based animation and everything. Unity has always been great at providing 2D gameplay with 3D graphics. Is it possible to make an engine that does both very well? I have to say, Unity has proven absolutely amazing for 3D development… with the right add-ons. I hope they can pull it off well.

This is certainly a good thing for 3D developers as well, especially those with significant UI issues (like, say, role-playing games!). While NGUI has been way more than adequate, it’d be cool to have this all incorporated into the engine rather than being something of an exceptional path.

These weren’t all of Unity’s announced changes. They made two other announcements that kind of take them into the publisher space. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that. They announced the beta of Unity Cloud, making it easier for developers to use alternative marketing / monetization methods with built-in cloud functionality. They also announced a publishing initiative. Finally, they are rolling out a joint SDK with Facebook for easy integration of games (or apps) with that social network across multiple platforms.

These are all reasonably Big Deals, though the 2D tools are by far the most interesting to me. If nothing else, the Unity folks are not resting on their well-earned laurels.

Filed Under: Game Development - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

  • Xenovore said,

    I know there is tonz of luv for Unity here these days, but — for those who might care — allow me to point out that Torque 2D is already full-featured and open-source.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I really liked T2D; I think they had a good direction for it. In fact, the guy who was largely responsible for T2D, Melv May, has gone over to Unity now. There are some limiting factors to T2D today, but there are still great games being made with it.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    The keynote:


  • OttoMoBiehl said,

    This is interesting and cool because I was looking at trying to do some 2D stuff in Unity and had been playing around with the orthographic projection camera.

  • Cuthalion said,

    Iiiiinteresting. Curses, though. I’ve finally got isometric movement and collisions mostly working from scratch in Java. And now this.