can unity make a EXE that installs to a directory or do you have to do that with another program like install shield? thanks in advance Durante Productins.

Unity generates a portable executable. You don’t have to run any installer to get it to run, simply copy the files where you want them.

If you still want an installer, to get a uninstall option, link on the desktop, etc, you would have to do as you suggest, use some kind of installation software to write your own installer.

No, you can’t. You have to use an exernal software for this purpose. However, your question was already answered here, in which you can also find additional infos about the just cited software.