What is Unity? Part 1!

Written By: Saniya Kalamkar

Unity is a game engine that allows users to create games and experiences in 2D and 3D. Artists, designers, and programmers have all used Unity to create their games or even just interactive visuals. Unity is ideal for beginners and is simple and easy to use one you get the hang of it. As long as you understand simple physics such as gravity, learning how to use Unity should be a piece of cake!


How to Download

Click here to download and click “Download Unity Hub”. It's free, so you should have no problems. Once there, you should press “Install” and add the latest Unity release. If you do not have Microsoft Visual Studios already, it's a good idea to install that as well as programming is sometimes necessary. Once Unity is installed, you can create a new project by going to the left hand navigation button and pressing the “New” button. After naming the project and clicking “Create”, the Unity window will launch.


The Unity Interface

  • Hierarchy window: It allows you to nest GameObjects. It reveals the relationship different GameObjects have to each other. We will get more into this later.

  • Game View: Simulates how your actual game will look like. You can press play to check if your game is working properly.

  • Scene View: Allows you to navigate and edit the Scene, meaning you can place and move GameObjects using this view. It also allows you to switch from 2D and 3D perspective.

  • Inspector window: This gives you details on the GameObject you click on.

  • Project window: The assets, models, textures, and scripts are all stored here.

Unity Shortcuts

There are some Unity keyboard shortcuts that can come in handy if you are in a rush.

  • Q: Pan

  • W: Move

  • E: Rotate

  • R: Scale

  • Ctrl/ Command +1: Scene view

  • Ctrl/ Command +2: Game view

  • Ctrl/ Command +3: Inspector

  • Ctrl/ Command +4: Hierarchy

  • Ctrl/ Command +5: Project

GameObjects

GameObjects are important to creating games with Unity, arguably the most important concept. Almost everything from cameras, lights, and animations are GameObjects. They represent characters, props, and scenery. Basically, they act as containers, to attach a script or a component to. In other words, GameObjects can’t do anything on their own. You need to give it a property to make it move, or to have color, or anything else you want it to do. In a game, if you need to create a tree, you would need to create some GameObjects. You would create a cylinder and maybe a cube on top. On the other hand, you could create a GameObject for a light or a complicated animated character.


Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series! We’ll get more into GameObjects and manipulating GameObjects in the next article.


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