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What is challenging you to progress with Unity

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by ninja_pat, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. ninja_pat

    ninja_pat

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
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    26
    Hi Guys,

    Like many of you, I have started to learn Unity a few years ago; I went through the (sometimes frustrating) process of buying books, looking at video tutorials on Unity website and on youtube, and learning from trial and error. I always found the interface quite daunting at the beginning, and it was only after a few weeks/months of digging more into Unity, that I finally "cracked it"; I started to become more comfortable with the Engine, its interface, and understood the links between the different screens, windows, how to create objects and add these (so useful) components, and how to properly interact with object through scripting and create a (yet simple) game from start to finish.

    I have since learned more about Unity. However, I wish there had been resource to get me up to speed with the core functionality, so that I could refine my knowledge later-on. I always found that there is so much information out there that it is sometimes difficult to know which one to focus on initially (but this became clearer, ironically, later). Maybe some of you are in this situation right now and wish they could get in their Delorean to fast-forward a few years (and get this experience faster!). I wish this had been true for me (in addition to being a big fan of the movie). And this is the reason why I am trying to compile resources that would have helped [a younger] me started fast with Unity, and also help new users who may face the same issues.

    Would you mind telling me more about what is blocking you? It could range from coding ("I keep getting this error but I have no idea what it means"), to organizational skills ("I can't get myself to complete this game I always wanted to create"), or motivation ("I can't understand this principle; am I really made for game programming, should I give up? :-(").

    If you’d like to help, I have created a short survey (3 minutes maximum) and the link is here: http://goo.gl/forms/7VHjZlEjLy

    Thanks again and I hope this post is somehow of interest to you.


    PS: you can PM me if you have any question.
     
  2. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    This is a tough question to answer, because I think the problem it's really trying to solve is "How do I find an easy substitute for real experience?"

    It's tough to find a tutorial or guide -- or even a series of them -- that would be The Ultimate Learning Resource because no matter what you do, you can't precisely target your entire audience. Some users may have some previous experience with programming, and spending too much time on data types will bore and disinterest them. Most users can easily understand the XYZ axis, but if you breeze past it, you'll lose a few total beginners.

    Speaking mostly to the code side, it's quite literally like learning another language. Despite whatever the Rosetta Stone commercials tell you, you can't become truly fluent in a language by reading one book or using an app 10 minutes a day. You can learn the pieces, sure, but you won't be writing poetry in French until you immerse yourself in not just the language, but the culture. Game development is the same thing. You have to just do it way before you really understand it, and the longer you do it and the more you commit to it, the deeper your understanding.

    It is a noble effort to guide people and try to save them from some of the pain you went through. But failure is one of the best teachers.
     
  3. shkar-noori

    shkar-noori

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    LoadLevelAsync not being totaly async?
     
  4. ninja_pat

    ninja_pat

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    Feb 20, 2015
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    Hi Schneider21 and thanks for taking the time to reply.
    There is, for sure (and I agree), no substitute for experience and the issue that we all face would also differ depending on our background, initial skills, and goal; however, I guess we all benefited from a little help or some pointers at times; Commitment seems key, although it may be difficult for some people to stay motivated and focused at times. Would you mind sharing what was your biggest challenge (when you were starting with Unity or later in the process) and what has definitely helped you stay focused and committed? Thanks.
     
  5. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    I'm a quitter. My talent is dwarfed by my imagination and ambition, and I've lost track of the number of times I started trying to develop a game.

    Whether it was with Unity, Flash, XNA, HTML5, or Java from scratch, each time I'd start, following along with a tutorial, I'd get to the point where I was either frustrated and overwhelmed by not being able to do what I wanted to do, or I was bored by the super basic examples I was following along with that didn't seem to even apply to where I ended up.

    It took years of this Fail, Abandon, Restart cycle until I learned how to break things down into small tasks and approach them from that angle. Similarly, during this time I was also improving in my career as a web developer and just learning good programming practices. It wasn't like any one thing just made me have that "Aha!" moment, but the slow burn of difficult lessons learned. To be fair, I've yet to actually finish a game, so my cycle of failing and learning is likely far from over.

    Likewise, there hasn't been any one thing that's kept me focused and driven. Rather, each year that goes by that I haven't achieved my dream (of making a video game), I feel more pressure from myself to get to where I want to be. I know that's not the same for everyone, though, so I don't feel like I could necessarily guide a fellow developer in that sense.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  6. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Go on to answers. You'll see the same theme coming up again and again. These indicate spots where users have difficulty.
     
  7. Abelabumba

    Abelabumba

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    My biggest problem by far is laziness, could maybe call it anxiousness too, I guess. Since I'm as new to programming as to Unity some stuff seems overwhelmingly annoying, no better word for it. For example I dread renaming variables in my code, I know I should do it now rather than later but it's going to SUCK (for about 15 minutes..) so I postpone it and rather work on fresh, exiting parts of it. I know about "replace all" but still, meh. That's just an example, more generally it's about avoiding pain that I know I will have to go through later, anyway. How the f do enums work, and do I need them? I've been wanting to look it up for about 2 weeks which is like a third of my "career" but I probably won't until I find the need to.
     
  8. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    You tried refactoring? The shortcut is F2 in monodevelop. It will rename in a sensible manner across your project.
     
  9. Abelabumba

    Abelabumba

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    thanks, that helped a lot :)
     
  10. jshrek

    jshrek

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    Well so far the tutorials have been a huge help! I have completed roll-a-ball and space shooter and have started modifying and changing space shooter to my liking. Of course there is always frustration when trying to learn something new, so my biggest drawback would be time it takes to learn/understand the unity editor.

    As Schneider21 said: How do you find an easy substitute for real experience?

    Answer: You don't!
     
  11. ninja_pat

    ninja_pat

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    Thanks for your answer
    What part of the editor do you find the most challenging?
     
  12. jshrek

    jshrek

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    I suppose the Inspector is the most complex part as there is so much in it that does not make sense at first. Of course now that I have gone thru a couple tutorials, it makes sense now!
     
  13. ninja_pat

    ninja_pat

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    Thanks Jshrek. Agreed. The inspector can be a bit intimidating and not-so intuitive at times. What part of the inspector (and types of objects) caused you headache?
     
  14. arkon

    arkon

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    Sorry to sound negative, but I firmly believe there are programmers brains and non programmers brains and if you have the latter you will never be able to do it, no matter how much learning you have. I speak from 30 years of experience where I've seen every kind of person trying to be a programmer. Generally I've found that if I have to teach someone to program, they will never be able to do more than just the basics. It needs to be in your soul to do it as fluently as breathing. Sorry to say this but if 15 minutes of refactoring a variable name puts you off, you don't stand a chance. Try some other aspect of games creation, art,story,testing,design etc.
     
    Kiwasi likes this.
  15. Abelabumba

    Abelabumba

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    Meh, I see what you're getting at but I don't think it's true in my case based on that single fact, I guess time will tell - I like programming, I'm just lazy.

    Since you believe it that firmly, I'd be happy to place a friendly wager on if I "don't stand a chance to do more than just the basics", we can pick terms and someone reputable in this forum of your choice as arbiter / escrow (I reserve the right to veto your choice, but will be reasonable about it).

    As a sweetener I can tell you that I'm doing the classic newbie mistake of starting out with my dream game as my first project ever, so I'll most likely burn out soon.
     
  16. arkon

    arkon

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    No wager sorry. I do hope you do manage it but being lazy isn't the best attribute needed to be a games programmer. (your own description of yourself).