Unity5 iOS Development Resources

First I’m going to run through this tutorial about “Building your Unity game to an iOS device for testing”

Meta Tutorial

As I work my way through this tutorial I’ll post my findings here.

This tutorial shows how to test a game on iOS for free.  It talks about how if you want to publish to the App Store and do other similar things you may have to pay for a developer license.

Xcode has changed in small ways since this was written.  In the section called Building the sample project to your device using Xcode it says that in the top left you can open the project settings by clicking “Unity-iPhone” which didn’t work for me.  Instead I found project settings in the menu but I don’t think it is right because there is no “general” tab nor any “identity section”.  As a result I didn’t do any of this, but did “generate a new certificate” which was a simple two step process back in the same place where you added your Apple ID (Xcode->Preferences->Accounts)

When I plugged in my iPhone via usb (which I had never done before but only because its a new phone) it opened iTunes and made me verify that I wanted this trusted communication to take place then in Xcode it took a few minutes to “prepare it for debugging”.

Ok when I clicked build it failed and said that I needed to “select a development team in the project editor”.  I did some googling and things have really changed so it wasn’t easy to figure out what to do instead: 1. I found a “Build Settings” in the main editor window that had identity in it which let me select my identity at least.  After that it still required me to select the project on the left, then change the ‘target’ in the drop down just a bove the main editor window.  From there I could get to most of the settings it spoke of earlier.  I set the development team accordingly but then I had to go to the info tab and change the bundle id to something more unique than I had put in (per the tutorial I put com.unity3d.mobiledemo but thats not unique).

After that it still didnt launch so I had to go into my device in the general->device management settings and trust things from this developer.  But after that it totally worked!

Getting my Game to Build and play on my iPhone

This is an entirely different prospect.  I’m going to try doing the exact same things that I did with the other project but I know that my project has differences in its setup so I’m prepared to have to tweak things.

Update: Actually the build worked on the first try!  My game is running on my iPhone now!!!  YAY!

Touch Controls

To get Touch Controls working I may choose to download an asset from the asset store but first I want to see what I’m getting into.

Written tutorial on getting touch working:


This is a cool tutorial that I found while I was looking for what I need but it doesn’t do what I wanted so I’m bailing on it.

Official tutorial on touch controls:


This is part of the official rogue like tutorial but I don’t think it does what I am looking for either:

A youtube tutorial on the topic:

This one looks more along the lines of what I’m looking for.  he spends over 60s telling us which of his videos to watch but the code in this is really top notch, tight, elegant and clever.

It was quite good but I saw another video which led me to the asset store where I found this:

Asset Store Options:


This is free and should do the trick so I’m going to try it out.

Final Virtual Joystick Decision:

I ended up using the CN Controls from the Asset store.  It was really really easy.  I just dragged it into my canveas and changed Input.GetAxis to CnInputManager.GetAxis in my code then built and deployed to my iPhone and it TOTALLY WORKED!!   I’m glad I watched those videos because I now know that I could reproduce this on my own if I had to and I understand most of what these controllers are doing.


Problem with Shadows

I found a problem with shadows that only manifested on level 10.

Unity5 Shadows Problem
Scene 10 has problem Scene 9 doesn’t.

One solution I saw at the unity answers suggested increasing the scale of my game, but I don’t think thats wise because of this:

I did NOT end up finding any good solutions online and I believe there is somewhat of a bug but people are pretty religious about this topic for some reason and seem to either think that it “shouldn’t be a problem” because “why do you need more than that distance of shadows anyway!?!” which I think is pretty lame.  Regardless after hours of trial and error (including going back in time in git and copying the entire project and wiping things out behind the senes and re-generating them) I did find somewhat of a workaround.  First I switched build settings from iOS back to Mac/PC and then back to iOS which seemed to clear some shit out and at least made the shadows consistent from one scene to another.   Then I changed the shadow distance to 40 (Edit->ProjectSettings->Quality).  60 might have worked, 100 was pretty bad (My wife said it was Atari 2600 level!).  This does not look nearly as crisp as it looks when the shadow distance is 10 or when you are using the Mac/pc build setting but the lower you go the more disadvantages you get and this was the lowest I could go without seeing any dramatic disadvantages of shadows disappearing and popping up unnaturally toward the back of the screen (it still happens its just not too terribly unnatural).


