Archive for September, 2010
Unity 3 has been released. It was released to the world late yesterday. I have been using it for a few beta releases and it is very nice and many great improvements. One awesome improvement is the occlusion culling was ported from iPhone to all Unity builds. Other notable features are a unified editor for all platforms, deferrered rendering and more.
Grab Unity 3 and take a spin.
Occlusion Culling Demo
Apple’s official statement on this topic.
Well good news, after the massive frenzy of 3.3.1 in the App Store Terms of Service, Apple has been wise to loosen restrictions on the AppStore for native apps that use scripting such as Mono, Actionscript, Lua and others as long as it doesn’t download any code (for security reasons). The apps have to be AOT Ahead of Time compiled which Unity, MonoTouch and the AIR iPhone Packager for Flash apps all use or the script has to be downloaded with the binary that was approved or an update (Lua scripting for instance).
This is a huge change in stance for Apple and basically allows Adobe Flash based AIR apps to run on the device natively again. I think this is a very wise decision by Apple to let the market decide on what is a quality app while respecting Apple’s concerns about downloading and running code that might create security concerns (non compiled script outside the web sandbox).
The only bummer is that we won’t see a C++ Unity version which was plan b. But the benefits are really great for all types of developers as long as it is safe and with Apple’s latest update, quality.
Developers using Unity, MonoTouch, Adobe Flash AIR Packager, Lua scripters etc are now all safe as long as it is AOT compiled and scripts it uses are downloaded with the binary and not downloaded later (only content and data can be downloaded unless it is in an approved app update).
All your technologies are safe… for now.. dun dun dun…
However Apple also tightened quality control so they will be rejecting bad or duplicate apps, so at the same time this has made it harder to get apps approved if there is questionable quality or too many of one type of app. It is good on the surface but also I believe the store should be an open market where the best app wins, crap will naturally filter out. This is probably a stop-gap for all the apps that will be submitted with AIR or other less complex platforms because more novice users will be submitting them. So this is good for skilled developers on any platform making quality and original content. But it could cause some problems.
Engadget has some nice covereage if you dont’ have access to the iOS developer site:
Besides recently becoming the most popular configuration in the entire iPod lineup, the iPod Touch “has become the most popular portable game player in the world,” Jobs chimed. “The iPod Touch outsells Nintendo and Sony portable game players combined. It has over 50 percent market share for both the U.S. and worldwide.”
- DS = 125m
- iOS devices = 120m
- PSP = 62m
- DS = 718m games sold
- PSP = 252m
- iOS games = 1.5B games and entertainment
However, as Mike Capps commented to Gamasutra in our interview immediately following the event, “Right now, I can display from my iPad to my Apple TV on a big screen TV. How far away are we from ,’That’s my game console, and it’s displaying wirelessly to my television set?’ It’s not far away.”…What will that mean? What form will it take? How soon will it come? All unanswerable. But Sony, Nintendo, and even Microsoft are all officially on notice as of today.
Do consoles anchored to a TV suddenly seem like the old way?
To the argument that the Appstore is full of bad games, it is, but it is also the secret to their success. Apple built a platform and let indies in. Apple was very critisized about their approval process but Playstation, XBOX, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP all have more harsh approval processes and dont’ even let indies begin developing until they approve. The result is higher quality games on the latter devices however it is the same problem the web brought.
I think that was Nintendo and Sony’s downfall in that they didn’t jump on the downloadable store AND allow indies in. There are lots of fart apps that come with allowing almost everything but you also get stuff like Angry Birds, Monster Dash, Real Racing, 2XL, Gameloft etc. I’d rather let everything in and let the charts decide what is best rather than it be a closed market to indies from even trying. But that comes with lower quality games for the most part except those standouts that might have been rejected on Nintendo or Sony platforms. 99% of the Appstore is crap but 1% is awesome, that 1% might be bigger than the quality games that make it to the PSP or DS.