Unity for 2D?

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To sum up our situation: Longtime friend and I decided that trying to make video games might be a better path than programming/doing SYSADMIN/Security engineering work for soulless corporate or contracting entities. We are looking at Unity as our main engine, because $0 cost is better than more than $0 cost (didn't see an option for a free version of Game Maker).

The longtime friend is strong with the Python, and I am strong with... Windows Server, and mediocre in Windows CLI.

So, I'm wonder if it is viable (or even a good idea) to use Unity for 2D games instead of another engine, based on ease of use/learning and generally what the engine is built for?


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The last time Seth and Sam used Unity for 2D was before we even started the studio (~4 years ago now). At that time they had very poor support for 2D, though also at that time they had major improvements listed on their roadmap. It's possible that it's gotten pretty good by now.

Something you should think super carefully about though: $0 is not always better than not-$0. If you save $100 bucks by getting the wrong tool, that will cost you far more than that in the long term. Especially if you are trying to bootstrap a studio -- yes cost management is important but also you probably have a limited runway. That means time management is at least as important. Save money and use free stuff absolutely everywhere you can get away with it (which is also what we had to do!) but don't handicap your studio by doing that.

As we bootstrapped our studio Gamemaker, Dropbox, LastPass, and Google Apps were pretty much the only paid software/services we used. Those provided such value and mitigated so much risk (and are, collectively, quite cheap) that it was worth the minor ding to the length of our runway. Without a doubt all those services sped up our development time enormously so that we didn't need nearly as long of a runway!

We used Inkscape for art (free) and Gimp for photoshop files (free). We use BitBucket as our Git repo (for the love of god please use source control!), which is (free for up to 5 users, dang cheap after that). We used Nearly Free Speech as our web host, which cost us a few dollars a month to run most of our web infrastructure until we started to find success (we're slowly migrating over to AWS now that we can afford it). We ran our website on blogger (free) though it now lives on AWS.

Which is all to say, there are VERY CHEAP/FREE solutions for the vast majority of problems you're going to face. So use those to keep your costs way, way down. That way you can happily pay for essential software/services that will speed up your development or make your lives far better as you make your way down this path.

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