The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Unity

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Hello, and welcome to Unity3D :-)

If you have been directed here by someone, it's because someone thinks you either:

  1. Have not done your homework before asking your question, or
  2. Are looking for answers in the wrong place, or
  3. Are trying to run before you can walk – that is, asking advanced questions but lacking the basic knowledge to really benefit from any answers.

This someone could be wrong, certainly. But then you have to ask yourself: Why did they think you would benefit from reading this? I hope that by reading the rest of this text, and then reading your question again, you will have your answer. If not, you should feel free to ask why.

Take a deep breath, get a cup of coffee and prepare yourself that it may take a while before you have an answer to the question that brought you here. I can guarantee you, however, that if you go over all the information provided here, you will need to ask fewer questions - and when you do have to ask one, it'll receive much better answers than the one that brought you here!

Relaxed? Coffee at the ready? Excellent! Here we go:


The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Unity

Don't be ashamed if you don't know much yet. Every single person here didn't know much when they started out.

Now, that's actually the most important thing to learn before you can advance to Nearly-Completely Beginner: That somebody had this problem before you did. Quite a few people in fact, and chances are your question has already been answered! Not half-bad huh?

To locate the elusive answer, here's a list of the things you should do before posting: Read This!

Read the text below the list as well! It holds invaluable information if you want to ask a question (the right way, that is).

This is an excellent place to do your searching

Still nothing, after all this time?

That surely sucks, but you still shouldn't post a question. You have to make sure you can't...

Help Yourself

Many new developers come here, thinking they can make a great game in a few weeks. Let me tell you right from the start: If your game could be made in two weeks, it would have been made already. To make a new game, you have to use scripts that isn't part of a tutorial – or rather, you must have the skill to make simple changes to those scripts. You absolutely must have a basic knowledge of programming. If you do not, your questions will reflect your incompetence and you will have a very hard time getting answers to your questions.

If you feel that you don't really know how to code, these links will help you:

Coding in general (C#):

Microsoft's beginner topics.

A thorough course.

Now that you have a basic knowledge of programming (?), you still need a basic knowledge of Unity3D – the environment in which your code will run:

Coding for Unity:

Script Reference. Go through every single subsection.

Here are some other programming goodies, and I think this deserves special mention. Take a gander at all those links on the left side. I bet at least a handful of them will be useful to you!

Here is the FAQ for the forum you posted on. You should read all the links and both posts - it might even have the answer to your specific question!

Tutorials from the Unity Team. I highly recommend the 3D Platform Game tutorial.

BurgZerg video tutorials.

TornadoTwins video tutorials.

Walker Boys video tutorials.

Now, if you've looked over all those tutorials, and you still don't have your answer, then it's time to learn...

How To Ask for Help

Most people here are busy with their own projects, and when they decide to spend a few minutes answering a question, they have many questions to chose from. If you want these busy people to pick your question, you must put some effort into your question. Always keep in mind: The better the quality of the question, the better the quality of the answer.

Here is a list of the top reasons why some questions never receive an answer:

  • Your question has been answered many times before:
If you have come up with a good title for your question (see below), doing a search on that will probably give you many good results.
  • Your code is hard to read:
Use [ code ] [ /code ] around your code (remove spaces), and use the 'Preview Post' button to make sure it's nice and pretty. It really is important.
  • Your question is not understood:
Take care to formulate your question in the best English you possibly can, check your spelling and don't use words you wouldn't find in a newspaper. Take the advice of the links just below here.

In its simplest form, a good question describes how it should work, and then describes how it does work (what unexpected things happened?).

If you can do the above well, I'd say you're home free. Ask and Ye shall Receive!

If you think that's kinda vague, you'd be right. Here's a few select subjects which will help you ask great questions!

Why should I care?

A good title.

A good description.

Asking about code.

Be Polite.

Follow up!

A very important quote from that last link:

"Last, and not least, this sort of followup helps everybody who assisted feel a satisfying sense of closure about the problem. If you are not a techie or hacker yourself, trust us that this feeling is very important to the gurus and experts you tapped for help. Problem narratives that trail off into unresolved nothingness are frustrating things; hackers itch to see them resolved. The goodwill that scratching that itch earns you will be very, very helpful to you next time you need to pose a question."

You have probably noticed that these links are all from the same web page. I have listed the bare essentials for you, but you would do yourself a favour by reading it all.

Closing Notes

Before leaving you, I should warn you that most of the people who frequent this forum can tell if you have followed these links (and read them!).

On the plus side, they can tell if you followed these links (and read them!)

If you have done your part to learn, look and ask a good question, I promise you that someone will recognise that and find the time to answer your question.

I wish you all the best in your endeavours, and hope this text has set you on the path to one day answering questions yourself. :-)

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