Noob Review:Unity3D Development Essentials

1111790_study_hard_2I have been feeling really ambitious and decided to delve into Will Goldstone’s new book: Unity Game Development Essentials (that is NOT me in the picture).

I heard the book was good by a few people in forums, but didn’t have a lot of substance behind why it was good and the type of content and layout of the book.

I am more trained in web things, so I kind of get programming. I am completely clueless if I have to build a game and really don’t know where to start.

I started using Unity a couple months ago off and on, so I am still pretty much a beginner. This book was at about the level I expect from an “essentials” type book. The all-out tutorial approach isn’t what I am use to for learning applications, but I think it is the best way to go after reading it all the way through.

Reading the first 60-70 pages of the book has a lot of beginning concepts and skills that you can find in a lot of forums or movies online. I was a little disappointed at this point thinking “this is just going to be one big easy tutorial linking up scripts with models like some other sites.

Where it really starts taking off is when he starts going into more of the structure and logic with how things are done in the scripting. He goes into a lot of detail as to WHY things go where they do and further analyzing different components and logic of game play.

At a surface level, the tutorials are very similar to the ones on his learn me silly website. He provides you unity packages to import that have game models and textures. he doesn’t provide the code in the packages, so you will have to manually type stuff in ( unless you have the e-book).

Since most of the book is written in tutorial format, it really isn’t a reference book. The whole book has a cumulative effect, so you can’t really do examples about instantiation if you haven’t gone through previous chapters.

What I really like about this book is the way it is structured.

Many programming concepts are repeated subtly throughout the examples.After going through something for the third time, it really starts to sink in. Interactively using the application alongside the book really solidifies concepts faster.

I feel a lot more comfortable working with Unity and understanding the whole “object oriented” way of doing things.

Conclusion

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After reading this book, you begin to see why some games take huge amounts of teams to get things done. Having all of the models, textures, and animations handed to you with the code still takes a while to go through. I am sure trying to do something like this on my own would have taken me 10 times longer easily.

Creating video games are a massive venture, so you can’t get this book thinking he is going to touch on everything.

The API is huge in Unity, so there could easily be a book twice as thick talking about other things that he didn’t even bring up like network play or skinning models for importing.

It DOES give a great foundation for a lot of core concepts and patterns. After reading this book, I have quite a bit more confidence with maneuvering around and getting my hands dirty. I would recommend this book for anyone who is a beginner at Unity and needs to get over the “learning curve” of getting the basics down.

I personally got it in a paperback.

If you stare at a computer screen all day like me, it is much more enjoyable to read a printed copy. E-books are nice and more mobile, but reading just hurts my eyes after too many hours.

If you’re interested you can get is straight from Packt Publishing or Amazon.

I have never heard of Packt publishing before the book came out, but it has a lot of really great books on open source software and niche applications that are harder to find. After I bought this, I got a 40% off coupon in the email for my next  e-book buy. Amazon doesn’t have specials like that, so I got my copy through the Packt website. They are in the UK, but have places in the US to ship. I am in Missouri and got my copy 3 days after it was shipped.

Next post

I haven’t forgotten about my game. After reading the Unity book, my approach is changing on how I will build it. Making my player a rigidbody character was overkill and over complicating things – so I will revert back to the “character controller” approach and build from that. There is a lot of things going on, so I will probably focus on a couple concepts and explain what I have done.

One thought on “Noob Review:Unity3D Development Essentials

  1. Tom

    Hi! thanks for the review! I am planning to get this book after learning 3ds max for modelling my characters. However, does this book teaches you how to code javascript essentials or you need to have a background in javascript?

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