Customer Reviews

28
4.0 out of 5 stars
Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$40.49 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Let me start right off by saying that this book is excellent. If you paid attention to the title where it says "Beginner's Guide", you'll be very pleased with this book. In particular, for a beginner, the pacing of the book is perfect. The game examples that you create are nothing to get excited about, but that's not really the point. The main point is if you are a complete beginner to Unity and to writing Javascript within Unity, then as far as I know this is the best book available. Now that I have that out of the way, I'll veer slightly off topic.

I currently have two games published on the Xbox 360 in the Indie Games section. They are Acid Rain and Acid Rain Heroes. I am a huge huge Xbox 360 fan. When Microsoft announced XNA and the Indie Game marketplace I knew it was time for me to dust the cobwebs out of my brain and learn programming again after a 20+ year hiatus. I previously developed Paladin's Legacy and got it published back in 1985. I spent 2 years learning C#, XNA and numerous audio and graphics applications in order to publish my games on the 360. I even formed a company, PermaFrost Gaming. And all during my development, I watched as Microsoft fumbled and stumbled and most likely even intentionally sabotaged their own Indie Marketplace strategy. They changed the name. They changed the pricing structure (lowering it to be competitive). But ultimately as a business model, the Indie Game Marketplace on 360 is a failure. As a hobby location for creation and distribution of games, it's a massive success. Existing digital distribution models have proven that you can't put up a bunch of barriers and expect mass adoption of a marketplace. Barriers like, MS requires you to buy points in order to purchase anything on the 360. Indie games have a very limited 3 tiered pricing model and there is no free option. Indie games don't have access to some of the most attractive features available on Xbox Live (Achievements). Indie games by default are under 18 restricted. My current view is if you want to learn C#, build 2D games and distribute them as a hobbyist, then XNA may be your thing. But if you have aspirations of a successful business and plan to delve into 3D game development, then Unity is the better choice. This brings me to this current review.

I made the switch to Unity because Unity allows me to further my knowledge of C# but develop and distribute games on multiple platforms. Multi-platform development is the future...if you intend to make a business of game development. And this book is the perfect place to start.

Ryan starts the book off by giving the prerequisite indie game developer warnings. I love these quotes, "I don't want to set my sights too high, so I'm going to make a game like Gran Turismo, except with fewer cars." and "I'm going to build World of Warcraft with fewer class and about half the items." He devotes the first couple of chapters to explaining the core mechanics of games and establishing realistic expectations for beginner game developers. By chapter 3, you're already developing your first game prototype in 3D. That's the power of Unity! After finishing chapter 4, I just laughed out loud. Ryan humorously quips, "Worst. Game. Ever." My thought was, I can't believe what I just created in 2 short chapters. Awesome! For the record, in XNA, I intentionally avoided 3D. Even with the XNA framework library at my disposal, hand coding 3D cameras, lights, viewports, 3D model importing etc. etc. was and still is way over my head. I could go on and on...... XNA doesn't have a built in physics solution or a particle solution or a menu creation solution but I'll stop and just say that Unity has all of that stuff built in along with almost universal 3D model, audio and texture import functionality. (even native Photoshop files .PSD) I'm not embarrassed to say WOW!

At this point, I'm just going to highlight the things I think Ryan really got right in this book. These are things I sticky noted for future reference. In chapter 4, how to display variables in the editor for code debugging. You use Debug.log(). In chapters 5-7, using the GUI (Graphical User Interface) tools in Unity. I would have preferred that Ryan used the GUI feature to build an actual game menu system instead of an entire game. But one could argue that he killed two birds with one stone by creating a 2D game and a simple menu system all at once using the GUI system.

In chapter 8, you begin crafting your first real 3D game. He covers 3D Meshes, physics (rigidbodies and colliders) and the FBXImporter used to import models from Blender. Unity can import from numerous 3D modeling applications. Blender happens to be free which is pretty cool. He covers the use of Tags which helps you identify game objects through code. In chapters 9-10, you begin another 3D game and get introduced to the amazing particle system, Prefabs and audio in Unity. Prefabs allow you to craft multi-component/object Game Objects and then make an unlimited number of copies of that original multi-part creation. By making changes to just the original Prefab, your changes are automatically propagated to all prefab copies in all scenes in your game. In C#, it's the same idea as creating a class with a bunch of stuff and then instantiating that class numerous times in a list or an array thus resulting in multiple copies. Unity is basically perfecting or evolving the idea of Object Oriented Programming with a visual representation in the Unity editor......and calling it a Prefab. And that's really cool!

