While you can work as a game programmer without studying design patterns, learning them will help you become a better developer. After all, design patterns are labeled as such because they’re common solutions to well-known problems.

Software engineers rediscover them all the time in the normal course of development. You may have already implemented some of these patterns unwittingly.

Train yourself to look for them. Doing this can help you:

  • Learn object-oriented programming: Design patterns aren’t secrets buried in an esoteric StackOverflow post. They are common ways to overcome everyday hurdles in development. They can inform you of how many other developers have approached the same issue – remember, even if you’re not using patterns, someone else is.
  • Talk to other developers: Patterns can serve as a shorthand when trying to communicate as a team. Mention the “command pattern” or “object pool” and experienced Unity developers will know what you’re trying to implement.
  • Explore new frameworks: When you import a built-in package or something from the Asset Store, inevitably you’ll stumble onto one or more patterns discussed here. Recognizing design patterns will help you understand how a new framework operates, as well as the thought process involved in its creation.

As indicated earlier, not all design patterns apply to every game application. Don’t go looking for them with Maslow’s hammer; otherwise, you might only find nails.

Like any other tool, a design pattern’s usefulness depends on context. Each one provides a benefit in certain situations and also comes with its share of drawbacks. Every decision in software development comes with compromises.

Are you generating a lot of GameObjects on the fly? Does it impact your performance? Can restructuring your code fix that? Be aware of these design patterns, and when the time is right, pull them from your gamedev bag of tricks to solve the problem at hand.

In addition to the Gang of Four’s Design Patterns, Game Programming Patterns by Robert Nystrom is another standout resource, currently available for free as a web-based edition. The author details a variety of software patterns in a no-nonsense manner.

In our new e-book, you can dive into the sections that explain common design patterns, such as factory, object pool, singleton, command, state, and observer patterns, plus the Model View Presenter (MVP), among others. Each section explains the pattern along with its pros and cons, and provides an example of how to implement it in Unity so you can optimize its usage in your project.

Source: Unity Technologies Blog

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