The Unity Editor — Day 2 of becoming a Game Developer

In an earlier article, I covered the details of installing Unity Hub, the latest version of the Unity Editor, and lastly creating your first project.

Your project has been created and you’re now greeted with a screen and you don’t know what is what. Don’t fret, I have you covered.

When I first started dabbling in Game Development with Unity I was overwhelmed by this screen that greeted me. I opened a demo project made by the Unity guys and I stared at a screen of a 2D sidescrolling game and I did not know what was happening. The first thing I did was hit the play button and I could now interact with what was happening on screen but from a gamer perspective.

The Editor

Looking at the editor you’ll see four prominent sections of the editor:

  1. Hierarchy
  2. Scene and Game tabs
  3. Inspector
  4. Project files and Console

The Hierarchy is where you will find all of your items that are in your scene/game. The Scene and Game tabs are where you’ll be working on your levels or your game and where you’ll be testing your project. The Game window will always be locked to your camera and that is how the game will run if it were built and executed on a device. The Inspector is where you’ll be able to view all of the information on a selected item or object. Lastly, the Project and Console tab are where you’ll find all of the files and assets that belong to your project. The Console tab will show information regarding your project, as well as any errors that may occur.

Custom Layouts

Unity allows us to move around our panes and windows to create a layout that’s custom to our needs. The default layout is perfectly fine starting out but getting used to a layout does take a bit of time and to ensure you’re not going to be lost later on it’s advisable to make a custom layout as early as possible and get used to it. Changing layouts mid-project might throw you off your and affect your workflow negatively.

I started my customizations to the layout by selecting the “Tall” layout from the top right corner under the Layouts dropdown. Next, I changed the Project view to only show one pane and not two. The reason for that is because it’s very time-consuming to work through folders especially with bigger projects. A single pane layout is perfect because you can see all your files and folders in a single pane and you’ll find what you need a lot quicker. After that, I dragged my game window to snap underneath the Scene window. This gives you a decent view of both your game and scene windows and you can adjust it as and when needed. I then added the console window to my editor and snapped it next to my scene view. I snap mine to the scene view in case I want to check for logs while my game is running. You’ll hardly need to view both your Game and Scene windows simultaneously, but you have the ability to switch between Scene and Console tabs as needed. Lastly, I added the Services window to my editor, but Unity automatically snaps it next to the Inspector which is perfect for me.

This is the layout that Jonathan from GameDevHQ taught me in the first course I did and it’s been my go-to layout since then. I cannot function properly without this layout as I’ve gotten accustomed to where everything is.

I really hope you enjoyed this article. I’ve never documented my processes before and I’m sure as I progress documenting my process of becoming a Game Developer will hone my skills as a writer and that I’ll produce better articles with time.

Self-taught Unity and C# Developer with a passion for games and the stories they tell.