Issue 1

News

New Unity Subscription Pricing Goes Live

Unity announced that their new Pro subscription prices went live this week, with existing customers being given the chance to stick with the old pricing and features until their existing subscription expires. The biggest change from my point of view in all of this is that, for all users, the Unity splash screen will no longer read, ‘Made With Unity Personal Edition’ and will instead just read, ‘Made With Unity’. A welcome change that acknowledges people actually do professional work with Unity and care about these kind of things.

http://blogs.unity3d.com/2016/06/28/new-unity-store-is-live/

Unity Blog: Production Design for Adam

First part in a new series of articles looking in detail at the production of Unity’s Adam tech demo, which showcases many of the new features coming in version 5.4. This articles goes into depth on the character and environment design, showing the influences and inspiration for them, along with some pretty stunning concept art.

http://blogs.unity3d.com/2016/07/07/adam-production-design-for-the-real-time-short-film/

Unity Tips

Optimising Unity UIs

The latest in a series of articles on best practices from the guys at Unity. This series focuses on best practices in working with the UI system.

https://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/topics/best-practices/guide-optimizing-unity-uis?playlist=30089

Code

.NET Backward Compatibility – Part 1

Good summary of the somewhat confusing situation of .NET runtime, C# and Base Class Libraries (BCL) version in the .NET ecosystem. Unity’s position in all of this is rather unique, due to their use of a forked Mono runtime. If you’ve ever been confused by .NET 2.0, 2.5, 3.5 versioning, and what exactly that means, this article is for you.

http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/1110442/NET-Backward-Compatibility-Part

Tools

Projeny – Project and Package Dependency Management for Unity

I’ve been using this in a large client project over the past few months, and it is a complete eye-opener. If you’ve ever tried to move a prefab from one project to another, you’ll know how much of a pain it is to identify all of its dependencies (scripts, assets, etc.) and to export it cleanly. Usually you’re left with a bunch of missing script references and broken assets. Up to now this has been a process of trial and error, which is both time consuming and frustrating. Progeny aims to solve all of that by managing packages and projects with their full dependencies.

The documentation is a bit daunting, but I’ve created a cheat sheet that you can find in this Github Issue thread which will get you up and running quickly.

https://github.com/modesttree/Projeny

Continuous – C#/F# IDE for your iPad

This is a technical tour-de-force. As far as I know the first iOS app that can compile and run arbitrary code. Highlights include: Incremental compilation. Live debugging. Night mode UI theme. Access to all of the Xamarin iOS C# bridge. An incredible tool to learn and tinker with C# wherever you are.

http://continuous.codes/

Graphics

Volumetric Rendering in Unity

Alan’s site is full of fascinating articles on doing advanced things with Unity and this is no exception. If you’ve ever seen any of the 4k demos that do incredible things in tiny amounts of code then you will have no doubt seen some volumetric rendering. What’s not obvious at all is that this can be done ‘out of the box’ with Unity and some relatively straightforward shader code. The good thing about Alan approach to teaching is the way he walks you through the principles with clarity and diagrams that take a complex idea and break them down into a series of seemingly simple steps.

http://www.alanzucconi.com/2016/07/01/volumetric-rendering/

RenderDoc – Graphics Debugger

Not a lot of people know that Unity has RenderDoc integration built in out of the box. This page takes you through how to setup and use it to debug graphical issues in your projects.

http://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/RenderDocIntegration.html

Video

Full Adam Tech Demo

For anyone who hasn’t seen it already, the full Adam tech demo video can be found here. Still hard to believe this is all rendered in realtime on a GTX 980.

http://unity3d.com/pages/adam

Turning It Up To Eleven: Making Unity 5 Look Awesome

In this video from Unite Europe 2015, Lestyn Lloyd demonstrates the use of the in-development Image Effects and a few select asset store packages, to achieve an incredible cinematic look in high-end scene rendering. Amazing to think that only a few years ago the community was bemoaning how dated and ugly Unity’s rendering was. This video shows you the state of the art in rendering and post-processing effects to create some truly stunning imagery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkrdZqYW36s

Game Design

The Origins of Minecraft

Fascinating peek into the mind of Notch, creator of Minecraft. This article summarises the influences and decisions that went into the making of one of the biggest indie games ever made. From Dwarf Fortress to Dungeon Keeper, it’s really interesting to read about how all the parts came together.

http://notch.tumblr.com/post/227922045/the-origins-of-minecraft