I know it’s been a while since I last posted, and I have a REALLY good reason for it ;) You see, Andy Zupko had been dropping comments here and there about how he’d wanted to do Unity3D work. First couple of times I heard him say it, I was thinking “yeah yeah flash master Andy, what’s this unity thing anyway?”
Well, I finally asked him what Unity3D was and he pointed me over to http://www.unity3d.com and then showed me their Tropical Paradise demo and my jaw began to hit the floor. This was a web plugin? holy polygons/lighting/shaders batman!
Tropical Paradise - Terrains, streamed terrainse
Now, before we start getting totally OHH and AHH over this, let’s take a look at the discussion that’s already on your mind probably at this point in the post: Why can’t FLASH/ADOBE have this?!? I know, cause I was thinking the same thing ;) The answer might be something like “I don’t think there’s a good reason anymore”. It USED to be a really big discussion about player size. I remember back on Flash6 beta, I was begging for w3d support since you could use those files in Director at that time, and they were fairly lightweight. But the argument was around hardware support and player download size.
But check this out:
Flash player download = 5.5mb
Unity3D web player download = 4.5mb
Ding. Round one over. The winner? Unity3D.
Ok, so is that a fair comparison? No, not really, but in the argument about the player growing in size seems to be greatly reduced from the days of a 700k Flash player plugin download. I realize that 5.5mb + 4.5mb = a bit more of a struggle to convince people to download, BUT, I’m SURE there’s a conversation that could be had about loading and running SWF’s into Unity3D like Director does. Yes? Did I mention Unity3D is cross-platform compatible? Publish standalone builds for Mac OS X (Universal Binary, or specific, smaller Intel/PPC-only builds) and Windows 2000/XP/Vista – OH and then put it on the web…cause you can.
If that wasn’t enough to sweeten the pot on Adobe buying out Unity3D – Unity3D does iPhone apps with a single click ( watch the Demo Movie of the iPhone development setup – that’ll sell you right there ). Hmmm I love me some iPhone :) Not enought?? How about Wii Development?! BAM! NOW WHAT?
Terrain, Shaders, Physics, Lighting, Cross-Platform, multi-depolyment option, multi-lingual, Game churning tool!
One of the other nice things is that you can configure TextMate with a Unity3D bundle for editing.
I think I’m a fairly good indication of what *could* happen when other Flashers like me get a hold of Unity3D. I hope Adobe’s listening ;)
With all of that, combine the fact that SilverLight is working hard to compete with Flash and they have access to DirectX – it won’t be long until Adobe see’s they need a kick-ass solution. THIS one actually works cross-platform with a ton of speed, easy adoption rate by the development community and a smaller player download size than Flash. Either they’re already looking at Unity3D as I type this post or they soon will be.
One other thought I had is that, I’m not sure the Flash player is going to keep up or IS keeping up with the abilities of hardware that have been out for a while now. I can see where they’re going with Pixel Bender etc, but I know I wasn’t the only one disappointed with what came out in FP10 in terms of hardware acceleration etc and so on ( I don’t need to restate what others have already said ). I think that’s exactly what draws me to Unity3D – total frustration over speed/performance. With Unity, it was like a massive breath of life for me in terms of developing games and playing in my own time.
Avert Fate - Particles, physics, ragdolls, image effects and custom shaders
So, let’s put our money where our mouth is, shall we?
By now, you know I work for Infrared5 with a ton of great developers. If you want Flash / Flex / Red5 work done, we can do it. Duh. But what about iPhone development? what about serious game development? What about product/marketing efforts that need more than what the Flash Player can give us in terms of power? Where would we turn? Well, we’ve officially added Unity3D and iPhone game developement to the list of services BECAUSE of Unity3D. Considering that any one of our developers can get up to speed in a matter of an hour or less, it’s a no brainer to expand our service base. SO, if you’re in the market for iPhone game development or app development, let me know, and I’ll get you in touch with the right people ;)
Given how well many iPhone / iTouch apps are doing in the app store with Apple, I think there’s a bonanza of opportunity there – HUGE.
Ok, so the payoff for even posting this…post, is that I wanted to FINALLY show a few screen shots of a game I’d story boarded 4yrs ago and promised I would produce wayyyyyy back in 2002 (8/16/2002 to be exact) when I released my first Star Wars game – Escape of the Falcon. I’m not going to show too much, but you guys and gals need to see I’m serious about what I just typed above.
Original Star Wars game: Escape of the Falcon
Web Version of the Trench Run
Web Version of the Trench Run
And Since Keith was showing off his iPhone Gravity fun, I wouldn’t feel right not sharing since he mentioned a Star Wars game ;)
iPhone Trench Run - low poly trench model
I have to thank Andy for getting into Unity though! I don’t know that I would have heard of it or gotten into it if he hadn’t pointed out the obvious to me ;) To say the least, he’s in hog heaven with real physics, custom shaders and streamed terrains!
I seriously suggest that if you’re into 3D, Gaming and Flash right now, you should try Unity3D. And yes, I fully expect that I’ll drive SO much traffic their way that they’ll give me a license ;) Thankfully, IR5 got me one ! LOVE YOU CHRIS/REB/DOMINICK! LOVE you. Man love.
And Finally: Adobe – if you’re reading this, you guys should seriously consider buying out Unity3D. I can’t say it any more plain than that. If you don’t, I don’t know how you’ll COMPETE with them. As soon as they’re able to support running SWF’s in Unity, i’m going to be doing alot more work over there ;)