The extraordinary speed in which the Unity Engine has become an essential development tool has resulted in its creators picking up the prestigious Grand Prix prize at this year’s Develop Awards.
If the iPhone is the revolution, then Unity Technologies’ development platform is the epiphenomenon – it is riding on the surging wave of new micro studios and aspiring developers looking to go solo.
The engine has only been available for five years, yet its install base has reached over 200,000 downloads.
Its policy – to allow developers to play around with the engine for free – has and will continue to be mimicked by the latest and greatest engine firms.
And because it’s a level-entry platform, its community has grown into a separate entity altogether – a hub of developers helping each other make their first game, or publish their greatest work.
Its influence on the indie scene is inestimable, powering thousands of games that are published on a eye-poppingly vast array of consoles, from Wii to web to iPhone and now PS3.
In a target-driven business where even the biggest triple-A production will fail to make an impact, Unity is championing the grass-roots approach. And, in what could never have been predicted five years ago, it is giving the bedroom coder a chance to steal the thunder of development empires.