Digging into the community projects
I’ve always said that Unity as a product is made up of 60% community, 20% grand ideas and concepts, 15% groovy tech and 15% wicked developers (yes I am aware that this amounts to 110% – would you have expected anything less?).
Since my first day at Unity Tech, I’ve wanted to do this post, but quite simply I’ve been way too busy on this end. I still am, but I’m taking some time off to do this anyway, ha!
I’ve surfed most corners of the community for a while now (shout-out to #unity3d on irc.freenode.net! You should stop by and check it out!) and being part of this is really, really (really) grand. In my first blog post from UT, I’d like to mention a few of the groovy community projects I’ve stumbled on and could remember at the time of writing (I’ll try remembering/researching some more projects later). So without further ado, I present *drumroll* amazing community projects!:
Atmospheric environment wizard
So you’ve finally set up a lovely terrain in your outdoors unity project, but something is missing. Why is it always dry and sunny? No-one ever solved grand inter-stellar corporation conspiracies under blue skies and white clouds, right? If this sounds familiar, perhaps you should give this project a look.
Collision ignore manager
All players except robots should be blocked by the bio force fields. Makes sense and doesn’t sound too hard to implement, right? Unfortunately the current PhysX implementation in Unity does not support setting up groups to ignore the colliders of one-another.
Until all the roadblocks currently keeping us from addressing this are out of the way, the CollisionIgnoreManager project is an excellent solution for managing such groups. I know a lot of people, myself included, have been pulling around similar systems for their own projects, but I really like the simplicity and cleanliness of this one.
Light-mapper and screen space ambient occlusion
So from our quick dive into a more tech-y project, lets quickly return to some visuals. Your game is freggin awesome, you’ve been seeding some test builds to friends and family and you’re more or less ready to blow this bomb. But something is missing…
To give your project that extra visual edge, you should really check out these two projects. While work in progress, they could still be used to up the wickednessness of your product.
Build light-maps directly inside unity:
Run screen space ambient occlusion like we’re all Crytek mages:
You have just spiced up your game with the atmospheric environment wizard project and it looks good. But then you reach the shoreline and it just doesn’t really do it much justice. Plus when you’re jumping into the speeding powerboat from your crashing combat helicopter later on, you’ll need at least 2 metres tall waves to add some kind of challenge to it.
Unity/Flash integration system
Now, in order to sell as many coffee mugs, t-shirts and pencil sharpeners with our Interstellar Laser Powerboat Helicopter Hero 2000x game as possible, we’ll need to have the game live in the browser for a completely immersive experience. Now I don’t know how many pencil sharpeners they sell, but at Aquiris they definitely managed to pull off the immersive part. And not only that – they decided to toss their solution right back at the community – free to use.
Their u3dobject solution is an integration layer between Unity and Flash, via Unity’s website integration feature, in order to run Unity webplayers from within flash content.