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The first of many cries for help with Unity


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#1 FrustratedRocka   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:34 PM

So. I've decide to make a game. And I've realized that the Unity forums are either really, really slow to respond or really, really uninterested in helping out total beginners. Or maybe both. So I decided to come crying to you guys. Also, I only have a very loose familiarity with javascript and no knowledge whatsoever of C#, so please don't assume I know anything in your answer.

 

Anyway, I've got a few questions I need answered, preferably soon.

 

Question 1: How do I make the "press any key to start" text go away when a key is pressed? I really have no idea where to begin on this one.

 

Question 2: The camera I'm using right now seems quite fixated on my placeholder model's crotch, since no matter what I set the height to, it absolutely refuses to rise above waist level. I'm using the Mouse Orbit, Smooth Look At, and Smooth Follow scripts that come with Unity's Standard Objects package.



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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22693

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 05:37 PM

Unity is a great engine.

Even though it is a great engine, it may not be the best tool for someone asking questions like those you asked.


ANALOGY TIME:

Imagine it wasn't a game engine. Imagine it was a car engine.

Now you might rewrite your question to say "I've got a Honda Civic SI because I heard they are so great and easy to modify! Can anyone tell me where to find the spark plugs?"

Before learning how to rebuild one of the most popular adjustable engines on the market, you will probably want to spend some time on smaller engines like lawn mowers and scooters. You certainly can learn by jumping in to a bigger engine, but you might find it difficult at times, and mistakes are.often harder to recover from.

END ANALOGY TIME

The Unity website has some good walkthrough examples, but they do assume you have a certain background. If you don't have the background it can be very difficult to get a polite response from the forums.

There are some books that have fairly gentle introductions to Unity. If you need some hand-holding, you might consider going to a local bookstore and seeing if you can understand what they include. Some are more focused on art, others on code, others on design. Which you choose will depend on what you want to do.


In either case, based on the questions you are asking you won't be able to get maximum results out of Unity right now. You still have several years of hard work ahead of you if you want to be a game programmer, or game artist, or game designer (designers usually start as programmers or artists, and game designer is not an entry level job).


If you prefer the 'gentle introduction' path, I recommend learning the basics of C# starting with your first "Hello, World!" style app and moving on until you are comfortable with a few data structures and algorithms, then revisiting Unity. This is likely to be a more guided approach that will teach you line upon line, until you master it.

If you prefer the 'baptism by fire' path, I recommend downloading the Unity tutorials from their site and just start changing things to see what happens. It will take more work and often you will be surprised by interactions ("When I shock the frog here, why does his leg twitch?!") but some people prefer that method of learning.

If you prefer something in the middle, perhaps "Game Development With Unity" would be a good start, or some other book of your choosing. Many provide useful information and structure, but each chapter gives you the ability to probe around and experiment with your own ideas.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#3 FrustratedRocka   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:38 AM

Unity is a great engine.

Even though it is a great engine, it may not be the best tool for someone asking questions like those you asked.


ANALOGY TIME:

Imagine it wasn't a game engine. Imagine it was a car engine.

Now you might rewrite your question to say "I've got a Honda Civic SI because I heard they are so great and easy to modify! Can anyone tell me where to find the spark plugs?"

Before learning how to rebuild one of the most popular adjustable engines on the market, you will probably want to spend some time on smaller engines like lawn mowers and scooters. You certainly can learn by jumping in to a bigger engine, but you might find it difficult at times, and mistakes are.often harder to recover from.

END ANALOGY TIME

The Unity website has some good walkthrough examples, but they do assume you have a certain background. If you don't have the background it can be very difficult to get a polite response from the forums.

There are some books that have fairly gentle introductions to Unity. If you need some hand-holding, you might consider going to a local bookstore and seeing if you can understand what they include. Some are more focused on art, others on code, others on design. Which you choose will depend on what you want to do.


In either case, based on the questions you are asking you won't be able to get maximum results out of Unity right now. You still have several years of hard work ahead of you if you want to be a game programmer, or game artist, or game designer (designers usually start as programmers or artists, and game designer is not an entry level job).


If you prefer the 'gentle introduction' path, I recommend learning the basics of C# starting with your first "Hello, World!" style app and moving on until you are comfortable with a few data structures and algorithms, then revisiting Unity. This is likely to be a more guided approach that will teach you line upon line, until you master it.

If you prefer the 'baptism by fire' path, I recommend downloading the Unity tutorials from their site and just start changing things to see what happens. It will take more work and often you will be surprised by interactions ("When I shock the frog here, why does his leg twitch?!") but some people prefer that method of learning.

If you prefer something in the middle, perhaps "Game Development With Unity" would be a good start, or some other book of your choosing. Many provide useful information and structure, but each chapter gives you the ability to probe around and experiment with your own ideas.

