November 8, 2010
Guest Post by Mike Desaro, App Developer, Prime31 Studios
There are a lot of awesome tools out there to help developers out but how do you know which one is right for you? If you’re looking to create a 3D game, I have the answer…
Unity is focused on 3D games. Previously, creating a 3D game required an immense amount of work, expertise and a team of specialized developers. The game engine had to work on all the different PC video cards and mobile video cards along with all the nuances of the targeted platforms. Unity hides all that complexity enabling indie dev shops an opportunity to create games they just didn’t have before. They put one of the most important pieces of game development in every developer’s hands: a seamless asset pipeline. Getting to know the asset pipeline and how it integrates with 3D modeling programs, 2D graphics programs, sound editors and all the other tools a game developer uses is of utmost importance. Handling this without Unity can easily add weeks to dev-cycle iterations.
Creating GREAT 3D Games for Mobile
3D game development for mobile devices takes a totally different strategy than console or PC game development:
- Playing to the strengths of hardware is extremely important to be successful. Console and PC games have a large screen and are in a fixed location when played which lends itself well to longer game sessions and more immersive environments. Mobile games, on the other hand, need to start up fast, be playable in short spurts wherever the user may be— albeit on the bus, waiting in line at the grocery store, or bored at work (don’t get caught if you go this route).
- The limited processing power of the devices makes creating compelling visuals more challenging. Models need to be stripped of their polygons and reduced to the fewest number of textures possible. Textures need to be shared as often as possible to keep the games frame rate at an acceptable level.
- Arguably the most important and difficult aspect of making a great 3D game is the fun and accessibility factor. 3D on a small screen requires a lot of thought to game layout, animations and interactions. Keeping complexity at a minimum gives great access to casual gamers and can often make the game more engaging.
Monetizing Your App
Developers tend to lean on me for general business questions about their app. One I get quite often is ‘How can I monetize my game?’ Well, there are a few options for monetizing games these days.
- You can drop your app in the App Store with a pricetag and hope it does well.
- You can try marketing on the cheap by sending out promos and hoping for a hit.
- If your game is good, really good, you can sell out to a publishing company, give away 30% (or more) of your profit and get free marketing.
- Last but certainly not least, ad-supported apps are a great way to monetize a game. Having a paid version and an ad supported free version is often a good tactic. You can get the sales for gamers who really want to buy your game and for those on the fence or not willing to spend the cash, the ad-supported app is an easy choice.
Unity has created a great product and we saw a lot of developers struggling to create advertising features that aren’t available in Unity so we created a plugin to fill the gap.
Is it difficult to integrate the Prime31 Mobclix plugin?
When using Unity in conjunction with Prime31, the Mobclix plugin requires zero code to add a banner to a game and can all be done from inside Unity. One developer states on the forum: “This plugin is great and only $5.00, that’s less than lunch money kids. All I had to do to make the upcoming ad based free version of my game, Viking Funeral Free, is click the Unity3D MobClix plugin package and drag the prefab into the scene and choose bottom or top.” Check out the full forum post here.
If you’re a developer interested in trying out the Mobclix Prime31 plugin, we will take care of the bill! Just email Laura [at] Mobclix [dot] com and we will get you started. Offer good until November 15th, 2010.