Getting Started in Unity Game Development

Over the last few months I’ve began my journey into the world of Unity development. Starting with my internship at Bully Entertainment I had never worked with the engine before. While hitting the ground running with no shoes and this being my first experience, I had to catch myself up. At least to the point where I can manage without asking my lead questions every five seconds. A few articles back I listed some major links for beginners starting in flash. I know flash but it was time to switch gears into Unity and C#. Another obstacle was figuring out where I should start. If you’re like me you tend to troll the internet visiting multiple tutorials sites because I hate the feeling of being repetitive. So I begin my search on the Unity development page and found the documentation of the Unity script, 3d tutorials, and video introductions to be amazingly helpful. There you can find 2d side-scroller, 3d first person, and platformer tutorials that break down the ins and outs of unity basics. They are very helpful but besides the actual unity website the tutorials become very thin. Don’t worry, just like you, I am new the whole process myself and learning something new every day. Luckily this semester I started a series of events that all fell in order for me. First, there is my C# Class teaching OOP(Object Oriented Programming). Then, finding a internship with Bully Entertainment which uses Unity for their development of interactive and AR(Augmented Reality) software and apps. After some research I was able to compile another great list all for anyone who wants to get into Unity development. This list is so amazing that I can’t take any credit as it was submitted to http://answers.unity3d.com by Sebastian Koenig 

I just compiled a list of Unity resources for a different purpose (hence my subjective comments and a shameless copy&paste). Some of the resources have already been mentioned here and some of it is only Unity-related and not strictly for learning Unity itself. Nonetheless, here we go:

Download the free version of Unity to get started: http://unity3d.com/unity/download/

If you have no previous experience with Unity, start with these six video tutorials which give a quick overview of the Unity interface and some important features http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/video/

Continue with a more in-depth text-based walk through of very basic Unity functionality and work flowhttp://unity3d.com/support/documentation/Manual/Unity%20Basics.html

To get you started with scripting, have a look at the following PDF document. It was written for an older version of Unity, but still covers relevant aspects of scripting with JavaScript. (2 hours to complete, no previous JavaScript knowledge required) http://download.unity3d.com/support/Tutorials/2%20-%20Scripting%20Tutorial.pdf

Unity features three scripting languages; JavaScript, C#, and Boo. Depending on your scripting language of choice, you might want to choose different tutorials to get started with Unity. Each tutorial link will also mention which scripting language is used. Most Unity tutorials available on the web are using JavaScript. Notice that JavaScript is commonly used for web applications. Unforunately, books which cover JavaScript are normally of little use for Unity’s implementation of JavaScript. But worry not, a vast amount of tutorials will follow…

If you want to familiarize yourself with Unity’s functionality more, browse through Unity’s manual. You can skip the Basics section as we already went through this (see above).http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/Manual/index.html

For a printable version of the 600+ pages manual, see http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/printable.html

If you rather prefer to jump into the action, skip the manual altogether and have a look at the two books which have been published on Game Development with Unity. 1) Author Will Goldstone guides you through a complete project and introduces most of Unity’s functionality (using JavaScript). The book is available as print and digital version and all needed assets and resources can be downloaded with the book. It’s been a helpful investment from my point of view.http://www.packtpub.com/unity-game-development-essentials/book This forum thread discusses the book and its content. http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=29041

2) Ryan Henson Creighton more recently published “Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner’s Guide”. Find out more about the book here: https://www.packtpub.com/unity-3d-game-development-by-example-beginners-guide/bookand the forum thread – http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/61349-Unity-3D-Game-Development-by-Example

To get up-to-date on Unity 3 functionality, check out the following official documentation: Unity 3 – What’s new?http://unity3d.com/unity/whats-new/unity-3

You are now faced with the choice of tackling example projects provided by Unity Technologies or jump straight into user-generated tutorials. As the example projects are quite complex, I would suggest working through some video tutorials first. Nonetheless, here are the links for Unity’s official example projects. They can be taken completely apart, reverse-engineered and reused for own projects.

3D Platform Game http://unity3d.com/support/resources/tutorials/3d-platform-game

2D Platform Game http://unity3d.com/support/resources/tutorials/2d-gameplay-tutorial

Iphone tutorials and more example projects http://unity3d.com/support/resources/tutorials/

More Unity Example projects http://unity3d.com/support/resources/example-projects/

Brand New Car Tutorial (April 2010) http://unity3d.com/support/resources/tutorials/car-tutorial


Now, let’s head on to TUTORIALS. This list starts with mostly basic and general tutorials at the top and lists more specific tutorials at the end.

