Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Why Coherent UI?

UnityGirl here to explain why Brune decided to go with Coherent UI over the other options for Unity3d in-game Web-views. Come sit on the story-telling rug and hear a tale of three little Web Views and a very persistent girl dev.

Brunelleschi: Age of Architects has been a complex fully Web-Page based game for some time. A few months ago I started making the 3D client in Unity. Obviously a great way to encourage immersion is to integrate the web game with the 3D game through playable web views. But how?

Hungry For Porridge
Searching for the right Web View software was very much like being Goldilocks in a mysterious cottage full of disembodied web pages. Choosing the correct one was a matter of trial and error as we discovered what we needed versus what the software offered. I also had to consider my own technical inexperience with web software and consider what was quick and easy to use without learning more programming languages in order to complete the fairly simple goal.

Action Page of the Brune Web Game
What We Needed
Every dev makes choices based on the needs of their game. Since Brune is already a web game, we really wanted to have interactive web views inside the Unity client. That way, the players could play the game while they were playing the game!  (^_^)

Too Hot
U Web Kit - Didn't Hold Session
We started with U Web Kit as the first obvious solution, but it had one major problem: It wouldn't hold a session between scenes. This meant players would have to log into their character -every time- they switched Unity scenes. Uncool.

Too Cold
Awesomium - No in-Game Web Viewing
We then tried Awesomium, which is admittedly great. Good web views and convenient scripting mechanisms AND it holds session between scene changes. However, it also had one vital problem: I couldn't figure out how to make web views in a scene that wasn't dedicated to them. This means we couldn't use Awesomium to simulate game play (ie: access web-character's storage through an interface in the 3D warehouse)

Just Right
Coherent UI - Totally Versatile
Finally, we tried Coherent. Coherent not only holds session and allows you to make web views inside your game scenes, it's support team also answers your questions promptly and thoroughly! This means that even when I run into a hitch with it, I get an answer quick. The devs are quick to help figure out which side the error is on (yours or theirs) and get it fixed.
Coherent UI in Action in our Unity Game

While it's possible your game will need something more conveniently offered by someone else, Coherent UI is a great bet for

  • Web Views that hold session between scenes
  • Web Views inside your game scenes that players can interact with.


Thanks for reading! Let me know if there's something you're curious about, otherwise I'll keep picking techniques and tips at semi-random. Comment or find me on Twitter at @AesopRebecca.
Official Hours: 4pm - 12am PST
Unofficial Hours: 4pm - 5am PST

All blog posts by UnityGirl are inspired by my work with Brunelleschi: Age of Architects on the Aesop Games team. Check out our Crowd Funding page(s)!

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