Thanks for the detailed answer. Not quite what I was looking for, but probably what I needed. The frustrating thing about this whole situation is that I'm not just thinking "Oh, it would be really cool if I made a game" - there's a very concrete idea in my head that wants to get out and into the world, and I don't see a way for that to happen other than doing absolutely everything by myself. I do have a bit of a background in Python and Maya, but that doesn't help out a lot aside from letting me put together my own assets and being able to understand the base concepts of how programming works.

 

If I decided that I didn't want to do this as a solo project, how would I go about trying to put together a team of people who actually know how to translate my vision into something tangible and are willing to do so?



#4 Lactose!   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 3807

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 05:40 AM


If I decided that I didn't want to do this as a solo project, how would I go about trying to put together a team of people who actually know how to translate my vision into something tangible and are willing to do so?

The main thing is actually being able to communicate that vision to the other person, which means having to pitch it to somebody. The amount of stuff you need to be able to convince someone will vary from person to person, but some things to consider are:

- High concept of idea: 1 - 2 pages describing your idea without going into too much detail. Could even be a lot less, if the idea is compelling enough.

- Concept art/sketches: Showing a rough "feel" or layout of what you want, either in terms of visuals or in terms of gameplay mechanics, etc.

- Design document: A more detailed document, describing how most of the game will work.

- Prototype: A simple version of your game, to show what your general idea is (e.g. focusing on a single, unique game mechanic, showing off a cool level layout or enemy behaviour, etc). This might sound like a demo or alpha thing, but I consider both a demo and an alpha to be a lot bigger.

- Qualifications: Some people might only be interested if they believe the project will actually go somewhere. This involves them trusting that you (and the rest of the team you've assembled so far) are capable of doing the job. Almost like a CV of sorts, but potentially not only for you. You might, for example, need to be able to show a programmer that you have someone able to do the art side of things before s/he wants to sign on.

- Funding: Some people might only be interested if they have their time compensated.

 

While there's probably a lot more to consider as well, this might be a decent start. Note that not all the things are required to get people interested. As mentioned, the amount required to make someone interested in joining you will vary a lot.



#5 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1688

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:47 AM

Truly great analogy frob- comparing a game engine to a car engine. It helps to out things into perspective (at least for me).

Now I can see how it would help to know the basics of the components of a game engine before trying to do a specific thing in it ( I could get it done through asking questions and searching numerous forums, but I'd learn nothing and the next time I get stuck it's back to the forums.)

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#6 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1688

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:58 AM

FrustratedRocka, this is a very big issue that I have seen myself, and one which I sought to solve with an idea I had for a game engine.

Many people have ideas, and also the ambition and determination to bring those ideas to past, however the major hangups are tools and information.

I have been wanting a way to make virtual prototypes easily and quickly, if even for reference.

I decided to use a game engine, tried many. Ended up at Unity. Too complex. Stumbled across the Maratis3D engine. And this is what I needed!

With my basic understanding of programming, and somewhat intermediate understanding of 3d modeling I have implemented my ideas with this game engine.

http://www.maratis3d.org

It's not the most feature rich engine, but it's upgradable like nothing else I've used. Easy API for Lua.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#7 timothyjlaird   Members   -  Reputation: 404

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 11:49 AM

As to your two questions...take apart the code an figure out how the input and camera logic works. The camera probably works on a set of matrices and linear algebra. If that confuses you then check out some tutorials on OpenGL/DirectX/XNA or whatever and see how they transform the 'camera', geometry and lights (probably called 'entities' in your engine).

 

So. I've decide to make a game. And I've realized that the Unity forums are either really, really slow to respond or really, really uninterested in helping out total beginners. Or maybe both. So I decided to come crying to you guys. Also, I only have a very loose familiarity with javascript and no knowledge whatsoever of C#, so please don't assume I know anything in your answer.

 

C# and JavaScript are good languages. Like all good languages they are relatively easy to learn and VERY difficult to master! This may be rude/presumptuous but maybe part of the reason you aren't getting answers is that you don't seem to have any interest in committing to learning a programming language. It's a long road but people will respect you a lot more if you can demonstrate that you are curious and WANT to learn and teach yourself those skills. Please don't think I'm trying to pick a fight here...just trying to give you a better perspective.



#8 dejaime   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4119

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:17 PM

Probably, the best link I can give you is this one: http://wiki.unity3d.com/index.php?title=The_Absolute_Beginner%27s_Guide_to_Unity

 

This link lists lots of good advice for Unity beginners and some learning resources that people say are great.

 

But if you want an advice, play around with http://www.kodugamelab.com/ a little, while you go through some introductory programming tutorials.


Edited by dejaime, 09 February 2014 - 03:19 PM.





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