on 27 October 2014
Leaving aside the poor English which is more distracting than obstructive, this is confused, confusing, rambling, repetitive and difficult to follow, the author can't even quote from the web correctly (it's "C for Graphics (Cg)" and not "Computer Graphics (CG)"), but worst of all it's boring.
The step-by-step instructions are particularly egregious, it's easy to get lost in the featureless pages of meandering repetitive instructions. Page upon page of settings (with scant explanation) is neither engaging nor informative but is tedious and disheartening (after setting options and typing in seemingly endless lists of numbers for over an hour with nothing to show for it, I gave up caring). If the reader takes a break or misses a step it is very difficult to track down the correct step among the uniform paragraphs. Conversely each step is phrased slightly differently, so with no consistency each time the reader has to hunt for the pertinent information. Additionally, step numbering is incorrect, many steps are merged and comments are numbered as steps.
A hefty tome at 466 pages, it could be easily pared down by many pages if the repetition were removed and the instructions rationalised, clarified and simplified.
It tries to do too much at once, rather than building through a series of easily achievable stages, it goes for "all or nothing", the reader has to faithfully copy many dozens of steps before pressing play and hopefully seeing a working result, but if any mistakes are made along the tortuous path there is no other recourse but to repeat the whole laborious process.
Despite having an introduction to each section there is no clear explanation of goals, the focus is on the individual steps rather than the larger goal. What explanations there are would benefit greatly from diagrams.
With a book this poor it's difficult to see the value of further analysis, but that said, at the risk of repetition here are some of the many low points.
* Inconsistent / mixed terminology e.g. "depth" vs "order in layer" vs "z".
* Colliders and materials are liberally used throughout, but their purpose is never explained.
* The explanation of Orthographic vs Perspective Projection is very poor.
* On page 24 - a Physics2D Material is "used to prevent our player from getting stuck on the platform's edge", there is an explanation of sorts 11 pages later.
* On page 20 - apparently there are too many vertices for the sprite shown, but there is no explanation why, it looks fine to me.
* On page 17 - Material Ground is used but not described until its next use.
* On page 16 - The Layer Level is not described.
While I get the impression that the author knows Unity, sadly it is abundantly clear he doesn't know how to write nor teach. Frankly, a terrible book that PUT ME OFF Unity.
on 15 October 2014
Let me start by saying that this book really is jam packed with stuff to do! So, to get the very best from it, (especially so if you are pretty new to Unity), you are going to need to work carefully through the provided exercises using the scene files that go along with them. Cannot stress this enough!
Not that this is a book for total beginners mind you, even more seasoned Unity users will find lots of helpful tips, workflow suggestions and ways of creating extra (and useful) functionality, all in there.
The books overall structure makes it pretty easy to grasp the point of each lesson given that it sets up a stated goal in advance, and then lays out how we will go about accomplishing this, before we actually start each of the projects.
I would thoroughly recommend this publication. My one, tiny grievance, is that the titles for the various sections are a little gimmicky and so can lead to a little bit of confusion as to exactly where you are up to in the chapter (especially if you don't remember the description as given at the start that is), but of course that could just be me. :)
All in all though, a great addition to my Unity learning library that can certainly help you get more out of the game engine.
on 24 August 2014
Just a note. The online errata and code downloads are not easily accessible if your purchase this book from Amazon, and you will have to email the publishers direct in order to get the downloads.
Book content is good but the style is very much suited to someone who wishes to expand on examples rather than a hands-on advanced guide (like the cookbooks, for example).
Chapter 1 guides you step-by-step (once you have the downloads) through creating a simple single-screen platformer, with gravity, a key that you must collect, and a door that you enter to finish the level and some appropriate sounds played on jump/collect key/door open. The book then challenges you to add background music and parallax background as well as hitpoints and objects that kill your character when touching them. Definitely a challenging ask after the basic intro.
You definitely need c# or java skills for this book and follow the instructions carefully!
Chapter 2 appears to have a bug, but I cannot access the errata and am waiting for the publisher to give me details on how to access it, but CH1 was fine.