In the new year, I decided I needed to get into a new hobby to keep myself occupied. Naturally, my mind immediately went “Well, I’ll just play a lot of games”. That doesn’t really sit well with me. I’m always wanting to tinker, to explore and create. So I decided that I would have to go back to Unity, something I dabbled in quite a bit when I was younger. Having returned to the software, it’s amazing how much was foreign to me again… But I find the unknown to be pretty exciting. Here’s what my gripes have been since returning, as well as what I found still so intuitive and fun.
Can I just say prefabs?
Jokes aside, prefabs are genuinely a fantastic concept. Bring objects into the game world, pull them together with your scripts, animations and what not… And convert them into one easy-to-access pre-built thing. This is sort of like a really visual, professional view of Object-Oriented Programming (Sort of). The purpose of prefabs is to have a pre-made notion of what the thing is; perhaps you’ve made a space invader and when it moves, it makes a “boop” noise. Drag the now-created object into your Project files and boom. You can now spawn copies of that whole thing.
An often spoke about but I guess rarely really “discussed” piece is the Unity Asset Store. If you’re new to development but don’t want to make your own assets, they’ve got you covered. From professional pieces that’ll set you back a few hundred quid, to free objects which you can use as placeholders. The Asset Store is brilliant. If you don’t want to download Unity to check out the Asset Store, you can visit their website here.
The lighting and camera systems are also fairly intuitive, which I love Unity for. One of the biggest issues developing games from code alone is how it’s presented and the built in camera facilities are fantastic. Attach it to your player character and away you go, running around your 3D world that you’ve put together in seconds. It’s honestly so much fun.
My love for coming back to Unity is mostly inspired by videos, so a shout out to videos by Sykoo, such as this one:
Oh god, C#?!
I think that’s mostly it. Really, the only “issue” I’ve had is with the actual language, which really isn’t anything on the platform.
Also, another “away from the platform” issue, a lot of tutorials I’ve found out there are fairly out of date. I’m using the Unity official ones, which is all that I need, but when I looked for other tutorials to try and understand a particular class, they’re so out of date. For instance, an issue I wanted to do was to change the colour of a light. The simple answer could have been:
myLight.Color = Color.red;
However, one website suggests that’s the correct way to change the colour of the light, my development kit suggests that’s wrong and other websites have crazy variations. Nevertheless, going through the Unity produced guides is much more effective.
Finally, it’s likely that by taking Unity more seriously as a hobby once more, I will likely end up starting a new blog dedicated to my random findings on there. I will set up a new blog soon, so keep your eyes peeled and I’ll share it on here, so everyone can see where I’ve gone to in the new year. In the meantime though, are you a Unity developer yourself? What do you make of the platform? Do you have any gripes with the software that you think should be addressed, or do you think it’s the best game development platform going? As ever, share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.