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Interested in game making? Start in Unity—a game engine for mobile and desktop games and real-time simulations. Author Adam Crespi shows techniques used in game development with Unity and introduces the basics of scripting and game functionality. First, learn how to import models and textures, organize your project and hierarchies, and add terrain, water, and foliage. Next, Adam explores how to use lighting to bring the game to life, and add rendering, particles, and interactivity. The end result is a sample game with a lush environment, fully animated characters, and some basic interactive gameplay.
Once we've made our project, we can to work making our game in Unity. The main windows we're going to use are the hierarchy, the scene game inspector and project. For the others that pop up along the way, such as animation or animators from Mechanam. The Scene view navigation is much like auto desk Mya. Holding alt and clicking a dragging the left mouse button tumbles the view. Alt and the mouse wheel pans, and alt and the right mouse dollies in and out. Alternately, scrolling the mouse wheel in and out also dollies.
We can switch this view back and forth from a perspective to a drawn isometric. And also from an elevation perspective to a drawn orthographic view. Clicking on the view-port label perspective changes over to an iso. Clicking on iso changes back to a perspective. Selecting any one of the axis in this scene takes that view over to a drawn perspective elevation. We're seeing things in a right view, but the perspective lines recede into the distance. Clicking on the right view-port label, switches that view over to a drawn, flat, Orthographic view.
Clicking on right again, changes back to the perspective. And alt and the left mouse tumbles again, and we're back to our Perspective view. It's very easy to navigate around and position things exactly where we need. Unity's default units are in meters. And so when we bring things in we need to make sure we're working in real world scale, in meters. At the moment our scene has well, exactly nothing in it. I'll bring an object in and see how it looks in the hierarchy and the inspector.
In my Project window, I can see I'm in the Assets folder, which Unity created for me. And in those assets are our folder called, standard assets. In standard assets I have my character controllers and scripts. These are the packages I had chosen when I created that project. Clicking on the Character Controller's folder shows me the controller's and their sources that are available. There's a standard first person controller, which looks like a capsule, and a third person, which starts out as a constructor. I'll take the first person controller and drag it into the scene.
By doing this, I can place it arbitrarily wherever I like, and with that object selected, the inspector shows the different properties and components of that first person controller. I'll press Delete to delete it and then I'll drag the first person controller into the hierarchy. Dragging an object into the hierarchy creates that object in the scene at exactly the place it was created originally. For the first person controller this is not as important. As we may want to position that first person controller at a spawn point in our game.
However when we bring in objects from Mya for example, they'll have their own cord and it's in Mya which will transfer over here to Unity. So if we want things exactly as we placed them in Mya for example we can drag them straight from the assets to the hierarchy view. And they'll place correctly in the scene. Within this hierarchy, we can see that the first person controller has an arrow next to it. Twirling open that arrow shows the two components that are part of the first person controller. The graphics, selecting it shows the properties of that particular capsule.
Pressing f to focus in, zooms in that view. This is actually the object of that first person controller, what actually collides with a collider or a mesh. The main camera then, is how that first person controller sees. And we can see in the inspector that this has, not only the properties of a camera, such as the rendering path, clipping planes and so on, but has some additional components that have been added. There's a gooey layer or graphical user interface which will overlay on that main camera.
There's a mouse look script that's part of that controller and this controls how this object looks around to follow the mouse in the game. Selecting the first person controller again, shows other scripts that have been attached. There's our mouse look, and also our character motor. This controls for example, things like movement, jumping, moving platforms and sliding. And there's even a first person controller input script. Selecting any object then in the hierarchy or in the game shows it in the inspector and allows us to edit its properties.
Selecting any object down here in the Project view, such as our first person, again shows those properties. The relationship between the hierarchy and the Project window is shown by the color of the text in the hierarchy. The blue text for first person controller, graphics and main camera denotes that it is a prefab. A prefab in Unity is a very important concept. What prefabs let us do is find an object once, and instance it in the scene. All the instances then reference the original.
So changing one changes them all. The text in blue shows that that prefab connection to the first person controller in the assets is active, and working correctly. If this text is red, it means that prefab link has been broken. The main camera here is a stand alone. This is our main camera we're seeing our scene with. We can't actually see it because we're in it. But it's not a prefab, it's not related to anything in our assets for example. Now that I've brought in a first person controller in our blank scene, I can save that scene.
Choosing File and Save Scene. Unity scenes have a .Unity extension. This is different from a Unity project which is really just a directory structure. This scene wants to save by default in the assets folder. We may end up, depending on the complexity of our game, making a scenes folder. For now though, I'll save this scene in my Assets folder. And get started on bringing things into my game.
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