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Two years ago…

December 9, 2008 in Company News and Info by

…I had recently arrived in Copenhagen (read more here) to begin this journey called “Unity”. One year ago I was thrilled by the fact that we’d grown so much in just a single year, and now looking back at the last twelve months I’m again stunned, shocked and thoroughly excited at what we’ve been able to do. In the two years I’ve been working at OTEE/Unity Technologies we’ve grown from a team of six, huddled in one small office sitting nearly on top of each other, to over thirty people between two companies in four different office locations and in three countries. And the scariest/best part is that I firmly believe that our ship has barely set sail, we have so much more to do and so much further to go!

I’m not going to go on quite as long as I did last year, instead I’d just like to call out some of the highlight moments from the last year:

  • We officially launched our support for the Nintendo console, including both retail and WiiWare titles.
  • We released Unity 2.1, an awesome update to our game development platform.
  • We released our support for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.
  • We’ve managed to attract an incredible amount of indie and small shop developers along with high-profile clients like Disney, Sony Motion Pictures, Cartoon Networks and others.
  • We’ve had staff scattered all around the globe working on or helping develop exciting projects.
  • We hosted Unite 2008 in Copenhagen, our second-ever developer conference with more than double the number of attendees compared to the previous year.
  • And lots more…

What’s my point (other than a bit of bragging)? My point is that Unity Technologies, Unity Studios and the Unity game development platform are on the rise and it feels good. Note that nobody is using that as an excuse to rest on our laurels, far from it, we’re working harder than ever but we love it and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Once again I’ll call out a few people that were instrumental in pulling me into this wonderful mess. I’ll start with David Helgason, Nicholas Francis and Joachim Ante, our tireless leaders and the incredible founders and creators of Unity, thanks for believing in me from afar, for hiring me and giving me an opportunity like no other. I’ll again call out Marty Plumbo, a long-time member of the Director community, early adopter and member of the Unity community and a great friend who helped connect me with OTEE back in the day (without him I just don’t know that I’d be here today).

Like all truly successful relationships you have to learn to fall in love over and over again, and despite many stressful days and sleepless nights, I continue to fall in love with Unity over and over again. The people at Unity Technologies and Unity Studios are flat out incredible and the community we get to serve is awesome. All around me, every day I’m surrounded by creativity, intelligence and ingenuity that blows me away. Thanks for having me y’all, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Unity FTW!

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9 Dec 2008, 10:10 am

We’re going to see another thread like this in a years time aren’t we? Oh well no matter what people say, traditions work! :)

Two years ago I was working with a different engine technology in offices located in the same building as the OTEE office (we had several offices of the same size as OTEES one office and we only had three people tops in each of those – getting in and out of the OTEE office must have been quite a puzzle). David had succeeded in luring me onto the unity forums and IRC chat, but I was way too busy to put a unity trial to good use.

A year ago I had quit my job to get a bachelors degree, but I was missing game development terribly. Unity was looking better by the minute. A few months later, unity 2.0 was released, I simply could not resist anymore and purchased a license.

To me unity is a rock solid mix of concept, community and technology.

Based on my time with the product, it is my experience that as the concept is maintained and the technology is boosted, the community grows which feeds back into the two others. Looking forward, this doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.

Bring it!

9 Dec 2008, 12:19 pm

That’s a cool tradition. Two years ago, I slowly started looking for game engines. A few months later, I found Unity – but since it was Mac only, and I still was Windows XP only, I only got to enjoy the forum community (but I think that was a pretty good start into Unity, anyways).

Another few months later, I got my Mac Pro. When Unity 2.0 came out, and I first saw the tropical island demo, I literally had tears in my eyes – *this* was what I had been waiting for a loooong time (last time I had experimented with interactive 3D was with VRML … it was, um, painful, and it was at that time when VRML was still hot).

Pretty much exactly one year ago I downloaded the Unity trial … and a few days later (Dec 14th, 2007), I got my Pro license … and that same day put “My first game demo” online (I had prepared that with the trial, but it did just take a few days ;-) ). It’s been a funky ride since that – with lots of fun and never enough sleep.

Finally, at Unite 2008 at Copenhagen I had the opportunity to meet so many of the UT and forum folks in person, and it was just “WOW!” – what a cool event!

… and given what’s to come, this is definitely an incredibly exciting time to be here!

Rock on!!! ;-)

9 Dec 2008, 6:39 pm

I suppose that this is in fact going to be a tradition as it’s nice to look back on where I/we were a year/two/more ago. :) Thanks for sharing your stories along with mine guys, it’s interesting to hear how others were looped into the Unity Universe as we all came from different places and for different reasons. w00t!

12 Dec 2008, 6:35 am

Nice post, Tom. It’s been great watching Unity grow and I’m proud to say that this year I managed to get Fuel fully loaded and onto the Unity train … at last!

Unity is something very special and I love working with it – it amazes me, it amazes clients and it amazes other developers with just how powerful and nice it is to use.

I think you did the right thing going to work with the crazy people from Copenhagen and I think that Unity did the right thing in hiring you, as you are in it for the right reasons and you just grok it.

Congrats on another year, Tom. I can’t WAIT to see what you guys dream up next year – I think we all know that it’s going to be another REALLY exciting time for you guys – hopefully next year I will make it to Unite, too!

ashkan
19 Dec 2008, 9:10 am

hi
crazy guys.
i am not a unity user yet but i really want to be. i don’t have a mac and i am waiting for windows version. when do you release it?
unity is great and better than director 11 because you have many things that they don’t have.
you have tom that he is brave enough to leave adobe and join you.
you have a better networking system that can make players clients/servers
and i all know that how bad is flash server. i will need a good server with 6mbps with 100 gb of bandwidth to have a MMO game in director but in unity you can manage all with a normal server and making users clients and servers of their games

you have many other things but please release windows version and add support for databases and activex controls

and i have a question why did you start in mac? windows has many users more than %80 of PC users have windows and others share linux and mac! i know mac is growing :D

thank you for good work and please post about unity3d on windows

19 Dec 2008, 9:21 am

@ashkan: Thanks for the kind words! :)

When will Unity for Windows be released? We have no specific date to share just yet but we expect to have it ready for release as part of a Unity 2.5 update in the next couple of months or so.

Why did Unity start on a Mac? The company started as a game development company that would make and engine, then create and release games. Then later a change was made to be a tool vendor instead (selling an authoring tool). The player was thus born cross-platform but the tool Mac-only due to that being the OS of choice for our founders.

These questions and many more are answered on the Unity Community Forums (http://forum.unity3d.com) so drop over there if you have more questions (you’ll find me posting under the name HiggyB :) ).

ashkan
20 Dec 2008, 7:17 am

hi
thank you tom
God be with you

23 Dec 2008, 1:10 pm

HI Tom… nice blog mate… Unity has transformed the way that we are doing business and opened so many doors for us T3D are NOT in the gaming community… we are B2B developers and moving into Intraverses for education… this will be a huge market in the future for us and Unity…. BTW how many downloads of the webviewer Plug-in have there been to date?

23 Dec 2008, 9:03 pm

Hey Tony, thanks for the kind words about my blog ramblings and about Unity, we’re glad to hear that folks are using Unity outside the traditional games for entertainment space. As to the web player and its total number of downloads, our answer to that is 6-7 million total, and that’s playing it a bit conservative. Keep in mind that the growth curve is outrageous and I would say that we’re easily on track to double that (or more!) in the next year or so.

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