Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New book: Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide

From the same publisher of Unity Game Development Essentials (that we have reviewed earlier), comes another book on this engine: Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide, by Ryan Henson Creighton.

Now, this cannot be considered a proper review, since I've worked on the book as a technical reviewer and, therefore, biased. But I think the author did a great job, so I'll post some info on it anyway.

Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide, as the titles says, is aimed at the novice programmer, or even at the beginner / intermediate designer/coder. It's perfect for Flash users, as it often compares concepts from that software to the ones in Unity.

You might already have acquired their previous book in Unity. Why would you want to get their new title as well? Some reasons:

  • If you are a total beginner to programming, I would say this book has a gentler learning curve - specially when it comes to general programming concepts.

  • If you are an intermediate user, this book still contains some tricks involving layers that you might not know (I know I didn't), and that were not included in their previous title.

  • Plus, GUI design and 2D capabilities are much more explored in this new book.

    Overall, this book is ideal for the total programming novice, while the previous book is better suited to the beginner / intermediate coder. As biased as it may sound, I think they should get both (and in this case Packt even has a special eBook discount offer).

    Check the book out here.
  • Sunday, May 30, 2010

    non-game - wikipedia entry

    Hey, I am in Wikipedia (sort of)!:

    From Wikipedia:

    " The main difference between non-games and traditional video games is the apparent lack of goals, objectives and challenges.[2]

    2 ^ Francisco Quieroz: Insular, Critical Appraisal. September 2005"

    My name is misspelled, but still kind of neat, uh?

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    SBGames Art Exhibition photos!

    Sorry you all for taking so long! Here are some photos from SBGames Art Exhibition - Game & Art. Again, thank you artists so much for contributing with such great games and art for it.

    I'll try to write more about it later.

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    Metaplace is closing

    This is sad news. From their email:

    Today we have unfortunate news to share with the Metaplace community. We will be closing down our service on January 1, 2010 at 11:59pm Pacific. The official announcement is here and copied below, and you can read a FAQ guide here. We will be having a goodbye celebration party on January 1st at 12:00noon Pacific Time.

    Over the last several years, we here at Metaplace Inc. have been working very hard to create an open platform allowing anyone to come to a website and create a virtual world of their own.

    Unfortunately, over the last few months it has become apparent that Metaplace as a consumer UGC service is not gaining enough traction to be a viable product, requiring a strategic shift for our company.

    We’re sorry to announce today that will be closing to the public at 11:59pm on January 1st, 2010.

    This is a bittersweet moment for us. Metaplace Inc the company will be continuing on – in fact, we have big plans – but what you the users have known as Metaplace will be going away. We are also losing some friends and colleagues here as part of this strategic shift.

    We’d rather dwell on the good than the sad. You, the users, have done amazing work here, and we want to celebrate it. We may not have managed to reach our goals with and Metaplace Central, but we still had a lot of fun, watched creativity flower, visited amazing places, and made a lot of friends. We’ve had amazing guest speakers, more parties than we can count, live concerts, movie premieres and art shows; we’ve seen you make adventures and schools and churches and games and countless other sorts of worlds that would otherwise never have been created.

    In that spirit, we want to treat these next two weeks more as a celebration of the good times. We invite you all to come back to see all of the amazing worlds that you have made. Registration will remain open, so you can show off to your friends. Remote embeds will remain active until the last day as well.

    We’ll be turning off billing immediately, and refunding everyone for all purchases in the month of December as well as subscription payments that apply to December and future months. This month is on us. We are suspending regular customer service, but the support site will remain open for now in case there are any critical billing issues.

    We know many of you have done work here that you would like to preserve. Please do use this time to capture screenshots, data, scripts, movies, and assets. We have a FAQ that explains how to retrieve assets from the service.

    When other worlds have reached a sunset point, people have lost touch with each other. We’ve made a lot of friends here and we’re sure that you have too, so we don’t want that to happen. We have created a forum site at that will be operational soon, so that you can all keep in touch with one another.

