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Venkman
01-22-2009, 02:01 PM
My favorite 3d engine, Unity 3d, just announced version 2.5 (release coming soon).

The big thing this adds is a windows version of the development environment:


Windows Editor Support
Unity 2.5 adds full support for Windows Vista and XP, with 100% feature parity and interoperability with Mac OS X. The Unity Editor has been rebuilt to look, feel, and function identically on both operating systems, each running the same underlying engine.

The best part? Unity on either platform can build games for either platform -- cross-platform in the truest sense.

The other thing that I think is a big deal is .max native import.

I am an unapologetic Unity fanboy, so please, check out the announcement for yourself at the official site!

http://unity3d.com/unity/coming-soon/unity-2.5

kees
01-22-2009, 02:05 PM
Hi Chris,

I am very interested in making sure ShaderFX shaders work with Unity.

Has anybody you know tested this?

I'd like to hear from beta users to see what is required to make shaders work for Unity.


Thanks!

Venkman
01-22-2009, 02:13 PM
Hi Chris,

I am very interested in making sure ShaderFX shaders work with Unity.

Has anybody you know tested this?

I'd like to hear from beta users to see what is required to make shaders work for Unity.

Hmmm, that's a bit beyond my knowledge.

I would suggest dropping a quick email to the dev team at info@unity3d.com They are very responsive, and I think if your tools could complement theirs, they would be more than happy to let you know!

You can also try the forums:
http://forum.unity3d.com/index.php

There is a dedicated area there for shaders where some people really know their stuff, they would be well suited to giving you more info.

kees
01-22-2009, 02:38 PM
Thanks Chris.
I sent them an email.

DecWest
01-22-2009, 02:40 PM
This is really interesting.......I enjoyed 'tinkering' with Unity and I'm getting very close to a full MAC switch!

MAC<>PC cross dev... :cool:

Venkman
01-22-2009, 03:04 PM
This is really interesting.......I enjoyed 'tinkering' with Unity and I'm getting very close to a full MAC switch!

MAC<>PC cross dev... :cool:

Remember, the cross publishing of games for Mac and Windows is nothing new to Unity. The fact that you can run the Unity development environment on Windows is new (and still publish Mac and Windows versions with a click)!

I'm thinking of switching to my big PC rig since my G5 died recently. It's a pretty nice option to have. :-)

brucegregory
01-22-2009, 05:20 PM
Unity looks like it would be the answer to many of us who would like to author games or interactive demonstrations of characters we have developed. And this is what I thought when I first looked into it. But, like all the rest of these kinds of applications, you must be a Javascript coder to make anything useful.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't think of a worse way to spend my day, than coding with Javascript.

Greg Smith

Venkman
01-22-2009, 05:51 PM
If you are looking to create 1st person interactivity, it's pretty much drag and drop. And you're done in a minute.

If you are uncomfortable with javascript, you could use C# or python in Unity.



As much as I hate coding, it looks like it's required more and more in 3d in general. I work a lot in flash and actionscript is really close to javascript. That gives me a slight level of comfort with coding.

brucegregory
01-22-2009, 06:09 PM
Venkman:

I would have to say that coding in any of the languages you have mentioned is anything but a pleasant experience for many, I would wager.

I don't believe that any of these game development environments will ever be a hit with artists until somebody invents a powerful method of adding interactivity and action without requiring users to torture themselves with coding of any kind.

Certainly, enough time has passed for such a system to have been initiated since it was first conceived. Observation should tell us all that those who possess the power to create such a system have little or no interest in doing so.

Leave it to the coders.

Greg Smith

Venkman
01-22-2009, 06:50 PM
Have you looked at ALICE?

http://www.alice.org/index.php?page=what_is_alice/what_is_alice


It might be up your alley.

brucegregory
01-22-2009, 08:07 PM
Venkman:

Yes, I have looked at it pretty thoroughly. As of version 2, it is very difficult to get your own models and animations into the environment. I'm sure they are working on this for version 3, but version 3 has been an awfully long time coming. I think the departure of Randy Pausch has something to do with this - he was the motive force behind the project.

But, Alice is a definite improvement over coding in Javascript or any other "modern" language I can think of.

Here is another one: Scratch, from M.I.T. The approach is very nice and clean, teaching the fundamentals of code structure but avoiding horrible syntax issues. Still, it is a 2D environment that makes the possibility of including 3D content impossible, at the moment.

It seems only the institutions of higher education contain souls who have an inclination to substantially improve the state of interactive media creation tools. And, as can be expected, many projects never reach fruition and many are abandoned, altogether.

