First Wave of Unity Games Published for Apple TV
Monday, November 02, 2015
The first wave of games built for Apple TV using the Unity for Apple TV platform have been released. Unity has been working under a closed alpha to work the kinks out of the Unity for Apple TV platform, treating it as a separate platform, rather than an extension of the iOS platform due to the differences on how content is presented, consumed and interacted.
The publishers of the first 11 Unity games that have shipped for Apple have worked closely with the Unity team to make sure the platform supports all the high fidelity graphics and performance capabilities of the A8 chip as well as the new features of tvOS, including On-Demand Resources and the new Siri Remote. A complete list of the first games launched for Apple TV can be found here.
Unity for Apple TV will be available in public beta in late November. Publishers who have a Unity Pro license and would like to join the alpha testing group now can contact the Unity for Apple TV support team.
Based on the feedback from the testing, Unity has provided tips for game publishers as they move towards launching games on Apple TV:
- Get to know the Siri remote and integrate it into game design.
- The touch surface is not an exact replacement for a touch screen due to the fact it is much smaller and it feels different to not be able to see what you are going to touch.
- There are currently no ads available on Apple TV so consider a monetization strategy.
- Tackle the issue of the game size early (assets, sounds, package) as it can become problematic with Apple’s mandatory 200Mb limit.
- Thoroughly test controls and try control schemes as early in the development process as possible because using the Siri remote is a new way to control games that offers both new capacities, but also new issues.
- There are a number of ways to cut down development time through the Unity Asset Store including user interface kits, player controls mapping utilities and artificial intelligence systems. Also Unity's Asset Bundles can facilitate the implementation of Apple's On-Demand Resources, which will make it easier for releasing on Apple TV.
- Watch out for the differences between iOS and tvOS. Not every plugin and feature that can be used on the iOS side will function properly and input paradigms that work well on a touch screen will not necessarily work on the Apple TV touch surface.
- When bringing games from iOS to tvOS, consider the structure of the UI and ensure navigation works well, especially that it adheres to Apple's human interface guidelines. If On Demand Resources will be required, get that working early and incorporate that into the work flow.
Included in the list of Unity for Apple TV features are:
- Apple TV Siri Remote exposed through Unity’s joystick API
- On-Demand Resources via Asset bundles which already shipped in Unity 5.2.1
- Deploy to tvOS platform as a separate build target
- tvOS Layered Images and Top Shelf support
- Improved Unity UI features to support TV controller style navigation
- Bitcode support
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