Within this article I will aim to cover all pros and cons when developing using Unity3D.
I thought the best way to achieve this would be to get some expert advice on the matter, so I’ve enlisted the help of two expert mobile game developers who also have extensive knowledge of the video games market. On the one hand we have, Iván García Suber, Trinit coordinator, Association of Zaragoza Computer and video game developer; on the other Aitor Román Ibanez Androtiyas game developer. Between them they have done several collaborations that have appeared as apps within the Android Market, there more famous one being Dragon Pet. I interviewed them both on their Unity 3D user experience and they shared their knowledge with me.
As industry experts and connoisseurs of the tool, they explained that one of the biggest beneficiaries of using Unity 3D is Android. Being, in the market with more users and more devices in circulation has many advantages. This is especially reflected when analyzed from a social point of view.
Aitor Román explains: “We can say that Unity3D has devoted more time to prepare and to develop apps on the Android platform and it shows when its benefits.” These benefits are also taken advantage of by Google when developing games with Unity3D
Like any tool, it has strengths but also some limitations. The expert Ivan Garcia helps us discover more about the latter.
- The most obvious is that it doesn’t allow us to start from a foundation, or a template, but in some other way, and you must implement details. If you don’t you’ll have to start from scratch with each game. “As a general-purpose motor, it gives you nothing to work with. Some people develop games and expect it to be all “drag and drop” but it is not like that. In fact I’ve always thought it would take a bad motor to allow it to work well, “explains Ivan Garcia.
- From a graphical point of view, it is also lagging behind compared to other engines like UDK. While in contrast, Unity 3D allows programming ‘shaders’, yes, from scratch. However, Ivan Garcia admitted to us to that the moment of truth for small developers of the world is the graphic design for smartphones
- A level physics engine, despite using NVidia PhysX, does not offer as many features as other tools such as UDK or CryEngine. Unity 5 is expected to update the 3.3 PhysX, especially the performance issues and is expected to add other functionalities.
- The fact that there are more expensive licenses can be a limitation for freelance developers and small development groups. The most expensive licenses provide mainly graphical and performance improvements, but only worth it if you have a medium or large equipment, and an ambitious project. Also “the developer itself, it depends on whether the developer will exploit these resources,” adds Roman Aitor.
- As for developing games with Unity specifically for smartphones, there are some obstacles. However, you do not have to pay expensive licenses. For example, Unity free allows you to publish on Android, iPhone and Windows Phone, the most popular platforms from the last couple of years.
In conclusion, I can say that Unity 3D is a solid tool for beginners and also for users who do not have many resources at their disposal to hire people for game development. It is also this group of freelance developers and small businesses which benefit the most by using Unity.