Every time I sit down to play a game, even a bad one, I can’t help but wonder at the creativity and ingenuity that has to be poured into such an undertaking. I have to admit, with absolutely no programming background at all, I always pictured some form of dark art or black magic was required to create a game….that is until I attended the Unity Roadshow in Adelaide at the Crowne Plaza in the heart of the Adelaide CBD.
In a nutshell the Unity Roadshow is a band of ultra-savvy Unity evangelists who tour around the globe to promote the Unity Game Engine and highlight the growing advantages of using Unity to build and develop games. Now, I’m not going to lie, a big part of me was hoping this would be more of a hands on crash course in how to smash out a game in the space of a day for noobs like myself. Totally unrealistic, I know, but you can’t tell me it’s not the dream of every gamer to make a game of their own someday.
As I sat at my assigned desk, palms sweaty at the thought of becoming the next big indie developer, laptop powered up and Unity 5.3.4 humming away in the background, I awaited the presenters first words……for a split second I was back in my high school Information Technology class pretending to create my very first web page, while figuring out how I could play Earthworm Jim without the teacher noticing.
Now as many of you reading this will probably know, the Unity Roadshow is not a one day DIY course on how to create a game. Rather it’s an extensive run down of the tools the Unity Engine can offer game developers when creating their games. This includes various other mechanics and metrics that will vastly improve indie developers reach and exposure to their intended audience.
Whilst my heart sank slightly at the thought of not actually making a game this day, I was overwhelmed at the strong turnout for the roadshow, easily 60-70 developers, programmers and artists were in attendance and looking every bit as excited as I was. My spirits picked up as the presenters introduced themselves and I was immediately captivated by the passion and knowledge they conveyed, they were absolutely living up to their titles of evangelists!
The first session gave us an understanding of just how popular and far reaching the Unity Game Engine is today, with 45% share of the full feature game engine market held by Unity and a whopping 4.5 million registered developer’s worldwide. We moved on to the in depth level of analytics available to Unity users and then touched on the Unity Game Engines robust VR support.
We then had a short opportunity to implement some multiplayer features into an existing tank shooter game that was pre-developed for the session and provided to each of us via USB…..fyi, I will be keeping this game forever! I think this is going to be closest I ever get to create a game, and if for no other reason, this made the entire day more than worthwhile.
Overall the Unity Roadshow is absolutely worth going to for local developers to understand some of the nuances with using Unity, and gain a better understanding at some of the features that are afforded to those who chose to use Unity for game development. I also have to give Russ Scammell a mention here as being one of the most engaging and entertaining presenters I have had the privilege to listen to!
So, if you ever have an opportunity to attend a Unity Roadshow, do not even think twice, register and attend. It’s free, entertaining, and important to show our support for these events when they appear. If we don’t have a strong showing, things like this won’t continue to happen. So on behalf the entire D1DLC team, I’d like to say thank you to Unity Roadshow presenters for making it a memorable day, and whilst I’m most definitely not a games developer yet, I do feel slightly closer than I was before.