Use the right tools for the job

Let me start a with bold statement: Apple Macs suck. To be more precise, I don’t like OS X and I don’t care about cool window animations, fading etc. I’m the guy who likes Windows and still uses the classic theme.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to blog about today 😉

As you probably know, we have forced our self to learn the iPhone platform in two weeks. To do so we had a great idea: “Hey, Paladin Studios is a game company, why not make a game?” If you want to achieve anything interesting in such a sort time, you need to use the right tools. Normally we use a lot of tools like Pivotaltracker, SVN, Paint .Net, Visual Studio, Max and Unity.

To put in another bold statement: Unity rocks! It’s a 3D engine which allows you to use C# for programming. To use their marketing one-liner: “Taking the pain out of game development” which means you can concentrate on the gameplay and not having to do all rendering, physics etc yourself. It does take (most) of the pain out of game development. As an example why we love Unity I’m going to show you the simple and speedy way we can create and test scenario’s.

A scenario is no more then a bunch of settings on our Obstacle Factory which has one job: spawn objects. The Unity editor allows us to play our game and change that bunch of settings while it keeps running. As pictures tell more then words…

Jimmy Pataya in the Unity Editor

Top: Scene editor Bottom: Playing game Left: All objects in scene and project files Right: Object settings editor

Unity Object Settings

Zoomed in on the object settings for the Obstacle Factory. There are a bunch of scenes, some settings and a check to override the current scene and let it use the settings we tweak realtime. Spawn type Pathed is really cool btw.

To break it down, Unity is the tool for us. The iPhone version is Mac only, which makes sense.

Too bad I can’t use Paint .Net and Visual Studio anymore though…

  • Tijmen
    Posted at 09:20h, 31 March

    Although MonoDevelop is really decent for an opensource project, it just not as good as Visual Studio.
    Besides the weird bugs (Lines after comments dont have syntax highlighting, intellisence missing sometimes), there are several features missing or partially implemented.

    If your spoiled by Visual Studio, you really are going to miss it.

  • Chris Herborth
    Posted at 14:58h, 31 March

    Next Unity's going to have MonoDevelop for its "built in" editor, too; it's really not too bad. I use it at work to search our huge Silverlight project… it's much faster that VisualStudio for that.

    Paint.NET almost works under Mono; there are some native calls or native DLLs or something it can't cope with. I use Paint.NET a lot at work, but I like Pixelmator ( on my Mac. It's sort of like Photoshop without the enormous size/price… for what I do (which isn't much really; I'm a writer/programmer, not an artist) it's more than enough.

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