Too bad,

Greg Smith

Venkman
01-22-2009, 08:34 PM
All right, last try:

Power Game Factory:
http://www.sawbladesoftware.com/


It's 2d, but it's a pretty powerful game engine with a strong GUI.

fktt
01-22-2009, 08:49 PM
I don't believe that any of these game development environments will ever be a hit with artists until somebody invents a powerful method of adding interactivity and action without requiring users to torture themselves with coding of any kind.


sounds like youd be more of a quest 3D kind of a guy, purely visual(nodes based) 'coding':
http://quest3d.com/

be warned though, its windows only and its k$pen$ivo... :(


And Unity definitely looks juicy to me. :3

brucegregory
01-22-2009, 09:04 PM
Venkman:

I own Power Game Factory, and it was very interesting . . . until the author announced that he was abandoning the project to get a job in California. He left the project "half-done". So, don't think I haven't put my money where my desires are. I think he left the project about 2 years ago. And, as you said, it is 2D only. My current ambitions are to integrate my original 3D characters and animations and 2D and 3D environments into an interactive 3D authoring venue. Without coding.

Greg Smith

bsm3d
01-22-2009, 09:10 PM
Unity coming to PC is a great news !

On the PC side there is also a 3D realtime dev tool called Shiva (www.stonetrip.com) with Iphone, Wii and cross platforms applications.

when I read specs of Unity and Shiva it's very close softwares, that's very good for push the dev ;)

brucegregory
01-22-2009, 09:13 PM
fktt:

Quest 3D looks to be the most ambitious project along these lines that I have seen. I think it is still in the very early stages of development - in terms of "man years" spent. And, as you said, it is very expensive.

I'd be very surprised if anyone, and I mean anyone, could point out an application that truly implements 3D interactive development without any coding, whatsoever. I've spent many more hours than I should have looking for such a thing, and I am convinced that it does not exist. Nor is it likely to, since I fundamentally believe that those who possess the tools and abilities to produce such an environment have little, if any, interest in making it.

Don't think that in today's "modern" world, guilds and the protection of knowledge and skills do not exist. People guard what they have and are remiss to give it away.

Greg Smith

bsm3d
01-22-2009, 09:30 PM
For using Quest3D you must know programming logic and a lots of DirectX. Quest is not really nodals for dummies, but hard to learn (my point of view)

From my research there is some Web3D / Realtime softwares who working without coding : Wirefusion, Nova, Blender GE... and there is probably more !

So all this softwares can do great applications without any line of code but when you need to go deep and create robust / hi-tech applications, now way you must put your hand in the code...

Blender working with Python, Wirefusion with Java, Shiva with Lua,...

But sometimes it's better to go away and try to learn C++ to really go into powerfull solutions like Ogre, Irrlicht or Leadwerks (specs like unreal 3 and better!) For sure learning C++ is hard from scratch but using DLL like leadwerks is very easy as it's ready to use solution.

I agree to use ALICE for starting learning Java / C++ with 3D world !

fktt
01-22-2009, 09:51 PM
fktt:

Quest 3D looks to be the most ambitious project along these lines that I have seen. I think it is still in the very early stages of development - in terms of "man years" spent. And, as you said, it is very expensive.
Its been developed for over 8 years now, but I agree could be better, no doubt. :)

For using Quest3D you must know programming logic and a lots of DirectX. Quest is not really nodals for dummies, but hard to learn (my point of view)


Indeed, but nothings truly easy, in 3D you still have to learn the inner workings of the app,
be it to understand the render pipeline, or for an example,
how subd surfaces divide different types of polygons( tri-sided, quad's, n-sided etc.).

the point is that rather than to write code blindly, you actually see the whole thing on the highest level,
witch still makes it much more clear and much less confusing. :)

though really, we have probably hijacked this thread for far to many posts probably as it is.
If you want to discuss this further you can create a new thread in the general discussions.

bsm3d
01-22-2009, 09:54 PM
I agree, so go back to unity !

One features I read and i'm curious to try out is the drag& drop .max files directly into unity, this is probably the first 3d realtime application who read directly .max tricked file !

I'm also curious to know is Unity can really do great applications without any line of code !?

brucegregory
01-22-2009, 09:59 PM
bsm3d:

No, it is not possible at all. Read what the "Product Evangelist" over at Unity3D has to say,

"We're going to continue our effort to bring the barrier of entry down, but as of today if you want to make games then you have to bite the bullet and learn one of these "unintelligible" modern scripting languages to get any substantive work done. Yes, longer term it would be dreamy to make games without having to know a lick of scripting, but that's a far-off and distant goal given the near infinite number of game/interaction types folks might want to implement. "

Don't hold your breath,

Greg Smith

bsm3d
01-22-2009, 10:05 PM
Thanks for the clarifications ;)

Venkman
01-22-2009, 10:09 PM
I'd be very surprised if anyone, and I mean anyone, could point out an application that truly implements 3D interactive development without any coding, whatsoever. I've spent many more hours than I should have looking for such a thing, and I am convinced that it does not exist. Nor is it likely to, since I fundamentally believe that those who possess the tools and abilities to produce such an environment have little, if any, interest in making it.

People probably don't develop it because it would be unbelievably time consuming and complex. If anything, it would be a product similar to Power Game Factory- it would do one type of game well.


Don't think that in today's "modern" world, guilds and the protection of knowledge and skills do not exist. People guard what they have and are remiss to give it away.


I don't think it's anything so sinister. People do, however, expect to paid for their work. You could try hiring the Unity developers to implement features you need. They will make features in Unity on a contract basis if you email them with your needs at: contracting@unity3d.com.

