Introducing Unity Games by Tutorials!

Chris Belanger

For the past six months, we’ve been working on a top-secret book project: Unity Games by Tutorials.

Today, we are happy to announce that the first 8 chapters of the book are available now. These chapters teach you how to make a twin-stick shooter called Bobblehead Wars. See for yourself below:

Trust me, all the games are as good at this! :]

To celebrate the early access release, we’ll be posting a few free chapters from the book, announcing the winners from last week’s “secret announcement” post, and giving away some free copies of the book.

Along with all that, we’re also giving everyone who orders Unity Games by Tutorials now an early access discount.

Read on for all the details!

What is Unity?

Unity is a a professional game engine used to create games like City Skylines, Hearthstone, the Long Dark, and more.

Unity’s aim is to “democratize” game development, by providing a AAA-level engine to independent game developers in a way that is both affordable and accessible.

Here are our top 5 reasons why Unity is great:

  1. It’s free to use. If you’re an indie game developer, you can download and start using Unity for free, which is great when you’re just learning.
  2. It’s cross-platform. With Unity, you make your game once and you can build it for a variety of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and more.
  3. It has a visual editor. Unlike other game platforms where you have to type tons of code before you see anything on the screen, with Unity you can simply import an asset and drag and drop. This visual style of development is great for beginners and professionals alike, and makes game development fast and fun.
  4. Live debugging. With Unity you can click a button to preview your game instantly in the editor, and you can even modify game objects on the fly. For example, you can drag new enemies onto the level as you play it, tweak gameplay values and more, allowing for an iterative game design process.
  5. Unity is fun! You can think of Unity like a box of legos: the only limits are those of your own imagination.
Unity vs. Sprite Kit and Scene Kit: You might wonder which you should use: Unity, or one of the Apple game frameworks like Sprite Kit or Scene Kit.

Here’s our recommendation:

  • If you are an experienced iOS developer making a simple game and want to target iOS devices only, you may want to consider using one of Apple’s game frameworks. They are very easy to learn and leverage much of your existing iOS development experience.
  • If you want to target non-iOS devices, or if you want to make games at a professional level, you may want to consider using Unity. Unity is much more powerful than the Apple game frameworks, and does not lock you into the iOS ecosystem, and that’s well worth the increased learning curve.

What Is Unity Games by Tutorials?

Unity Games by Tutorials is for complete beginners to Unity, or for those who’d like to bring their Unity skills to a professional level. Its goal is to teach you everything you need to know to make your own Unity games – via hands-on experience.

In Unity Games by Tutorials, you’ll learn how to build four games:

  1. A twin-stick shooter
  2. A first-person shooter
  3. A tower defense game (with VR support!)
  4. A 2D platfomer

Here’s a sneak peek of what you can look forward to in the full release:

Section I: Hello, Unity!

This section covers everything you need to know to get started with Unity. You’ll learn your way around the UI, how to work with game assets and physics, and create a 3D twin-stick combat game: Bobblehead Wars.

Bobblehead Wars

Here’s what you’ll cover while saving the world from creepy-crawly aliens:

  • Chapter 1, Hello Unity: Learn how the Unity interface works and how to import assets into your project.
  • Chapter 2, GameObjects: Learn about GameObjects and Prefabs by adding and laying out the initial objects for Bobblehead Wars.
  • Chapter 3, Components: Learn how to use components to give your hero the ability to walk and blast away at the oncoming horde.
  • Chapter 4, Physics: Learn the basics of game physics by adding collision detection and giving the hero the ability to turn on a dime.
  • Chapter 5, GameManager and Pathfinding: Learn how to create the tools that spawn the aliens, and then make them chase after the hero.
  • Chapter 6, Animations: Learn how to add animations to the marine and the aliens. It’s time for some shooting and chomping!
  • Chapter 7, Sounds: Learn how to bring your game to life by adding background music and a variety of sound effects.
  • Chapter 8, Finishing Touches: Learn how to add a winning and losing condition, and wrap up the game with some classy touches.

Section II: First-Person Games

Now that you’re up to speed with Unity game development, you can move on to more complex game development topics, such as adding in-game UI elements, advanced camera techniques and using multiple weapons.

In this section, you’ll build a fast-paced first-person shooter: Robot Rampage.

