All the pieces are falling in place – Unity3d

Back in late 2009 I wrote a post saying we had all the pieces to start seriously building virtual world toolkits and environments from off the shelf pieces.
Today I have seen two releases arrive of new hosted toolkits and services, both using Unity3d and some of the other pieces related to hosting a server component. They are both from stalwarts of the virtual worlds industry and both with former close ties to Linden Lab and Second Life.

In not particular order the first is from SecondPlaces.net called Unifier. As with all Unity environment this benefits from the browser plugin to let it run on most browsers. According to the site its using smartfoxserver to broker the positions of the other avatars and flash voice for VOIP.
The key is that it acts both as a hosted service on Amazon EC2 (i.e. thats where the server will be running for your instance) or as a run yourself service. Smartfoxserver is a relatively simple java application to get going on a server with some config for ports etc needed. The important parts are it knowing what it needs to keep a track of an what clients subscribe too. There also appear to be lots of interaction with other content, whiteboards etc and the sort of dynamic tools needed to interact online. So a lot of work has gone into productising this.
The second offering is from Tipodean which is both a service to run peer to peer unity3d (which looks like it uses the unity3d master server) and an OpenSim to unity3d conversion service. So you can pay to get your build moved from prims to the mesh of unity3d and then have some unity3d polish applied to it.
It is not clear how dynamic any of the environments are, as typically, whilst unity3d can load new assests on the fly it is more complicated to set that up than the ability for people to walk around a fixed environment.
The upshot of all this is that there is more choice and scope for the market to grow. These join the other services out there and form part of an SL counter culture, in a slightly different way to the counter culture of Opensim.
It’s all good.

4 thoughts on “All the pieces are falling in place – Unity3d

  1. Hi Ian,

    Nice blog, the main area that we are offing is the converter and then we can help the client work with the content, basically they could do whatever they want. They could take the content into the providers of other services e.g. Unifer, build their own system or ramp out the peer to peer. I wanted to give people some examples of content running in multiple ways to allow them to better understand how they can think about things when it comes to Unity3d. I liked setting up an example with Master Server because gave me a multiplayer that anyone could quickly have a go of without me needing any hosted backend servers. I could have 10’s of thousands of people hit the multiplayer link and it would all work

    We also do a lot of work with some backend MMO server and I am a big fan of Photon.

  2. Thanks Chris 🙂 Thats very cool. Some good cross over and synergy there. A nice unity3d ecosystem forming. The next thing to figure out is the behaviour of objects (obviously not converting the scripts as they are so dependent on the underlying environment) 🙂

  3. Hi Ian

    Thanks for comments , we have been working hard on the dynamic parts of Unifier. We have used the platform for a number of major projects that will go live over the summer and show its capability. Meantime, please try … and feedback thoughts.

    Hi Chris

    Good to touch base again , looks like some definite complimentary activity … lets chat next week.

    Vin

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