We are super excited to share several awesome Unity games shipping for Apple TV on day one of launch! These developers have been intimately involved with Unity’s efforts to support all the great features of tvOS, including On-Demand resources and the new Siri Remote. They have shared lots of great feedback with us and we owe them our thanks.
We’d like to highlight a few Unity developers who we feel have been doing amazing work.
- Crossy Road
- Bruce Lee: Enter the Game – Unchained Edition
- Beneath the Lighthouse
- Spin Sports
- Alto’s Adventure
- Couch Heroes Vs The Dungeon
- Evel Knievel
- Tiny TrackZ
- Many more….
- Many many more… keep an eye on this list on Madewith.Unity.com ;-)
Developers have shown extreme interest in the Apple TV as the next big gaming platform. The high fidelity graphics and performance capabilities of the A8 chip provide a great environment for graphically intense games on a large screen while maintaining the familiar and wide-reaching distribution model of Apple’s App store.
Several developers told us the device’s Siri Remote, with its large touch surface, made their games feel more intimate than they ever had in any console-like TV screen experience. When you add MFI game controllers or do something clever like roll your own link to existing iOS devices (like the Crossy Road guys showed at Apple’s keynote event earlier this fall), it can lead to a rich multiplayer experience never before available on any Apple device.
Of course many, who already have games on iOS, were anxiously anticipating the tvOS platform and were ready to dive in once Apple “flipped the switch”. We at Unity worked hard to make this possible not only for them, but for developers creating a game from scratch.
Here is some of the advice we received from those developing for Apple TV using Unity:
- Get really used to the Siri Remote and design your game to use it well. Remember you’ve got tap as well as click on the trackpad ;)
(Strange Flavour Ltd. – Tiny TrackZ)
- Don’t think of the touch surface as an exact replacement for a Touch screen. It is much smaller and it feels different to not be able to see what you are going to touch. (Nitrome – Beneath the Lighthouse)
- There are currently no ads available on Apple TV so consider your monetization strategy. (Nitrome – Beneath the Lighthouse)
- We’d recommend tackling the issue of the size early (assets, sounds, package), it can become quite quickly problematic with Apple’s mandatory 200Mb limit, even on “small projects». On-Demand-Resources system is nice, but takes a bit of practice (and time) to use. (Polar Beard – TanooJump)
- Test your controls, test your controls, and then test your controls with other people/friends. Try control schemes as early as possible, because using the Siri Remote is a new way to control games that offer both new interesting capacities, but also new issues and reflexions. (Polar Beard – TanooJump)
- Go for it! If you think your game can be fun on the Apple TV, do not hesitate at all. Unity support is just awesome, and you may get into the new platform very smoothly. And always remember about the community! They are the endless resource of help and inspiration. You will overcome all the obstacles in no time. (Mass Creation – Corridor Z)
- Save yourself some valuable development time and visit the Unity Asset Store. Whether it’s for user interface kits, player controls mapping utilities or artificial intelligence systems, there’s a lot of useful and robust libraries you can just drop in your project that will allow you to focus on making your game. (Hibernum Creations – Bruce Lee: Enter the Game – Unchained Edition)
- Make sure you leverage Unity’s Asset Bundles in your project. Not only it’s a good practice, it will facilitate the implementation of Apple’s On-Demand Resources, which will make your life much easier for releasing on Apple TV. (Hibernum Creations – Bruce Lee: Enter the Game – Unchained Edition)
- Watch out for the differences between iOS and tvOS. Don’t fall into the trap of believing every plugin and feature that you are used to from the iOS side is available, nor that input paradigms that work well on a touch screen will necessarily work on the Touch Surface. Use the quick bring-up time that Unity allows to then really refine the user interaction and menus around the UI focus model for the new Apple TV. Analyze and embrace Apple’s own UI as a template for this. (Touchfactor – TouchFish)
- When bringing games from iOS to tvOS,consider the structure of your UI and ensure your navigation is solid. Make sure it adheres to Apple’s human interface guidelines. If you think you will require On Demand Resources, get that working early and incorporate that into your flow. (PikPok – Breakneck)
Here is a list of features, which already shipped or will be coming with Apple TV support:
- Apple TV Siri Remote exposed through Unity’s joystick API
- ODR via Asset bundles which already shipped in Unity 5.2.1
- Deploy to tvOS platform as a separate build target
- Layered Images and tvOS Top Shelf support
- Improved Unity UI features to support TV controller style navigation
- Bitcode support
Unity for Apple TV will be available for public testing in late November. If you’d like to jump in sooner and have a Unity Pro license, contact our support team so you can join our alpha testing group.