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Naughty Who @ indiedb

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

[unity] The Dark Side of Unity #gamedev

We've done a large part of work on our first game on Unity to lose First Impressions prefix for article and to get not positive impressions only %)

Unity programming slowly but steadily becomes more and more like hell. The reason is the really unstable functioning of MonoDevelop (version 4.0.1).
- IDE in some cases is irresponsive and the simple switching for another window and back can take a couple of seconds. However, that is bearable. It’s much worse, when the text scroll stops working all of a sudden or the autosuggestion disappears and the scroll position can change after saving – such small bugs never existed in FlashDevelop. Well, those things can be lived with too, but when it comes to debugging real trouble begins.

- To run the debug mode MonoDevelop must be manually connected to the unity process. If you pushed the finish debugging button in  MonoDevelop for some reason, IDE will break the connection with unity and you will need to turn it back on once more. If you have some executing problems, you’ll have to keep doing that all the time, as they can be dealt with only by stopping the debug process. All of this switching steals the precious seconds. Sometimes you forget to turn everything on, run the game and begin waiting for the bug to be caught and only after a while you understand how much time you’ve actually lost.
- The functioning during the incremental code walkthrough is not always stable. You can’t always see the meaning of the variable. Sometimes it can jam and, what’s even worse, freeze for good or crash. It’s bad if in such cases the scene in unity wasn’t saved.
- There are times, when you need to quickly switch between the game and the code and place a breakpoint “on the fly” and the described above endless switching doesn’t really help much.
 - I already encountered a couple of MonoDevelop crashes with code loss >:0

To sum up, those are the moments I can’t and don’t want to get used to, moreover I have a hard time imagining how one can work on a large scale project with such unstable functioning. It may seem that these small bugs take from a couple of seconds to a minute, but on a larger scale they increase the development time for 30-40%. With flash all of that was much faster and I already miss it. I hope there is a solution to these problems. I’ll try using Visual Studio Express instead of MonoDevelop or downgrade with the previous version of Monodevelop (I found a lot of such comments while reading about bugs).

Looks like it's much better with Visual Studio but third party debug plug-in for $99 needed.

Now we got playable demo and working on UI, finishing up with the second character modelling and setting to rig and animation. I think we'll manage with the difficulties and come back with viewable/playable content and more positive feedback pretty soon :)

+ Experimenting with simple HTML5 game, planning to share or maybe even released it too :)