From Flash to Unity

I currently work as a full-time ActionScript 3.0 developer, utilizing Flash Professional as my primary IDE. Since I’m so familiar with Flash and AS3, along with the fact that there are so many Flash games on the Internet, I figured it would make perfect sense to use Flash for developing my own mobile games outside of work. After all, Adobe themselves began official support for doing just that not too long ago. Unfortunately, however, even with the supposed performance gains touted by proponents of the new Flash Player 11, I’ve found that my relatively simple game just won’t hold up on physical test devices. Despite poring over tutorials and Google searches about optimizing for mobile (yes, I tried directly accessing the GPU!), I came to the sad conclusion that it simply wasn’t meant to be.

But this post — and the next several posts, in fact — isn’t going to be about my frustrations with Flash. Instead, it’s going to be about the mobile projects my good friend Matt and I are making with another engine: Unity 3D, along with its apparently good friend, Blender!

I’ve actually known about Unity for a few years now, but I never took the time to look into it very closely. Upon further inspection, I have to say that I’m really impressed with how it combines such a simple, easy-to-use UI with so many powerful features. One of those features is supposed to be its compatibility with Blender. Over the next few weeks, Matt and I will be exploring the Unity-Blender-Android relationship in an attempt to complete the first Jestermen project: The Infernicore!

Look forward to progress updates, detailed development notes, and maybe even a few tutorials while we continue with the game’s production. Some of the primary topics I’ll be covering include the following:

  • The Unity interface
  • Importing Blender assets into Unity
  • Programming in Unity
  • Unity’s vast publishing options
  • And, of course, my day-to-day experiences with the entire workflow