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Official 2 new e-books to help you write cleaner code are now available

Discussion in 'Scripting' started by thomas_jacobsen_unity, Oct 11, 2022.

  1. thomas_jacobsen_unity


    Unity Technologies

    Dec 7, 2016
    Hey everyone,

    We’re happy to announce that we have two new free technical e-books available for programmers or any Unity creator who wants to learn how to keep their code clean.

    Create a C# style guide: Write cleaner code that scale
    This e-book compiles advice from industry experts on how to create a code-style guide. While there’s more than one way to format Unity C# code, agreeing on a consistent code style for your project enables your team to develop a clean, readable, and scalable codebase

    A few topics we cover in this guide:
    • Naming conventions
    • Formatting
    • Classes
    • Methods
    • Comments
    >>Download the C# code style guide

    Level up your code with game programming patterns

    Written by internal and external Unity experts, this e-book is a resource that can help expand your developer’s toolbox. It explains well-known design patterns and shares practical examples for using them in your Unity project.

    Here are some of the topics we cover in the guide:
    • SOLID principles
    • Design patterns for game development
    • Factory, singleton, command, state, and observer patterns
    • Object pooling
    • Model View Presenter (MVP)
    Both the e-book and sample project on the use of design patterns are available to download for free:

    >> Download e-book
    >> Download sample project

    We hope you find these guides useful! If you think something is missing or could be improved - do let us know in this thread.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2022
  2. andyz


    Jan 5, 2010
    Great resources which I could have used at the start of my Unity journey!
    I have used the Singleton pattern a lot, but it has its downsides for testing in particular as you say. But you do not suggest any alternative like dependency injection, is there any more you could add about avoiding Singleton use or what you do internally?
  3. spakment


    Dec 19, 2017
    It's super useful to see your sample projects.
    One pattern that would be useful is to extend your MVC pattern to include the scriptable object architecture from / Ryan Hipple's 2017 talk as it helps solves the Unity specific MVC scene agnostic architecture, and further extended using ideas from Yousician's UI talk to cut out a lot of spagetti / singleton issues for more scalable UI workflows. I put an example of this sort of reactive menu and prefab workflow on github.
  4. xshadowmintx


    Nov 4, 2016
    This is really great. Good work! :)

    Some minor feedback:

    Dependency injection

    There's so much to say on this topic, but, broadly speaking I think the best thing to do would be to refer to a more definitive guide (eg. Adaptive Code: Agile coding with design patterns and SOLID principles by Microsoft press) on the topic. I would specifically call out two points: 1) DI is useful for tests, and 2) specifically in unity (and this is unity we're talking about, with property based DI), using interfaces is an antipattern. You should use concrete base classes, because that allows you to specify injected properties in the editor. Using interfaces prevents you from doing this, making it impossible to 'manually wire-up' you DI property chain.

    Indeed, the power of DI becomes apparent in unity when combined with prefabs and properties, because assigning a prefab to a slot when that prefab already has its dependencies assigned, allows you do high level 'poor mans DI' by manually wiring up the dependency graph. You've... kind of missed the boat on this one.

    The factory pattern

    As above; there's an irony in putting this pattern immediately after the section on dependency inversion.

    You should note here that obvious problem that a factory is an incompetent solution if it fails to manufacture the dependencies of the object it's creating, which can be over come by using prefabs.

    States and state machines

    Please refer people to additional work by other people on this topic. It's big. It's hard. "AI for Games" by Ian Millington is an excellent resource on this topic and people who want to know more should read it.

    tldr; state machines are an specifically a very trivial and outdated way of handling AI state. Don't do that. It's bad. If you want to write an AI, please use the 'Decision Tree' and 'Blackboard' patterns.

    ...or at least mention that the world has moved on from using FSM's for AI...

    Missing pattern: Actor / Controller

    A 'controller' that handles input and controls the 'actor' or 'player' in the game world is a common pattern worth mentioning; the new input system is specifically designed around this and it feels like an oversight to not mention it.

    I know there's a limit to the space on what you can put in, but this felt like it was egregiously missing.

    More patterns...

    Double buffer? Byte code? With a one-liner of some vague hand-wavey stuff about how they might be relevant?

    Is it really a programming pattern for a unity developer to write their own scripting language? Hm.

    That was a slightly disappointing finish to the book.


    Still, overall, lots of really valuable stuff in here! Great work!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2022
  5. SisusCo


    Jan 29, 2019
    These are great guides, distilling a lot of good information into small packages!

    My feedback:

    While reading the section about dependency inversion it felt to me like some critical information was missing, with there being no mention about how the actual dependency injection could be handled.

    As @xshadowmintx already touched on, in the example script the old implementation made it easy to inject any Door instance by dragging-and-dropping one in using the Inspector. The new implementation felt half-baked in comparison, just having a public ISwitchable field and that's it; it felt like the last paragraph talking about dependency injection was missing.

