“Unity Game Development Blueprints” by John P. Doran is a book about creating three different games in Unity 4.6. Packtpub’s listing for the book at http://bit.ly/unitybl includes a fairly hefty download of the assets for the games you will create. This is an “advanced beginner”-to-intermediate level programmer book and the author has provided videos of the completed games at https://www.youtube.com/user/netravelr/videos.
Over the course of the first two chapters you create a 2D game called Twin-Stick Shooter. The author compares this design to the game Geometry Wars. In the first chapter the whole game is created with all the usual trappings. The second chapter goes into detail on creating the interface for the game using the Unity legacy GUI system. One of the things I liked about this book is that at the end of each chapter the author provides challenges for you to personalize the game and make it your own.
In chapter 3 you get to create a side-scrolling platformer which combines 2D and 3D gaming. I found this chapter very interesting in that you create your own tile-based level. This is something that I have always wanted to do and the chapter is a nice introduction into how this could be accomplished. It also prepares you for later chapters in which you set-up a 3D environment using prefabs that you create.
The rest of the book, with the exception of chapter 9, is dedicated to creating a 3D FPS. Chapter 4 is all about creating a terrain for the game which includes making your own skybox and using the Basic water component that comes with the free version of Unity. Chapter 5 covers the creation of an indoor level using prefabs that you place and snap together. Chapter 6 is all about the gameplay and creating the AI for the game.
In chapter 7 you learn about creating saves for all three games you have made. I really enjoyed this chapter as I have always wondered how this was done. Mr. Doran provides a way of storing information for your game that is installed on a player’s machine. He also provides a link for using XML serialization. Chapter 8 is all about putting finishing touches on the game including setting up a free installer for the games. I think this definitely helps to make your game look more professional.
The book ends with a whole chapter covering the new User Interface system in Unity 4.6. The interface for Twin-Stick Shooter is recreated using the new UI.
I really enjoyed this book on Unity. I like the fact that it is new, current with the latest Unity release and that the games you program are fun to play. I also like that Mr. Doran doesn’t hold your hand throughout developing each of the three games. If you have already completed some introductory tutorials on Unity then this is the book for you!
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