Shadow Distance Differences (iOS Build Setting)
Shadow Distance Differences (iOS Build Setting)



Code Signing

Half of the times you build (after you’ve plugged your phone in again or done a clean build or for whatever reason) you have to go manually change the Team ID in Xcode but Unity does have a workaround.  In Unity->Preferences->External Tools there is an option to automatically sign your app but you have to put in a Team ID.  I had created one in Xcode (documented somewhat above) but putting that email or my name from there didnt work.  I had to dig deep to find the team.  Almost everyone online pointed me to something that doesn’t exist and said that at developer.apple.com you can find your team id, but since I have the free account atm thats not available from there (There is no Account.Membership section of my account on that site).  I was able to find the right Team ID using a real tricky bash script:


 security find-identity -v -p codesigning | awk -F \" '{if ($2) print $2}' | while read acct ; do security find-certificate -a -c "$acct" -p | openssl x509 -text | grep "^ *Subject:" | awk -v acct="$acct" -F , '{if ($3) {sub(/ *OU=/,"",$3);print $3","acct}}' ; done


I found that hidden at the bottom of this answer which says that it is a part of the keychain on my Mac (and apparently can somehow be looked up that way as well).

When you run that it takes a few seconds and then spits out the ID then a comma and then the name of the team account you’ve been using in Xcode.  Plugging the ID into Unity worked like a charm.



When you are done and you want to optimize here is an article all about optimization on mobile

And heres another with a real world game example of optimizing Shadowgun for mobile

Unity5 Scorched Earth Game Tutorial in 2.5d

Unity5 Scorched Earth Game Tutorial in 2.5d

In this tutorial I will walk you through the mechanics of making a scorched tank game.  When I say tank game I’m talking about the classic games: Scorched Earth (PC), Scorched Tanks (Amiga), or Gorilla (DOS), or Worms (all platforms?) or one of many other games of this nature where you launch projectiles at targets.

We will be making it in 2.5d (why? because I like 2.5d!) but the mechanics will apply similarly to a similar game made in 3d and 2d.

I don’t plan on putting much “spit and polish” on this because this tutorial is about showing you the mechanics of the game not how to make a publishable game from start to finish, however many of my other videos and tutorials will fill in all of the gaps you need to pull that off so browse around on my site for more.

Part 1: Turret Rotation

In this Unity5 tutorial I walk you through the mechanics making the first part of a tank game where you will be shooting projectiles and hitting targets. This Unity5 tutorial speaks to the creation of the cannon and the turret and the rotation of the turret as well.  The turret needs to rotate independently of the cannon body and needs to rotate around an anchor point at the end of the cylinder not in the center and this video shows how to do all of that and more.

Part 2: Launching Projectiles

In this video we create a projectile and launch it out of a spawn point with a given direction.


Part 3: Constraining Bullet Positions

In this video we constrain the bullet position so they don’t move out of the 2d plane.  I considered doing it with a script but decided that setting up physics objects to bump into and constraining the rigid body position vector was preferable (it behaves more like you would expect it to in this situation).

Part 4: Explosions

In this video I show a few different physics explosions and how to target them only to certain collisions so you don’t go blowing EVERYTHING up! 😉

Part 5: Making it a fun game

The first thing we do in this video is one of the funnest things in the whole tutorial: make every ball go flying at once!  After that I show you how to make it into a complete (albeit very basic) game with just a few added game objects and scripts and it ends up pretty darned fun if I do say so myself!

Thank you so much for working through this tutorial and watching my videos and coming to my website!  I’d love to interact with you so will you add some comments to the video or here at the blog?  Ask questions, ask for clarifications, make suggestions or whatever!  Enjoy your new Unity5 powers and thanks again for coming!

