I went on a two day course for Unity3D arranged by Tink at the LFPUG. I have been on a couple of these before and can recommend them; they are usually right on topic and at a price that even a freelancer can afford. This one was no different. Bartek Drozdz was over from Sweden to give the course and he took us from nothing to a small game in two days. It was a fast paced event, so I would suggest students have a go with the software and learn some 3D basics before they get here. We had excellent lunches provided at the local pub, and I can recommend the pint of Blond Witch that I washed it down with.
The scripting was in Mono and I used the normal C# interface that they have. Could have tried Visual Studio, but the 2010 version is .Net 4 , so I’m not sure if there would be any problems as Mono is only at 3.5. Unity3D has a very full interface and I found it hard to watch and script at the same time; Bartek would choose a few items from the menu and script them and if you didn’t know where everything was, it would be difficult to guess. I think I need to work through the course material again to make sure that I understood it. There was some 3D tuition, but again the students on the course seemed to have a general level of knowledge in this area so we didn’t have to explain the basics. I found that part the easiest, so I was able to ask questions that are more relevant to me, without feeling I was pushing anyone.
I think that everyone seemed to come out the end with a small game, scoring system, front page menu etc. Unity makes it easy to create most of the terrain and import models etc, add textures. The game that we made was impressive for two days of scripting. I shall certainly take this further as the renderer in v3 has a lot of features that you would want in the top end graphics that we do. If we were doing full screen graphics then it would be more than adequate. If we were to do a mobile device app that needed stats and graphics display, this would be a good choice. I’ve looked at HTML5 and canvas for this, but Unity driven from Flash/Air might be a useful combination.
Just a quick reference to Bartek’s work that I saw the other day. We’ve been playing around with the Kinect device and openFrameworks. He has a more interesting camera in his example with Unity3D here, http://designchapel.com/blog/2010/11/28/wip-2/