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Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials [Paperback]

by Will Goldstone
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 20, 2011 1849691444 978-1849691444 2

Game Development with C# and JavaScript

Build fully functional, professional 3D games with realistic environments, sound, dynamic effects, and more!

  • Kick start your game development, and build ready-to-play 3D games with ease.
  • Understand key concepts in game design including scripting, physics, instantiation, particle effects, and more.
  • Test & optimize your game to perfection with essential tips-and-tricks.
  • Written in clear, plain English, this book takes you from a simple prototype through to a complete 3D game with concepts you'll reuse throughout your new career as a game developer.
  • Learn game development in Unity version 3 and above, and learn scripting in either C# or JavaScript

In Detail

Game Engines such as Unity are the power-tools behind the games we know and love. Unity is one of the most widely-used and best loved packages for game development and is used by everyone, from hobbyists to large studios, to create games and interactive experiences for the web, desktop, mobile, and console. With Unity's intuitive, easy to learn toolset and this book - it's never been easier to become a game developer.

Taking a practical approach, this book will introduce you to the concepts of developing 3D games, before getting to grips with development in Unity itself - prototyping a simple scenario, and then creating a larger game. From creating 3D worlds to scripting and creating game mechanics you will learn everything you'll need to get started with game development.

This book is designed to cover a set of easy-to-follow examples, which culminate in the production of a First Person 3D game, complete with an interactive island environment. All of the concepts taught in this book are applicable to other types of game, however, by introducing common concepts of game and 3D production, you'll explore Unity to make a character interact with the game world, and build puzzles for the player to solve, in order to complete the game. At the end of the book, you will have a fully working 3D game and all the skills required to extend the game further, giving your end-user, the player, the best experience possible. Soon you will be creating your own 3D games with ease!

What you will learn from this book

  • An understanding of the Unity 3D Engine and game development
  • Write code for game development in either C# or JavaScript
  • Build a 3D island and set of mini-games for your players
  • Incorporate terrains and externally produced 3D models to get your game environment up and running
  • Create player character interactions
  • Combine scripting and animation to transform your static objects into dynamic interactive game elements
  • Add realistic effects to your games by using particle systems
  • Create a stylish and efficient menu, and animate other interface elements
  • Use Lightmapping to make your game environments look more professional
  • Deploy your game to the web and desktop and share it with the wider world for testing and feedback.


This book follows an informal, demystifying approach to the world of game development with the Unity game engine. With no prior knowledge of game development or 3D required, you will learn from scratch, taking each concept at a time working up to a full 3D mini-game. You'll learn scripting with C# or JavaScript and master the Unity development environment with easy-to-follow stepwise tasks.

Who this book is written for

If you're a designer or animator who wishes to take their first steps into game development or prototyping, or if you've simply spent many hours sitting in front of video games, with ideas bubbling away in the back of your mind, Unity and this book should be your starting point. No prior knowledge of game production is required, inviting you to simply bring with you a passion for making great games.

Frequently Bought Together

Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials + Unity 3.x Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide + Beginning 3D Game Development with Unity: All-in-one, multi-platform game development
Price for all three: $126.46

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Will Goldstone

Will Goldstone is a longstanding member of the Unity community and works for Unity Technologies as a Technical Support Associate, handling educational content and developer support. With an MA in Creative Education, and many years experience as a lecturer in higher education, Will wrote the first ever Unity book, the original Unity Game Development Essentials, and also created the first ever video tutorials for the package. Through his sites and Will helps to introduce new users to the growing community of developers discovering Unity every day.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing; 2 edition (December 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849691444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849691444
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introductory Book To Learning Unity May 6, 2012
By Anthony
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After completing the entire book and going through the exercises I can safely say this book delivers on its promise: you will have a working game and get the basic concepts behind its construction from using the unity engine.

Now before you buy this book realize what it is NOT:
-It is not a C# or Java language book (there are many books on those)
-It is not about game design
-It is not about about modelling, texturing, or animating
-It is not a book on programming (like teaching object oriented coding)

What is this book?
-An introduction to the core features of unity (GUI, textures, assets, prefabs, particle systems, lighting, very basic animation, menus, terrain editor)
-An introduction to basic coding (and an introduction to some concepts of object oriented coding)
-An introduction to scripting using C# & Java
-A detailed step by step break down of how to make a basic adventure game on an island
-A book which gives you pre-made assets (sounds, textures, models, materials) and shows you how to work with them to create a game

This book breaks down step by step (from importing models and using textures to writing and tweaking scripts) how to create a world using the unity terrain editor and asset importer. It then walks you through how to make the player interact with objects, and create effects and triggers, detect collisions, call animations, and provide player feedback.

