Getting Started in Unity3D

      Now that am comfortable in Unity3D, I thought I would talk about getting started.  I won't be detailing each and every step.  There are many great tutorials out there and which ones you chose will be based on what you want to do.

 
 

Getting started:

  1. Get Unity3D duh!  When you download it will ask you what platforms you want to get the modules for. You can download them later, but just FYI you might want to know basically what you are developing for to begin with. I chose iOS, Android, PC, and Xbox.
  2. Get started with some of the great Unity Tutorials.  There are a variety, so choose it based on what pieces you want to learn about.  I would focus on the pieces not the whole presented when choosing.  Follow along and don't just copy their code, really type it in and follow the tutorial. Do all the work yourself.  When it comes time to build your stuff, I'll tell you the exact opposite, don't re-invent the wheel, especially free wheels.  Do add spinners and fix their connectors ie. modify and adapt the code as needed.
  3. Design a very, like stupidly, simple scene.  I won't even call it an app because that would be overselling it.  
    1. One of my early scenes was the Ethan 3rd person controller prefab from Unity's standard assets running around collecting cube collectables I built in the roll-a-ball tutorial.  In a plane and cube pen.
  4. Add frills to your design, things you are interested in and can learnt to do.
    1. I added a moving wall
    2. I also made a timing system till I collected X collectables
    3. Added in a cube that added 1 min to time if I hit the collider. I had to add a second collider to get a trigger and still have it be a solid object. But the trigger collider was a sphere that was bigger than the cube.
  5. Design a project with a bit more substance and keep repeating until your are comfortable with Unity3D as a program.
  6. Take a look at the Unity Asset Store.  Play around with the free ones first so you have a better idea of how to use assets.
    1. Assets, as a rule, are developer tools and thus are not plug and play, even the ones that tell you they are plug and play.  I have had to spend an hour on every asset getting all the error codes to resolve and getting to operate as intended.  Even in their preview scenes.
    2. If you find an asset your really interested in, check to see if they have a free demo.  If they don't have a demo, watch the tutorials, look into the documentation and review the support.  Assets without good tutorials, documentation or support will not be as valuable to you as assets that knock those aspects out of the water.
    3. It will take time to learn the assets that truly aid you.
      1. I got Playmaker and spent some time going through tutorials.  While playmaker is great, it is learning a whole new subprogram, so budget that time.
      2. Go through the demos and see how the work.  Break them, or if they come broken, like my InventoryPro ones, fix them.  Doing so will teach you a lot.  
    4. Look up the tutorials and Documentation before you begin. And know that the assets will take a lot more work than they look like they will.
  7. Start to iteratively design of you first project.  You don't have to intend to publish, so get to that 80-90% done mark.
    1. Do NOT try to make it perfect.
    2. Do NOT plan out an epic.  This is just one step further than your last.  It is about putting together the pieces you have been learning, you are building for your learning and fun.  
    3. Do NOT be afraid to completely scrap your project and start from a fresh slate.
    4. Do SAVE all the time. BEFORE each PLAY.  I have found Unity will crash mostly when you hit PLAY.
  8. Most importantly have fun, if your ready to hit your pretty computer, take a break and come back to it later.

That's how I learned.  You know you best and what is good for me may not be good for you.

I have made a demo of my first Big project.  I was making an RPG.  I just focused on getting the mechanics done.  At current point I am transitioning to what I really want to do, make non-gaming software.  Thus the RPG is my side project for the fun of it.  

Thank you for you time and I hope this has enriched your life.