Unity3D had a fairly large booth at GDC 2011 and among all the goodies they were showing off was their new set of tools dedicated to Android game development using Unity3D. We also got the low down on Union for you developers who are interested in having your Unity-based games in the Union showcase.
Unity3D released a set of dedicated tools for Android game development which are completely integrated into the Unity3D engine. Developers who create games using Unity3D can now easily port their games across multiple platforms including Android. The average game can be ported to Android in as little as one day so your turnaround time is rather quick when it comes to getting your game out there.
Unity Android actually came out in a bit of a closed release which had some of the top game developers for iOS port their games over to Android. Some of these games include Samurai II: Vengeance, Battle Bears, Doodle Bowling, Castle Warriors and Drift Mania Championship. Unity Android is an add-on to the free version of Unity3D and will only set you back $400. You can check out the full press release at the end of this article for more detailed information including features.
However, while at GDC 2011 we got to check out the Android tools in action and we were pretty impressed at how smoothly everything worked and how well it looked. We got to get a hands-on with a playable demo that comes with Unity for Android. This demo is a little top-down shooter all developed in Unity3D and ported to Android. Due to Sony Ericsson sending out Xperia Play units only a few days before the start of GDC 2011, Unity3D pulled this off two days before the show started. Impressive.
For developers, we also got a little clarification regarding Union. Some of you asked us about it on Twitter and although we had a fairly good idea about Union already, we wanted to double check with the Unity3D crew on a few details. Basically it is a showcase where developers can display their Unity3D created games for companies (carriers, distributors, etc) to browse through and, should they want the game, purchase copies of it for distribution whether it is done through outright ownership transfer or through licensing. As a developer, you'll receive 80% revenue share per sale.
It is not a marketplace though like the Android Market or anything along those lines so although you can browse through the selection, it isn't a place where you can buy/download games like the Android Market. Hopefully that sheds a bit more light on what Union does for developers.
Overall Unity3D came out strong at GDC 2011 and had multiple Android devices showing off the demo from Unity Android but you know, we just had to play it on the Xperia Play and film it. As usual the video never does the graphics justice.
Last but not least, Unity3D is holding a giveaway to celebrate the release of Unity for Android. You'll have a chance at winning one of 4 Android Pro Licenses (valued at $1500) just by following 3 easy steps. Winners will start being announced March 8th, 2011. For a quick look at how to win, head over to the official contest page.
Unity Technologies Releases Unity Android at Game Developers Conference (GDC)
Developers Can Now Quickly Port Their Unity-Based Games to Android and Reach New Players
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 1, 2011) - Today at GDC, Unity Technologies, provider of the Unity development platform for games and interactive 3D on the web, iOS, Android, consoles and beyond, announced that Unity Android and Unity Android Pro are available for immediate purchase or trial download at: http://unity3d.com/unity/publishing/android.
Because Unity offers a single authoring environment for all of its supported platforms, developers can port their games, including their iOS games, to Android with one-click and quickly reach Android users.
Analyst reports show that more Android smartphones are being sold worldwide than iPhones. Unity Technologies introduced the preview release of Unity Pro Android last year and nearly 50 games have been created since. Among these games one can find such titles as BATTLE BEARS, Castle Warriors, Doodle Bowling, Drift Mania Championship and Samurai II: Vengeance, all of which topped Apple's App Store charts and were easily ported to Android via Unity Pro Android.
"We're amazed of how easy and fast it was to port our latest iOS game Stupid Zombies to Android," said Marc Andreoli, Partner at GameResort LLC. "It took us less than two days to fully port the game and do some fine tuning."
"We were very impressed with how simple it was to port our iPhone game Drift Mania Championship to Android. The complete process took less than a week, which consisted of minor graphic adjustments and some fine tuning," said Pat Toulouse, President of Ratrod Studio. "Because of Unity's cross-platform feature, we're able to reach a much larger audience which multiplies our chances for continued success. Unity is the ultimate game development swiss army knife for developers."
"Porting both BATTLE BEARS games from iPhone to Android took us less than two weeks," said Benjamin Vu, Co-Founder and President of SkyVu Pictures. "We had to adapt our art a bit and do some fine tuning but Unity provided us a one-click solution to get to the Android Market and further extend the reach of our brand to millions of new users."
"It's awesome to be doing the full launch of our Android support. Our Pro-only pre-release version has already been a huge success in its first half year," said Nicholas Francis, Chief Creative Officer at Unity Technologies. "Now we're doing the full launch of our product and can't wait to see what kind of amazing things people will develop. I think getting Unity out to the Android developer base will vastly improve the range of quality games on the platform.
Unity for Android's features include:
Integrated Editor -- Users can deploy a single project to multiple platforms, including Android, using a one-click solution that just works. Porting a game from iOS to Android can be as simple as changing the target platform and clicking "Build."
Support for upcoming Android devices, including Tegra Tablets and the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY Smartphone -- Users can be among the first to benefit from releasing games on the exciting range of Android-based gaming platforms.
Highly Optimized Graphics Pipeline for OpenGL ES 2.0 -- Unity Technologies has been working directly with hardware manufacturers such as NVIDIA and Qualcomm to get every last bit of performance out of Android so that users can create stunning games without worrying about the subtle difference between devices.
Android Remote -- Developers can use their actual Android phone as an input device to view and test their game directly within the authoring tool.
AndrewH - Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of DroidGamers. Having been a hardcore PC and console gamer all his life, this passion is now applied to Android gaming and writing about it. When not playing or writing about Android games, he spends his time with his son.