Initial Impressions of Unity3D

After evaluating 3d engines for iOS development I’ve decided we’re going to go with Unity3D.

I would prefer a native Objective-C engine but the ability to deliver for multiple platforms is very attractive (Unity can deploy to Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, XBox 360, and the Wii).

Unity development so far has been straight forward – scripts can be in c# or javascript – I’ve created several 3d scenes, used the extensive resources from the forum and Unity Answers to create a ship that uses realistic physics to move in orbit. The Unity Asset store has thousands of additional resources for Unity3D dev. Initially I’m using atmospheric planets and vectrosity for line drawing.

Unity3d scene

We play tested the game as turn based and real time multi-player – I was initially planning on a turn based approach using Apple’s Game Center for iOS but the game plays much better in real time. We evaluated several multi-player network solutions and are going to go with Photon Cloud  – very well integrated with Unity, a great price, and should be able to scale.

iOS Game – Torchships

One of the very nice new features of iOS 5 from Apple is that GameCenter will handle all of the mechanics and hosting for multiplayer turn based games. This creates an opportunity to build a very feature-rich multiplayer game without a lot of infrastructure costs.

Accordingly we’re going to design and develop a 3d turn based space combat game for the iPhone and iPad with realistic physics. The game will be ad-supported and free to download and play. We will release rapid iterations and add features as we go….

  • Using iSGL3D for the 3d graphics.
  • 4 gameplay modes – tutorial/training, hotseat (same device), peer to peer (wifi/bluetooth via gamekit), game center hosted
  • Realistic Newtonian physics.
  • Weapons include – gamma ray lasers, missiles, and kinetic launchers.
  • Terrain – terran planets, moons, asteroid fields, ring systems, dust and debris clouds.

Working title for the game is Torchships.

If you’re interested in following our progress follow this blog (see the right hand pane of this page to sign up)

If you’d like to help beta-test Torchships then please sign up at our TestFlight page – you will need an iPad, iPhone, or next generation iTouch to participate.