I don't think many companies even offer that option. I even considered it myself, until they added in a feature I was going to request. They move fast.

I'm also curious to know is Unity can really do great applications without any line of code !?

bsm3d - you can make a 1st person application with physics, controls (WSAD, mouse look, jump), plants, terrains, and real time shadows without doing any code whatsoever. You won't be walking around blasting aliens, but you'll be walking around in your environment in first person in no time.

I encourage people to give it a try.

bsm3d
01-22-2009, 10:29 PM
Thanks for informations, that's right many compagnies offer services to add custom specs.

So before have a try I must wait for the PC release :-)

To be clear I'm not in Game dev. I'm virtual visit / products simulations and try to create realistic realtime rendering (using leadwerks engine).

brucegregory
01-22-2009, 10:32 PM
Venkman:

I'd be interested in seeing a very straightforward tutorial illustrating how to implement this "1st Person" interactive environment - that is, without writing or copying a single line of code. No code whatsoever.

Can you point me to such a resource?

Greg Smith

Venkman
01-22-2009, 10:42 PM
Venkman:

I'd be interested in seeing a very straightforward tutorial illustrating how to implement this "1st Person" interactive environment - that is, without writing or copying a single line of code. No code whatsoever.

Can you point me to such a resource?

Greg Smith

Here ya go:

http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/Manual/HOWTO-First%20Person%20Walkthrough.html

A 7 step process, no code. You will have to move things around in 3d space, and conceivably change some parameters in some menus, but this is nothing that we don't already do in programs like photoshop and Maya/Blender/Max/XSI/C4d, etc. :)

Kabab
01-22-2009, 11:07 PM
For using Quest3D you must know programming logic and a lots of DirectX. Quest is not really nodals for dummies, but hard to learn (my point of view)

From my research there is some Web3D / Realtime softwares who working without coding : Wirefusion, Nova, Blender GE... and there is probably more !

So all this softwares can do great applications without any line of code but when you need to go deep and create robust / hi-tech applications, now way you must put your hand in the code...
We made this game in Virtools without one line of code... All put together with the visual scripting system, its like ICE just much more powerful.

http://www.toyota.com.au/TRD/#main/downloads

R10k
01-23-2009, 01:28 AM
It's also stupidly costly.

sacslacker
01-23-2009, 05:07 AM
Some of us actually enjoy coding and treat many forms of code generation as the black plague.

profusion
01-23-2009, 08:06 AM
I have been looking forward to this for a long time.
Currently I use Quest3D, but there are so many bugs and missing documentation, that you get so frustrated :hmm:

bsm3d
01-23-2009, 08:53 AM
I created a new thread for discuss about 3d realtime, to leave this thread is to Unity.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=5637496

grantmoore3d
01-24-2009, 04:30 AM
The one thing that I really like (from the samples on their website anyways) about unity3D is how well they've packaged it to work in a browser. I can't wait to try out their demo for windows once it's released!!

Has anyone had any first hand experience with older versions of unity3D?

Tank_3D_Attack
01-27-2009, 06:33 PM
I hope Unity Tech. never goes the "no scripts/programming" needed way. That would simply ruin it for me and many others. Programming allows for more flexibility and quite honestly that's what most people are after. I am not a programmer myself, I am just an artist but I am VERY happy with Unity (been using it ever since it appeared on Mac).

I would really hate to see Unity become like "Poser" where you simply just use premade models. There are certain things that of course allow for a "drag and drop" like certain scripts that are already available at the moment. But even those are 'tweakable" and that's something I hope will always be that.

Having good friends with programming skills is certainly you want to look for if you are serious about creating games.

Thomas

garryclarke
01-28-2009, 11:32 AM
I'm a fairly new user of Unity. I'm a max user and my main computer is a PC. I bought an iMac to use Unity. So I'm struggling with 'learning a new app' and 'leaning a new OS' at the same time.

After the first week I just wanted to throw the mac out the window (I don't want to start a PC vs Mac thread here it's just me trying to learn new stuff and wanting to run before I can walk)

Yes it's possible to create walkthroughs without a single line of code, but to do the fancy things you'll have to learn to script stuff. I'm fortunate that I have a programmer working with me to do that.

From an art point of view it's pretty good once you work out how to get your Max to Unity workflow up and running. It could be better tho as there are a lot of cool shaders in Unity and you can't assign from Max. Unity will import all max materials as a fairly basic material, so if you want to use a lightmapped shader in Unity for example you have to change the shader type in Unity after importing and assign the correct lightmap texture. This is fine for small models but once you start having loads of shaders in a model it can get a bit repetative.

If there was some way to have a collection of Unity shaders in Max that would make the whole prosess a lot quicker it would be a real timesaver.

Personally I can't wait to get the Windows version of Unity and get rid of the iMac. All of our stuff ends up on PCs so it makes sense to develop on the PC.

BTW Unity 2.5 on windows will still need a copy of Max installed on the same PC to allow the import of Max files. As you import a max file it will use the installed copy of Max to convert it to fbx. So not as smooth as it first sounds, but a lot better that switching from machine to machine.


- Garry

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