Unity project structure – reminds me of Flash Pro

unityThe more I play with Unity, the more it feels like the workflow of Flash Pro, whereby you attach scripts to instances of actors on the stage.

I’m not talking about the ‘pure code’ approach that all ActionScripters have become used to now; but the decentralised collection of independent scripts associated with timeline movieclip instances (behaviours, if you will).


 

So far, I’m liking it though. Unity (and its scripting IDE MonoDevelop) feels like all the best bits of Virtools, Flash Pro, FlashBuilder, Blender, Poser and 3D Studio MAX. I’m hoping that in future versions, Unity Editor and MonoDevelop will be more tightly integrated, or even combined. And, just maybe, replace JavaScript with a TypeScript option – although I like C# anyway.

For those who have played with any of the above and want a good tutorial to get stuck right into games development with Unity, this (intermediate level) tutorial is great.


 

Unity – what Virtools should have become

I’ve been playing around with the Unity game engine and keep having flashbacks to a little know 3-D game dev tool I used over 10 years ago – called Virtools.

virtools1virtools2

Most people will not have heard of Virtools, which itself was called NemoCreation in a previous life, until legal problems forced them to go away and rebrand. It was way ahead of its time, supporting real-time ray-tracing, hardware acceleration, full Havok physics an easy to integrate multi-player solution, long before the more popular Shockwave 3D and WildTangent had anything close.


 

The workflow was very similar to Unity and I had originally pinned a lot of hope on it. But, the platform was too restrictive, provided no sensible scripting alternatives and was prohibitively expensive to license. Getting hold of a trial license was notoriously difficult, too. So there were simply not enough people creating worthwhile content for it.

The licensing fubar and possibly the fact that it was way ahead of its time, were probably its death knell. But I tip my hat to what could have been.

David Beckham Academy Games

Awarded: FWA winner, Adobe Site of the Day winner and IAB Creative Showcase runner-up.


 

Continue reading David Beckham Academy Games

How to verify that something implements an interface with Mockito

If you want to write a unit test which verifies that something implements a particular interface, or extends a particular class, here’s how…

Continue reading How to verify that something implements an interface with Mockito

Sneaky tricks for developing on small devices: ‘Bitmap Folding’

One of the most problematic constraints when developing applications for resource constrained devices, such as mobile or Set Top Box is ‘video memory’.

You often will not have control over how much video memory is allocated to your application, or what the fallback behaviour is when your application uses too much. Continue reading Sneaky tricks for developing on small devices: ‘Bitmap Folding’

Super Kickups returns

Addictive as crack… apparently ­čÖé
Out now for Android >Super Kickups mobile game

I decided to relaunch one of my classic old web games as a mobile app. I picked Super Kickups since I thought the game mechanic works nicely on a touchscreen. Continue reading Super Kickups returns

O’Donnell’s 3 Laws of User Dynamics

Remember kids: You don’t have to please ALL your customers, just the ones you want to keep.

sheepThe first Law: conservation of users

Users are not created or destroyed, only converted to or from using a competitor’s product. Continue reading O’Donnell’s 3 Laws of User Dynamics

Wait for it…

Improving the usability of an interface, by making it do more or less what the user actually expects of it, is a pretty good route to an overall sound user experience. Yet, there’s one key mistake almost every interface I’ve looked at makes in this regard – what I call the Spurious Stimulus Response. That is… Continue reading Wait for it…

Motion graphics, video production, games/app development and infosec.

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