When you’re thinking about building experiences for AR, VR, or video game development for 2D and 3D games, your building platform choices can be overwhelming. However, they don’t have to be.
Why? Because, if you are interested in gaining the skills that will help you long-term, and you want to be able to develop complex and customizable content for almost any platform (AR/VR/mobile/desktop, etc.), the right choice is fairly obvious; it’s Unity.
There are several other reasons to choose Unity:
- It’s free (for small teams).
- It has a huge network of users.
- Its documentation is excellent
- There is a ton of up-to-date tutorial content out there for it!
Side Note: Before you jump into a tutorial, I recommend putting Unity in context. Be sure to, at least, read about Unity on Wikipedia. Understanding its history, relation to other game engines, and the diversity of uses for the engine certainly helped me gain a new respect for the platform!
Let’s take a look:
The best part about this tutorial is that it doesn’t require you to download anything! “Roll a Ball” teaches you all the basic functions of the unity editor by using the basic shapes and objects that already come with Unity. It is a video-based course, that walks you through, step-by-step, how to create a mini-game with a sphere that rolls around on a plane and collects objects. It’s simple, but it’s a fun and informative start to learning Unity.
Looking for a more in-depth, programming-with-C# focused introduction to Unity? This course is one of the most popular Udemy courses on the subject. The teachers are really good communicators, passionate, and fun. Just be sure to wait for the course to go on sale. (Often, it is available for under ten US dollars.)
If you’re looking for a truly epic learning-journey that traverses game art, design, and programming within Unity, this might be your best choice from this list. However, full disclosure, I have not tried the course, so I can’t vouch for its quality. I just saw that it was comprehensive, and that caught my eye!
Price: 30-Day free trial, and Fifteen dollars a month after.
This isn’t an intro to Unity course, to be fair, but it is a high-quality tutorial-series that gets you thinking about developing VR games (with a focus on Oculus headsets, but applicable to other platforms). (Note: Even if you can’t do some of the exercises, it is worthwhile watching the videos to learn how VR developers think and to learn VR development best practices.)
Some of these tutorials are a little out-dated, but many of these Lynda (AKA “LinkedIn Learning”) courses are high-quality-content that teaches you Unity for a number of specialized use cases, from building for mixed-reality-apps to getting prepared for various Unity-certifications. Best of all for this option, most libraries in the United States and Canada give you free access to Lynda.com; just sign in using your library card on your local library’s website.
Conclusion: Although I recommend starting with the Roll a Ball tutorial, any of these courses will help you get started. Good luck and have fun! Want another tip for getting started? In terms of motivation, few things will make you want to learn Unity more than to start thinking now about what you want to build. So, start thinking now. You can turn almost anything into a game or 3D simulation with a little imagination. To see what I mean, check out this video of a developer starting with a picture and turning it into a video game.
For more advanced learners: XR Terra’s AR / VR Developer Program
Now, all of the options above are mostly pre-recorded tutorials and exercises taught at the introductory level. If you’ve had some experience with Unity and want to master it, or want to get more serious about a career in XR development, check out XR Terra’s 3-month bootcamp for AR / VR developers.
The program is the first in industry to combine a specialized AR & VR development curriculum with real industry projects and, upon program completion, placement services to land a role in AR / VR with our network of top employers.