GeekTeen John has been teaching himself to design computer games using the game engine Unity. Here’s his report:
With all the recent advancements in videogame technology, it’s no surprise that we would get some programs that allowed anyone to create 3D games. One of these programs is Unity, a simple-to-use game engine that was released for free last year. Unity allows anyone to download and use the program right away. It doesn’t rely on complex programming techniques, instead letting users build a game like building blocks.
Many companies and advertisers have been using Unity to create games based on their product. Most of the games are even free online. What is useful about these games is that you can use them as a start for making your own games. The following games show how good Unity games work, as well as giving you an idea about how they will look and play.
Space Paranoids Online
This game was created for the Tron sequel coming out, but serves as a good example of a simple Unity game. Space Paranoids Online is really just an enjoyable time waster. The player takes control of a tank navigating a maze while shooting down Recognizers and enemy tanks. Keeping along the lines of the game in the original movie, it uses a simple design structure. So while it looks professional, a game like Space Paranoids can be easily made in a few weeks.
Iron Man 2 Dr. Pepper Game
While being very short on gameplay, this Iron Man 2 tie-in does show how well the graphics in Unity work on a website. It’s able to run fast in a browser, as well as look like a regular game. For anyone who wants to practice game design, a good challenge would be to try to improve the game to keep players interested.
LEGO Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2
Looking at this game, it’s hard to tell that it’s not one sold in stores. It not only has elements of the original LEGO Star Wars games, but plays like them. It does repeat the levels a lot, but players can spend hours playing through this game. I found it to be very enjoyable, and considering that it’s a free online game, I was amazed at how good it looked.
Certainly these are not state-of-the-art in terms of game play. But they are groundbreaking in that Unity allows 3D games to be played on nearly any computer. And Unity makes it possible for beginning game designers to start making games without having much knowledge about programming. It even lets you host your games on your website as easily as you can upload a YouTube video.
There are resources to help you start building your own games on the Unity website. You can also check out the blog Rock Paper Shotgun, which has a tutorial that shows you how to make your own Pong game with Unity in ten minutes.