The world is increasingly utilising gamification techniques; playful design elements which leverage a person's natural inclination for activities that are positioned as a social game. In an effort to engage with previously untapped audiences, companies are more frequently turning towards gamification for a whole variety of applications, such as customer engagement, training, education, HR, employee performance - the list goes on!
The popular rise of gamification should come as no surprise to avid gamers, since, when designed correctly, gamification has been proven to successfully motivate people to change behaviours, develop skills or solve problems. By implementing similar features found in real games, gamification can transform a variety of ordinary tasks into interesting experiences.
To ensure Developers stay ahead of the game (pun intended), they need a robust framework which enables them to write their code once, then deploy across multiple platforms with minimum code refractoring to account for the nuances of each platform. Most importantly - they need to do it quickly! Unity 3D is the only platform which can boast of these capabilities and more! Let me share with you the top 10 reasons why I consider Unity to be a great gamification platform:
1. Rapid prototyping
Being able to physicalise or virtualise an idea early on, allows developers to experience the potential end user product
without wasting hundreds of hours. You can create a prototype in Unity quickly, with relative ease; and iterating is just as fast. If you aren't already convinced, please read on so I can drive this point home!
2. Ease of Use
Want to get started with Unity? Here’s how:
- Get online
- Download Unity
- Search for “Unity tutorials” using your favourite search engine
The number of Unity tutorials out there is mind boggling! If you don’t know how to create something for your game, there is most likely a step by step tutorial available so you can do it yourself. Unity is increasingly being used to teach students programming and game design because the tool is simple to learn.
3. Large brand base
There are literally thousands of games, on various platforms, that have been created using Unity. Some notable examples include:
- Pillars of Eternity
- Monument Valley
- Satellite Reign
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
- Crossy road
- Hand of Fate
4. Plugin support
There are a vast number of third party developers who have created plugins which integrate their tools with the Unity platform. These range from audio integration tools like FMOD
, through to level and asset creation tools like Houdini
. All contributions reduce not only the number of developers required to work on a project, but also the total development time as well.
If for some strange reason, you can't find the plugin or tool you need to create an element in your game then you can customise the Unity Editor and create the editing tools you want. The best part is the Unity developers have created tutorials to show you how to achieve this!
6. Asset Store
The Asset store contains thousands of community made assets which can be acquired either for free, or at a fraction of the price it would usually cost to develop the assets in-house; in terms of time, effort and monetary value. These assets range from components that can be used within your game like inventory or dialogue systems, 3D and 2D art assets, audio through to game frameworks that provide you with a game skeleton to iterate from and customise to your heart's desire.
7. Unity Services
Unity Services are a set of tools that have been created in order to provide a far greater range of options and support, for developers using the platform. User Analytic tools, Ad Integration support and Multiplayer Server support are just a few of the built-in services offered by Unity.
8. Visual Interface
If you’re like me, then you like to be able to see the effect of changes as you implement them. Unity is excellent for that! You don't have to wait for the compiling or building of your code
, plus you can also place assets within the scene inspector - specifically where you want them in the virtual space. This is especially handy for designers who want to iterate UI designs to test the potential user experience.
9. Community content.
There is a huge community behind Unity, who create a plethora of content for others to use and learn from everyday. If you need help with a question, are looking for an asset or just need inspiration, then look no further than the Unity community.
10. One framework, multiple platforms.
Lastly, but probably most importantly, you can create your game or app and publish it to multiple platforms using the same project files! Unity supports nearly all of them. In my opinion, this is where the power and greatness of Unity really shines. Unity has eliminated the majority of the pain associated with publishing to a platform of your choice. So long as you have sufficient licensing, which varies from platform to platform, you can publish your project on it with relative ease.
So those are my top 10 reasons why Unity is a great platform for developing games and applications. I’ve been using Unity the last 4 years and have loved every moment of it! They are continuously improving their framework and are raising the standard for gamification development, making the process better, faster and easier.