In chapter 11, Ryan introduces the multiple camera setup and the use of layers to control what those cameras see/display. Yes that's right, Unity allows you to use multiple cameras using layers to define what objects are seen by each camera. Simply assign a depth value to establish which camera is rendered in what order. I don't even want to think about the complexity of that in XNA.

Finally in chapter 12, Ryan goes back to the game you created in chapter 8 and introduces us to lights, more layers, more cameras and using the animation editor to animate one of the cameras in order to simulate a 1st person 3D walking effect.

Again, the book is all paced perfectly introducing us to new features in Unity with each few chapters. The Javascript coding is kept simple and very understandable.

I highly recommend this book to any beginning game developer.

Allan Chaney
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I'm an iPhone app developer and publisher, I've been wanting to get into Unity 3D for ages for iPhone games, and this book is a brilliant start. Following this book I had a bouncing ball running in 3D on my iPhone using Unity 3 after about 1hr of reading and tinkering, and already thats about 30% the way to a game I'm planning to prototype! Humorous and easy to follow writting style, and the basic game prototypes the book works through are perfect to get you started building games in Unity - especially the casual 2D gameplay games that have been so successful on iPhone (ie Angry Doodle Pocket). Its also a good compliment to the other Unity book which is more focused on first person perspective 3D worlds. (Note that Unity for iPhone doesn't have the terrain modeling features, and the examples in this book don't need that feature :-)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a darn good introduction to Unity, or even game development in general. It is very well organized, and is both easy and fun to read. I am about halfway through the book and already feel very empowered. Instead of leading you through making one big game like Will Goldstone's Unity Game Development Essentials, you make a handful of bite-sized games to keep it simple. The author is very good about not cluttering the book with unnecessary information, but fully explains important concepts when appropriate. Clarity, substance and a healthy dose of humor make this a must-have for starting Unity. It proves you don't need a CS or 3D Animation degree to get into game development.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
I rarely write book reviews, but I read a LOT of tech books. This has to be one of the best I have ever read with regard to explaining everything you need to get up and running fast with a new technology. Not only do you learn Unity, but you also build some fantastic example projects. The book truly shows you "by example" which for many like me is the best way to learn. It assumes little programming knowledge from the get go, which to some may prove helpful. Advanced developers can surely benefit from the examples as well as I even picked up a cool little javascript "card factory" algorithm to add to my code arsenal. Deep explanations of the theory behind the projects along with some light humor make for a great read. Again, do NOT let the "Mr. High and Mighty One Star" reviewer dissuade you from picking up this book. If you want to learn Unity, this is where you need to start.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Unity3D can be overwhelming when you are first getting started and this book does a great job of getting over that hurdle. It really emphasizes starting small and working your way up to more complex games. Perfect learning tool for teens just getting started with programming and game development. I really like that it uses javascript as the programming language rather than C# since it's far more likely that the reader will have experimented with web development and will at least have some familiarity with the language whereas C# is primarily used only by professional programmers. Excellent job...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Generally, a good book. And certainly a good book for a newbie to Unity.

However, it is really mostly 2D, not 3D, Unity programming.

That being said, I do think it is still the best book around for a Unity beginner.

So, if you are new to Unity, this will be a great book for you. But, it will not teach you much Unity 3D development.

