What Is Unity Game Engine & Why Should You Choose Unity for Game Development?

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If gaming companies had the solution to bring their game idea to life in the quickest way possible, they’d be overjoyed.

The video game industry is a highly competitive field, yielding new products in the market in massive quantities and at a speed so rapid that newcomers are left with no choice but to catch up. And if you’re lagging behind as a game developer, then it’s high time you rethink your strategy.

Fortunately, Unity exists. There is so much you can do in its compact space, instantly addressing your need to build games fast. But it doesn’t stop there. Want to know more about this stellar game engine? Then read on.

Image credits to Unsplash

What Is Unity?

Created and released in 2004 by Unity Technologies, Unity is known today as one of the top-performing game engines. It’s accessible to anyone and everyone interested in game development. And because of its environment’s intuitive design, it garnered a huge following. Unity now has a diverse community of game enthusiasts who continue to contribute to the engine’s expansion.

With Unity, big and indie studios are able to achieve different types of gaming experiences. It has tools for 3D, 2D, virtual reality, and augmented reality games that can be deployed to various platforms — including the web, gaming consoles, personal computers, and mobile devices. Through its features, Unity allows developers to render photorealistic assets and even cinematic animation. Its first-ever video game GooBall is already an astounding feat for a game engine in its early stages. And over time, Unity has made such great strides toward innovation that it can now render immersive environments, life-like characters, and well-detailed objects. 

But apart from design, Unity also provides developers the space to code game commands, so there’s no need to switch between platforms when you’re using it. For high-quality and time-saving game development, Unity is the game engine you’re looking for.

Image credits to Unsplash

Popular & Notable Games Developed in Unity

Cuphead (2017)

Cuphead is a run-and-gun game with 2D art assets whose aesthetic mimics the classic 1930s cartoons. It contains a series of small games where players have to battle against game characters or go through routes riddled with dangerous creatures. Its art faithfully replicates cartoons in the olden days — from graphics to animation. And thanks to Unity’s features, including the Sprite Renderer and 2D Physics, the game was able to flawlessly execute a story true to its project.

Pokémon Go (2016)

Pokémon Go is an augmented reality masterpiece. It’s a mobile game that allows users to find and catch Pokémon through their mobile devices. The creatures even appear as though they exist in our world! Pokémon Go’s popularity soared immediately upon release, and its sales have been unrelenting even until 2019. This is the year when Pokémon Go’s in-app purchases amounted to about $890 million, according to software analytics platform Sensor Tower.

Overcooked (2016)

A cooking simulation video game with cooperative gameplay, Overcooked can be experienced on various gaming consoles, such as Xbox and Nintendo Switch. The main mission of players is to follow recipes and complete meals in a limited amount of time. Yes, it’s as chaotic and fun as it sounds. Overcooked’s high entertainment value even piqued the interest of many YouTube and Twitch gamers. These popular gamers played Overcooked as part of their content, inspiring millions of viewers to download and try it themselves.

GooBall (2005)

This is the first-ever game developed on the Unity game engine. Colorful and cute, GooBall’s gameplay is reminiscent of Super Monkey Ball, which was initially released in 2001. This was a time when Unity was exclusive to the Mac OS X. Today, Unity’s accessibility evolved with its graphics. Although GooBall had solid graphics for a game of its time, the level of art Unity can achieve vastly improved over the years.

Image credits to Pexels

Benefits of Developing with Unity for Game Development

Build Games for 3D, 2D, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality Development

With Unity, you can build any type of gaming experience for your users. Unity’s design setup affords developers the tools that will enable them to create games with 3D and 2D assets, as well as experiences in the realms of virtual and augmented reality. It’s popular for 3D game development, but Unity has tools in place for 2D game development as well. Unity’s 2D tools such as Sprite Shape, 2D Renderer, and Shader Graph enhance the quality of 2D game assets, forming diverse characters and vibrant game environments.

Developers praise Unity’s capacity to build virtual reality (VR) games, and to Unity, VR is just as important as other gaming experiences. Through the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP), Unity developers can design hyperrealistic game assets, improving the virtual reality experience of gamers.

