Schneider's Getting Started FAQ

Welcome! You’ve made an exciting decision to start making video games using Unity. And you’ve made an even more exciting choice to become part of our fantastic community!

Since many people just starting out have had similar questions to the ones you’re asking (or are maybe thinking and haven’t asked yet), I’ve put together this little FAQ to give you some pointers. If you don’t see your question below, feel free to ask and I’ll add it to the list.

How do I get started?
The absolute best resource, in my opinion, is the official tutorials provided in the Learn section of the site. At the top of the page are project-based guides that teach a set of different but related skills. Beneath that are shorter videos divided into groups by topic. Roll-A-Ball is a great place to start, but some people like to go through the Interface & Essentials section first to get comfortable with the editor.

But the tutorials are all outdated!
It’s true that the Unity engine and IDE is being updated faster than the videos and guides can be updated, but that doesn’t make them useless. Usually all you’ll run into is a small interface difference, which can be resolved by poking around a bit. Sometimes you’ll run into code issues where something that used to work doesn’t anymore. These cases are almost always resolved by looking carefully at the error message the console gives you and following its instructions (Hint: Google error messages to find helpful solutions for these!)

I don’t want to make a rolly-ball game… I want to make an MMO!
That’s cool. But you have to start somewhere, and going through the basics will help you learn the fundamentals you’ll need if you want to make something more complicated. The biggest deterrent for people is often getting overwhelmed and frustrated, and staying focused on small, simple concepts at the start is a good way to ensure you’ll keep learning and moving forward.

No, seriously. I have this idea for an MMO…
Everyone has some grand idea for an amazing and complex game they’d like to see exist. But there’s a reason why that game doesn’t exist yet: Complex games are hard to make! You’re certainly welcome to skip all the basics and dive right into your grand vision, but if and when you run into trouble and need help, you’re going to get this same advice. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This sounds too complicated. Any experts want to team up to make my idea?
Probably not. One thing there’s no shortage of are ideas. If someone knows what they’re doing technically, they probably have enough ideas to pursue to keep them busy for a few decades. But if you do want to team up, try checking out Unity Connect.

I already know how to write code. I don’t want to sit through a bunch of videos for babies!
There’s still a benefit to doing the tutorials, but I understand where you’re coming from. You may be more interested in the recorded Live Training sessions, where they tend to go a bit deeper into Unity concepts and use things in a bit more of a real-world kind of way.

Additionally, the Manual and API Documentation will be immensely useful for those who prefer diving in and experimenting themselves and hate watching video after video.

I want to make a non-game app using Unity! Can it be done?
Sure. But… why? The advantage of a game engine is that it provides real-time rendering of content integrated with user input and processing (also called a “game loop”). If you don’t need to make a game, you’re probably going to be better off using something else (Xamarin, PhoneGap, Appcelerator, and Ionic come to mind). You can certainly use Unity if you want, but it’s kinda like using a screwdriver to put in a nail.

Okay, so I’m trying to work on something simple. But it’s not working! Help!
Unfortunately, “not working” isn’t enough information for us to figure out how to help you. You’re going to have to be a bit more specific, following these guidelines:

  • If you’re receiving errors in the console, copy and paste those messages exactly as they appear.
  • If the error message seems related to a script file, copy and paste that script for us to see. Be sure to use code tags so it’s easier to read. If you’re not pasting the entire script in, let us know which line the error message is actually pointing to.
  • If you’re not receiving error messages, use smartly placed Debug.Log() statements in your code to see what’s running, what isn’t, what order, and how often it’s all happening.
  • Remember to share the correct solution once things have been resolved so that future people experiencing the same issue can benefit from your learning experience as well.
  • It never hurts to thank those that took the time to assist you. A kind word goes a long way, or you could even consider throwing their post a Like and help their community rep for people that care about that sort of thing

This is all great advice, really spot-on. They forum admins should sticky it. (Hey cool, I just verbed an adjective!) Thanks for taking the time to write it up!

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