At this week’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, Unity Technologies made its Unity Android software commercially available to developers who want to port their existing iOS titles to the Android platform. According to the company, the process of porting a game from iOS to Android can be as simple as changing the target platform and clicking “Build.”
Fast Porting, More Affordable Pricing
In practice, there may be a little bit more involved than the one-click porting process described by the software maker. Developers whose testimonials were included in Unity’s press materials cited time frames of days or weeks.
For example, Marc Andreoli, Partner at GameResort LLC, said that porting its iOS game Stupid Zombies to Android took less than 2 days to fully port and do some fine tuning. Pat Toulouse, President of Ratrod Studio, said that porting its Drift Mania Championship title took less than a week, and Benjamin Vu, Co-Founder and President of SkyVu Pictures, said that porting Battle Bears from iPhone to Android took less than two weeks.
Of course, these testimonials were compliments, not complaints. All three firms were very happy with the Unity solution.
Unity’s porting software has actually been in testing for many months now. Since the launch of Unity Pro for Android’s preview release last summer, over 50 game developers have ported titles from iOS to Android including those mentioned above plus games like Rocket Bunny, Abduction, Samurai II: Vengeance, Breakout Kings, Castle Warriors, Doodle Bowling and others.
This week’s big news is that Unity has also introduced a more affordable version of this software, Unity for Android. Unity Pro for Android is a $1,500 add-on to Unity’s development platform Unity Pro, while the newer Unity for Android is a $400 add-on to the free version of Unity. A full feature comparison is available here.
With the release of a more affordable porting tool for Android developers, Unity hopes to improve the quality of the games on the Android platform. Says Nicholas Francis, Chief Creative Officer at Unity Technologies, “now we’re doing the full launch of our product and can’t wait to see what kind of amazing things people will develop.”
Unity Technologies currently has over 400,000 registered users worldwide including major brands like Bigpoint, Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, Disney, Electronic Arts, LEGO, Microsoft, NASA, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. But it attracts indies, students and hobbyist developers, too. The developers use Unity’s tools to build games for the Web, mobile and consoles as well as to create other interactive 3D content including training simulations and medical and architectural visualizations.
For those interested, Unity for Android offers the following:
- Integrated Editor — Users can deploy a single project to multiple platforms, including Android, using a one-click solution that just works. Porting a game from iOS to Android can be as simple as changing the target platform and clicking “Build.”
- Support for upcoming Android devices, including Tegra Tablets and the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY Smartphone — Users can be among the first to benefit from releasing games on the exciting range of Android-based gaming platforms.
- Highly Optimized Graphics Pipeline for OpenGL ES 2.0 — Unity Technologies has been working directly with hardware manufacturers such as NVIDIA and Qualcomm to get every last bit of performance out of Android so that users can create stunning games without worrying about the subtle difference between devices.
- Android Remote — Developers can use their actual Android phone as an input device to view and test their game directly within the authoring tool.
I’m not at this week’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco for various reasons (the main one being that I’ve been covering events non-stop for nearly two months and my body is falling apart), but we’re keeping a pretty close eye on things just in case. We’re hearing that things just got a little dramatic in the “ANGRY BIRDS – An Entertainment Franchise in the Making” panel headed by Rovio’s “Might Eagle” (read: head honcho) Peter Vesterbacka.