It has been a while since my previous book Giveaway, such that I figured it is again time to organize another one. Last month an interesting book was published titled Unity Game Development Blueprints, written by John P. Doran, who is an experienced game designer, instructor and an established book author on game development (involving UDK and now Unity). In today’s post I share some thoughts on this new Unity book that Packt Publishing sent my way, and I’ll discuss how you could win a free e-copy of the book for yourself!
The book is aimed at beginners to intermediate-level Unity 3D developers. My overall impression of the content and quality is good, and I like the useful notes and tips scattered throughout. The book’s length is quite nice with 318 pages of total content (290 pages without the front and back matter). It is definitely much different from Packt’s shorter "Instant" or "Getting Started" book series; this book contains lots more details, which I appreciate.
The step-by-step examples in the book, which include art assets, revolve around three main projects:
- There is a 2D top-down shooter,
- then there is a 2.5D side-scrolling platformer,
- and also a 3D first-person shooter (of a sort).
To get a glimpse of the three projects, check out the author’s YouTube channel or watch the videos below. The initial examples may seem a little bit basic, but I believe that is the whole point of this book: to make Unity easily accessible to prospective game developers.
Personally I would have liked to see example content similar to the author’s neat Terror in Deep Space example (shown below) that was developed for his Mastering UDK Game Development HOTSHOT book, but maybe this is just because of nostalgia from another space-shooter game I developed last year. Hopefully similar advanced content is planned for an upcoming (let’s suppose) "Mastering Unity 3D Game Development" book title (hint, hint :).
Anyway, the examples are coded in C# that is the language used by the vast majority of Unity users (which is a good thing) and is now also the default language for the upcoming Unity 5 documentation (awesome).
More Good Stuff
The text was written for Unity 4.5, but it also includes aspects from Unity 4.6 that exited the beta phase only last week, such that the content is as fresh as you can possibly get. Topics are explained quite well, but a lot of ground is covered, so don't expect everything to be discussed in minute details. Some of the topics covered are:
- Unity’s relatively-new native 2D tools,
- GUI elements (both traditional and the new Unity 4.6 framework),
- level editor with save files (serialization),
- coroutines for asynchronous programming,
- deployment (including how to build an installer with Inno Setup),
- use of MonoDevelop, the open-source Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that comes with Unity, although you can use Visual Studio or another code editor that you prefer,
- creation of internal and external game environments,
- and much more.
As is usually the case with electronic books from Packt Publishing, this e-book also comes bundled with all three of the ubiquitous e-book formats (that is PDF, MOBI and ePub files). Therefore, you can read the book on various mobile or PC devices. If you plan to read the MOBI version on a Kindle Touch device, the text will be quite tiny and not use the standard font sizing that you may expect. However, the PDF version on a PC or larger tablet device works great and screenshots are clear.
If you’re relatively new to Unity development, or just want to again brush up on some of the topics, I think this is an excellent resource. It is obvious that the author put a lot of effort into coming up with meaningful examples and explaining things systematically - I like it!
As an aside, in addition to the Giveaway of this blog post, Packt had a Christmas Countdown event. For the first 24 days of December, every day you could grab a free e-book or video gift from their advent calendar. As we hoped, there was even a Unity themed gift in the mix: right on the last day they offered NGUI for Unity by Charles Bernardoff!
The Lucky Ones
So, about that Giveaway that I mentioned initially, two lucky winners stood a chance to also win digital copies of John Doran’s new book.
How to Enter?
The contest is now closed. All you had to do was to post your expectations from this book in the comments section below.
Just click on “Add new comment” below my blog post – it was that simple.
Winners will be contacted by email, so be sure to enter your email address correctly when you comment! (As always, email addresses are never shown publicly for comments.)
You could also have doubled your chance of winning by sending an email to the book author (details here), in addition to leaving a comment below.
The contest closing date was 24 December 2014 at 5:30 PM Central Standard Time (UTC-6), which was also the last day of Packt’s other Christmas Countdown giveaways. If you waited, it is now too late to enter for a free copy, but of course you may still buy the book, and until 6 January 2015 this e-book and others are available for only $5. (The winners are listed below in a comment on the closing date.)