Unity5 Development Diary

Unity5 Development Diary

Thursday Dec 21

I’ve been investigating lots of level design tools and I found one that seems to work really well.  its got subtractive features as well as additive and is pretty mature.  I made a few videos about how to use it although they aren’t edited yet and aren’t uploaded.  Its called SabreCSG.  These should let me make larger levels for Super BelDevere which is what I’ll be working on today: making a large level for that game.

I’ve been having a problem for a while where the ball sticks to the wall no matter how I adjust the bounciness in the physics materials.  I found out that in the physics engine there is a bounciness threshold and below that threshold of speed  in the same linear direction as the wall then those things don’t bounce.  I changed that bounciness threshold to be 0 so lets see how it works … Yup that worked great.  I tested it with a higher number (20) just so I could understand what was going on and it made the game unplayable (just as I suspected).

Monday Dec 11

I have been working a lot on my pong style game called Co-Parenting Beldevere.  In this game Beldevere feels unloved by his deadbeat father so as his mother you have to play both roles (control both paddles) to help BelDevere feel loved.

Co-Parenting Beldevere
Co-Parenting Beldevere

Cut Scene

I spent a lot of time over the last few days working on a simple cut-scene.  When I think about how apparently complicated the cut-scene is I feel like it took me way to long to figure out how to do this part.  Thats just me getting judgmental towards myself but there it is!?!  The more cut-scenes and similar animations I make the better I will get at it. Also I feel like it will be valuable having done it this more difficult way because when I see tools or scripts that make this process easier I will have a point of reference and I will be able to understand the problems they are trying to solve and the advantages to the way they chose to solve them.


I have had a lot of trouble with the physics in this game.  I’m beating myself up about this a bit too because it seems like they should be so simple, and it was simple to get it working somewhat, but to add convincing English to the ball and to make it feel good was anything but.  The problems were manifold.  Sometimes the ball would get stuck.  Sometimes the English wouldn’t work at all.  My solution as of today feels fantastic and involves adding a shallow sphere collider to the paddles.

Saturday December 2

I went to see my friend Chad Carrie yesterday and he showed me some great ways to use Sketch-Up to make 3D models and import them in.  Here is some of what I learned:

Tuesday November 28

Today I made a 3 part tutorial (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) about converting your game into stereoscopic for iOS.  There is a lot of important information in these videos about how I pulled this off, but keep in mind that there have been quirky problems (which have apparently nothing to do with the stereoscopic display and work perfect testing on PC before I move it over to iOS)  each time I’ve done it.

Monday November 27

Beldevere in Stereoscopic 3D on Sunday November 28!

Stereoscopic Beldevere
Stereoscopic Beldevere

Marshall and me worked on getting an in game stereoscopic display working for like 4 hours on Saturday night.  We actually got that part working ok pretty quick but then (and I saw this coming) needed to get some form of external control (you can’t touch the screen when the phone is in the VR Goggles.  We eventually gave up at like midnight, but I obsessed about it and found something that night and implemented it the next morning that *mostly* worked.  I was able to tighten it up over the course of the day and show Marshall and his friend and my beautiful encouraging wife Cristi Level 3 of Beldevere in 3D later that night!

Later on that evening I was able to get controls working for all levels as well as the title screen and high score screen and while there are two outstanding bugs it does work and I genericized the stereoscopic camera and UI canvases such that all of my levels benefitted automatically and now you just click a button in the inspector and that level is Stereoscopic 3D!  Its funny how time flies because its just Monday right now but it feels like its been an eternity since that happened.

I also ordered a nice gaming PC on Black Friday which will be here perhaps later tonight and I just picked up a nice monitor from Best Buy (Cyber Monday Sale).

Monday November 20

Yesterday I tightened up some of the code for expanding and shrinking objects.  Today I totally re-worked level 2 scaling it to 1.5x its previous size (x and z) and adding bounding volumes so you can kind of ride the walls a bit.