Will Goldstone, author of the Unity Game Development book, worked on a series of helpful video tutorials here (using JavaScript): http://learnunity3d.com/ (also http://learnmesilly.com/). More recently by Will Goldstone:http://www.unity3dstudent.com/

TornadoTwins Video Tutorials They show step by step how to create a simple game using Javascript.http://www.youtube.com/user/TornadoTwins

UnityPrefabs – New Project by the Tornado Twins – soon to be launched http://www.tornadotwins.com/unityprefabs/

Walker Boys Studio – Unity Tutorials from the Guildhall at SMU (an extensive list of tutorials with more on the way) free.html”>http://walkerboystudio.com/html/unity_training_free.html

CannedMushroom Video Tutorials (Unity and other software) This is a series of projects intended for 2-hour self-instructed lessons using JavaScript http://www.youtube.com/user/cannedmushrooms

Unity Jumpstart Proof of Concept Game to learn creating your own game from the ground up http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=28433 http://www.unityjumpstart.com/ProofOfConcept_1/

3dbuzz.com Series of Unity tutorials (among many other tutorials) registration required (free) * working with asset server * advanced c# version of unity jumpstart tutorial (see above) * MonoDevelop and Unity Iphone * SpriteManager

http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_home.php

BurgZergArcade – Unity Tutorials Hack&Slash Tutorial using C# and plenty of other information and useful tutorials website – http://www.burgzergarcade.com/

UnityScript Basics (Scripting Basics for Noobs) If you’re new to scripting, read up on this good introduction to scripting in Unity. Lots of analogies are provided which makes it really easy to understand. The details are explained for C#, but the introduction is great for any scripting language. website – http://www.unityscript.com/lessons1/basics.php

Unity 3D Tutorial Several tutorials on Unity 3D from scripting basics to advanced procedural level generation. New tutorials, free assets and tips posted on a regular basis. website – http://www.unity3dtutorial.com

UnityLabs Text-based tutorials with screenshots covering a wide range of topics incl. scripting (using JavaScript), basic introduction to unity, character controllers, and user interfaces http://www.unitylabs.net/tutorials/unity-beginners

InfiniteAmmo Tutorial General Introduction to Unity (3 parts so far) Some scripting covered using Javascript (e.g. movement controls) http://infiniteammo.ca/blog/impromptu-unity3d-intro-tutorial/

Technicat Introduction to Game Development with Unity including Workflow, Scripting, GUI, Version Control, etc.http://technicat.com/games/unity.html

Advanced Media Lab at North Carolina State University http://vimeo.com/channels/ncsuunity

GearTech Games 4 Videos on how to work through a project (and more videos)

  • workflow between Modo and Unity
  • lightmapping

http://www.geartechgames.com/GearTech_Games/Beginning_a_Project/Beginning_a_Project.html

Making Sense of Unity These video tutorials provide more indepth coverage of unity scripting using Javascript (not meant to be introductory material)

  • lecture style explanations of concepts
  • more entertaining and not like most other screen-capture tutorials :)

http://www.youtube.com/etphonemyhome

Virtual Autonomy Guide for working with Google SketchUp and Unity (also shaders and multi-user environments) text-based with screenshots http://virtualautonomy.com/blog/index.php/tutorials/

Robotduck – Blog The blog of this Unity user provides tips on Unity scripting and functionality and showcases some of his projects http://robotduck.wordpress.com/

Ethical Games Unity Tutorials for Flash Developers http://ethicalgames.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/unity-for-flash-developers-tutorial-1/

Car Tutorial Physics Setup for a car, AI for driving around racetrack http://www.gotow.net/andrew/blog/?page_id=78

Terrain Tutorial seven videos on how to create terrains in Unity from heightmaps to finishhttp://vimeo.com/album/156452

In-Depth Terrain Tutorial text-based with screenshots http://www.unifycommunity.com/wiki/index.php?title=Terrain_tutorial forum thread http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=16941

Paul Bourke -Unity for stereoscopic display text-based with screenshotshttp://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/miscellaneous/stereographics/Unitystereo/

Paul Bourke Unity and Idome text-based with screenshotshttp://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/miscellaneous/domemirror/UnityiDome/

RENCI Unity for Dome projections http://unc.renci.org/rencinews/the-dome-corner-006

Official Unity Tech. Tutorial for the Animation View (NEW) 3-part-series of video tutorialshttp://unity3d.com/support/resources/tutorials/video-animation-view

Texture Painting Tutorial – explanation of how to draw surface Textures for several (sci-fi) object, using Photoshop:http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=373024

PAID TUTORIALS

VTC – Unity tutorial (subscription based content on http://vtc.comhttp://www.vtc.com/products/Introduction-to-Game-Development-Using-Unity-3D-Tutorials.htm

Design3.com (subscription based tutorials, Unity-related content among other software like Maya, 3DS Max, Photoshop) http://www.design3.com/by-software/unity

Unity-Tutorials (mostly paid and some free tutorials) http://www.unity-tutorials.com/


GENERAL RESOURCES

Once you went through some or all of these tutorials, you should be creating your own content in no time. Next, I’ll provide an overview of general resources for Unity. Whenever you need to find some information about Unity, scripting, projects, collaborations or anything Unity-related, check these links out:

