Category: Unity

Kindle Fire HDX and Unity

Unity and the Kindle Fire HDX… a Christmas story!

As most of you know, I have been working on my wife’s game, Notespace, for the last year. It has been an epic adventure filled with joy and peril but treacherous waters of publishing on Android. You can avoid a lot of the problems by publishing multiple builds per texture compression but every now and then you get those sharp rocks that come out of no where. And that, for me, was the mysterious crashing on Kindle Fire HDX devices.

Now before I move on, for those that don’t already know, Android devices use an array of GPU’s where as iOS devices only use one (Power VR). This generally does not affect you in anyway except when it comes to texture compression that has alpha. Unity’s default Android compression setting is ETC 1/ RGBA16. What that means is that it will compress power of 2 textures with no alpha as ETC 1 (an older OpenGL format) and will set compressed textures with alpha to RGBA 16. On average, RGBA16 will be at least double the size as your compressed texture so it has the ability of sending your GPU memory usage over the edge. That being said, I have not actually seen that happen on a device but that kinda means nothing on Android with a gazillion devices on the market. Whats more important is that 16 bit textures can look really bad, especially if you have a lot of gradient work. So there is 2 ways around it. 1) Build a custom shader for your compressed images with alpha…




Unity Cloud Build

Collective Mass Radio #15: Unity Cloud Build

As always, check out the rest of the blog as well as the other Collective Mass Radio podcasts on the site. Thank you so much to the team at Unity Cloud Build for taking the time. If you have not already, check out the product at https://build.cloud.unity3d.com. It’s truly an amazing product, especially if you are a continuous integration shop. The service is currently in Beta and open to Unity Pro license holders only for no extra charge. That alone is a big deal if you think about the bandwidth implications. The service will be available to all and, so far, there will be a free tier for all of us broke indies out there. I think their Twitter handle is @UnityCloudBuild but their is not much going on their right now. I think they are too busy making a kick ass product.

 




Adding the Dolby API to your Unity Project

While developing Notespace with Amorse Inc, we decided to implement the Dolby API into our tablet based game. The game is a interactive musical activity book for girls so it makes a whole bunch of sense. As of the date of this post, the Dolby API is integrated into the following:

Acer Iconia Tab 10 2014
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 2012
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 2012
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 2013
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 2013
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 2013
Amazon Fire HDX 7 2014
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 2014
Amazon Fire HD 6 2014
Fujitsu Arrow F-06E
Lenovo Yoga 8 2013
Lenovo Yoga 10 2013
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8” 2014
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10” 2014
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro 2014
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 2013
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 2013
Tesco Hudle2 Tablet
ZTE Grand S Flex
ZTE Grand S
ZTE Grand Memo LTE
ZTE Grand Memo N5S
ZTE Nubia Z5S
ZTE Nubia Z5S Mini
ZTE V975
ZTE N5S
ZTE Geek U988S
ZTE Boost Max
ZTE ZMax
ZTE BladeBox

As you can see, we know that its not on iOS devices (boo) but is on every Kindle Fire device past first gen. Thats a sizable market to optimize our experience for! We also know, for development down the road, that every Windows 8 device will have Dolby hardware. This is not necessarily true for Windows 8 mobile though, so don’t get them mixed up.

First, we are…




Collective Mass Radio #14: Camouflaj

As always, check out the rest of the blog as well as the other Collective Mass Radio podcasts on the site. Big thank you to the guys from Camouflaj for taking the time. Hopefully we will be able to do a better recording in the studio sometime. Make sure to check out their truly jaw dropping game, République and to support them on every social media channel you can get your hands on. You can find them on twitter at @Camouflaj and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CamouflajLLC. You can find their game, République, on the iOS App Store or Google Play. They just made it onto Amazon App Store too! (Read the article)

 




LA Unity User Group with Zhenping Guo from Unity China

At last night’s Los Angeles Unity User Group, we had the privilege to listen to Zhenping Guo from Unity China. He gave us a great double session, first about performance optimization in Unity and secondly about Unity China and their service offering. Yes, thats right, service offering. Unity is not only committed to making a great tool but its committed to providing ways to bring your creation to the world.. and in this case, that part of the world is China! China’s mobile market is booming and the numbers are staggering in comparison to most other territories. The same goes for Unity. One third of all the unity users in the world are in China and that number is growing rapidly. Why you might ask? Well because of the size of the pie, and Unity is now helping you to get a slice without any cost to you! Thats right, you give em your game, and they do all the work to get it into the Chinese market for a small percentage of profit. I am sure I am simplifying the process but if that at all sounds enticing, make sure to hit Zhenping Guo up for more info.

I also mentioned Text Mesh Pro. For anyone interested in this truly next generation text solution for Unity, check it out here on the Asset Store, or follow Stephan, the author on twitter.

Below are the slides from his great back to back session. If you prefer to download them,…




Unite 2014 Presentation: BUILDING A SOLID FOUNDATION

Video recording of my session

Presentation slides




CMR #13 Playnomics

Collective Mass Radio #13: Playnomics

As always, check out the rest of the blog as well as the other Collective Mass Radio podcasts on the site. Big thank you to Chethan, the CEO of Playnomics, for taking the time to chat and to his team for all the scheduling and internal chats. For more info on the company and the big man himself, check out this article on Venture Beat. Follow Playnomics at @Playnomics and check them out on the web at http://www.playnomics.com. If you are interested, apply for the closed beta of the new product. I have and what I have seen so far is great. The guys are really paying attention to the important details. Now, go build the best game ever!

 




Collective Mass Radio #12

As always, check out the rest of the blog as well as the other Collective Mass Radio podcasts on the site. Huge thank you to the guys from Fract OSC for a great chat, it was really good to hear about both the ups and the downs. I hope that other indie game devs will hear your comment about scope and designing around technical limitations. Go visit the Fract site and buy the game NOW! It is a great experience with stunning shader work! Follow Fract on twitter at @FRACTgame, Richard at @phosfiend and Henk at @henkboom.




Collective Mass Radio #11

As always, check out the rest of the blog as well as the other Collective Mass Radio podcasts on the site. You can follow Team Triple Slash at @TeamTripleslash and Paige Ashlynn at @p_ashlynn. Also, go get Magnetic by Nature as soon as ya possibly can!




Collective Mass Radio #10

As always, check out the rest of the blog as well as the other Collective Mass Radio podcasts on the site. You can follow Adam at @AdamTuliper and check out the great Microsoft offerings for Unity at http://unity3d.com/pages/windows/. Be sure to check out their events section for hands on Unity workshops near you.