Unity Tutorial Review (Part 2)

If you haven’t read part 1, here a quick link to it:

Last time we went through the “Interactive tutorial”, this time I will talk about the “Roll-a-ball” tutorial.

The “Roll-a-ball” tutorial is first basic tutorial after the “Interactive tutorial”. I followed the video tutorial in the Unity website and it provides step-by-step instructions which make it very easy even if you know nothing about Unity. I started from scratch and ended up with a Roll-a-ball game constructed by basic shapes. The game is simple, you control the rolling ball and collects the gems to gain points.

Creating basic 3D shapes is easy in Unity. It took me very little time to learn the geometry system in Unity and created the stage area with stretched cubes, the ball and the gems.

Things start to get a little bit more interesting. We need to enable the player to move the ball. Unity is designed to be modular and each object in the game has its own list of components. To enable the ball movement, we need to create a component in the ball which maps the arrow keys to apply forces to the ball in different directions. Such component is not provided in Unity, instead I need to create a script in C# which contains just a few lines.

The gems are also animated using the script so they are spinning slowly and become a bit more attractive. I also added the collider component for the gems. When the gems are collided by the ball, it will trigger a function in the script, which makes the gem disappear and adds one point to the score.

The “Roll-a-ball” tutorial is only about 1 hour long. After that, you can already start expanding the game by designing new levels if you want. The ball cannot fall from the ground in the tutorial since the playing area is fenced by stretched cube, but I can imagine they can be removed to make it a little more difficult and fun. There’s a game with a similar concept which you have to control the ball from point A to point B without falling off the cliff. I haven’t played it before and I don’t know the name. But I’ve watched it on Youtube and it looks kind of fun to me.

Again, Unity did a very good job to introduce itself to the community. It doesn’t matter how great your game engine is until you have great support for the beginners or potential users. Same applies to programming languages, APIs and basically every tool that has a steep learning curve.

Unity Tutorial Review (Part 1)

Finally, here it is. After spending about 5 hours on Unity to learn about its basics, I went through 3 tutorial projects – the interactive tutorials, the roll-a-ball tutorial and the survival shooter tutorial. I must say that Unity is totally better than what I expected. Unity is intrinsically easy to use due to its design, has a lot of resources for learning and creating your game. It is a fun experience to learn Unity in my spare time.

Fun and Practical Tutorials

The learning process of Unity is a lot more fun and easier when compared to other game engines. I have experience in several game engines such as “GameEngine”, “Microsoft XNA”, “Unreal Engine” and “RPG Maker”. None of them provides a learning experience as fun as Unity.

The “Interactive Tutorials” in Unity provides a scenario where you want to control the character in a game, move it from start point to the exit point, but you cannot make it just in the play mode since the game is broken. You have to edit the stage properly in order to finish the stage.

For example in one stage, there’s a deadly laser blocking the path. You want to press a button to drop the box, but the box wouldn’t drop because it lacked a component called “RigidBody”. I had to add the component and set it properly so that it can drop down and block the laser.

The whole experience is like solving a puzzle. It’s like inception where in order to complete the stage, you have to go one level deeper, to the Unity, fix something, then come back to the game to finish it.

The interactive tutorial helps you to get familiar with the editor and the component design of Unity. It teaches you pretty basic stuff and gets you prepared for the following tutorials.

Let’s talk about the 2 others tutorial next time.