Unity is a game engine with a diverse set of use cases. The engine can be used to develop 2D and 3D games. It offers the ability to build for multiple platforms from game consoles to mobile devices. Businesses use it to build out display pieces for their new products to gain funding and drive interest. Training programs can develop simulators to train new employees or teach new interfaces, like pilots on new aircraft. High school students use it to impress their friends with homemade games and apps. Needless to say, there is a lot to learn about the engine. This is where Unity’s training platform Unity Learn can help.
Unity Learn is built by Unity Technologies to teach new and experienced users how to use the Unity Engine. Courses are offered in an on-demand format, where you can learn at your own pace. Content is offered piece by piece or in curated lists based on your experience or learning pathway.
In this article, we are going to discuss the benefits and features offered by the Unity Learn platform and some of the different topics you have lessons in.
Unity Learn was launched in April 2019 as a way to collect and curate separate pieces of training into unified learning pathways. This restructuring allows users to know where to start their learning journey and what type of content is a good fit for their level. The Learn platform also allows users to track their progress throughout modules and across topics.
Once a section of work is complete, it is added to the user’s profile. To further increase motivation and learning, the system has been gamified with users earning experience and badges to show off their newfound knowledge. A user’s profile displays the number of modules that have been completed as well as the experience and badges.
Unity Learn premium is Unity’s subscription based learning platform. For a monthly subscription fee, you get access to live interactive sessions twice a month and feedback from Unity Experts. The subscription is included for Unity Plus and Unity Pro subscribers. The Unity Lean Premium plan was made free in the first quarter of 2020.
Unity Learn is completely free. In March of 2020, Unity opened up its premium Learn offering to everyone for free. This was done in response to the effects of the pandemic on the community and the response was extremely positive. Over the next few months, 320,000 users took advantage of the new learning pathways. In June of 2020, Unity officially made its premium Learning permanently free.
While the Unity team is always creating new content for learning, their pathways are currently limited. As of this writing the Unity Learn pathways are Unity Essentials and Junior Programmer. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of content available outside the guided pathways. Topics covered by Unity Learn include Design, Art, Scripting, XR development, Game Development, and Film & Animation.
The Unity Essentials pathway is a course designed to be completed in two weeks. It covers the basics of the editor and game design. You will learn how to import and manipulate assets into your game as well as write basic code. The main focus for this pathway is getting you comfortable with the tools and features provided by the Unity Engine. For a beginner, this course overs vital context for building your knowledge around developing your first game.
The Junior Programmer pathway is a deeper dive into programming functionality into your projects. The pathway is estimated to take 12 weeks to complete. Learning topics include programming basic logic, system and architectural design, version control, code optimization, code comprehension, and debugging skills. All the necessities to reach employability as a junior programmer or work as a team towards developing a production worthy game.
Unity Learn offers a C# survival guide for beginners to learn to code with C#. The course covers programming basics like variables, loops, methods, and classes. After covering the basics, it skips past a lot of the stuff you would learn in a regular programming course and dives into common solutions you will need to develop a game. This includes programming patterns like the singleton and command patterns. Object pooling and events and delegates are also given their own sections which are great for keeping clean code while reducing the overhead for your game.
Developing a 2D game is a common starting point for beginners. Unity Learn offers 60+ tutorials just on the topic of 2D. You can learn by editing and modding/extending prebuilt games provided by Unity or learn one single 2D feature like animations. The one off tutorials really require you to know what you want to learn. I would suggest picking up one of these after getting your hands dirty and grasping the basics of the engine.
VR is one of the latest technologies for virtually interacting with the world. It also goes beyond entertainment such as games and attractions. Recently virtual reality has begun to influence how we interact with each other through business meetings and classroom settings. Virtual workspaces will soon be commonplace and Unity Learn is a great place to start learning how to develop games and applications for this technology. With recent events, startups and existing businesses are looking for developers who can create productivity tools in virtual space. Going through these tutorials could give you an edge in a career outside the video game world.
Want to learn how to make shaders for that custom look in your game? Unity Learn has you covered. Shaders can be intimidating at first. Unity defines shaders as “scripts that contain the mathematical calculations and algorithms for calculating the Color of each pixel rendered, based on the lighting input and the Material configuration”. But do not let that stop you from learning how to create your own stylistic shader. From basic introductions to creating custom lighting effects, there are a lot of aspects to creating shaders covered here.
And now you are ready to use Unity Learn to aid in your game development with Unity. Thank you for stopping by. Stick around and check out more of our tutorials or posts like our piece on using Unity’s Prefabs to speed up your game development process. Also, leave a comment telling us what you liked or did not like about the article. Was it easy to follow along? What do you want to learn next? As always check out some of our published apps below.