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October 23, 2014, 09:11:12 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperTechnical (Moderators: Glaiel-Gamer, ThemsAllTook)Unity w/ 2D Toolkit- Is it worth it?
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Author Topic: Unity w/ 2D Toolkit- Is it worth it?  (Read 3336 times)
Reyold
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« on: January 05, 2013, 10:17:02 PM »

As a budding game designer, it's important to decide what tools you intend to use in the creation of your magnum opus. This is your debut on the growing indie scene! Do you want to look like some ignorant buffoon and be mocked by others, your name becoming a byword for foolishness for generations to come!? NO! SUCH A FATE IS UNACCEPTABLE!  No No NO

Which thus brings us to today's topic. Unity was originally my engine of choice, until I found out that you need 2D toolkit to do 2D games, and that costs a good $70 or so... why yes, I DO happen to be a penny-pincher! How'd you guess?

So the question is, is it still worthwhile? Or would you recommend something else? Perhaps some factors will help:

-I plan on doing a pixel-art scrolling shooter for my first game (does Pixen work OK with Unity?)
-I prefer all my projects be on one engine (though I imagine most developers do)
-I plan on doing a variety of genres, some games are 2D, others that would work best in 3D

Ok, I may have answered my own question with that last one, but I still wanna hear what you guys have to say.
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TinTruck
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 10:41:41 PM »

I went down the same road... Unity must work because it's popular, right?... in hindsight, we found it hard to work with. It seemed more like a 3D mod/level-building tool and not all that well suited to 2D work at all.

Grem Legends, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grem-legends/id512284853?mt=8 is built in Unity using Orthello 2D. I do NOT recommend Orthello... bugs galore, especially when working with sprite sheets.

Instead I'd recommend you look at GameMaker Studio. It's a professional grade tool, but not nearly as pricy as Unity, and it was born in the 2D world (though it can handle 3D as well). It also works with Box 2D, an extremely robust and well-established 2D physics engine.

http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio

You may grow out of it at some point, but I think it's a solid starting point.

 - Marz
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Sergi
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 03:15:51 AM »

You don't NEED 2D Toolkit, but you probably need a 2D system to get 2D easier to work with. There's a lot of stuff out there, free and paid, and articles by devs explaining how they managed to make their 2D game with Unity. Also there's some helper scripts for 2D in the Unity wiki.

Personally, I'm currently rolling my own, because I want to figure out the best way to achieve what I need, but if I needed to, I'd probably buy one of the toolkits for 2D.

In reality, all you need for 2D is an ortho camera, lock movement in Z coordinate, lock rotations in X, Y and possibly also Z, and use textured quads. But of course you'd probably also need a sprite manager to make atlases and join meshes for performance, and the other nifty stuff those toolkits do is useful.

Anyway, I also wrote a couple of posts a few days ago, about pixel art in particular in Unity: here and here.
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Aik
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 03:21:43 AM »

I think trying to do all your games in one engine is probably not a useful goal. Use tools that are suitable for the job at hand, or you get the whole nail-hammer thing going. I doubt you'd save much time by forcing yourself to use the wrong tool for the job even if you've used that tool many times before for what it's meant to do.
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Zwonkie
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 03:30:21 AM »

If you can wait another month or two, then you might look into polycode.

I haven't tried it, but it look perfect for any 2D game and for beginner programmers.
http://polycode.tumblr.com/
 
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nikki
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 04:23:52 AM »

have a look at love2d (Lua)
or perhaps pygame (python)
maybe slick2d (java) or something like flashpunk (as3).

All off the above are created for 2d specifically, opensource and free and best of all have been used countless of times to create games in.

So dowload them all, see what you like the best and
start small and in 2d, you can always change tools later when needed.
Don't wait for stuff that's not here already, don't pay for stuff you don't need, just start small and start yesterday.

and have fun!
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Nathan Cash
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 08:40:42 AM »

I wouldn't use love (I hated it) it may work well for you however.
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Reyold
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 01:47:30 PM »

I went down the same road... Unity must work because it's popular, right?... in hindsight, we found it hard to work with. It seemed more like a 3D mod/level-building tool and not all that well suited to 2D work at all... Instead I'd recommend you look at GameMaker Studio. It's a professional grade tool, but not nearly as pricy as Unity, and it was born in the 2D world (though it can handle 3D as well). It also works with Box 2D, an extremely robust and well-established 2D physics engine.

http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio

You may grow out of it at some point, but I think it's a solid starting point
Thing is, I was using it for a while, and was trying to move away from Game Maker, since I didn't feel it would be good for the long run. However, if it's just for a few games... yeah, that sounds good for a starting point at least. I'll give it another go. Plus that Box 2D sounds really good. Well, hello there!

