Essential Game Engines: Unity

Essential Game Engines: Unity
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

February 27th 2012 at 2:00PM

To kick off our Engines week special, we delve into the Unity platform

Creator: Unity Technologies
Platforms: PS3, XBOX 360, iOS, Android, Browser
Seen in: Shadowgun, Battlestar Galactica Online, Uberstrike

The Unity engine has proved popular among developers, having been installed over 750,000 times, with thousands of released titles created through the platform.

The Unity Technologies built engine can be used to develop games on numerous platforms, such as console, iOS and Android.

It offers a feature list that includes full terrain generation, Nvidia’s PhysX physics Engine, C# scripting as well as an extensible shader system that supports rich lighting and full screen-post processing effects.

“By far one of the best features that we provide to developers is the ability to author a title once and then deploy it to any number of platforms,” says Unity CEO David Helgason.

“While there are certainly tweaks and optimisations that need to happen to work on different platforms, we make the process as easy as possible and provide the technology to deploy to as many platforms as needed.”

The base product is available to users free of charge for commercial use, and can be used to create and publish games on PC, Mac and Unity Web Player.

Helgason says this was done so that aspiring developers could get into games creation, without having to worry about high costs.

“When we introduced the free version of Unity, it was with the hope that it would give first time developers a real chance to make games and get them published without having to worry about percentage cuts, NDAs and wasteful negotiations,” he explains.

Customers can also purchase Unity Pro, which opens up several features such as audio filters, static batching, occlusion culling and deferred rendering.