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Nintendo Visit + Giving Unity a Facelift: Extending the Unity Editor

Update[masked]:

- To avoid a conflict with an IGDA/Amazon event, we have a new date and a new venue. We'll be having the event at the home of REACTOR - thanks to WIN for the venue with a short notice!

REACTOR is the Games Accelerator for Games by Games here in Seattle. Backed by a strong team of Industry Veterans and Legends who coach, collaborate and connect Start-up studios to launch their games and build the next generation Indie Games Studios here in Seattle. http://www.winreactor.org/reactor/


- GIVEAWAYS! Mixed Dimensions is offering everyone who attends this meetup a copy of their popular plugin GameDraw that allows you to model inside Unity. More reasons to come out and join us!


Related Events:

- (4/16) Washington Interactive Network is hosting a Free-2-Play Workshop. They've provided us with a discount! RSVP here (discount code: unitywin13).

- (4/18) IGDA Seattle and Amazon Games Present an Indy Showcase! RSVP here


Nintendo! Dan Adelman from Nintendo will be here to talk to us about 3DS and Wii U indie development. Join us if you are a Nintendo fan dev! (and who isn't?!)

Giving Unity a Facelift - Extending the Unity Editor for Your Projects

Unity is a great engine with lots to toy around in the editor, but creating your own in-editor tools is POWERFUL! Come to learn how to create your own custom inspectors and editors for your objects.

The Unity Editor itself is an extraordinarily powerful tool that sits atop an elegent scripting interface and a robust asset pipeline. At first glance, it may seem like it has everything an aspiring game maker needs to get the job done - yet like any tool, it is not perfectly suited for every task. Fortunately for us, Unity has provided the Editor API, a remarkably powerful interface that allows us to write custom extensions and even full-fledged tools inside the Unity Editor itself. In this talk, we'll introduce some of the the basic features of the Editor API before delving under the hood to explore some more advanced (and woefully under-documented) techniques.

This talk will contain material suitable for both beginner and advanced users of Unity. Some of the tools, in order of complexity, include:

- A dialog box that allows you to quickly apply a single material to a group of selected objects.

- An asset preprocessor script for modifying Textures when they're first imported into your project.

- A resizable Camera viewer window that helps manage multiple cameras in a Scene.

- A generic node-based graph editor, a la Unreal's Kismet or the Strumpy Shader Editor.

All of the aforementioned tools have saved countless hours in exchange for just a day or two of research and implementation. A lot of people will put up with performing repetitive actions in the Editor and the primary goal for this talk is to demonstrate that you can often write your own tool to accomplish those tasks in a fraction of the time. An example project with source code will be provided after the presentation.

Presenter:

Zach Aikman (http://zachtion.com/games/)
I've been using Unity for about three years, back when the 3.0 release was a big deal. I've worked on several different Unity projects of varying sizes, ranging from one-man prototypes to massively multiplayer online games like Super Hero Squad Online. Lately I've been contracting at Microsoft, helping one of their R&D teams develop prototypes in Unity, which has given me a great opportunity to dig deeper into Unity's editor extensions.

A lot of developers see the Unity engine as a complete package that can't be modified without costly access to the source code; but the truth is that the Editor API includes some really powerful features that allows you to mold your own custom tools in a surprisingly short amount of time. In this talk I hope to pass on some of that knowledge and show how easy it is to create the tools that you need for your project.

Join or login to comment.

  • Keith A.

    Zach - I took a photo of your intro slide but it's a bit blurry, can you post a link for people to download your example code?

    April 18, 2013

    • Alex H.

      Zach you are awesome. =) I didn't get the memo that the meetup had changed dates or I would have been there - I'm kicking myself!

      April 19, 2013

    • Alex H.

      zaction.com?!

      1 · April 19, 2013

  • Ben G.

    I must admit about 85% of what Zach was talking about went right over my head. I took one C++ class about a 1.5 years ago so I was understandably a bit lost. :)

    All things considered though, the event was nicely done and I might have to start showing up more often. The Nintendo certification process was surprisingly easy and open to developers. Maybe we'll see more Indie games in the future?

    1 · April 18, 2013

    • Zach

      I was hoping there would be something in the presentation for developers of all skill levels, so I'm glad that at least 15% of it was useful :D

      I knew the parts about Attributes and reflection would be especially confusing. Metaprogramming is a seriously twisted concept and requires a significant shift in thinking that I still struggle with as well. Explaining it as about twice as hard as actually using it, unfortunately.