    Finally: we want to treat the 1st of January as a celebration, rather than a sad moment. Please join us on that day for a party, starting at noon Pacific time. If has to go, we want to go out with style, with joy, and with the same sense of fun that we have always had. Let’s celebrate the journey, not the ending. There will be meeps – count on it.

    We’re sure you have many questions about all of this – and there’s a detailed FAQ that we hope answers them. Click here to read it.

    In the meantime, we want to thank you all for your support, your effort, your creativity, and your loyalty. We know that many of you will be disappointed by this outcome. We are too. We are embarking on a new and exciting direction, and it feels strange not to have you all along for the ride.

    It has been a privilege to have had you here with us on this great adventure, and we hope that this community – this wonderful, engaged, passionate, friendly community – lives on and on.

    We’ll miss you -- and we hope to see you again.

    Metaplace Team

    It's a shame, really.

    Anyway, Raph Koster and his team should be proud for having delivered a truly participative and user-centered experience.

    Any comments on why this happened?

    Monday, November 09, 2009

    Review: Unity Game Development Essentials

    Unity 3D is becoming the engine of choice for several independent game developers/designers. Reasons for that include:

    - It runs on (and deploys to) both Mac OS and Windows environments.
    - It publishes for the web, and the plugin is becoming very popular.
    - It's cheap (in fact, the Indie version was made free a couple of weeks ago).
    - Wii / iPhone / iPod Touch possibilities (there's a specific license for those).
    - It integrates very well with 3D packages - importing models can be quite easy.

    Plus, as I am finding out:

    - It's not that hard to learn if you are a designer coming from Flash and Director

    So I got the Indie version, and I was really keen on learning it, but there was a couple of obstacles on the way such as: (a) you can't find as many tutorials as there are to Flash, specially for beginners; (b) The documentation seems to be very complete, but not very welcoming for newcomers.

    So I've found a book on it. So far, it seems to be the only book dedicated to this particular engine. And it's a good one.

    Unity Game Development Essentials, by Will Goldstone, does a terrific job introducing the engine's main concepts and workflow. By essentially following a very long tutorial, the reader progresses throughout the eleven chapters of the book, each presenting a set of features that make a game. Importing assets, generating particles, managing collisions, designing GUIs, sculpting terrains, generating folliage, placing sounds ... I would say this book covers a lot of ground - maybe more that just the "essentials".

    Here is a sample chapter, by the way.

    This is not the first development book I buy (I've purchased titles on Flash and Director), but it is one of the best, for sure. I was not familiar with Packt Publishing (and to be honest, was a bit skeptical about them), but I became very impressed with the quality of their material. Overall, the reason I like the book so much it's because the author seems to assume you don't know anything about the engine - and that's often the case with new users, right? Anyway, by the end of the book you'll have a pretty good idea on how to improve the game you've made by following the lessons, but also have a notion on how to implement game mechanics and ideas of your own. As far as introductory books go, this is a big deal. This book could (should) be made the official introductory guide to Unity.

    Any shortcomings?

    As a development book, no. But I really wish they could make a second book: one that I could use as a scripting reference guide - a bit like Gary Rosenzweig's Using Macromedia Director MX. That would be the perfect complement to the excellent Unity Game Development Essentials. Packt Publishing and Will Goldstone, if you're reading this, please consider the idea!

    Wednesday, November 04, 2009

    Unity 3D (and, finally, a good book on it!)

    I've been looking for an affordable 3D engine for a while, and Unity 3D has become my favourite one (and now you can get the indie version for free on their website). I've been away of game-ish projects for a looong time (except for a interesting multitouch application I've worked on recently), and hope to fix that soon. And Unity 3D seems a good tool/platform for that.

    Although it helps to have a Flash and Director development background, I've found the documentation not so welcoming to newcomers. Luckily, I've found a book on Unity 3D (perhaps the first on the subject?) that is really helping me to get familiar with the tool.

    I am still studying and learning from the book - and not so close to finishing it. But, so far I have nothing but good things to say about it.

    The book in question is called Unity Game Development Essentials, and it was written by Will Goldstone. You can read a sample chapter here.
    Copyright, Chico Queiroz