Note that there is another Pakt Unity book that IS about 3D Unity. But it is somewhat out of date for the current Unity release. So, if you do not know Unity at all, start with this one. And you will be much better prepared for the other one.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book did take me from being a novice unity 3 developer to understanding the real basics of the engine. From my standpoint of being a developer for many years, the author's style of writing was rather childish in places as if he HAD to crack a joke in every paragraph. A bit more technical explanation rather than jovial verse would have been more appreciated. There are some glaring typos as well and it seemed to be based on unity 3.0 rather than 3.4 which (at the time of writing) was the latest available download. As a result there were many instances where code examples or screenshots of unity dialogs were incorrect. The Kindle version also suffered from a few glitches in that some markup text was obviously left in the example code (or did not properly render in my iPod and PC versions of the Kindle reader). The games developed are not complete and they are left up to the reader to complete (good and bad points here - depends on what you are after). It also tends to assume you have no idea how to program a computer, yet you WILL need more than a basic understanding and skill in this area to become a competent unity developer. I defy anyone to pick up JavaScript or C# in a few days. The book got me 'off the starting post' with regards to unity but I now yearn for more advanced books on the subject.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on May 13, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is sort of hard to classify... On the one hand, this is a TRUE beginner's guide to game development with the Unity 3D game environment. The author assumes that the reader has no programming knowledge or experience and takes great pains to explain concepts of things like object oriented method calling, global variables and other introductory javascript topics. But, ironically, the author assumes a near complete mastery of computer operations and simply glosses over other beginner topics including downloading, locations of program file folders, basic operations of programming editors and basic operations of 3D editing. It doesn't say as much but I presume the author's intended audience is a computer savvy teen-ager and not, say, a seasoned programmer trying to use this new-fangled Unity 3D-thingy.
As an introduction to the Unity 3D environment, this book is very good at explaining all of the Unity 3D core features including object editing/scripting, materials handling and basic scene handling. Several simple games are built from the ground up as topics like programming, graphics handling and even *game development* concepts like goals and motivations are discussed. The examples follow a good pattern. Concepts are laid out, the reader is given a demonstration to follow and then the book explains how what the reader just did fulfills the concept. Very hands on. By the end of the book you should be very comfortable with the basics of Unity development.

On the downside the book has several errors in the programming listings (including an inexplicable one on page 146 where card.img isn't even declared - try using "robot" instead). Also certain resources are alluded to that require you to download the examples from the book's website but that's not explained during any of the "walkthroughs" but only once at the end of the preface under the topic "Customer Support" and then as a "tip and trick". Worse, the errata at the book's website doesn't even note the errors!

Lastly, the style. The author tries to infuse the book with humor to make it lighthearted and informal. I'm generally a fan of this style and don't want to blast it too hard because I'm guilty of this myself - but too many of the jokes are just bad (I expected to see Fozzy Bear pop up out of the book and go "Wokka! Wokka!") and break up the flow of the reading. By the end of the book I was mentally ignoring most of the text to get to the text that contained the meat of what I was trying to understand and I think that's bad because I may have missed some important tips/points the author was trying to get across. It's not a killer for the book, there's lots of other good things in here but do note it might turn off some people.

In summary, if you've got a teenager wanting to make video games or if you want a nice summary interview to the powers of Unity 3D, check it out. (Note this version exclusively covers javascript scripting and not C# scripting)
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I found this book easy to read and follow to learn how Unity works and what it can do. The author is entertaining and the instructions are clear - and more importantly things actually worked. I did find myself following instructions without knowing what some terms meant and what the flags were doing but I felt it is not a bad way to get to learn how to use the tool. I found other books difficult to read when I had to read every detail about every feature...and still found myself saying - "Huh?" This book is a perfect way to get acquainted with Unity and move on to a book such as Menards (a graphics artist point of view).
This book will be harder for someone who does not know programming to learn programming at the same time. There are many concepts being thrown at the beginning programmer (classes, arrays and loops all in one chapter). The programming newbie will find themselves following the instructions as I followed some of the instructions related to graphics engine choices - I did not know why it worked but it did. I trust after this book and delving into others that I will understand. Even if you don't know programming, if you follow the instructions you should have a working programs and that will be enough to whet your appetite to learn more about the details.
The title is true to the intention and value of the book. It guides you through examples to get acquainted with the power of purpose of Unity. Another valuable tool taught by the author for those interested in learning more is how to use the online manuals and reference material online to look something up. The author guides you step by step all the way and explains every detail and the resulting cool little games you construct and build on your own is a nice bonus.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've purchased seven books relating to learning the Unity 3D game engine (since it's free and very powerful), with Ryan Henson Creighton's book being one.

I've spent 100's of hours viewing and plowing through tutorials. I often have a problem with the approach many tutorials take - a long, convoluted list of menu, dialog box, and control actions, with little to no explanation of WHY I'm doing this. This is the main reason I enjoyed Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide. Ryan takes great pains to describe the goal, how we'll get there, and then explain "What Just Happened?". This approach fits my personal learning style very well.

Ryan's sense of humor is sometimes worth a groan, sometimes a laugh out load; regardless his humor helps drive key points home. I took away a huge amount of usable knowledge that I can put into practice immediately. The variety of projects helps round out the knowledge and make deeper connections.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone starting up the Unity 3D learning curve.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Unity 4.x Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide
Unity 4.x Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide by Ryan Henson Creighton (Paperback - December 26, 2013)
$40.49

Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials
Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials by Will Goldstone (Paperback - December 20, 2011)
$47.49

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.