Yesterday I also experimented with using the terrain features of Unity to make a level 1.  I liked it a lot, however it totally “showed up” the rest of the levels.   At some point I will need to draw the line and say its good enough to ship and if that level looks way smoother than the rest I will feel like I need to make similar changes to all of the rest of the levels to make them catch up to that one.  I’m struggling with where to draw that line.

Saturday November 18

Today I’ve been working with lighting, adjusting it, balancing it, getting all the levels balanced, trying to not wash things out, etc.  I noticed that on mobile especially some things looked weird, even dark.  I started by re-baking all of the lighting for all of the levels, then I worked with the skybox and the default ambient light color making it a light grey. Then I made the directional light a darker gray and adjusted its intensity until it looked about right and that seemed to work out pretty well for all of the levels.

I found a problem with shadows and spent most of the day finding a workaround.   (details in my article on iOS)

Shadow Distance Differences (iOS Build Setting)
Shadow Distance Differences (iOS Build Setting)

Tuesday November 14

Yesterday was really monumental but today I got the controls working on the iPhone!  Just one more thing to do and it will be fully functional on iPhone.  I feel like parts are still “clunky” but it will be a minimum viable product as the saying goes.

Monday November 13

I got my game building and running on iPhone today!  *Huge Milestone!!!*

Sunday October 29

Wow so much progress!  I got sound throughout and really … its a REAL GAME as of just now!  5:00pm sharp.

It starts with a musically backed title screen, moves into a musically backed level with lots of fun sound effects, and when you are done with that it moves into a musically backed high score screen and then back to the level select screen!  I’m so proud!

Thursday October 26

I travelled to see my dad last week and got some good feedback and ideas from him and my mom.  Thanks guys!  I got the skeleton of my new much more interesting scoring system working as well as having fixed a problem I made with the gravity collector.  I got it working on one level but it broke the rest.  It wasn’t a difficult fix.  This week I’ve been working on sounds and music.

Saturday October 14

Got the Gravity Collector working much better.  Occasionally it used to leave dots stranded on accident but it doesn’t do that anymore.  A fun side effect is it ends up swirling the dots around the player and sometimes getting pretty close to a perfect zero gravity orbit (illustrated in the video below) a situation which I’ve cleaned up now but which was cool enough to make a video out of..

Unity5 C# code for gravity collector
Unity5 C# code for gravity collector

Friday October 13

I found out about NavMeshAgents priority field and how it would help me.  Its technically called “Obstacle Avoidance Priority” and although it makes sense in hindsight at first glance I didn’t imagine that other AI NavMeshAgents would be considered “obstacles”.  In fact there is something else in the engine specifically called a NavMeshObstacle which I was just fiddling with yesterday.

Wednesday October 11

I haven’t done much in the last week but today I got some good info from this video which showed me how to make my game look better reasonably quickly.  I can see how this will help but at the same time I did some of the steps and my game didn’t instantly look better but I think with some tweaking it will.

Wednesday October 4

Just got back from Pennsylvania where I went to visit my sister, brother-in-law and niece and I made some progress while I was there specifically making the title screen level select much scroll much smoother.  I also re-did the making of video that I did a few weeks ago shortening it from 6 minutes to 2 minutes.

For my scorch game while I was in Pennsylvania I made it work with two players with shooting on different sides of one controller and balanced out the explosions.  Yesterday I made it keep track of scores for each player

Scorch with Scores
Scorch with Scores

Also I created a video about the simplest way to add a HUD and set the values from anywhere in your game:

And on top of all that I made my first full tutorial series in its entirety today!



Monday Sep 25

Got a Level Select screen working that lets you clumsily scroll through the levels and select one.  it definitely works but the clumsy parts are the scrolling is abrupt and not smooth, the images in the rear are confusing, button presses get confused when you press too quickly, behind the scenes the image is not the same object as the scene number (they are aligned so it works atm but …) and the the whole look and feel of the screen is inconsistent.

I’m still proud that it works because now you can fire up the game, select a level, then go play that level and get a high score on that level.  Thats a complete one way game!

