Is unity very IDE oriented?

I have been developing multimedia apps in AS3, C++ and Obj C for a few years now. I’m still trying to decide on an engine to make a mobile game.

My experience as a developer is that even if I’m using an IDE like Flash, what commands the project is the code, not the IDE. There’s a base class that you extend such as the document class in AS3, or an app class in any of the C++ frameworks like Cinder or OF, and that is your entry point. You start instantiating your own classes from there by code using the usual OO patterns.

From what I’ve seen Unity is more IDE oriented. If you need to use some logic in a scene, or use a game manager custom class, you need to attach the scripts in the IDE to a null object. Instead of extending your own classes you attach scripts that extend the mono behavior class. Maybe this impression is wrong, and there’s indeed a way to manage the game mostly with code, and use Unity as a framework or API.

Can someone more specialized in the coding side of things give me some general view of this? Is my impression wrong? Are there any recommended resources to learn unity as a developer using the IDE in a minimal way?

You can create a game mostly with code, however you should not avoid using the IDE in those cases where it makes sense to use it. i.e., expose a public Texture2D variable and use drag’n’drop to hook it up to a texture in your project; this way you can have any number of textures in your project and, for the final build, Unity will automatically only include those that you’re actually using. Otherwise, if you do this 100% programmatically, you have to manage the textures yourself, which is of course more time-consuming and error-prone since it involves hard-coding paths.

As an AS3 programmer who’s looking to develop games in code rather than relying on a Tool/IDE, you should absolutely check out Futile: FUTILE 2D

It’s for developing 2D games entirely in code, and it mimics AS3 in many ways so it should be very comfortable for you.