Interview with Jiadong Chen

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Jiadong Chen is the author of Game Development with Unity for .NET Developers we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Jiadong: I specialize in Microsoft Azure cloud, Unity and XR development, and .NET/C#. I’m a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert, Microsoft Certified Azure Developer, Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer, Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator, Microsoft Certified Trainer. I’m also a member of the .NET Foundation.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Jiadong: Aaron from Packt reached out to me via LinkedIn. He’s a nice guy, and we discussed writing a book on game development with Unity for .NET programmers that also covers Microsoft’s Azure cloud. It was an interesting idea, so I decided to write this book because it felt like a great opportunity to share my knowledge of Unity and Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Jiadong: I had sufficient knowledge and experience. I used to work at Unity Technologies as a Field Engineer. I’ve been working in the .NET and Unity gaming stack for over 9 years. I’m a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert, Microsoft Certified Azure Developer, Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer, Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator , Microsoft Certified Trainer. I am also a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award winner since October 2015 and a member of the .NET Foundation.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Jiadong : Stress and mental health. At the time of writing this book, New Zealand was undergoing its second major lockdown due to the delta variant. So at that time I felt mentally exhausted. My way of coping was talking to others, including my wife, whose optimistic outlook on the future relieved my stress. So what I want to share is that if you’re experiencing stress and mental health issues, you need to talk to someone.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Jiadong: This book has more than 580 pages and focuses on how to use the 3D game engine Unity and the Microsoft Game Stack, including Microsoft Azure Cloud and Microsoft Azure PlayFab services, to create a fascinating 3D virtual game world. XR (virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality), metaverse are technology trends. In addition to developing games, Unity is also widely used to create virtual and augmented reality-based experiences. For example, in online retail, XR solutions can be used to create more engaging and immersive shopping experiences, and in the training and education sector, XR technologies make it easier for students to visualize concepts.

Cloud computing is another technology trend that is even playing a huge role now. In addition to the Unity game engine, this book also covers Microsoft Azure Cloud, showing how to create games using Microsoft Azure Cloud services and Microsoft Azure PlayFab Services in Microsoft Game Stack.

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Jiadong: This is a book about Unity and Microsoft Game Dev that not only covers the game engine but also explores the role of Microsoft Azure cloud services in game development. In addition to basic Unity concepts, I’ll take you through advanced topics, such as the math involved in computer graphics, how to create post-processing effects in Unity with the new Scriptable Render Pipeline, how to use Unity’s C# Job System to implement multithreading, and how to use Unity’s Entity Component System (ECS) to write game logic code in a data-oriented way to improve game performance. Along the way, you’ll also learn about the Microsoft Game Dev, the Azure cloud services, Azure PlayFab, and using the Unity3D PlayFab SDK to access the PlayFab API to save and load data from the cloud.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Jiadong: By the end of this book, you’ll be familiar with the Unity game engine, have an understanding of the Azure cloud, and be ready to develop your own games.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Jiadong: My personal experience is that practicing and getting your hands dirty is the fastest way to learn a new technique, at least for me.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Jiadong : You can find me on any of these: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chenjd/ https://jiadong-chen.medium.com/ https://jiadongchen.com/

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Jiadong : https://developer.microsoft.com/games/?WT.mc_id=DT-MVP-5001664 https://unity.com/

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Jiadon : It was a great experience. The entire Packt team working on this was amazing.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Jiadong : .NET Foundation: https://dotnetfoundation.org/

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Jiadong : If you are writing a book that will be printed, please do not use the application in dark mode to take the screenshots for the book 🙂

You can find Jiadong’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

Game Development with Unity for .NET Developers is Available on Amazon.com