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18. July 2018

When I started GameFromScratch, by far and away the most common question I got was “what programming language should I use?”.  It’s amazing how much the world has changed in the last decade!  These days game engines are by far more important than programming language to the majority of developers, and one game engine has risen to the forefront of most peoples consciousness…  Unity.

I consistently cover a wide variety of game engines, here, on and on YouTube and one comment comes up far more often than any other...  “Why Not Just Use Unity?”.  Why would I use this game engine instead of Unity.  So I decided to take some time and answer exactly this question.  The short hand text version is available here as well as covered in a great deal more detail in this video.

GameDev News Programming

10. July 2018

Today Unity 2018.2 was released out of beta.  Many of the big new features were announced in Unity 2018.1, with Unity 2018.2 being all about improving those features, although a few new surprises are in store in this release.  From quality of life improvements, like finally improving HDPI support on Windows and Linux as well as a new preview debugger extension for Visual Studio Code, to new rendering features in both the light weight and high definition pipelines.  Some features we’ve previously discussed like the Pixel Perfect Camera and the new Shader Graph have been improved in this release.

Details of the release from the Unity Blog:

Unity 2018.2 optimizes the performance of the Lightweight Render Pipeline (LWRP) and enhances the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) to help you achieve high-end visual quality, including multiple improvements to the Shader Graph, which now supports both pipelines (please note that both the LWRP and HDRP are currently in preview.)

We also added support for managed code debugging on iOS and Android,  Windows, macOS, UWP and PS4 for IL2CPP, and we started adding some mobile optimizations to the Lightweight Render Pipeline (LWRP).

For Android projects, 64-bit (ARM64) support gets its final release, and we now let you add Java code to your Unity plugins folder without needing to create libraries in advance.

Finally, several new 2D features are available as Preview packages, including the Vector Graphics importer and Pixel Perfect. The Vector Graphics importer makes it easier for you to work with SVG graphics, and Pixel Perfect makes it easier for you to achieve a perfect retro look across different resolutions on a wide range of devices.

Be sure to read the complete blog for full details on the release, or watch the video below.  You can download Unity here.

GameDev News

19. June 2018

At Unite Berlin 2018, Unity announced much improved prefab support in Unity.  The release is available in a special preview download version that is available here.  This new approach to prefabs gives you a lower level of granularity in how you split your scene up.  Perhaps most impressive to the new functionality to enable prefabs to be made up of other prefabs that in turn are made up of other prefabs.

Details of the preview prefab workflow from

Improved workflow

The new Prefab workflows, which are now available as previews, allow you to split up scenes and Prefabs on a granular level. This gives you greater flexibility, increases your productivity and enables you to work confidently without worrying about making time-consuming errors.

The improvements are based on surveys with more than 150 enterprise customers, numerous interviews, several usability tests and two game jams. The long-term goal has been not only to implement support for nesting, but to rethink the core Prefab workflows so different team members can simultaneously edit Prefabs confidently and efficiently.


Greater flexibility

Previously, users were forced to choose between creating large monolithic Prefabs, like buildings, or more granular ones, like pieces of furniture, but they couldn't do both.

Now with support for nested Prefabs, a large building can be made up of many smaller room Prefabs, which in turn can be made up of multiple pieces of furniture Prefabs, and so on.

Productivity booster

This makes it easier for teams of all sizes to:

  • Split up Prefabs into multiple entities for greater efficiency
  • Reuse any content, from small to large
  • Work on different parts of content simultaneously

Prefab Variants

Flexible properties increase efficiency

As a default, a Prefab Variant inherits the objects and properties of the Prefab it is a variant of, but at the same time, you have the possibility to override those properties. This is similar to the concept of inheritance in object-oriented programming.

For example, if you had multiple door Prefabs, you could choose to make some of them a different color, while allowing the rest to inherit the existing Prefab color property. Any change made to the original door Prefab will affect the variants of it as well, except those properties which have been overridden.

Prefab Mode

Avoid time-consuming mistakes

A cornerstone of the new workflows, Prefab Mode enables you to edit in isolation. While this means that you will have to approach Prefab editing in a slightly different way, you can feel secure that any errors made will not have negative consequences.

You can learn more about the new prefab system in the prefab documentation.  There is also a sample project available for download here.

GameDev News

19. June 2018

After more than a year of development GitHub for Unity 1.0 is finally here.  GitHub for Unity enables you to fully support git version control directly inside the Unity editor, including support for large media files using GitHub LFS (Large File Support). 

Details of the release from the GitHub blog:

What’s new in 1.0

Since releasing the beta version in March 2018, we’ve made new improvements to the user experience and shipped several bug fixes. Version 1.0 also includes:

  • File locking improvements: File locking management is now a top-level view within the GitHub window, giving you the ability to lock or unlock multiple files
  • Diffing support: Visualize changes to files with the diffing program of your choice (set in the “Unity Preferences” area) directly from the “Changes” view in the GitHub window

  • Reduced package size: Previously, the package included full portable installations of Git and Git LFS. These are now downloaded when needed, reducing the package size to 1.6MB and allowing us to distribute critical Git and Git LFS updates and patches to you faster and in a more flexible way

  • Notification of updates: Get a notification within Unity whenever a new version is available. You can choose to download or skip the current update

  • Email sign-in: Sign in to your GitHub account with your GitHub username or the email address associated with your account

  • Improved Git and Git LFS support for Mac

  • A Git action bar for essential operations

  • And many bug fixes and improvements throughout

You can download GitHub for Unity directly from GitHub or on the Unity asset store.

GameDev News

29. May 2018

If you are a pixel artist, one of the most challenging tasks you have to deal with is handling multiple resolutions and aspect ratios that your game might run at.  Thankfully if you are using the newest (Unity 2018.2b3 or later) version of Unity there is now a new component that makes this job borderline trivial.

Announced in the following tweet:


You can download the component and a couple sample scenes here on Github, and you can read more about it here.

The 2D Pixel Perfect package contains the Pixel Perfect Camera component which ensures your pixel art remains crisp and clear at different resolutions, and stable in motion.

It is a single component that makes all the calculations needed to scale the viewport with resolution changes, removing the hassle from the user. The user can adjust the definition of the pixel art rendered within the camera viewport through the component settings, as well preview any changes immediately in Game view by using the Run in Edit Mode feature.

Using the camera is simple, once the package is installed, it’s simply added to a camera and configure:


Your game should now scale gracefully across resolutions and aspect ratios.  To see the Pixel Perfect Camera in action be sure to watch this video, also embedded below.

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