A new development blog update has gone live for Guido Henkel's latest venture, the first-person RPG Deathfire, and this time it focuses on the technology powering the Unity3D-powered title. Here's a snip:
There was a time not too long ago when using Unity would have raised eyebrows, but we're fortunately past that stage in the industry and with the exception of some hardliners perhaps most everyone will agree these days that it is indeed possible to produce high end games with it.
For those of you unfamiliar with Unity3D, let just say that it is a software package that contains the core technologies required to make a game that is up to par with today's end user expectations. Everything from input, rendering, physics, audio, data storage, networking and multi-platform support are part of this package, therefore making it possible for people like us to focus on making the game instead of developing all these technologies from scratch. Because Unity is a jack of all trades it may not be as good in certain areas as a specialized engine, but at the same time, it does not force us into templates the way such specialized engines do.
In addition, the combination of Unity's extensibility and the community behind it, is simply unparalleled. Let me give you an example.
The character generation part of a role-playing game is by its very nature a user interface-heavy affair. While Unity has solid support for the most common user interface (UI) tasks, that particular area is still probably one of its weakest features. When I started working on Deathfire, I used Unity's native UI implementation, but very quickly I hit the limits of its capabilities, as it did not support different blend modes for UI sprites and buttons, or the creation of a texture atlas, among other things. I needed something different. My friend Ralph Barbagallo pointed me towards NGUI, a plugin for Unity that is specialized in the creation and handling of complex user interfaces. And his recommendation turned out to be pure gold, because ever since installing NGUI and working with it, it has become an incredibly powerful tool in my scripting arsenal for Deathfire, allowing me to create complex and dynamic interactive elements throughout the game, without having to spend days or weeks laying the groundwork for them.