My intention ultimately is to create an iPhone / iPad 3D application, however, seeing that unity is cross platform, and also seeing the there are fees for the unity iPhone/iPad development kit, my thought was to just make my first version for OS X and then when it's working perfect then I can publish for iPhone / iPad and pay the developer fees (I still don't get why there are developer fees!! That just seems wrong to me).
I am just wondering if this is a bad idea for any reason, and I should just do my initial development for iPhone / iPad...
You are on the right track. If you've never developed with Unity before, then it is a great idea to start with their free engine and develop a Mac/PC/Web Browser game first.
The whole point of Unity is to make it easy to develop a game once and publish it to many different platforms.
Of course, you'll have to re-do some work when you do port to ipad: shrink asset sizes, update controls, modify game play to fit a smaller screen. But I would still choose this path as it will give you a game that works on the maximum number of platforms and it keeps you from spending cash until you know you have a good game.
As for the cost, Unity is a for profit company. While there are free and open source game development tools available, they don't even come close in terms of functionality. Unity is not just a game engine, it is a suite of middleware tools to support game development within a clean and extensible UI. Not only that, but they supported IPad before the thing was released. They also pay licensing fees for all the 3rd party engines and tools that are integrated. The fact that you can develop a for profit game without paying them a cent is incredibly generous and any game engine that could be compared to Unity will also charge for their product.
It is possible to start development in regular unity, and then move to iPhone / iPad at a later date, however it's important to be aware of the differences between these platforms and regular PC / Mac / Webplayer platforms.
There are two major differences:
1. The vastly reduced processing power
2. The difference in input and control
answered Apr 08 '10 at 07:52 PM
The $99/year fee isn't exactly bank-breaking. This exists to help pay for running the program, and, honestly, as a small measure of commitment on the part of the developer, to help weed out those who aren't really serious and just waste time and resources. If you're planning on paying that anyway, you might as well just do it now so you can use Unity iPhone to its full capacity, and not worry about whether your optimizations and control methods are going to be effective or not.
answered Apr 08 '10 at 07:59 PM
Note that in Unity 2.x, you would import the Unity project into Unity iPhone. While script files and assets are compatible between the two, you will be working in a different project and will have to manually move changes that you want to share from one project to the other.
One of the announced features of Unity 3 (due this summer) is that Unity and Unity iPhone will continue to be separate licenses but will no longer be separate editors. So you should not need to import the project into Unity iPhone, and further, you should be able to develop a game that can be built for multiple platforms from a single project, by using conditional compilation flags, runtime checks, and maybe other tricks.
answered Apr 20 '10 at 03:46 PM
Along these lines,
When he open the files, there's nothing in the scene. Not even the default Main Camera.
answered Oct 25 '10 at 04:31 PM