If you followed the old blog then you know that Xamarin screwed me. It derailed my Garden App and I have spent years trying to get the project back on track. I decided that using Unity would be the best way to get my Garden App UI built because what has better UI than a video game. The entire genre is dedicated to exceptional front ends. Why not use it for a business app UI?
So you are going to use a Video Game Engine for Business UI?
I promise I have not been partaking in the holiday libations early. I realize that what I really wanted was a smooth and simple interface that was going to be very graphical.
Originally, I wanted to do a grid of buttons for the planting control. I ran out of room in memory because of the UI elements were too numerous for what I was trying. I also wanted the thing to be multi-platform since not everyone, including me, will want to drag a laptop outside to work.
There was also another reason.
I was sitting playing a game called Outpost. A scandalous game produced by Sierra. In fact I think one of the gaming magazines gave it, its first ever 10 star review or something.
They sold like hotcakes, including to my brother. Something bad happened. Marketing must have gotten its claws into it because they forgot to finish it. It literally had no relationship to the manual that came with it because they forgot to finish at least half the game.
Being a little kid, my brother tossed this piece of crap to me and I have been playing it for over 20 years. Don’t get me wrong. It is a awful game but I enjoyed it.
Grandpa stories aside, I remember thinking how great it would be if I could do my Garden App in a isomeric view. After the Xamarin thing and failing to get exactly what I wanted with Win Forms or WPF, I was stuck. Then I thought about how great the garden app would be in isometric. Which brought me to Unity.
Unity is a video game engine that supports scripting in C#. As part of my regular purchase of textbooks used in college, which I use to help stay relevant, I had already played with it.
In addition, I had played with Blender quite a bit. While I used it off label for my 3D printer models, it is primarily as 3D artist tool.
Unity, Blender, are you sure you aren’t going mad from isolation?
In theory, I had the most basic skills to put together a Unity game. While I didn’t want to make a video game, I did think, wait, I can apply that to my Garden App. It can deploy across multiple platforms and there is nothing bleeding edge about it. It is a mature product.
I talked to a mentor of mine that was skeptical about the Garden App. His concerns were primarily based on gardening not being that user friendly and how easy it would be to create something too complicated for the basic consumer.
All these threads came together when I realized that a video game is nothing but a fantastic UI with a bit of logic in the back end. That describes the Garden App.
I think I found my new GUI.
What’s that have to do with SPD?
One of the series of topics will be tutorials on how to do things in Unity. It will help me reinforce my learning and document it out when I forget how to do it. A perfect win for my content. Lock all the doors and hid the energy drinks because I think there be some coding about to start.