Update on my Unity3D plugins

Hey there, dear friends, subscribers and strangers passing by!
Today I’d like to tell you something about my Unity3D plugins I sell on the Unity Asset Store.

Let me begin with one plugin I didn’t introduced on my blog yet: Advanced FPS Counter!

This is a super simple and flexible way to show FPS, memory usage and some hardware info right in your app on target platform \ device.
This plugin may be really useful on the project testing phase, when you send your app to the beta testers and wish to hear from them what performance on what hardware do they have. Or if you just wish to see all these data yourself in your app running on the target device.
Anyway, I hope you’ll find it useful and helpful. And most important part – it’s almost free, currently I sell it for just five bucks (except the Nebraska)!

Another good news I’d like to tell you – latest Anti-Cheat Toolkit update finally hit Asset Store and now available for purchase!

It brings some great new features, like speed hack detection and I did fixed lot of community reported bugs and implemented some community requested features.
I also wish to let you know I’m already working on next significant update which will raise plugin’s price a bit. As you may see Anti-Cheat Toolkit went really far from what it was on its first Asset Store day, and I never changed its price since releasing it in Aug’13. I hope you see it deserves few additional bucks =)
So, I’d suggest to hurry and grab it for current low price until next update released! =P

After all, I wish to hug all people helping me to make my plugins better or supporting me in any other way. In first place I’m talking about all my friends and customers who were so kind to send me a bug report, or leave a review in Asset Store or just say me “good work” on forums. Thank you all, guys!

Special thanks and hugs fly out to my little-almost-year princess and my wife, her great mommy <3!

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Types conversion in Unity3D

Hey there!
Recently I needed to store floats as integers and vice versa (used it to easily xor floats in my Anti-Cheat Toolkit) and I came across few ways of doing this.

Unsafe pointers – fastest one:

public unsafe int FloatToInt(float value)
{
	return *(int*)&value;
}

public unsafe float IntToFloat(int value)
{
	return *(float*)&value;
}

Easy, right?
Please, note, it requires /unsafe compiler option. To leverage unsafe operations in unity, you have two commonly used options to choose from:
1. Use it in a separate dll, compiled with /unsafe option.
2. Set /unsafe option right in your project using “Global Custom Defines”, putting it in .rsp file in your Assets/ root. See bottom of this page for details.
And keep in mind unsafe code is not supported in some build targets, like Web Player and Flash Player.

Unions (Explicitly layouted structs) – slower than pointers, but works in Web Player (not in Flash Player, d’oh!):

[StructLayout(LayoutKind.Explicit)]
internal struct FloatIntUnion
{
	[FieldOffset(0)]
	public float f;

	[FieldOffset(0)]
	public int i;
}

public int FloatToInt(float value)
{
	var u = new FloatIntUnion();
	u.f = value;
	return u.i;
}

public float IntToFloat(int value)
{
	var u = new FloatIntUnion();
	u.i = value;
	return u.f;
}

Pretty easy to use, safe and works on more build targets comparing to pointers.
Note [StructLayout(LayoutKind.Explicit)] attribute is used here in conjunction with [FieldOffset(*)] attribute. It allows you to set each struct field position in memory explicitly and read data stored there.

BitConverter class – pretend to be slowest:

public int FloatToInt(float value)
{
	return BitConverter.ToInt32(BitConverter.GetBytes(value), 0);
}

public float IntToFloat(int value)
{
	return BitConverter.ToSingle(BitConverter.GetBytes(value), 0);
}

Safest one though (works even in Flash Player).

I should mention there are so-called “safe pointers” in C#, used through Marshal class, but they are pretty complicated, require unmanaged memory allocations and constant control on memory at all (C# developers are usually rely on GC and do not bother on allocations), so I’ll not post Marshal review here for now, these 3 methods I described are usually enough for the types conversion.
I hop I’ll have some time to make performance tests on these methods in latest Unity 4.3 later and post results with tests sourcers here (in another blog post).

Questions? Ask in comments!

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Meet Anti-Cheat Toolkit: prevent cheating easily in your Unity3D game!

Hey, dear fellows!
Today I’m glad to present you my first contribution to the Unity3D Asset Store:

Anti-Cheat Toolkit logo

Anti-Cheat Toolkit (ACT)!

