Unity is completely free to use, so long as we don’t need the Pro features. The free version is quite complete, as it includes everything needed to create finished games and compile them for Mac, Windows, and in-browser play.
To help more developers get started in Unity, I created a one hour tutorial this semester on how to put together something basic but functional. After a few practice runs for groups at Georgia Tech, I’ve now recorded the tutorial as a YouTube video, to hopefully help HGD readers and visitors get past the initial hurdle of figuring out how to get started.
Even if you don’t have a project in mind at the moment to make with it, simply working with the tool and making it through the tutorial may get your gears turning about what you might like to create. In addition to trivially providing 3D environment editing, optimized physics code, and handy in-game debugging functionality, Unity is also a really convenient way to easily deploy cross-platform and web-compatible games. Why not give it a shot:
The source and version linked above include a few minor additions that were not covered in the video for sake of time, namely multiple camera modes and slightly better input hookup. Simply inspect the source code linked above if you’re curious about how those changes work. For the part of input changes that are not apparent in the script differences, go to Edit -> Project Settings -> Input in Unity when the downloaded project’s scene file is open. The scene file to open is located inside the Assets folder.
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