Level Select Screen
Level Select Screen

Sunday Sep 24

Worked on some side projects today mostly getting the Survival Shooter meta-tutorial done, but also figuring out how to launch projectiles and making a tutorial about that.

Also made some cool little glitches:


Saturday Sep 23

Got a pong game working.  Started today.  Finished today.

Friday Sep 22

Last night a friend (Gary) came over and spent some time with my game.  He said that I had made a lot of progress and I appreciated that he came by.  In order to show him the progress I had made I tagged some commits in my git repository and then went through them in stages and today I went back through the same commits in this video.

It shows ho I started this project on August 13 and the progress I made every week or two since then (and there has been a LOT).  Its pretty cool to see the contrast between the first few versions and the latest and it makes me proud of what I have done.  More details are in the ~6min video.
In addition today I got independent high score tables working for each level.  And I figured out a pretty good method for accessing non static singletons statically.

Thursday Sep 21

Fixed fonts and got bouncing off the walls working better


Monday Sep 18

Got the High Score system working pretty well yesterday!  I animated the score popup so it spins around gracefully and I also went through every level and changed all the prefabs to match my latest configurations so they all play about the same with the only difference being the landscapes of the levels themselves.  D’oh!  I just realized that I forgot to add power pellets … oh well thats probably a 10-15min total task.


Friday Sep 15

Added a title screen and got the HUD text looking way better and more consistent

And I figured out how to really use TextMesh Pro (at least for in game text meshes, using it like this for UI text meshes is still a bit of a puzzle)

Text Mesh Pro
Text Mesh Pro

Got the trick with using 3d in the UI mostly figured out

Wednesday Sep 13

Ive been thinking a lot about scoring but as a result didn’t make a ton of progress in the last few days … until today!

Got a score plugin working (so it tracks your high score persistently) and a score UI setup.  and fixed some problems and made graphical improvements (for example the warp tunnels are cool spirals now).

Added hula hoops to indicate lives, and made the game reset when all of your lives are used up.

Also I got Super Beldevere to shrink when he is losing his powers after he has eaten a power pellet (and added a grace period so you don’t get too caught off guard when he’s just barely done shrinking).


Friday Sep 8

Got scoring popups working.

Thursday Sep 7

Tons of progress today.  I added scoring, multipliers, Simple GUIs for both, got the basic mechanics of powering up with a power pellet and eating ghosts figured out, refined the ghostie radar, refined the wall bounciness (so its not *quite* so crazy launching the player – see video).  All that happened really in 3 hours in the evening after having thought about it all day (tbh I also binge watched Voltron and played Shantae on 3DS which made room for the creativity to blossom!).


Wednesday Sep 6

In the last few days I’ve made some nice progress.  Made an 8th and 9th level, balanced the gameplay, added zen mode (so it doesn’t start you over if you get hit), and I came up with ideas for how to best do scoring (which is the next thing I’m working on).

Today I got a ghostie radar working so they don’t blindside you when you’re flying around the level.

Tuesday August 29

Worked with vectors to get a cannon onto Beldevere’s head for the scorch game.  Made a really cool level 7 for Beldevere: Interstellar Hero

Also Added a tail (or hat or nose) and a tail attack to kill the ghosties and  a gravity collector.


Monday August 28

Autogeneration works although I had some quirky behavior for a while (see Popcorn Bricks).  I’m proud that I got a basic implementation of the launching of a physics projectile working from a primitive gun without any help from the first person shooter starter kit pro.  Probably going to use my PacMan game as a starting point for this one.

Sunday August 27

Began a Scorched Earth/Tanks style game.  Autogenerating a stack of bricks to play around in.

Saturday August 26

Quakecon was awesome.  The competition was intense.  Doom VFR blew my mind.

Friday August 25

Created several more levels of Beldevere.  Each level is more refined than the last so I will probably have to go back and refine / re create the first few levels.  Got AI working smoothly late last night.

