Learning a game engine can be confusing sometimes. There are so many features that a new developer doesn’t need to know. When I started off with Unity I was lost in the sea of features. You shouldn’t make the same mistake. In this post, we will cover how to learn Unity in step by step manner, so you can become an effective game developer. If you are learning Unity to get a job then it’s best to go for Unity Certification , as it is widely accepted by companies around the world. Unity Certification website has a well-structured course to help you clear the certification exam.
Any new game developer starts off with an idea for a game. But to make that idea into reality it takes skill and knowledge. Like all skills, game development also takes time and dedication to learn. But, if you can put together a learning plan then it shouldn’t be difficult. Breaking down a large task into smaller ones is the best way to master any skill.
How to learn Unity – Infographics
Let’s breakdown the learning of Unity into steps. Before that, you need to install Unity or you can get it from Unity website for free. You also need to create a personal account with Unity after installing it.
1. Learn to go around Unity editor.
Once you have installed Unity the next thing you have to do is learning to move around Unity editor. The first step to learn any software is to learn the menus and the layout. Unity has a simple layout so it shouldn’t take much time to get around.
The most important windows in the Unity editor are the hierarchy, scene view, game view, projects, inspector, and the console window. You can start learning the basics of Unity editor here.
Once you know what these windows do. The next thing is to learn how to add new windows and how to customize the layout. Though I prefer the default layout, many people like to work in their own style. One important feature of Unity editor is, you can change the color shade of the editor in play mode i.e, the editor looks different when you press play. You can see how to do it from this link.
2. Learn to import packages.
If you are going to work with unity then knowing how to import object is a must. In every game, you will need to import 3d models, pictures, fonts, materials, textures, sound, and many other things.
Unity supports simple drag and drop feature. You can drag the assets from your folder into the project window. Sometimes you will need to import Unity packages. You can do that from the create menu in the Project window.
Next thing is importing from the asset store. Asset store is a collection of game assets for unity developers. It has both free and paid assets. You can access the assets store within the editor by adding the asset store window. Then download the required asset and hit import. Asset store can be accessed from the web browser too.
3. Learn what is gameobject and how to add components.
Unity has a component based workflow and all major elements are called gameobject. A gameobject can be a 3D character, 2D sprite, button, text, etc. Any object that appears on the hierarchy window is called a game object.
Every gameobject can be configured by adding components to them from the inspector window. For example, an image in the scene can be made to function as a button by adding the button component to it.
Take a box in a game for example. The object you have added in Hierarchy that represents the box is the gameobject. If you click on the gameobject you will see the components connected to the game object in the inspector window. Transform, mesh renderer, collider are examples of components. You can move the component up and down to specify the priority of execution.
4. Know about the camera and lighting
Camera and lights are the most crucial part of any game scene. While the camera defines how the game would look like from the eyes of the player, the lights define the color and mood of the scene. Every default scene in unity comes with a camera and directional light.
The camera can be further configured by adding components just like gameobjects. In Unity, you can have an infinite number of cameras in a scene and they can be rendered in any order you want. Unity camera has a lot of options that you can play around with until you get the right view for your game. The most important thing a new developer should learn is how to make the camera follow the player. You can get more details on the Unity camera here.
Unity has different type of lights that you can choose from. Lights are of very less use in 2D games. The main importance of lights come in 3D games. The lights in the games define the mood of the scene and having bad lights can spoil the look and feel of the game. Also, choosing the right light for your game is very important. It doesn’t mean you should have only one light in your game, but having many lights can increase the processing required for your game.
5. Know the basic of scripting in Unity
Unity is a really great game engine but, without knowing how to write script you cannot take complete advantage of the game engine. Basic unity scripting in c# is not that complicated. Anybody can learn it without much difficulty. When you create a new script in Unity, the game engine creates the basic structure required in the code. The first step for any new developer is to learn what the basic functions in unity do.
The important functions in Unity are the Start function and the update function. The start function runs only once when the object to which the script is attached is initialized. The update function runs every frame. The next thing is to learn how to access the components of different objects and how to reference them in script using “get component”. There are many YouTube videos available to teach you this, but I recommend taking this beginner’s course in udemy to become a master in Unity scripting.
6. Learn unity Colliders
Physics and game development go hand in hand. If you don’t understand basic physics then it is very difficult to make games. All game engines come inbuilt with physics. You just have to learn how to implement it. Collider is the most important physics component that any game developer needs to master. Unity has separate colliders for 3D and 2D objects. There are different types of colliders in Unity for different object shapes. For example, there is a box collider for cubes and cuboids, sphere collider for circular objects so on. Using the best suited collider can have effective results.
After learning about the types of colliders you should give importance to the trigger function of the colliders. Using collider as triggers is a very common practice in game development. In addition, learning about the “OnCollisionEnter” and “OnTriggerEnter” functions is also important. These functions let you define what to do when a collision has occurred.
7. Learn the basics of character movement
Unity character controller is a little advance for a new developer. But once you get the hang of it ,its very easy to implement. The main thing to note is that, a Unity character can be moved in many ways. Using Unity character controller is just one of them. One can move the character using physics components or using transform component in Unity. A character controller just gives better control over the player.
I suggest making the first character controller script all by yourself. That will give you a complete understanding of how movement works in Unity. Once you gain experience you can also start using Unity’s inbuild character controller.
8. Making Simple Menu
Making a menu can be a little boring for most game developers, but without a good menu system, in-game navigation between scenes can be difficult and can frustrate players. You can make the menu system good by following some basic UI principles.
In unity making menu system is not very complex. You can make a common level manager script with a simple level load function and just pass the name of the scene you want to load at run time. Check this unity tutorial to learn the basics of menu system.
Once you are done with the above topics you must be able to develop any basic game effortlessly. As it is said that any skill requires constant practice to make it perfect. By constantly developing new games you can master Unity within no time.
Unity learn website can be of real help to new developers. Have fun developing games. Use the above link to get the offer unity is running now.
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