NASA spacewalk F.P.Builder using Unity3D

06-10-2009 10-48-15 PMUnity 3D  shows its specialty – hardware accelerated 3D interactive environments. NASA has been on the forefront of using Unity as an outreach and education tool. Check out the Space Station construction game here

Unity 3D is a lightweight browser plug-in/activeX control and a very capable IDE. It is 3D-centric, meaning the IDE looks almost like a single-pane 3D editor with a scene builder area and a behavior (code) editor….Code is assigned to 3D objects and can be written in C#, javascript and other languages. I’ve tested it with 10,000 polygon models with shading and it is perfectly smooth. Simply put, none of the 3D performance issues we run into with Flash are present in this plugin and the optimizations going from your 3D creation to game/world  implementation are minimized – things simply look great and chomp at the bit to run at 60fps. Sounds, buttons, and video integration are in the latest version, which features an IDE for both Mac and Windows. The Indie version goes for around $400-$500 with a fixed pre-load screen as it’s only branding, and the 30-day trial is fully functional. Applications can be released as standalone mac/win or for the browser plugin.

Overall it is a very straightforward and empowering tool to work with – the usual limits have been removed without the introduction of more complexity.

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