Capstone Blog Series #2: Unity - First Impressions

Simple 3D blocks made with Unity

Originally posted to blogs.oregonstate.edu on Apr 21, 2023

In today’s post I’ll be discussing some of the utilities my team has chosen to use for our project. My team will be creating a 3D Escape Room game and we have chosen Unity as our primary development tool. I suppose we might be a bit of an odd group in the sense that none of us has experience working with game engines. One of my teammates had expressed an interest in working with Unity, and after comparing it with Unreal we decided that Unity would be a better fit. While it wasn’t the only factor in our decision, it appeared that Unreal has a higher learning curve. Given our lack of experience we believe that Unity will allow us to make the most of what feels like a very short time to create a 3D game. We naturally intend to use other tools such as git, but we’ve chosen to mainly collaborate via Unity DevOps. Git has a major advantage of allowing us to share our work on other platforms like Github, unfortunately Unity does not provide any integrations for it. Frankly, it just seemed simpler to use their product. It will absolutely make things easier in the short term, but it raises some concerns as well.

In my personal life I choose to use free and open source software whenever possible. The majority of the projects I’ve been allowed to publish as part of my work at OSU are under open licenses as well. I don’t expect that everyone will share my views on software freedom, however there ways in which I think our productivity is actually hampered by using proprietary software. For example, we are only three weeks into the term and it seems as though we’re already being steered toward vendor lock-in with DevOps integration. In retrospect maybe I should have advocated for an open source engine like Godot, but ‘hindsight is 20/20’ as the saying goes and I needed to consider my teammates preferences as well. To be clear, I’m not saying these tools aren’t useful either. Working with Unity has been a lot of fun, I actually can’t wait to learn more. I’m confident we’ll create something we can be proud of, and there’s no doubt that experience with Unity could benefit all of us given it’s prominence in gaming. I just wonder if we might create better software if we had more freedom in how we use the tools that are available.