Let’s Learn Unity

Let’s Learn Unity

Introduction

Since I was very young, I’ve enjoyed making and sharing games. Further back than I can remember, I used to cut out a bunch of cardboard shapes, draw some characters on them, and then harass my parents and my sister until someone agreed to play my latest game. Later, after my dad started letting me play the original Sims on his laptop, I moved onto computers. I was still only making point-and-click or similar mouse games using PowerPoint, but I was as keen as ever.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I stopped making games as I become a teenager. I still enjoyed playing games, both on a console and on a board, but I was no longer in the habit of creating them. However, that may be about to change. Shortly after graduating, I was looking online for something new to learn about computing. As it so happened, I stumbled across a course for Unity. A chance to practice some C# while making games. Brilliant!

 

But What is Unity?

For those who don’t know, Unity is a piece of software that primarily helps with the creation and development of video games, also known as a Game Engine. But it can also be used for other things; most interestingly, for Virtual and Mixed Reality. Its most useful elements include Rendering Graphics (both 2D and 3D) and Simulating the Physics of the game world (i.e. collision detection and gravity).

Unity is easy to pick up and is supported by a large and helpful community. This makes Unity an excellent choice for anyone new to either programming or game development, perfect for learning!

An amazing variety of games have been made using Unity. From the Kerbel Space Program and Hearthstone on PC, to console titles like Assassin’s Creed,  and even mobile games like Temple Run.

Here is a recent showcase of Unity to give you an even better idea of what it can do:

 

This Series

As you may have guessed from the title, this series will be in the style of a let’s play. However, as this is the Learn Journ, the main focus will be on learning as much as possible. To do this, I will be following an online Udemy course by best-selling instructor Ben Tristem. Click here to see which course I am on about.

The course recommends using older versions of Unity so that the lecture videos are guaranteed to work. I decided against this, instead opting for the most recent version (currently Unity 2017.1.1). I would suggest downloading the latest version if you have done even a little bit of coding before. It will help you to understand more about each game and also force you to problem-solve, which is always a handy skill. Additionally, Unity makes it very easy to correct outdated code. It will give you suggestions of which parts of your code could be improved at the bottom of the screen, as shown below.

Screenshot displaying location of Unity tips.
The red box at the bottom shows where Unity tips will appear.

Obviously Ben and his team have put a lot of hard work into making the course. So I won’t be showing any of their paid content. Instead, I will be giving some information about each section, explaining any key concepts, and giving some additional challenges for anyone who would like to try out Unity themselves.

I will also provide links to the games I make throughout the series.

This should be a fun and very visual series, so you may enjoy it even if you are not interested in programming or video games.

 

My Progress

You can look at the list below to see what I have done so far and what I have planned. I am planning on doing one post per week, and I will link each post below when it is released. This schedule is also available on my Now page.

  1. Number Wizard (Scheduled: Sept. 28th)
  2. Block Breaker (Scheduled: Oct. 14th)
  3. Laser Defender (Scheduled: Oct. 21th)
  4. Animation (Unscheduled)
  5. Glitch Garden (Rescheduled to Nov. 11th)
  6. Text Adventure (Rescheduled to Nov. 17th)

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