Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 2 of C# Unity

Day Two brought me to Unity's own tutorials which they have titled Learn.  Simple and straight to the point.  Under this tab you can find Tutorials, Documentation, Live Training (if something is scheduled), and other Support options.  The Tutorials consist of Topics - specific sessions and assignments that you choose from and Projects - guided, step-by-step from set up to final build of example games.

As I am most concerned about my scripting practices, I decided to start with the Topic: Scripting.  There are a total of 47 lessons, over half of which are for beginners.  Perfect!  The topics are a series of YouTube videos, and not interactive, but each provide downloadable code and links to reference documentation.

The first four lessons are foundation builders.  I felt they were there to make sure everyone was on the same page.  Collectively, lessons covered the concept of scripts, basic components, and best practices for conventions and syntax within Unity.  I truly enjoyed all of them.

Project: Space Shooter
If you have not yet done a Unity Projects tutorial, I highly suggest it.  By far it was the best experience for me during the Global Game Jam.  The projects allow you to get your feet wet, experience all the things, and provide links to reference material if you have any questions.

The projects come complete with all the assets you need to finish the game and are awesomely organized. This is a big plus for me as I find Unity's importing and file structure something I definitely need to learn.  I watched the videos, took notes, then completed the tasks on my own.  This helped me iterate what I was learning a couple of times. My notebook is a best friend and I often use it as a reference later.

The one downside: these projects can be a bit over the top with the hand holding.  If you just follow the steps are you really learning it?  The notebook helps, but I try and make sure I don't use it as a crutch.  I also take time to play with the tools outside of the project lesson's "scope."  A good friend of mine recently said "When you get a new tool, you should ask yourself 'How can I "break it"?' and then learn from that process."

The first few lessons in the Space Shooter give you an overview of the game you will make, orientate you with creating a new project, and give you a good understanding for creating a player game object.  Each video has a single concept that is fleshed out in a series of tasks.  I really enjoy the setup.

Day 3 is already here! Let me know if you have a similar "notebook" experience in the comments below. 


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