Instant games with Unity

Instant games with Unity

Instant games are a new phenomenon. Thanks to their simplicity to play, instant load and repeatability of fun, they are the best form of free-time content. We can find such games nearly everywhere - in messaging apps, on social sites, gaming websites as well as media portals of companies which want to bring their customers the opportunity to have fun while using their service (airlines, restaurants, train / bus companies and other).

Instant games are a type of native games which are being loaded immediately in user's device, usually from cloud storage by using CDN service. These games run directly in a browser or any different installed application while they do not require any own installation and plugins. Games may use device storage for saving game progress and resources for offline running.
Instant games definition By GameArter

Unity and Instant games

As you probably know, Unity is popular - worldwide leading - game engine allowing game developers to easily develop and port their games to 25+ platforms including PCs, mobiles, web, VR / AR and consoles.

Considering Unity's position, it's absolutely noteworthy that Unity did not offer functional solution for long years and let game developers targeting for rapidly growing messaging apps and social websites to get a need to start use competition game engines for games development.

Looking 6 Years back, Unity was a king in the field of browser games. Its new web builds, requiring Unity Web player plugin, brought absolutely new type of games and quality to web / social sites gaming environment and attracted many new players and awaitening of bright future for this market. It was taking for 3 years, till browsers got stop support of NPAPI plugins back in 2015 which meant end of Unity Web Player and great Unity games on web. Unity's replacement in a form of natively running WebGl builds was not optimal, games worked poorly and number of users playing the games started decrease.

While games made with Unity were losing players on web due to bad performance, creators of other game engines worked hard to bring a better solution in a form of instant cross-device HTML5 games. And need to say that they did it. All most famous games running in the browser today were made with different engine than Unity.

Unity's project Tiny. The return of the king?

It's clear that instant games are in trend and Unity will not let it escape. Actually, its new project Tiny is proof of that. Considering size of Unity, development team, robust solution, experience and huge community, project Tiny can be a game-changer. Even first promises show that Unity could be far further than all others. From this reason, and the fact that GameArter will be compatible with Unity Tiny soon, I decided to pursue this project a bit more to detail in a new series focused at development instant games with using Unity.

Installation of Unity's project Tiny

Package Tiny is available in Unity 2018.3 and above. Here's step by step walkthrough for its installation:

  1. In the menu tabs bar, choose Window -> Package manager
  2. In top menu of Package manager, choose Advanced -> Show preview packages.
  3. Find Tiny mode package and select install

Did not it help? Then check this video walkthrough.

Note that Unity Tiny mode require scripting runtime in version .Net 4.X or above. Scripting runtime version may be set in Player setting (Edit → project settings).

Personally, I have had an error "Library\PackageCache\com.unity.tiny@0.14.4-preview\Editor\Export\TinyAssetExporter.cs(712,38): error CS1061: 'TMP_FontAsset' does not contain a definition for 'characterDictionary' and no accessible extension method 'characterDictionary' accepting a first argument of type 'TMP_FontAsset' could be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)" after installin project Tiny in Unity 2019.1.0f2 so I switched back to Unity 2018.3 where unity Tiny works without problems.

Useful links related to Unity Tiny

  • Blog
  • Instant games with Unity