Coding can be intimidating but this book really keeps it simple (with few exceptions) as it explains every thing you're doing as you do it. I found it very easy to follow along with the book and my builds would come out just fine each time (and if it didn't the errors were almost always spelling mistakes).
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As part of a SMALL indie project we decided to go with Unity do to it's great community and portability to so many platforms.

I needed a book that would get me up to being able to start prototyping ideas quickly. This is that book! Having the code for both JavaScript and C# available side by side made for a great learning tool as well. We have decided as a team to go with C# and few books on the market are geared towards that language. Even the Publishers Errata page was mostly regarding issues and solutions with the JavaScript code.

That is not to say there were no issues with the C# code, just not many readers had posted much by the time I went through the book. Why didn't I?!? Well as a neophyte in C# I felt I was unqualified to determine if the issue was really the code or my understand and accidental typing.

There was one bit of Errata that I submitted, but as of today (3 weeks later) the publishers have not added to their Errata page, and that had to do with a error in the C# code of one of the projects, in the Kindle format. The code had in this one script had a line and a half missing and the half line was concatenated onto the end of the previous line. making for a very confusing bit of code. This is where having both the JavaScript and C# code available throughout the book was very nice. I was able to translate the JavaScript code to the appropriate C# replacement and was good to go.

My one true complaint is that the author purposely left errors in a few places as learning tools for later in the chapter. This was distracting as I noticed the logic or errors as I was typing them in, and went about troubleshooting and being frustrated in the "error" un-necessarily. I would ask that in the future that there be a warning that the issues was there and either an invitation to figure it out or a note that the solution was forthcoming after the lesson attached was learned.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Effort May 11, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am 83% (kindle "pages") through this book and I can no longer resist writing a review. I have purchased several books on Unity and found them disappointing because I spent so much time and energy troubleshooting errors in the text or distilling meaning from the sloppy writing that I was distracted from my mission to learn. Clearly, while these books have "reviewers" nobody worked through the tutorials and rooted out the errors. Such is not the case with Goldstone's book. His explanations are clear and easy to understand and his tutorials are rock solid.

I encourage you to buy this book and get to work learning Unity. You won't be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best unity book I've found February 1, 2012
By Sol_HSA
This is by far the best unity book I've had the opportunity to read. It's well written, easy to follow, and covers a lot of ground. Unlike other books, throughout the book only one example game is made, but the game is far more advanced than if the author would jump from one game to another.

The book goes through all sorts of unity features, including the landscape engine, particle systems, animation, ui, HUD, physics, scripting (in both c# and javascript) - actually, plenty of space is dedicated to scripting, including a chapter that goes through basic concepts like variables, functions and logic structures, but this is all done in a way that's not dumbed down by any means.

Towards the end of the book you can find descriptions of things often forgotten, including doing finishing touches, optimization, steps to publish on the web or standalone, and so on.

If you want to buy one book on unity, this, in my opinion, would be it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars super book for new beginners
This involves a game from scratch to completion. Author is such a master at teaching, it was a seamless experience learning many tricks in unity. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars good basic skills
Good and easy explanations, only negative is that it is a little rigid, but with extra tutorials on the net you can then go back to this book for better understanding.
Published 2 months ago by Marcus Engvall
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Hands-On Introduction
This is a well written, hands-on approach to learning Unity. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn elementary game design using the Unity Engine.
Published 3 months ago by Mason Hinton
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
While some areas of this book were a little out of date, the author provides updates (including a video tutorial) and corrections on his website to help you get through them. Read more
Published 4 months ago by R. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for understanding the Unity IDE
Great beginners book for understanding the IDE for Unity. If you are looking for how to structure a game, look elsewhere.
Published 4 months ago by JB
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the bunch.
Best book of the bunch but read the errata first. I look forward to a version 4.0 that covers the newest version but its not necessary as the basics will always be the basics.
Published 4 months ago by oktarb
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite the title, this works perfectly well with Unity 4.x....
Although the title says Unity 3.x, this book works perfectly fine with the latest version of Unity (currently 4.2.2f1) so don't let that put you off from buying this. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Carlo Julian
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, easy to follow instructions
Definitely an easy to follow book, and he updated it for the latest versions on his website so the particles chapter is still doable. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ben Bridges
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
This book was exceptional. The style of writing, the explanation of concepts, etc was perfect for beginners. I highly recommend this book to get your feet wet with Unity. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sothy Chan
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS is the first book you should get for starting in Unity
I'm not a programming noob, I've been doing it for 20 years and have a BS in Comp. Sci, as well as experience with various coding languages. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Matthew W. Gudenius
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