I really wasn't sure what to name this post. At first, I wanted to go with something like: "You never stop learning: how using Unity3D is simultaneously the best, and worst", but that seemed a little long for a title. (This then lead me to being frustrated over not being able to come up with a good title, after already having been frustrated by some things in Unity that I'll talk about in a second) . . . anyways.
The fact that we're using Unity to develop our new game opens up a plethora of new avenues we can explore to bring better gaming experience to the user. This ranges from simply being able to give android users access to our game, to having more built in functionality. However all of this comes at a price. The price of having to learn a new tool. For the most part it's been a quick learn. I think we have accomplished a lot using the new environment (and language) having only seen it for a month. (Although Austin had used it a little before me, so that helped me get up to speed). But for the most part we've been able to code what we want to, with a few minor hiccups quickly cured with some googling. However, these minor hiccups are starting to add up.
Honestly, I'm writing this post because of a specific hiccup that is causing me more problems than it should. How do I know it's more of a problem than it should be? Well, because I would know exactly what to do to solve the problem if we were using one of the other environments we have used in the past (specifically Cocos2D or SpriteKit). All I'm trying to do is transition from one scene to another with a fade through color. And in the previous environments this can be accomplished in two lines of code utilizing some very helpful built in functions. However, in Unity, (as far as I can tell from the 20 minuets or so I've spent searching the inter webs trying to fix this problem) the only built in function to change scenes does a hard cut. I'm not sure why Unity doesn't have a built in "transition through color" function. Especially given the fact that it's a bigger and better game engine than the others we've used in the past. But I guess you're just supposed to handle that on your own. . .
The thing I'm most frustrated about is that it's all of these little hang ups that end up eating time out of the dev process. And for a small team (two people specifically) it can be really detrimental to the overall development of a game. The two of us have other things we are doing, school, day jobs, other hobbies, so when we have to spend all of our dev time to try and figure something out that has already been figured out before, it can harm the overall development of a game.
There are a lot of things that are really nice about Unity and in the future it will allow us to make bigger games, but it's still frustrating when you have to spend time re-inventing the wheel. Anyways. That's all I have to say about that. Just a quick little rant. With all of that being said we are actually more or less ahead of the schedule I posted about in our announcement post, so at least there's that. I'll be sure to post another update about Zen Balance which should include a better timeline for when we hope to have everything done by, so be sure to check back for that.
As always, thanks for reading,