This is a tiny toolkit, created to help you protect your Unity3D project from many cheaters / hackers (not from all – skilled and well-motivated person can hack anything). Current ACT version allows you to protect sensitive variables and PlayerPrefs from cheating.

Feel free to watch a small video I made to show how to cheat your game (or whatever) and how ACT allows you to prevent such cheating: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6–2JECbpSE

So, currently ACT allows you to keep variables safe from all kind of memory searchers (Cheat Engine, ArtMoney, etc.) and prevent your saved PlayerPrefs data from altering by any person on any platform.

Just add ACT DLL into your project and replace PlayerPrefs to PlayerPrefsObscured, sensitive int to ObscuredInt, float to ObscuredFloat, etc. and you’re done! Really :)
This is all you need to do to add some protection from cheaters to your project in no time, no any additional steps required!
For more flexibility I added custom crypto keys usage (not necessary, but feel free to use it), if you’re nerdy enough :)
ACT is very simple and intuitive to use as you can see – you shouldn’t have to know something special at all. Hope you’ll like it!

Anti-Cheat Toolkit at:
Own ACT plugin page
Unity Forum
Asset Store

GIVEAWAY IS ENDED, SORRY :P  

PS: I wish to say special thanks to Daniele Giardini for great logos and all priceless feedback he provided about ACT!
And I’d like to let you know about some must-have Unity3D content Daniele created, like tweening engine HOTween or “Swiss knife” panel HOTools, and you definitely should check out Goscurry – super fun, creative and addictive game!

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Unity3D threads – measuring performance

Hey everybody!
Sometimes people ask me about delayed actions or threading in Unity3D and usually I suggest to use coroutines since they are suitable for the most cases I faced with.
But sometimes we need to use true threading and make some calculations faster, A* path finding for example.
So I decided to make a fast-written performance comparison of traditional code execution vs. threaded version. I searched for some simple threads managers and found this really simple Loom class from whydoidoit accidentally.

I did a simple test app for different platforms (I attached archive with apps and sources at the end of this post) and found some results pretty interesting.
All my code is trying to do – is just to make CPU think a little while working with huge array of Vector3D instances (10 000 000 for Desktop platforms and 1 000 000 for mobile platforms):

private void Run()
{
	const float scale = 432.654f;

	for (int j = 0; j &lt; arrayLength; j++)
	{
		Vector3 v = vertices[j];

		v = Vector3.Lerp(v * scale / 123f * v.magnitude, v / scale * 0.0123f * v.magnitude, v.magnitude);

		vertices[j] = v;
	}
}

This is a simple dummy code as you can see.
I added simple Ant model (hello, Away3D examples authors! :)) with rotation at Update() to the scene in order to see how app can freeze while running this ugly code in main thread.

JTMLjQ0

I did few tests of this code as I mentioned previously, both in sync (straight execution in main thread) and async (running it the separate threads) modes, here are results I’ve got (S – sync, A – async):
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AIR vs. Unity3D. Who’s faster? (Update 1)

Update 1: uploaded some sources (look at the end of article).

Hey there!
Yeah, it’s been a while blahblahblah.. To the point! =)

Sometimes I’ll highlight actual files from the archive, attached at the page bottom.

Sometimes I see Flash developers interested in the Unity3D lately, and I – one of them actually)
I work with Unity for a while already and all I can say – it’s fantastic experience! So cool to learn C# language (I hope other Flash devs make wise decision to code in C# as well), to learn new community and people, to meet a lot of new challenges and to look at 3D world from a new point at all!

Many Flash developers are still uncertain they should try Unity and spend their time learning this brand new world though.. And in some cases it’s built on top of the AIR and Unity3D performance differences obscurity. So I’ll unveil portion of this differences in this article to help those Flash developers make a choice (whatever what they choose)!

All examples I’ll compile with AIR 3.6 and Unity3D 4.1 and I’ll try to keep similar functionality and look of these examples to let them compete.
I’ll test builds on the pretty slow Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and make some tests on the desktop as well.

Intro

Okay, let’s start from comparing empty builds.
To measure FPS in unity3D I’ll use hand-made FPSmeter working with GUIText.
In AIR builds I’ll use different FPSmeters, usually in-built to the frameworks I’ll use.
Well, let’s see to the built apks (I built Captive Runtime in AIR and usual release build in Unity3D):
Continue reading

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