Lots of mobile-game developers sell their work for ultra-cheap (think of all the $1.99 games available for Google Android and Apple’s iOS) or free—and sometimes, that overshadows the fact that those developers need to actually eat and pay their bills.
Unity Technologies—maker of the popular Unity3D game engine—has just released a software suite that allows developers to run advertising within their mobile games, as well as monitor those advertisements’ performance. This so-called Unity Cloud will not require native SDK integration (although it does necessitate the developer set up a Unity Cloud account), and will roll out at an unannounced point in the near future; the beta is available on Unity’s Website.
Unity is also introducing new 2D tools and workflow for its flagship Unity engine and editor. That’s another play for the mobile market, where a large number of smartphone and tablet game designers—including independent developers—are crafting casual 2D games such as side-scrollers and puzzlers. The new 2D tools attempt to streamline the game-development workflow with specialized scene-manipulation tools and new ways to import and render objects; for example, the developer could click-and-drag a sprite from the asset library into the 2D scene under development.
(For those unfamiliar with gaming terminology, 2D games are those that involve only X and Y coordinates for its onscreen objects; 3D games, by contrast, incorporate the Z axis. An 8-bit side-scroller like Super Mario Bros is a good example of a 2D game, while something like the newish Xcom: Enemy Unknown is a 3D one.)
For Unity, these platforms could help it gain more of a presence in mobile gaming, which is drawing more attention as a gaming platform. While hardcore gamers will always have their ultra-powerful desktops and consoles, a large number of casual gamers just want a fast and easy playing experience on their tablet or smartphone. Unity plans on further highlighting this trend by promoting some of the more mobile games created by its developer community.
As Jon Brodkin wrote for SlashCloud in June, innumerable developers have used the Unity3D platform to craft video games for consoles, browsers, PCs, and Macs. By offering powerful tools at relatively little cost, such software has helped democratize game development; and while Unity executives have indicated their future lies in a stronger push into consoles, the all-consuming need by developers to create games for smartphones and tablets is obviously pushing the company into developing whole new toolsets for mobile gaming, as well.
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