I think trying to do all your games in one engine is probably not a useful goal. Use tools that are suitable for the job at hand, or you get the whole nail-hammer thing going. I doubt you'd save much time by forcing yourself to use the wrong tool for the job even if you've used that tool many times before for what it's meant to do.
That does make sense, but you also have to learn how to use any new tool you use, and I don't want to get bogged down having to figure out new tools for each project. I suppose it's a matter of how essential the tool in question is.

And of course thanks for the feedback, guys. Big help to me.
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flowerthief
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 10:42:31 AM »

Yesterday I tried unsuccessfully to get Pygame working on Windows. When I went to their newsgroup to ask for help, I found that someone who'd been running into a very similar error had already created a topic several weeks ago, which no one had answered. The fact that the installer hasn't been updated in years should have given me pause.

I'm actually considering Ren'py now. Not sure I'll be needing the visual novel stuff, but they have a more active community than Pygame does, and I could still use python that way. Currently looking into how well Ren'py is suited for animating sprites on a 2D overhead map JRPG-style....
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nikki
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 11:26:20 AM »

What was your problem precisely ?

I assume you're  sure of using the correct version for your python version ? and are using the msi installer ?
speakig of which: what version of python are you using ?
I've dabbled quite alot in pygame on Linux, and I have installed and played with it a while on windows too so i might be able to help ?
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Fallsburg
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 12:23:35 PM »

Well, this pygame stuff is pretty off topic, but I've heard good things about pyglet.
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flowerthief
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2013, 01:24:05 PM »

@nikki
I couldn't import pygame.

File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
File "C:\Python33\lib\site-packages\pygame\__init__.py", line 95, in <module>
  from pygame.base import *
ImportError: DLL load failed: The specified module could not be found.

I am not sure I'm using the correct version for python 3.3, but it's the most recent version. It was the msi installer.
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nikki
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 01:30:04 PM »

I think an msi installer is a good idea, when I look at the downloads page I see the versioning goes up towards "pygame-1.9.2a0.win32-py3.2.msi" which is for python3.2 .

So python33 won't work with that.
So I'd try again with another version of python.

I'd personally go with python 2.7 (linux babble)  3.2

good luck

this is a nice book with an install guide
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 01:38:10 PM by nikki » Logged
rivon
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 02:21:03 PM »

I don't see why it shouldn't work if you have the right version of Python + Pygame. Also, you have to use 32bit Python, not 64bit.
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flowerthief
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2013, 04:05:33 PM »

That did it, thanks! I had been thrown off by how the most recent version is listed near the bottom of the list.

So I guess in the future I should ask for support right here on tigsource, huh? Unless the Pygame community is hanging out elsewhere.
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nikki
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 04:35:08 PM »

great!
have fun
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darithorn
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2013, 12:45:31 AM »

If you're still looking, you might want to check out RagePixel. http://ragepixel.com/
It's free and has a lot of nice features, for being free. Smiley
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Ingshtrom
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2013, 08:27:47 AM »

I just started doing some game development myself about 5 months ago.  I have been using Unity for most of the time and I think it has been the easiest engine to work with for new game developers.  That said, I am working on a 2D game.  I am not using any plugins from the Unity App Store.  I program for a living and from the sounds of it, you know more than enough programming to use Unity.  Also, the thing that really got me interested in Unity is the ease in which you can be platform-independent with your development.  Yes, you will need to pay for those, but IMHO you shouldn't worry about multi-platform until you can make up the cost with previously released games.  Baby steps. Smiley

There is the downside that I don't think the documentation on the API is 100% accurate and complete, but with the ever-increasing community that comes with Unity, you can't really lose.

Like other have said, in the end it's a matter of taste.  I am OCDish in the way that I always want to use the *best* technology, but many times, there is no single best software for doing everything.  Just try out a bunch of engines and see what you like.
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Reyold
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2013, 04:04:24 PM »

If you're still looking, you might want to check out RagePixel. http://ragepixel.com/
It's free and has a lot of nice features, for being free. Smiley

Good frick, that looks awesome! I may switch back to Unity after all.
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Sergi
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2013, 01:06:08 AM »

Here's a nice article about using Unity for 2D: pixelpaton: Some thoughts on 2D in Unity3D
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