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5 Things Unity Developers Should Learn Early

Everyone, sometime in their lives, has thought, ‘I would love to make my own video game’. Even though Unity developers have never had it so easy with the Unity game engine, there are still many tips that can make your game look and play a whole lot better when you are starting out.

In this article, I am hoping to shed some insight here on the Developer Hub on some very useful tips to learn in Unity earlier on so that you, the game developer, can make your game idea look and perform way better than the average beginner developer’s game and even make things more organized for yourself.

Unity developers @ TechLater.com Developer Hub

5. Unity developers should familiarize themselves with the different features Unity provides.

Unity provides many useful features that all beginning game developers should utilize. Most of these, if not all, can be found in the “Window” tab at the top of Unity’s toolbar. See image below.

Window - Unity

The “Window” section includes things such as a built in animation tool for Unity. This allows newer game developers to create their own animations right in the Unity game engine and have it directly applied to their assets.
It also includes things such as audio, 2D, and other general assets for you to play around with.

One of the biggest features is the “Package Manager” window (as seen below), which will be brought up later in this article in one of the more important things on the list.

Package installer

4. Understand different parts of materials and their importance.

Unity has a wonderful built in material editor that allows you to apply textures to your game models with more depth and detail. Sadly, there is something I see a lot of game developers fail to do, and that is learning the more advanced parts of materials and how to utilize them for different types of models in your game.

For example, a material that has the standard shader applied to it will have the albedo, the metallic, the normal map, and etc. I will only be covering a few of these in this article, however I do recommend you check out Unity’s official guides on materials and how to properly utilize them for your game.

Unity inspector

The albedo part of the material is your base color/texture, it’s what you put on the material to make it have it’s visual texture.

The metallic component can be tweaked to give your object a glossy shine and in some cases, downloaded texture assets will come with a metallic texture that is made to specifically bring out the metal parts of your object. The normal map is, in my opinion, one of if not the most important parts to a material; most Unity developers will agree. It usually is a plain blue texture with an indent for what the model looks like.

Upon applying the normal map, your object will be shown to have more depth to it versus not having depth as seen in my illustration below. As I have stated, there is much more to materials than what I can explain in one article. I do suggest you do your research and better understand materials so you can make your game have better visuals.

Unity normal map

3. Learn your style of game and familiarize yourself with it.

Not everyone wants to create the next big call of duty or high budget first person shooter. Make sure to ask yourself what exactly your type of game is.

Some may enjoy playing first person shooters, but might enjoy designing 2D platforming versus first person shooters. You also have to ask yourself, are you more of a horror game, comedy type, or more serious/sad game creator. Either way, Unity developers should learn their game type earlier on. Ask yourself, what is genuinely fun for me to create?

During my time as a game developer, I created many types of games ranging from horror, role playing, shooter, and more.

I enjoyed creating these types of games, but if you are serious about creating and releasing a game, you need to go in to your game development career knowing what type of game you are going to create.

In the event that you know what type of game you will be creating, do your research on it. Learn the ins and outs of the mechanics that go in to it. Just familiarize yourself with it so you can feel comfortable while designing your project.

2. Learn code organization.

Now this tip is for those who are having to write their own code as well. Starting out in my coding days, I had no idea what the word ‘organization’ meant. Every piece of code I wrote was sloppy and was just an absolute mess. It was only after a while (and still to this day), that I learnt of some organization techniques. I will be listing a few down below.

The first code tip I can give is to use the [Header(“”)] function.

This will create a nice organized title over your components in the inspector tab within the unity engine. This makes it easier to keep track of certain components.

Unity developer code organization
developer view

You can also use the #region function, which hides a selected portion of code in a drop down section of sorts.

Just add “#region insert name here” on the line above where you want your code to be hidden. Then, add #endregion where you want your region to end. When you want to hide the portion of code, click the minus button at the start of the line where you added the #region function. In your code, it will look something like the images below.

There are many different ways that you can organize your code, I have only shown a few of them. I suggest that you study in to different ways to organize your code. It will really make your life easier.

1. Learn post processing effects.

Now, we are at my favorite topic and in my opinion, the most important thing for a beginning Unity developer to learn, and that is Post Processing image effects.

Post processing will take your average looking game and turn it into something amazing. The way to import post processing effects is to go to window tab and click on “Package Manager” and scroll till you see “Post Processing” and click import.

There are so many aspects to the post processing component that I know I couldn’t fully cover in this article, so I recommend going to the official Unity website and checking out their tutorials on post processing.

To show you exactly how much of a difference post processing makes in a game, I will show you my own personal project with and without post processing.

The top image will show it without post processing, and the bottom will show it with post processing.

Unity developer view
Unity developer view #2

See the difference that post processing can make? It can take what looks like a mediocre, run of the mill shooter, to something that looks like it has depth and good core design.

The best part about post processing is that it is easy to learn, and is free for anyone to use in their projects, so there is no excuse to not use it.

In Conclusion

In conclusion – fellow Unity developers – there are many different features and tips that I can give you, however I believe that these core tips are enough to get many people started on their game design, and if you want to see my own current game’s progress, head on over to my official studio’s twitter account @pruigus and check out our game as it is updated and created over time.

Thank you for reading, good luck on all of your game developing adventures, and have a wonderful day!

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Written By

I am a freelance developer for the unity3d game engine who is skilled in C# coding and have created multiple different genres of video games and have over 6 years worth worth of game development experience and practice. My game studio links: Twitter - https://twitter.com/Pruigus My personal links: Fiverr -https://www.fiverr.com/jesseself06 Twitter - https://twitter.com/SelfJesse

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