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Why Unity is one of the best game engines for beginners

Written by Leslie Hemmerechts on 24 June 2019 for Tech Professionals

Knowledge sharing is in our DNA. It has always been. And that doesn’t only go for us as a company but for our consultants as well. That’s why Alexandru-Madalin Ghenea, Exellyst & Development Engineer at ING recently took the time to share his thoughts on Unity, a cross-platform game engine. You can find his very own post on LinkedIn or just read it here:

why Unity is one of the best game engines for beginners

I’ve always been interested in learning how to make computer games and some time ago I decided to finally start following my dream and start learning game development using Unity in my free time. To my surprise, I found out that the Unity game engine is quite easy to use, is fun and has a large community, making it one of the best candidates to start with. Because I am having so much fun with Unity, I would like to share a few reasons why I think it is such a good choice for beginners, but before I do that, I will first give a short description of Unity.

 

Unity is a cross-platform game engine for 2D and 3D games. So, basically, Unity is a set of software tools, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and packages that are designed for creating 2D or 3D games for different platforms, such as for example Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. Unity provides a nice Integrated Development Environment (IDE) in which you can quickly create your game. In order to create the custom logic of the game, Unity uses C# as a programming language. You can use Visual Studio which seamlessly integrates with Unity to easily write and debug your code. Besides all of this, Unity offers tools for measuring the performance of the game and a store, where you can buy assets developed by other users.

I think it’s worth noting that while in this article I am focusing only on game development, the Unity Framework is also used in other fields such as automotive, transportation and manufacturingfilm and cinematics, and architecture, engineering and constructions.

So, without any further ado, here are my top 5 reasons why I think Unity is such a good match for beginners:

1. Free to use

If you are just starting to learn how to make a game, most probably, just like me, you don’t want to spend money before you see if you find it interesting. Luckily, Unity provides a free license that gives you access to all the features that you need to start learning and develop your first games. You can start using the free license of Unity if you earn less than $100k in annual gross revenues. The main downside of the free Unity license is that it does not provide premium support, however, this is not a problem in my opinion since there is a very big and active community. If you earn more than $100k and/or want premium support, discounted asset prices or a Unity T-shirt you have to opt for one of the paid licenses.

2. Big and active community

One of the best things about Unity is that it has a great community which provides many useful resources for users of all levels of experience. Both the developers of the platform and the community provide a wide variety of tutorials useful for beginners, advanced users and even experienced ones (you can have a look at some nice tutorials here). I recommend doing a few of these tutorials to get familiar with Unity and afterwards you can already start working on your own project. If you get stuck or don’t know how to do a certain thing you can always have a look in the comprehensive documentation or just do a quick google, you will probably find the answer you are looking for on one of the forums or Stack Overflow. If you don’t find your answer in the documentation or on the internet, you can just post your question on the Unity forum or on Stack Overflow and someone will help you.

3. Cross-platform

why Unity is one of the best game engines for beginners

Another advantage of Unity is that it is cross-platform, meaning that you can develop your game for your dream platform. Currently, Unity supports over 20 platforms which include Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, Oculus Rift Facebook Gameroom and many more. Being cross-platform means, that by learning Unity you can easily develop for any or all of these platforms. It also means, that you build your game once and then deploy it to multiple platforms, instead of learning different frameworks for each platform.

4. Capable game engine

Unity is a capable game engine providing all the features needed for creating a 2D or 3D game, such as physics, lighting, and sounds. While there are other game engines that are more capable than Unity, such as Unreal Engine, Unity is using C# as a scripting language which is easier to learn for beginners and more forgiving than C++, which is the language used by some other game engines.

Even though there are more capable game engines out there, Unity has the advantage of being easier to learn, allowing you to be able to create your dream game in less time. Unity is also used for creating renowned games such as: Pokémon Go, Angry Birds 2Cities: SkylineOri and the Blind ForestSyberia 3SubnauticaRoller Coaster Tycoon WorldDungeons 3Life is Strange: Before the StormBattleTechAlto’s Adventure, etc.

why Unity is one of the best game engines for beginners

5. Large asset store

As mentioned in the beginning, Unity has a store where the users can sell assets they developed themselves. Since Unity has a large and active community, in the store you can find a large variety of assets containing all kind of tools and components that could help you develop your game faster and more efficient: such as add-ons, templates, textures, 2D or 3D models, animations, music, and sounds.

The tools from the asset store can add interesting new features to Unity, such as artificial intelligence, modelling, and monetization. Another interesting feature is the possibility to create games even without writing code yourself, making Unity accessible to people that do not have any prior coding experience. These are some of the tools that allow you to do this: Adventure Creator, uScript Professional and Playmaker.

why Unity is one of the best game engines for beginners

Final thoughts

These are some of the reasons why I chose to work in Unity and I hope that my list has sparked your interest in this versatile yet accessible game engine. I am looking forward to finding out about your thoughts, experiences on Unity and, why not, your future awesome games!

Are you excited about Unity already? What do you plan to create with it? Make sure to let Alexandru and us know! We’d love to hear your thoughts!