There are plenty of engines to choose from when starting out as a Game Developer. When I just started out I had to weigh up the options of what’s available, what pricing structures they have, and how well-knit they are with the community of developers.
For me the obvious choice was Unity. They have an amazing community and their software publishes to pretty much every platform there is “out of the box”.
Your first step on the journey to becoming a Game Developer would obviously be to install the software you need.
Let’s install Unity
Firstly, head to Unity.com so that you can download the Unity Hub, which is the “home screen” of Unity, your projects, and editor versions.
Once you are on the Unity.com page, click on the blue “Get started” button. You will then be directed to another page that will show you two tabs. One for “Individual” and one for “Teams”, click on the “Individual” tab and then click on the blue “Get started” button under the “Personal” column. If you are enrolled in an accredited educational institute then you could Sign up for the “Student” plan.
Let’s just say for this article you are an individual then you would download the hub from the “Personal” column. You’ll be directed to another page where you can define if you’re a first-time user or a returning user. Again for the sake of this article let’s say you’re a first-timer, click on the blue “Start here” button.
Before downloading Unity Hub, you’ll first need to agree to their “ToS” by clicking on the blue “Agree and download” button. Once you’ve done that a file called “UnityHubSetup.exe” will now be downloaded to your PC.
Once the download is complete, now you can click on the file at the bottom of your browser to start the installation steps. In my case, I’ve installed Unity before writing this article, and therefore I cannot share the installation steps. But when you start the installation, you’ll first be asked to accept their terms by clicking continue. On the next screen, you can select where you want your Unity to be installed.
I’ve dedicated an SSD drive to my Unity and Development software and files and have opted to install Unity Hub on that drive. If you prefer you can leave the installation path to the default as listed on the screen and click install.
Unity Hub will now be installed and ready for you to install your first Editor version.
As you can see from my Unity Hub, I already have a few projects and installs. You might have to log in first and add your personal license but it’s quite easy to do and only require a few clicks.
Now to install an editor version. In my case, I have 2019.4.22f1 LTS and 2020.3.0f1 LTS installed. LTS means Long Term Support and should be very stable without any issues.
For the sake of taking you through the installation progress, I’ve started to install the beta version of 2021. I highly suggest installing LTS versions only for stability.
Once the installer is done you are now ready to create your first project.
Creating a Project
Start by heading to the top right corner and click new, or alternatively click on the dropdown to select a specific version of unity. You’ll then be greeted with a new screen where you have a few options to select from like from the templates section you can choose 2D, 3D, or other project templates. In most cases, you’ll either choose 2D or 3D unless specified otherwise by a course or depending on your requirements.
You’ll have an opportunity to choose a name for the project and where to save your project. Unity intelligently remembers where you last saved your project and that will be selected by default. In my case, my projects are saved on my D drive dedicated to my development files and under my “Unity Projects” folder. Once you are happy with your project settings you can now click the blue “Create” button. The hub window will then close and Unity will load up your newly created project.
In another article, I’ll cover the Editor itself and how you can customize the layout to your needs and I’ll share a layout that I’ve been using that’s become somewhat of an industry standard for GameDevHQ Students and Developers.