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Practical Game Design with Unity and Playmaker

Practical Game Design with Unity and Playmaker [Kindle Edition]

Sergey Mohov
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In Detail

Unity is a powerful rendering engine which is fully integrated with a complete set of intuitive tools to create interactive 3D and 2D content. Playmaker is a flexible visual state machine editor and runtime library for Unity 3D which facilitates visual scripting for Unity 3D.

This book explores the basics of Unity scripting in JavaScript and C#. It is a step-by-step tutorial which thoroughly explains how to make a game from scratch quickly and effortlessly. This books details the steps required to make a game in seven chapters, each of them examining one of the aspects of game development in the most practical and concise way possible.

This book starts by explaining you the component-based approach to game development. It then moves on to teach you how to use state machine's interface to make a game with minimum code and how to add AI and Photon networking to it. The book then progresses through helping you understand how to write a Kongregate API code and upload your game on it. The book finally ends up enabling you to make a complete web Multiplayer game in Unity and add an external API to it.


A practical guide packed with examples that helps you to build a full-fledged game with the help of Unity and Playmaker. A few exercises and useful external resources are also provided to improve both the game and your skills.

Who this book is for

This book is for animation artists and 3D artists, designers, and engineers who want to create interactive content with little or no programming. This book is also for game programmers who want to create a game from scratch in Unity and Playmaker. You are expected to have basic knowledge of game programming and Unity 3D.

About the Author

Sergey Mohov

Sergey Mohov is a game developer and designer with over three years of experience in working on games in Unity. His prominent projects include Dédale, Paradis Perdus, and Lune. The rest of Sergey's games can be found on his website at along with his personal blog.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3025 KB
  • Print Length: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (20 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #758,630 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book is aimed at someone interested in game design who uses Unity and has purchased (or is thinking of purchasing) the Unity plugin Playmaker.

The beauty of Playmaker is that it allows you to rapidly prototype games without touching code - great if you are a designer, or a developer who needs to have something prototyped quickly to test.

The book begins by explaining Unity at a basic enough level, guiding you around the interface etc. It's not until a few chapters in that Playmaker is introduced fully. When it is introduced, the book shows how easy it is to perform actions using Playmaker instead of scripting.

The networking and 3rd party APIs are a nice bonus, but it would have been nice if the book assumed you knew Unity and could then focus on teaching more of Playmaker.

I do like the way the book teaches you to build on one game idea and enhance it, but it feels like this book should have had more content, for example, using Playmaker for different types of games (the example game is a 2D Air Hockey clone). The AI section is 6 pages, I'm sure a whole chapter at least could have been dedicated to this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very misleading with Playmaker in Title 9 Feb 2014
By Daz M
I have to agree totally with Drew. This book is very much about Unity and not a lot about Playmaker. You will learn more just by following the tutorials on the playmaker site and other video sites.

This book appears to be directed at the Unity Novice. But to be honest, If someone is going to buy Playmaker at that price, are they really going to be a novice?

Anyway, will be waiting for a better book that is "totally" directed towards Playmaker and has a lot more pages. 122 pages really?!

I'm pretty annoyed that the writer does make reference that you may have further questions and points you to certain forums where you can ask questions that will be answered in minutes. Sorry Sergey, but I know they are there, that's why I brought you book to enlighten me further not just point me back to where I already know!!

Overall, this book is nothing special in the Playmaker arena or the Unity arena I'm afraid.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really about Playmaker 1 Feb 2014
By Drew Snyder - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I saw this book I was really excited. I am actually beginning to teach Playmaker to my students and was hoping for a supplement to the Playmaker Website and Tutorials.

When the book arrived, I was first disappointed by how light the book was. Coming in at 100 pages, I would have expected this book to be cheaper. Then I opened the book and reviewed the chapters.

Chapter 1 - Getting Started with Unity and Playmaker
There are 2 pages that tell you how to download Playmaker from the asset store. There isn't even any instruction on where to put Playmaker if you happened to download it from the developers site instead of the asset store. The rest of the chapter contains the standard Unity basics you find in almost any book.

Chapter 2 - Unity's and Playmaker's User Interface
You finally get to open Playmaker on page 32 (1/3 of the book has already passed by) and create a single state. No background information about Finite State Machines or the concepts behind how they work. Just a click here and click here with limited screen captures.

Chapter 3 - Components and State Machines
Unity Components is once again more than 1/2 the focus of he chapter. On Page 43 we finally get some more Playmaker info that has some practical info in the form of a tutorial.

Chapter 4 - Creating your first Game
Wish the rest of the book was actually like this chapter. Perhaps has more info on Playmaker than the rest of the book combined. However it starts with a description of Vector Math - why not just teach basic triggers or something simple instead of losing the noobie in Math Jargon that can be avoided to a certain extent by using Playmaker.

Chapter 5 - Scripting and Custom Actions
Scripting in C# and Javascript? Really? I thought the goal of Playmaker was avoiding having to code? So this chapter is divided between how to script in Unity, and then an example of how to create a custom Playmaker Action. This is a rather advanced concept, and seems kind of pointless considering that there is a direct mapping of the entire Unity API (2D and 3D) in Playmaker. If you are using playmaker, chances are you aren't interested in programming custom actions. If you can program custom actions why are you then using Playmaker? PS. The Playmaker website has a tutorial on how to create Playmaker Actions that is comparable to the one in this chapter.

