Imagine you’re total beginner. Somehow your friends made you apply to get a gamedev job and you became one of the programmers. Now your soon-to-be-ex boss is behind you and is asking you to apply gravity to the planet so player can explore the ball-like world without falling to the void. Your hands are sweating, you try to search things online, then you maximize Unity again… Can’t decide where to start, and you hear your boss making sounds out of frustration. Couldn’t be worse. However you don’t have to worry about that just yet, let’s take small steps.
This lesson is part of bigger tutorial about making your first game in Unity and Blender. You’re currently viewing second lesson of my guide about making games, if you want to learn how to make your first game for free, how to code C# scripts and use Unity game engine, I recommend to read whole serie.
In previous chapter I’ve explained why I chose RPG over other genres, why I chose Unity as its game engine, how to create your game in a way that will save time without cutting on quality, and what to have in mind during game production to attract players. If you didn’t do it yet, then go read introduction to making games for beginners.
Though It’s easy to download, install and register Unity, I decided to create this lesson for sake of completeness and because my site is visited by users not yet used to computers as well.
Table Of Contents
Downloading Unity Game Engine
This game engine consists of 2 programs. First is Unity Hub, program to manage our projects, versions, and updates of Unity Editor.
Second is Unity Editor, the game engine we are looking for. You need Hub to run the Editor. So let’s go to the official website and click the first green button “Choose Your Unity + Download”.
You will land on their Store subdomain, where you can choose 3 versions:
- Plus – “for hobbyists”.
- Pro – “for teams and freelancers”.
- Personal – “for beginners”.
Versions Plus and Pro are paid, Personal is free. We are interested in free version. Unless you want to buy Plus or Pro, if you do then go ahead. However, I don’t think beginner needs something more than free version.
Majority of professionals actually work with free version, because it’s not limiting in any way. So click the “Try Personal” button. You will be taken to download page. You must accept their Terms of Service.
What’s important here is that you can use the free version if your project (most likely game) you created in Unity isn’t making more than $100k yearly. If it does, then you need to choose paid version.
Most likely your game doesn’t make this much money right now, and you haven’t even started yet, so don’t worry about this. However in case your Unity products together earn more than allowed, you will need to update your license.
So after you are done reading ToS, press the checkbox button, then the download should unlock. Press “Download Unity Hub”, and save it on disk!
Setting Up Unity Hub
Open the installation file “UnityHubSetup.exe” that you just downloaded. This will install Hub on your computer. After that, you will use the Hub to download and update Editor.
After you are done reading, press “I Agree” button. You can choose the install folder now.
I strongly recommend leaving default installation location, because later you will need to change default path for Editor as well. And if you don’t, then you will have Hub and Editor in different locations.
For example Hub installed in “C:\”, and Editor installed in “D:\”. Press “Install” button and finish the installation. It may take few minutes on slower computers.
Registering Unity Account
After it finished, the setup should’ve created shortcut for Hub on your desktop. Open it. If this Windows Security Alert appeared, then press “Allow access”.
Opening Hub for the first time will make the program to ask us about our account.
You can use existing account or create a new one. I assume you don’t have one. So click blue “Create a Unity ID”.
Your username will be used by forum and store. After you are done filling the form, click the blue button again. In the next steps you may be asked what version you want, pick the free one (Personal).
They will also ask you about what kind of developer you are, what programs you develop, what platforms you target, and so on. This is just so they can know their users better. Check your email if there’s any link to activate your account. If there’s not, then that’s fine.
Setting Up Unity Editor
Click on “Installs” on the left, then install Unity Editor, if you don’t have one yet. I went for newest “official release” version, that is 2019.2.0f1 (as of the date of writing this article). Some people prefer using LTS version. I like new stuff, and I don’t mind API changes.
The LTS stream is for users who wish to continue to develop and ship their games/content and stay on a stable version for an extended period.
The LTS version will not have any new features, API changes or improvements. It will address crashes, regressions, and issues that affect the wider community, such as Enterprise Support customer issues, console SDK/XDK, or any major changes that would prevent a large section of users from shipping their game. Each LTS stream will be supported for a period of two years.
However if you want to avoid unnecessary frustration, you might want to use LTS version so you don’t have to update your code whenever some built-in Unity function is updated, changed or deleted.
Installing editor will take long even on faster computers, don’t worry about it. If your computer is super slow, you may want to launch installation and then go doing something else instead of waiting for it.
In this chapterwe were installing Unity and getting an account. But before we use Unity we first have to create a 3D character model. That’s because movement of actual humanoid character is better learning material than moving a 3D cube. So in the next chapter we will be designing 3D humanoid character model in Blender, if you didn’t know, Blender is free popular 3D software, and we will use it to create our player character model.