Sunday, January 29, 2012

IOS Unity Essential book review

I received the IOS Unity Essential book to review from Packt Publishing.  It seems lately that they have been getting a lot of books out that has been getting my attention and this was one of them.

You can find more info on the book here and there is also a sample chapter available.

Looking at the TOC, I couldn't wait to dive right in, so I skimmed some of the chapters for some of interest.  Although even chapter 1 covered some topics that got me hitting my head against the wall when I first tried putting my game on the IOS devices.  So if you are new to this, starting at the beginning will be helpful :)

The IOS performance guide was one of those chapters that peaked my interest.  Unfortunately, it fell below my expectation.  Many of the tips was more game design oriented rather than performance trick.  Which isn't bad per say, but I'm a tech head.  I would always consider a game design work around if I needed to, but I would first want to prove that I can't do it first.  It seems like some subject should have been split in their own chapter (i.e. First Person shooter basics?) There was still some helpful tricks to learn though.

I found that the game design angle was repeated in some of the following chapter as well.  Again, it's fine, but if my game is to be a game with based largely on a flying camera element, you can't say that you shouldn't do fly-by because of the cost of this feature.

Although few books on Unity covered the particle system before (sorry, no Shuriken coverage in this book), I believe this is the first one to cover Shaders!  I thought they did a pretty good job at describing the surface shaders in Unity.  They covered a lot of the basics and finished with examples of the Gem and Water shaders that you can find on the store or within Unity itself.

All in all, I thought this book was a good start, especially if you are new to Unity and you want to target IOS devices.  If you have a lot of experience in Unity already, you can probably skip this one and hope that there is a more advanced book that comes out soon.

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