Predictive Aiming

You might want to try a few different predictive aiming tutorials to get a feel for the math involved as there are many ways to do this stuff, varying mostly by the assumptions and things it takes into account.

The simplest constant-speed projection is the easiest.

It gets harder if your projectile is subject to gravity, for instance. (Gravity is a constant acceleration)

It also gets more complex if the target has constant (or predictable) acceleration.

Of course you could never handle arbitrary target acceleration because that information isn’t known at launch / aim time.

Otherwise, if you want to debug the above, set up a SUPER simple example with known numerics and start figuring out what the computations are doing.

This of course assumes the tutorial doesn’t have errors or mistakes in it, and that you did not make mistakes typing it in (see below).

Time to start debugging!

By debugging you can find out exactly what your program is doing so you can fix it.

You must find a way to get the information you need in order to reason about what the problem is.

Once you understand what the problem is, you may begin to reason about a solution to the problem.

What is often happening in these cases is one of the following:

• the code you think is executing is not actually executing at all
• the code is executing far EARLIER or LATER than you think
• the code is executing far LESS OFTEN than you think
• the code is executing far MORE OFTEN than you think
• the code is executing on another GameObject than you think it is
• you’re getting an error or warning and you haven’t noticed it in the console window

To help gain more insight into your problem, I recommend liberally sprinkling `Debug.Log()` statements through your code to display information in realtime.

• is this code even running? which parts are running? how often does it run? what order does it run in?
• what are the names of the GameObjects or Components involved?
• what are the values of the variables involved? Are they initialized? Are the values reasonable?
• are you meeting ALL the requirements to receive callbacks such as triggers / colliders (review the documentation)

You can also supply a second argument to Debug.Log() and when you click the message, it will highlight the object in scene, such as `Debug.Log("Problem!",this);`

If your problem would benefit from in-scene or in-game visualization, Debug.DrawRay() or Debug.DrawLine() can help you visualize things like rays (used in raycasting) or distances.

You can also call Debug.Break() to pause the Editor when certain interesting pieces of code run, and then study the scene manually, looking for all the parts, where they are, what scripts are on them, etc.

You can also call GameObject.CreatePrimitive() to emplace debug-marker-ish objects in the scene at runtime.

You could also just display various important quantities in UI Text elements to watch them change as you play the game.

Visit Google for how to see console output from builds. If you are running a mobile device you can also view the console output. Google for how on your particular mobile target, such as this answer for iOS: How To - Capturing Device Logs on iOS or this answer for Android: How To - Capturing Device Logs on Android

If you are working in VR, it might be useful to make your on onscreen log output, or integrate one from the asset store, so you can see what is happening as you operate your software.

Another useful approach is to temporarily strip out everything besides what is necessary to prove your issue. This can simplify and isolate compounding effects of other items in your scene or prefab.

If your problem is with OnCollision-type functions, print the name of what is passed in!

Here’s an example of putting in a laser-focused Debug.Log() and how that can save you a TON of time wallowing around speculating what might be going wrong:

If you are looking for how to attach an actual debugger to Unity: Unity - Manual: Debugging C# code in Unity

“When in doubt, print it out!™” - Kurt Dekker (and many others)

Note: the `print()` function is an alias for Debug.Log() provided by the MonoBehaviour class.

Tutorials and example code are great, but keep this in mind to maximize your success and minimize your frustration:

How to do tutorials properly, two (2) simple steps to success:

Step 1. Follow the tutorial and do every single step of the tutorial 100% precisely the way it is shown. Even the slightest deviation (even a single character!) generally ends in disaster. That’s how software engineering works. Every step must be taken, every single letter must be spelled, capitalized, punctuated and spaced (or not spaced) properly, literally NOTHING can be omitted or skipped.
Fortunately this is the easiest part to get right: Be a robot. Don’t make any mistakes.
BE PERFECT IN EVERYTHING YOU DO HERE!!

If you get any errors, learn how to read the error code and fix your error. Google is your friend here. Do NOT continue until you fix your error. Your error will probably be somewhere near the parenthesis numbers (line and character position) in the file. It is almost CERTAINLY your typo causing the error, so look again and fix it.

Step 2. Go back and work through every part of the tutorial again, and this time explain it to your doggie. See how I am doing that in my avatar picture? If you have no dog, explain it to your house plant. If you are unable to explain any part of it, STOP. DO NOT PROCEED. Now go learn how that part works. Read the documentation on the functions involved. Go back to the tutorial and try to figure out WHY they did that. This is the part that takes a LOT of time when you are new. It might take days or weeks to work through a single 5-minute tutorial. Stick with it. You will learn.

Step 2 is the part everybody seems to miss. Without Step 2 you are simply a code-typing monkey and outside of the specific tutorial you did, you will be completely lost. If you want to learn, you MUST do Step 2.

Of course, all this presupposes no errors in the tutorial. For certain tutorial makers (like Unity, Brackeys, Imphenzia, Sebastian Lague) this is usually the case. For some other less-well-known content creators, this is less true. Read the comments on the video: did anyone have issues like you did? If there’s an error, you will NEVER be the first guy to find it.

Beyond that, Step 3, 4, 5 and 6 become easy because you already understand!

Finally, when you have errors, don’t post here… just go fix your errors! Here’s how:

Remember: NOBODY here memorizes error codes. That’s not a thing. The error code is absolutely the least useful part of the error. It serves no purpose at all. Forget the error code. Put it out of your mind.

The complete error message contains everything you need to know to fix the error yourself.

The important parts of the error message are:

• the description of the error itself (google this; you are NEVER the first one!)
• the file it occurred in (critical!)
• the line number and character position (the two numbers in parentheses)
• also possibly useful is the stack trace (all the lines of text in the lower console window)

Always start with the FIRST error in the console window, as sometimes that error causes or compounds some or all of the subsequent errors. Often the error will be immediately prior to the indicated line, so make sure to check there as well.

Look in the documentation. Every API you attempt to use is probably documented somewhere. Are you using it correctly? Are you spelling it correctly? Are you structuring the syntax correctly? Look for examples!

All of that information is in the actual error message and you must pay attention to it. Learn how to identify it instantly so you don’t have to stop your progress and fiddle around with the forum.