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No en­gine is as preva­lent through­out in­die games as Unity. Be­ing avail­able for free has put it in the hands of thou­sands of cre­ators, and not only has this ben­e­fit­ted play­ers, for bud­ding de­vel­op­ers it means there’s a wealth of tu­to­ri­als on how to build a whole va­ri­ety of games, both 2D and 3D. From plat­form­ers such as Od­dworld New’N’Tasty to lush sur­vival and hor­ror ti­tles such as The For­est, Unity can be used to make al­most any­thing.

Un­like GameMaker or other, sim­pler, en­gines, Unity has no built-in game func­tions. To use it, you’re go­ing to have to get your hands dirty and do all the cod­ing your­self. Unity uses C#, so any­one fa­mil­iar with that script­ing lan­guage will find them­selves at home. For those un­fa­mil­iar, there are loads of videos avail­able on­line to help you get started on vir­tu­ally any fea­ture you can imag­ine. There’s no one way to ap­proach a prob­lem ei­ther; player move­ment can be han­dled in dozens of dif­fer­ent ways de­pend­ing on the needs of your project. Find­ing which so­lu­tion is best for you can be daunt­ing, but thank­fully Unity also has a mas­sive com­mu­nity which is very ap­proach­able and will­ing to help. Be po­lite and you should have no trou­ble get­ting a help­ing hand. (Just try to do a Google search first – you’ll be sur­prised how much you can ac­com­plish be­fore need­ing to in­volve oth­ers.)

Unity also has a mas­sive as­set store that will al­low you to im­port a va­ri­ety of mod­els, fea­tures, and tools at vary­ing prices. Some are even free. When you’re start­ing out, it’s per­fectly rea­son­able to use ev­ery tool at your dis­posal, so don’t be ashamed of us­ing these as­sets in your own project. They’ve been put out there to help you.

Build­ing 3D as­sets for your Unity project will be a dif­fi­cult hur­dle for many. As men­tioned, the as­set store can pro­vide those for you if needed, but if you’d rather cre­ate your own then there are free pieces of soft­ware such as Blender that will al­low you to cre­ate 3D mod­els.

Unity is a tougher place to start than GameMaker but it opens up a world of pos­si­bil­i­ties for those who would rather make a 3D game, and thanks to a huge, help­ful com­mu­nity it’s still pretty easy to learn. With a con­stant stream of im­prove­ments the en­gine is only be­com­ing more ca­pa­ble. Hugely suc­cess­ful games have been made in it. Maybe it’s time for yours to join that list.

“Unity’s pretty in­tim­i­dat­ing to get started with, but there’s loads of help­ful tu­to­ri­als both on YouTube and Unity’s own page to get you up to speed. As well as be­ing great for get­ting to grips with how the en­gine works, you’ll also end up with a ton of code to re­fer back to in fu­ture” Natalie Clay­ton, cre­ator of Tran­sit

It’s not just indies en­trust­ing their projects to the Unity en­gine. Bl­iz­zard used it for the mas­sive Hearth­stone. The ut­terly gor­geous Ghost Of A Tale was made in Unity, and while it looks AAA, this was all made by one per­son! od­dworld: new ’n’ tasty...

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