Chapter 6 - Networking and Multiplayer
Perhaps the most informative part of the book. It does include information on how to use the Photon Networking components that are included with Playmaker.

Chapter 7 - Working with External APIs
Another how to create custom components for playmaker. In this instance using Kongregate.

So in conclusion. This book is very superficial. You will learn more about Playmaker just going through the Playmaker online manual and wiki. If you are interested in doing networking this might be worth your investment or if you want to create custom elements for Playmaker.

But if you want to buy this book to learn Playmaker, this book isn't for you. It is very superficial in its discussion of the subject, and fails to provide background information or even go through even basic setups like creating a simple pick up that makes a sound.

Hopefully someone will come out with a helpful Playmaker book, but this isn't it. It is almost as if the author convinced the Publisher that he was a Playmaker expert, and the reviewers and publisher knew nothing about it. It is a bit of a shame really, and now I am out $30 bucks.

Chapter 6 - Networking and Multiplayer

Chapter 2 -
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 11 April 2014
By jdmiles - Published on
I am instructor of Simulation and Game Development at a community college and when I saw this book I immediately went to the publisher's site to request a review copy of it because I thought "this is exactly the text I need to introduce my students to PlayMaker in our first semester course". In my excitement and impatience for the book, I went ahead and bought it, so here goes:

I see in the description that the book is listed at 122 pages. Well, thought I, 122 pages of PlayMaker examples (keep in mind I am expecting simple, like puzzle games, maze games, and maybe culminating in a space shooter type game)) will be the exact type of reference my students need to reinforce what they are shown in class examples. Ah, but the book is not actually 122 pages long, the last page of the index is page 107. If I remove the index and the preface and the table of contents (as none of them really "teach" anything of relevance) the book comes in at 97 pages, not the 120+ that I was expecting.

OK, says I, as i plop this pamphlet onto my desk to take a look:

Chapter 1: downloading and installing Unity, buying and importing PlayMaker, creating a PlayMaker project (nothing in the project, just the starting point). Well, all Introductory books need this chapter, I agree, but I expected a book entitled Practical Game Design... to not start at that level. I understand that level is needed, and that level is important, but..

Chapter 2 Unity and PlayMaker's user interface, decent to good chapter as the UI does need to be introduced and I do believe that this brief chapter could be a valuable reference source to students first learning these tools. This chapter should have been included in Chapter 1 and maybe Chapter 1 should have been called Getting Up and Running with Unity and Playmaker. Just my thought, but that would have given more content and meat to these chapters.

Chapter 3 Components and State Machines so there are 6 pages on Unity game objects and prefabs and 6 pages on finite state machines and what they are. I think that my Computer Science books from undergrad and graduate school would be so much lighter if FSM's could fully be explained and demonstrated in 6 pages. Keep in mind, if you have never used Unity, have no idea what a state machine is, and have never written any code before, these 12 pages are your complete introduction to the topic. The author is given you these 12 pages and expects you to now understand these concepts.

Chapter 4 Creating Your first game. Well, says I, now we are getting to it. I can wink at the first 50 pages, oh wow am I really halfway through this book already??, because we are now going to make some games and for my students that is all that maters. Topic 1 in this chapter on creating your first game "Using Vector Geometry and Physics". Really? that is where we are going to start making a game? Vector geometry and physics? No, oh I don't know mouse clicks? Maybe a Simon Says kind of game where the player has to click the appropriately lit cube on the screen? OK, well I can follow along with this, but since this book is apparently written for those with absolutely no background I can't help but wonder if the author should have actually laid some ground work and built up to it, just my opinion of course.

Chapter 5 Scripting and Custom Actions. OK now wait a second, we are seriously only going to get one demo project in PlayMaker before spending 10 pages on scripting and we actually think our readers learned how to script in those 10 pages? For those that know how to program, yes we caught on to Unity scripting in those 10 pages, for those that do not know how to program, a 10 page book on programming is not going to cut it.

Last 2 chapters Networking and working with external APIs, seriously? Let's go back and actually spend some time doing some more PlayMaker demos for student to actually learn how to use PlayMaker. If the author had actually spent more than a weekend writing this "book" I could see these 2 chapters as being wonderful closing topics for a solid 300 page book that actually teaches the reader how to use PlayMaker. But as it is, those 2 chapter were out of place and I seriously doubt that someone that has never used Unity, never Used PlayMaker, and never written any code is going to be able to create their own game project using this book as their only source. I understand that the Internet is a valuable resource and that we should always supplement our learning, but when you buy a book and then use it to keep you dining room table from wobbling while you go online to learn how to do what the "book" claimed it would teach you...well that book probably should not have been published.

In the end I was terribly disappointed in this pamphlet and will not be able to use it in the classroom, Perhaps with some reflection I may return to this review but I could not imagine going beyond 2 stars for this thing Save your money, go to Google and search for PlayMaker tutorials, then start making games with PlayMaker and adjust this"book" whenever your table wobbles.
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