      April 18, 2013

    • Zach

      And speaking of indie games... we do have a Facebook group that's more game-focused rather than Unity-focused. We strive to do a monthly social where indie devs in the area can get together and share stories, show off their games and sometimes give small presentations, over beer and food. Come check us out!

      https://www.facebook.c...­

      April 18, 2013

  • John T.

    Aw I had to miss this. Too bad it sounds like it would've been really helpful.

    April 18, 2013

  • Ronnie A.

    Have to echo the others... Great presentations by Zach and Dan. Thanks for a wondeful user group experience and to the Reactor folks for a great gathering place.

    April 18, 2013

  • Willis

    Thanks for the great meetup! Zach's presentation was great, and it was interesting to get the direct scoop on Nintendo's submittal process.

    April 18, 2013

  • Zach

    Thank you to everybody who came out last night! As promised, here are some links to the presentation slides and the source code. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to e-mail me.

    Slides: http://bit.ly/ZAiODe
    Code: http://bit.ly/XTCbvZ

    4 · April 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Dan's interview with Gamasutra on the topic of Nintendo and indie development is what put Unity on my radar, and hearing that he would be talking at this meetup gave me the impetus to visit...I was not disappointed! I'm even more excited than before at the possibility for developing for the WiiU. Thanks Dan!

    Zach's presentation was amazingly informative and engagingly paced. I haven't extended the Unity editor before or worked with the GUI system very much, so I was worried I would just have to smile and nod through the talk...Luckily, Zach took the time to go into enough detail that I wasn't too lost, and I am definitely in a better position now for when I do choose to delve into the topic myself. Thanks Zach!

    1 · April 18, 2013

  • Keith A.

    Zach was a great presentor, thank you so much for that!

    April 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a great time watching the presentations and meeting new people!

    April 18, 2013

  • Joe

    Nice Presentation Zach!

    1 · April 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Conflict

    April 17, 2013

  • Tanya

    Looked on google maps, is it on the street floor of the building? I'll be coming up from Puyallup, is there easy parking close by?

    April 16, 2013

    • Brandon W.

      Just sent out an email with parking/driving instructions. ;)

      2 · April 17, 2013

  • Zach

    I'm on the fence about the third, more advanced portion of the talk.

    Do you all have a preference between a timeline editor (a la Unity's Animation window) versus a node-based graph editor (a la Unreal's Kismet or Strumpy Shader's Editor)?

    April 2, 2013

    • Zach

      I'm afraid that doing both will eat up more time than we have. Maybe in a part 2!

      April 12, 2013

    • Casey

      I'm definitely more interested in the node-based editor as opposed to the timeline

      1 · April 17, 2013

  • Ben G.

    NO! I switched my work schedule to be off Thursday and no you're moving it to Wednesday?! I don't know if I can switch again on short notice.

    Man, I really wanted to be a part of this event too. Damn.

    April 10, 2013

    • Brandon W.

      IGDA Seattle and Amazon Games Present an Indy Showcase! http://www.eventbrite...­

      April 11, 2013

    • Ben G.

      Looks like I should be able to attend! Don't change the date please! :)

      2 · April 11, 2013

  • Lee

    Wish you guys recorded these events and threw them on YT, I'm having a craniotomy on the 15th otherwise I'd love to see the basics for extending the editor....

    April 5, 2013

    • Zach

      I know Brandon's been wanting to record these talks for a while; I don't know if that's going to happen for this one, but I will definitely be making the slides/source code available online after the talk and I'm happy to answer questions via e-mail if you need more clarification!
      Good luck with your craniotomy!

      1 · April 5, 2013

    • Lee

      Thanks! Maybe you could throw a link up whenever the slideshow happens :)

      1 · April 10, 2013

  • Seth S.

    Busy on Wednesday night, sorry!

    April 10, 2013

  • Andrew F.

    Since I do work at Nintendo as a hardcore game tester. I'll try my hardest to meet you guys there. What time are all of you meeting at Nintendo on that Thursday? My shift ends at 5pm.

    April 5, 2013

    • Andrew F.

      Actually, I might take that day off from work if it's not that busy. I'll let you guys know the Monday or Tuesday of that week.

      April 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I may go if I could

    April 5, 2013

  • Tony

    This is a great topic. I know the basics here, but would love an in-depth rundown.

    2 · March 28, 2013

    • Zach

      Unity's documentation is pretty lacking when it comes to some of the more advanced features :(
      If there's anything in particular you'd like to see covered, let me know!

      April 2, 2013

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