Robot Rampage

Here’s a brief outline of what this section has in store:

  • Chapter 9, Making a First Person Shooter: Learn how to set up your FPS game, create the map, add the player and build some kick-ass weaponry for mowing down enemies.
  • Chapter 10, Adding Enemies: Learn how to create powerups, add enemies to your game, and create some damage mechanics for you and your robot nemeses.
  • Chapter 11, Unity UI: Learn how to add in-game UI, craft waves of robot enemies, add enhanced sound and music, and give your player the right weapon for the right job.

Section III: Unity 2D Games

3D games are undeniably awesome, but you just can’t beat a classic 2D platformer game.

In this section, you’ll build a game to test your reflexes as you help your hero battle his way to a well-deserved lunch in Super Soy Boy:

Super Soy Boy

Here’s the chapters and topics you’ll cover while helping Super Soy Boy avoid those terrifying buzzsaws:

  • Chapter 12, Beginning Unity 2D: Learn the 2D workflow in Unity and begin creating the building blocks for your 2D platformer game.
  • Chapter 13, More Unity 2D: Learn how to work with 2D physics, how to build levels with sprites and colliders, and how to work with raycasting, animation controllers, and more.
  • Chapter 14, Saving Data: Learn some great ways to store and retrieve player data for your games.

Section IV: Tower Defense

Combining strategy and action results in compelling games that are easy to pick up — and hard to put down.

In this section, you’ll create a 3D tower defense game — Runestrife — with such beautifully-rendered enemies it almost seems a shame to shoot them:

Runestrife

When you’re not busy defending your towers from advancing waves of enemies, here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Chapter 15, Making a Tower Defense Game: Learn how to build a title screen, create a map using 3D tiles, make enemies move around on a path, and make your life easier with utility scripts.
  • Chapter 16, Waves of Enemies: Learn how to create multiple waves of advancing enemies, make your towers shoot projectiles, add winning and losing game states, and craft a UI to bind everything together.
  • Chapter 17, Virtual Reality: Learn how to bring your game into the 21st century and make your game VR-compatible with the virtual reality hardware now available.
  • Chapter 18, Publishing your Game: Learn how to prepare your game for publication and how to make it available on the various online game portals.

The book also will also include a few bonus chapters beyond this – but our lips are sealed! :]

Unity Games by Tutorials Week and Giveaway

To help celebrate the early access release, each day this week we’ll do something special:

unitygames-calendar

  • Monday: That’s today! Enjoy the early access release of Unity Games by Tutorials.
  • Tuesday: Check out the first chapter of the book in tutorial form on the site.
  • Wednesday: Read a second free chapter! But for the rest, you’ll have to order the book. :]
  • Thursday: Enjoy a special tutorial on creating a simple first-person shooter through Unity scripting.
  • Friday: Close out the celebrations with our Unity Games by Tutorials giveaway!

Giveaway details: Three lucky readers will win a free PDF copy of Unity Games by Tutorials (or any one of our books, if you’ve already purchased Unity Games by Tutorials).

To enter into the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

What are you looking forward to in Unity Games by Tutorials?

Last Week’s Giveaway Winners

Last week, we gave everyone a chance to guess the topic of this secret book for a chance to win a free copy, and today we’re happy to announce the winners:

  • The random winner person who guessed correctly was… pencilpoint!
“I hope it’s Unity… I hope it’s Unity… Come on lucky 7…. It’s Unity!!! And the crowd goes wild……..”pencilpoint
  • The random winner person who most creative or funny answer was… skiwalker!
“the secret spy life of The Ray wenderlich team! Realistically an android programming book!”skiwalker

Both readers earned a free copy of Unity Games by Tutorials. Thanks to everyone for your creative guesses!

Where To Go From Here?

There’s one final piece of good news.

To celebrate the early access release of Unity Games by Tutorials, you can order the book and receive an automatic $10 early access discount.

To take advantage of the special discount and get the first early access release, order your copy now.

The Unity team and I hope you enjoy the book, and we can’t wait to see your future games!

Chris Belanger

Chris Belanger is the Book Team Lead and Lead Editor for raywenderlich.com. If there are words to wrangle or a paragraph to ponder, he‘s on the case.

In the programming world, Chris has over 20 years of experience with multiple database platforms, real-time industrial control systems, and enterprise healthcare information systems.

When he kicks back, you can usually find Chris with guitar in hand, looking for the nearest beach, or exploring the lakes and rivers in his part of the world in a canoe.

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