Road to Game Dev: United in Unity

We’ve all been here. Everyone has to open Unity for the first time before they can actually develop games for Unity. So for all you out there that are daunted by the idea of a brand new program, let’s run it down, and you’ll see it’s not so bad!

Creating Your First Project

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to download the Unity Hub application here. Setting up Unity itself is pretty simple — the hub lets you manage all of your project folders, and manages the different versions of Unity that you may need. For now, the most recent “LTS” version of Unity will do just fine!

From here, you can go to the “Projects” tab, create a new project, select the version of Unity you want to use from among your installs, and name it! You can also select the type of project it is — for now, the standard “2D” and “3D” settings are perfectly fine!

The Editor: A Brief Overview

There’s a few key components to the main editor. The Heirarchy (top left) is where you can see everything currently in the actual play space — initially, this is just the camera and a light source, but this is where you’ll also see the player, enemies, and even spawned projectiles. The Project tab (bottom left) is your actual file structure for the project. Game View (bottom middle) is a preview of what the game will actually look like while running, while the Scene View (top middle) is your primary interface for actually building the game and placing objects. The Inspector (right) is one of the most important tools in your arsenal, containing every detail about an object once you select it, and letting you edit them at will.

All of these can be moved around and reformatted to your liking, and there’s tons of additional panels you can open and close as well. Don’t be afraid to experiment! However, one of the most highly recommended layouts is something similar to this:

This gives you very good visibility of both the scene and game view, and places all of the folders and objects right next to the inspector, making for a great workflow. Delving into this more would require an entire article of its own, however!

Placing and Manipulating Objects

Placing and moving objects is simple. The “GameObject” tab at the top gives you a menu where you can create any object you need at a moment’s notice and drop them into the scene. From there, the Inspector gives you tools to manually edit position data, or you can select the object and use the arrows/etc to move it around and resize it! This toolbar at the top gives you tons of tools to play with as well, so don’t be afraid to try them all out!

That’s all for setup for now. Coming up next is the real meat of Unity: It’s time to start creating a game!