Additionally, augmented reality (AR) is another type of gaming experience Unity is capable of. One of the engine’s selling points is its Mixed and Augmented Reality Studio (MARS), a Unity extension capable of creating highly intelligent AR games that can make users feel as if only a thin veil separates the game’s environment from the physical world. It’s described to be able to make “context-aware” applications, which means it can be used no matter what location the user is in.

Develop with a Highly Optimized IDE 

Unity ‘s goal is to be the ultimate software for game development. Everything you need to develop a game is available in the engine. It even segregates the coding and design aspects of development, improving the way developers organize their work. 

Another reason why game developers love Unity is they’re able to maximize their time with it. The game engine’s visual editor simplifies game development: Developers can easily design, remodel, and enhance game objects, which they can then drag and drop into the game’s environment. 

On a separate editor, developers are able to create commands through code to manipulate gameplay. A common script editor for Unity is Microsoft’s Visual Studio, but developers can opt for JetBrains Rider as their code editor, too.

Expand Your Reach through Cross-Platform Development

Being able to reach your target audience is the first step a business takes toward achieving their goals. The more people you engage, the better your company outlook will be. Unity game development allows you to access your target audience’s preferred platform, resulting in them being able to access your game.

This game engine supports a variety of operating systems and game consoles, including iOS, Android, Windows, Nintendo Switch, and PS4. Unity can even deploy multiplayer games on the web! With Unity, you can make high-fidelity games accessible to as many users as you want in a short amount of time.

Is Outsourcing Unity for Game Development the Right Decision for Your Company?

Not sure whether you should outsource? While there are plenty of benefits you derive from outsourcing relevant company work, you must also consider the reasons for implementing this strategy and whether it will result in maximum returns for your business.

A good way to approach this question is by looking at the Outsourcing Decision Matrix, a tool allegedly developed by Philippe-Pierre Dornier and others in 1998. It has four quadrants detailing what business activities you must outsource or keep in-house.

Two of the quadrants are “Outsource” and “Strategic Alliance”. Tasks calling for outsourcing are defined as follows:

Activities [that] are important for successful operational performance but are not strategically important. These can be outsourced with little risk.

Mind Tools

These are activities involving clerical, back-office work, such as data entry, chat and technical support, and virtual assistance. Strategic alliance, on the other hand, is beneficial for:

Tasks that have a high strategic impact on the [organization], but contribute little to its operational performance. Such tasks cannot be carried out internally, but they are important for the survival of the [organization].

Toolshero

For example, your company is a budding makeup brand that needs a good marketing team. Because you’re new to the scene, building a marketing team is so crucial to your growth, but building it in-house is a whole different story. You unnecessarily use up your resources and create greater risks for your business. So what should you do instead? You form a strategic alliance.

It’s clear that the decision to contract out Unity for game development necessitates a strategic alliance with a company that has all the tools, talent, and experience to carry out the work. NarraSoft, for example, has been in business for over ten years, and in those ten years, the company has built numerous games using Unity. So if your company is looking to develop a game with Unity in the most efficient way possible, a strategic alliance is the right choice for you.

In Summary

Unity was first released in 2004 by Unity Technologies. It’s a game engine that can render 3D and 2D assets and games, as well as VR and AR games. A few of its notable products are GooBall (2005), its first-ever game; Cuphead (2017); Pokémon Go (2016); and Overcooked (2016). Apart from its capacity to create a variety of gaming experiences, Unity also has an optimized IDE and allows for cross-platform development.

Outsourcing Unity for game development is a good option for companies with limited time and resources. A strategic alliance with an experienced company like NarraSoft can result in lower business risks and higher chances of success.

NarraSoft’s outsourcing services range from game development to business processes. You can expect services involving data entry, technical support, 3D art creation, software development, and so many more.

Want to partner with NarraSoft? Send an email to sales@narrasoft.com!

Justine Jordan

Justine Jordan is a content and copy writer. She has written for a popular business daily in the Philippines and for various startups across the globe before transitioning to work for NarraSoft. She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a bachelor's degree in journalism.