Syracuse - MS in Communications

Week 3(D) Blog Post – Unity 3D

In week 3, we studied VR worlds and 360 videos, and were even able to build a simple world of our own. It took me awhile to get the hang of it, even after watching some tutorials on the program. The professor’s tutorial was very helpful though, and allowed me to begin building a world with elevated terrain, various objects (in this case food and trees) and a movable character.

The fact that this level of software is available to so many people is great to know. Though just the free student version, Unity 3D gave me all the capabilities to create a full-fledged game, and download it as a standalone app. I look forward to learning more about it later in the course, as well as in my free time to create something a little more detailed, and personalized to my interests.

With how much material there is within the Unity world, I do think its tutorial section should be more detailed. I went through about 40 minutes of watching videos and testing games, but yet I still did not know how to add a playable character to my original game. Although my first attempt at Unity ended in a crash before saving (I know…), I’m somewhat happy, as my first creation was a very small level with two cylinders and a tree for some reason swinging from the sky.

Outside of being rather complicated as one would expect from a computer software building application, I really did not like the way Unity set up its view modes. It is not easy to move the scene around to zoom in, see where something is missing, and more. With projects like building a video game, it can take months or years to finish, and unnecessary delays from poor controls is frustrating.

In terms of positive execution, so much of a creators thoughts have been considered when building the application. Changing grass color and height is very standard in most games, but Unity allows you to try many things out. You can also choose whether you want your playable character to be a person, ball, or animal among many options, while also deciding if the character will be first person, or third. As we are learning about VR, I went with the first person perspective for my test.

Another great ability is the use of the Asset Store. Similar to the Apple App Store, the Asset Store gives creators the ability to find a variety of assets to use in the 3D environment. There are only a set number of things that are built-in assets, while the others can be purchased or found for free. I was able to find my snacks in the free section, and accidentally added them to the environment by adding them into the game as “trees.” It all worked out though and my white sand beach is now a white sand beach dessert oasis.

In the end, I would certainly recommend trying it out if this type of thing interests you at all. I’m sure over time my talents in Unity 3D will surprise myself, and I’m sure it could surprise you too.

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