    There was even a section about interfaces versus abstract classes, and I was expecting this to at least briefly mention something about interface field serialization or DI frameworks or something, but it just ignored (what in my mind was) the elephant in the room.
    flashframe and Yuchen_Chang like this.
  6. StudioShimazu


    Jul 18, 2016
  7. doutho


    Sep 11, 2013
    Is it just me or the link for the ebook does not work ?
    Nicokam likes this.
  8. Nicokam


    May 28, 2020
    It doesn't work for me either
  9. Nicokam


    May 28, 2020
    @doutho It's working now
  10. Kamyker


    May 14, 2013
    justtime likes this.
  11. thomas_jacobsen_unity


    Unity Technologies

    Dec 7, 2016
    Thanks for all the great feedback. Keep it coming. The team and I will try to include it in the next edition of the book or follow-up content. We are also working on a follow-up guide and demo project with a focus on Scriptable Objects so any ideas on what you would like to see included are very welcomed too.
    ritesh_khokhani and SisusCo like this.
  12. thomas_jacobsen_unity


    Unity Technologies

    Dec 7, 2016
    Hi StudioShimazu, yes of course. Everything is freely available and created to help educate/inspire better coding practices. So feel free to reuse and/or reference any content you like to use from the ebook (or use the demo examples if you like those/make it easier to explain for the video format).
  13. aurelag


    Jan 25, 2021
    Hi, just noticed p91 of the game programming patterns ebook that there seems to be a typo (maybe due to automatic formatting ?) : I'm guessing the setter of CurrentHealth should read
    currentHealth = value;
    and not
    current-Health = value;
  14. PharmacyBrain


    Sep 8, 2020
    The PDF crashes my current gen Kindle reader and causes errors on the graphical pages specifically. I opened the PDF for editing and found those blue graphical pages (title and section transitions) have a gazillion objects on them. If at all possible can a version be released with these pages pared down to something that isn't going to explode my e-reader? I don't want to have to edit this thing myself just to read it on a Kindle.

    PS. I'm about half way through the book and this is, by far, the best explanation of solid and design patterns I've ever read. I strongly disliked Robert C Martin's books; they're full of overly complex examples and extraneous detail.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2022
    wilmer_lin likes this.
  15. Saniell


    Oct 24, 2015
    This is some nonsense right here. If your AI is as trivial too you can use State Machines just fine. Other possibility is to combine FSM with BTs. What do "blackboards" have to do with this is even bigger question since they are just a way to store information and can be used with BTs, FSMs and Utility AIs all the same

    Patterns are a tool for the job and to use them or not depends on what kind of job you want to do. Saying that using X is always bad under any circumstances ever is rarely an answer to programming design questions
    cr-vx and wilmer_lin like this.
  16. thomas_jacobsen_unity


    Unity Technologies

    Dec 7, 2016
    Hey everyone. We have now added a section with links to the ebooks on our documentation pages (latest version but we will also add on the 2020 LTS and forward): to help make them easier to find. We are also working closely with the documentation and Learn team to adopt some of the content into their formats and we are also made the "how to pages" available here: Hope this helps makes the ebooks easier to find :)
    Olipool likes this.
  17. Niter88


    Jul 24, 2019
    The books seem to aim for code architecture in general, not just in unity, ( @thomas_jacobsen_unity can correct me if I'm wrong.) I think it would be bad to put prefabs in it.
    It would make more sense have another book like "Game architecture in Unity" or anything like that.

    @xshadowmintx actually I agree about most of your comment, but, it is crucial to a developer to know these patterns.

    About interfaces
    Interfaces are not an antipattern. Indeed it's uses may be limited on small projects (or by newcomers), but there is a more advanced part of programming that needs interfaces in order to function.

    One example is the Ultimate_Unity-AAR_Plugin. It would be impossible to make such connections back and forth between C# and Java without it. The Java (AAR) plugin doesn't know that C# exists, it just knows there is an interface, just like this guy:

    About machine states
    We might agree that Machine States are out of fashion for AI, but it can solve problems like:

    Someone needs to make an App that can read GPS data from the internal hardware or from a Serial connection, or USB. You could just start a state machine and just ask for the data, the current machine will return the right data.

    So yeah, you have to know machine states, their main purpose is not for AI, Ai is just an easy way to learn how to use it.

    About factory pattern
    Most of the time it's not useful, most of the time it will be ugly and people will judge you for using it. But there is an 1% of the cases it might be the best approach.

    Knowing the patterns will help a programmer to choose the best one on each step (or which ones to avoid). It will also make you able to do more complex things

    I will later devour the books and give a complete feedback.
    ritesh_khokhani and SisusCo like this.
  18. Shack_Man


    Jun 7, 2017
    Just wanted to say a big thanks for the book, I enjoyed it a lot. I think most beginners would benefit from starting with design patterns quite early, as they can help to be so much more efficient, even in very small projects. And it's fun :)

    I think you found a good balance between theory and practice and I also enjoyed that the Singleton was included but with enough warnings. I think it's good to stay open minded and not dismiss certain things because of their draw backs.With infinite possible scenarios I like to have a large variety of tools.
  19. Niter88


    Jul 24, 2019
    I've read it. The patterns are explained in a good way, it's easy to follow along, it's very applicable on the Unity scenario.

    It's awesome to give the newcomers some knowledge on the most common practices (good or bad). It's very cool that you mentioned things like Singletons, explained how they work and then why you shouldn't use them.

    That book is a jewel to self learners, when you study by yourself you can miss a lot of important things.
    Good job
  20. kozavr


    Feb 14, 2022
    I didn't like the book. The book's more like reference material, not a textbook. You can't really learn anything from it if the topic is new to you. A good textbook has to be something like the Head First series, they try really hard to explain every detail.
  21. spiney199


    Feb 11, 2021
    If the concepts broached in the book - and coding in general - is new to you, you're better of just focusing on learning coding in general before thinking too hard on overall code architecture and design patterns too much.

    It's definitely more oriented towards those who already have solid coding knowledge. It's not the book's place to explain to you what interfaces are and how polymorphism works, but it is in its place to tell you how and in what situations to use them.

    Still reading it should plant a lot of 'idea seeds' in your head that should slowly grow along with your general coding knowledge.