Searching for resources – The All-In-One Unity Reference Search http://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=001712401338047450041:csfhqk-trfa credit goes to Robotduck for providing this link to the public; tremendous time saver (see http://robotduck.wordpress.com/)

Unity Scripting Reference http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/ScriptReference/index.html

Unity Component Reference each available Component described in detailhttp://unity3d.com/support/documentation/Components/index.html

Unity Wiki (UnifyCommunity) http://www.unifycommunity.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

Unity Answers Invaluable when you have specific questions about Unity or Scripting http://answers.unity3d.com/ This link should also get you started on learning Unity http://answers.unity3d.com/search?q=learning+tutorial

Unity Forum http://forum.unity3d.com/ http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=30633

Unity Feedback feature request go here http://feedback.unity3d.com

Unity IRC Point your favorite IRC client to http://irc.freenode.net and join #unity3d to chat in real time.

Overview of Unity Resources http://www.reddit.com/r/unity_tutorials/

Overview of Unity blogs http://www.reddit.com/r/unity_blogs/


TOOLS AND EXTENSIONS

Lastly, I want to list extensions and tools which can make your life as a Unity developer easier.

Unity Extensions

  • Terrain Toolkit
  • External Lightmapping Tool
  • Locomotion System
  • Explosion Framework
  • Head Look Controller

http://unity3d.com/support/resources/unity-extensions/ overview of some extensions Unity youtube and vimeo channels http://www.youtube.com/user/Unity3D http://www.vimeo.com/unity3d/videos

Visual C# Express free IDE for C# http://www.microsoft.com/express/Downloads/#2008-Visual-CS

AngryAnt One of Unity’s developers provides projects to extend Unity’s functionality (e.g. pathfinding and AI)http://angryant.com/

sturestone’s A* Pathfinding (currently version 2.9) forum thread – http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/67417-A*-Pathfinding-2.9-Is-Released-(Unity-3-Compatible)

Weltenbauer Augmented Reality / Webcam Input http://produktion.weltenbauer.com/#/5

forum threads: http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=32613&highlight=toolkit (Webcam Toolkit)

http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=11889&highlight=toolkit (ARToolkit Extension)

http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=32669&highlight=toolkit (UnityAR)

SeeingMachines FaceAPI / VisionBlaster Head Tracking in Unity (purchase required)http://visionblaster.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=62⟨=en andhttp://www.seeingmachines.com/product/faceapi/downloads/

Mostly Tigerproof Using Google Analytics and Unity to track game stats This is a blog entry about Google Analytics and Unity http://blog.mostlytigerproof.com/2009/10/06/gathering-statistics-using-google-analytics-and-unity-3d/

Antares Project – Extensive Set of Tools to extend the Unity Editor – Open Source; forum thread -http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=50843

Antares Deformator (Work in Progress) – deforming meshes realistically forum thread -http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=54290

UniWii WiiMote implementation http://www.unifycommunity.com/wiki/index.php?title=UniWii forum threadhttp://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=7284

Decal Framework – http://unity3dstore.com/?page_id=59 (purchase required) forum thread -http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=54613

Unity Terrain Tools – EasyRoads (purchase required) http://unityterraintools.com/downloads.php forum threadhttp://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=23519

Six Times Nothing – Road/Path Tool and River Tool http://www.sixtimesnothing.com/

Dastardly Banana – FPS Weapon Tool, Radar example http://dastardlybanana.com/Downloads.htm

Starscene Software – Tools, Games and Utilities for Unity (purchase required for utilities)http://www.starscenesoftware.com

GUIX – visual Menu/GUI builder (purchase required) http://www.ennanzus.com/developer/GUIX/buy.htm

EZ Game Saver – saving tool (purchase required) http://www.anbsoft.com/middleware/ezs/index.htm

FireTool – create realistically spreading fire to your scene http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=49588

Overview of extensions on UnifyWiki http://www.unifycommunity.com/wiki/index.php?title=Extensions

LightUp (purchase required) Extension of Google Sketchup (Lighting Solution) which works nicely for exporting lightmaps to Unity http://www.light-up.co.uk/

PureLight (purchase required) Lighting solution for importing lightmaps to Unityhttp://www.purelighttech.com/product.htm

Stereoscopic Solutions 3D Anaglyph System (purchase required) Stereoskopix3D

Plugin for Kinect‘s Primesense Camera forum thread – http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/67982-Kinect-plugin

Unity Web Suite – tutorials and examples in C# to create online content forum thread -http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/17674-Unity-Web-Suite-(Examples-Tutorials) website -http://www.nickbreslin.com/2009/04/phphandler-20-released/

6 thoughts on “Getting Started in Unity Game Development

  1. lisina17 says:

    A good tutorial to get you started with the basics of game
    development.A well written blog.keep up the good work..
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  2. Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.

  3. [...] Post is from My personal Blog Over the last few months I’ve began my journey into the world of Unity development. Starting [...]

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