Unity Best Practices With Yossarian King And Gerald Orban From Blackbird Interactive

Yggy King talking to VFS Game Design students about good coding practices

On Friday, May 17, 2013 two VFS Game Design Industry Mentors from Blackbird InteractiveYossarian (Yggy) King and Gerald Orban gave a presentation on how to maintain the quality of Unity based projects and guided us on how to use the engine at its best. They have been using Unity3D for more than 3 years now and are guiding Game Design classes (GD 28 & 29) currently on the production floor.

They covered 3 key things during the presentation:

  1. Design and Code – Keeping the code simple and clear
  2. Test and Debug – knowing the right tools to do it
  3. Managing your project – staying organized and thinking ahead.

The first two parts of the presentation were aimed at students with an interest in coding, and were for students who currently have taken the role of programmer with their game. They took us through some programming best practices, which are really good to follow while writing code for a game as a whole. Yggy King pointed out that naming conventions are important to simplify the code, so that other programmers and non-programmers can understand the code. Gerald Orban introduced us to a few techniques of detecting and debugging using Unity’s debugger tool, causing a few surprised gasps from the audience. The example project they had created for the presentation was a shooting game based on Music Tracks. It received spontaneous cheers and applause.

The final part was on the subject of managing a Unity project. They talked about naming and adjusting the files and folders correctly in order, occasionally citing a few examples/challenges they faced at Blackbird. Yggy King mentioned the use of version control, which can be practiced by using Unity’s own Asset Server, as well as with software like Perforce, which students at VFS Game Design are encouraged to use. During the last segment of the presentation, Yggy talked about why it is important to plan ahead, assess, iterate, analyse risks and prioritize the activities that need to be done in order to maintain a steady flow and good quality for our Unity projects.

Their presentation lasted for one hour and they made time to accommodate questions asked by the students. There were over 35 students attending the presentation and it was a good mixture from all the current GD classes. Everyone enjoyed the presentation and learned something new about Unity.

For your reference, the presentation slides are available here.