Archive for August, 2012

EZGUI and Sprite Manager 2

Posted: August 4, 2012 in Programming, Unity3D

The teaser picture of the Numberheads app (here) shows a bunch of playing pieces with numbers. Actually, each number is a composite “GameObject” in Unity-speak. There are three components to each playing piece:

  • A controller GameObject with the button logic
  • A sprite GameObject with number images
  • A sprite GameObject with overlay images

As anyone who has programmed in the Unity environment and targeting mobile devices will tell you, it's important to worry about draw calls and batching, especially if you want to be able to still support older devices like the IPad1. After a lot of investigating, I decided that for one thing I didn't want to roll my own solution! I'd rather write game code! Anyway, I checked out a few GUI and sprite solutions for Unity and decided on EZGUI and Sprite Manager 2 from Above and Beyond Software. A lot of folks on Unity fora moan about the price but that was less of a concern for me than functionality, docs, performance, and lack of bugs.

Without trying to sound too much like a product blurb, these two packages work together beautifully to allow thing like buttons with animations and multiple layers of animations, buttons with just the control elements that respond to a collider, and versatile animated sprites, with the big plus that if you can fit all your sprites and other GUI I ages on one sprite sheet (the package has a sprite sheet builder) with one material, then all of the GUI elements and sprites are batched into one draw call.

As a result the app performs almost equally as well on an iPad 1 as on an iPad 3. Kudos to Brady!