September 1, 2012
Unite12 - Day 3
The third day of Unite12 started quietly after the awards party the
night before. To their credit the winners of the big prize got up in
time to deliver one of the first sessions of the day (which I didn’t
attend). The crowd seemed typical to other IT related conferences or
courses - 90-95% male and averaging around 30. There also wasn’t much
swapping of business cards in general - swapping contact details
electronically seems to be far more popular now.
Day 3 notes from the sessions I attended are below.
Day 1 notes
Day 2 notes
Advanced Editor Scripting:
- Can get all the scenes by getting all the assets using
AssetDatabase.GetAllAssetPaths() and then looking for paths ending
- The AssetPostProcessor class allows work on an asset just before or
after it is imported.
- The unity build process can be controlled via the BuildPipeline
- The editor.log cantains a list of all assets included in a build
(and a lot of other stuff too).
- It is possible to decompile the UnityEditor or UnityEngine DLLs
(using something like dotPeek by JetBrains) and then use reflection
to hook into it.
- This was a surprisingly useful session, a lot of good ideas were
- Identify the 5 things people love about your game and push them over
- PR should be in sync with development. Plans should be
platform/audience specific. Mobile should aim for big Day 1 push,
Desktop should start 6-9 months before release.
- Release previews and assets showing feature over time (not all
features at once).
- Produce awesome assets and screenshots. Focus on 5 main things.
Check for good framing and try to tell a story.
- Trailers are very important. Keep them short, 45-70 seconds max.
- Be creative in assets (eg. developer diaries).
- PR releases.
- The headline should deliver the key message in one sentence.
- Aim for succint and clear. Avoid buzzwords and hyperbole.
- Who, what, when, where, why, and how of the game
- Have a link for a press kit
- Make text cut and pastable - make the journalists’ job easy.
- Make preview copies available (and linked in release).
- Review campaign should target outlets. Do simple research and
contact journalists (build relationships in advance). The review
pitch should be short, concise and include working code and press
assets. Follow up after a few days.
- Contact global press, not just locals. Different areas like
different games - your game could be big in Korea, how will you find
Continuously Bootstrapping an Indie Studio:
- Prototype well. Keep working and changing idea.
- Assume 1 day’s work on a prototype means 1 month to polish. So a 7
day prototype followed by 7 months to finish is a good goal.
- Throwing away prototype is ok.
- Build a game, not technology. If technology is 75% done that is
usually good enough. Use external libraries and assets.
- Actually market your game. People need to know about it. Find a
- Cycle between contract and original IP work for financial safety.
Aim for 6 months paid contract work that earns enough to cover for 6
months of own work. Thus if original work fails no one needs to be
- Network like mad. Get known for something. Go to conferences with a
purpose and a message. GDC and Unite best for finding contract work,
E3 worst. PAX good for meeting consumers.
Teaching Game Design through Bronze Age Mythology:
- Used Unity to create models of Pompeiian buildings (viewable
The models teach Roman household art and how rooms are connected.
- Also used Unity in teaching game design and mythology by having
students design and create small games based on Homer’s
The couse text is Schell’s The Art Of Game
Creating the Universe with Unity:
- Rewriting Universe Sandbox with
- They have a nice glow effect on planets and stars. Close up of star
surface done using a turbulence library from Asset Store.
- They show a grid to give a sense of distance. Drawn with lines (not
- They use LOD on models.
- Nice camera movement. The camera doesn’t change position, instead
everything around it is scaled and moved.
The Temple Run Story:
- Presenter ported Temple
Run to Android using
Unity. iOS original used a bespoke engine. Temple Run earns
“approximately a metric fuck ton load… per month”.
- Had problems with Unity’s prefabs (can’t nest them) and GUI.
Recommends Merlin’s Prefab Lab and NGUI from the asset store. Also
like Prime31 libraries.
- Android is deeply fragmented, but still worth it.
- Indie studio formula:
- Keep it simple
- Small Team (4 people or less)
- Publish rapidly - assume failure (consider it a learning event)
and be able to continue. Don’t aim for one big great game, aim
for many small great games.