Thursday August 24

Tentacles to see what PacMans Ghosts are targeting

Wednesday August 23

Today I cancelled the project I was calling Gauntlet.  I trashed the project files and data, but I did keep the prefabs and scripts.  Update: in the intervening week I have found it difficult to re-use those prefabs (dependency hell).  Lesson learned: theres probably a way to standardize this somewhat … OTOH some of those dependencies are due to the FPS Starter Kit Pro.

This includes some Building Geyser

Unity5 Quick Set Object Placer Grid Snap Tool

Unity5 Quick Set Object Placer Grid Snap Tool

Quick Set Object Placer in the Unity5 Asset Store

Have you ever noticed that Unity5 doesn’t have any snap to grid functionality?  Its conspicuously missing even though its in most other tools like this (Unreal, Blender, Maya, Etc.).  Never fear because Unity Technologies have provided a way to add substantial new capabilities to the editor through something called editor extensions.

Grid Snap Extensions in the Asset Store

There are a number of extensions in the asset store which allow you to snap your objects to a grid, but I have only tried this one called Quick Set Object Placer (free version) and it is actually awesome.  There is also an inexpensive paid version which I haven’t tried.  The following videos show you how to leverage it and help you get around some of its quirks.

Installation and Setup

It is really easy to use.


Advanced Usage and Prefabs

There is a quirk with using prefabs but it works really well if you just do this one extra step that I show you in the video.


Organization and Prefab Offsets Matter

In this video I talk about how to have it automatically organize your painted objects for you and also I talk about why offsets in your prefab can make a big difference (for better or worse).

An apparent problem (and a solution)

It seems to be snapping objects at the wrong place, and it seems to be incapable of putting them at the *right* place.  Primarily it ended up being a viewing window perspective/iso issue and when I fixed that the problem went away.

Leveraging the Kenny.nl packs in Unity3D

Leveraging the Kenny.nl packs in Unity3D



Importing a Kenny.nl pack


A quick way to build buildings

An even quicker way to build buildings

Oops!  Accidental Building Geysers

In the process of making procedural buildings I accidentally created this:

And this

And here is how I did it

Leveraging Unity FPS Starter Kit with Unity 2017

Leveraging Unity FPS Starter Kit Pro with Unity 2017

This is the starter kit I am speaking of here:


I downloaded the lite version the other day and spent some time tweaking it this morning and decided that it had enough features and quality to go ahead and pull the trigger on the Pro version (its only $10.00!?!)

Importing the assets


This video is a virtual unboxing of the FPS Starter Kit Pro.

I import the assets, fire up the demo game, and then modify some parameters to make it more playable so we can see what it has in store for us.

Fun Easter egg: near the end of this video my mouse disappears.  It wasn’t there when I was looking at the screen but the screen recorder superimposed it back in.  I was moving my mouse blindly trying to click on the exit button and without knowing where the mouse was I was able to hit the exit button twice!  #mousingpride


Making a Few Improvements

How to exit the game

How to make enemy spawning more consistent

Adjusting Weapons (and other player settings)

Applying the FPS Starter Kit in an Original Scene

Reloading the current scene when you die


Waves of Enemies

Finishing a Level and Switching to Level 2

Level Advancement From one level to the next

Get Pause Working

Timeshift (making the game run slower or faster)

Short Pause when Level Complete

Adding a text HUD (and fixing warnings in the bargain)

Fixing GUI to Fix Warnings

Fixing the Pause menu and Locking the Mouse Cursor

Making a Prefab from Player + GUI

Improving the looks of the Floor Texture using Normal Maps

Improving the looks of the Weapon using Normal Maps

Lighting was getting dark upon reload

Found out a Unity5 quirk:  that this darkness (double-baking) is somewhat expected when we auto-bake lighting (which is enabled by default) for every scene we create we need to do one of two things: change the lighting from automatically baked to manually baked and then every time you change the lighting go bake it manually.  Or live with it while we are editing. It apparently never follows a deployed build into the field so it won’t be a problem long term.

Making the Sun Rotate Around the Playfield


Well I’ve been using Unity FPS Starter Kit Pro for many weeks now and it has proven to be pretty good.  Still there have been some annoyances and some of them are documented here along with other things I find as I use it.

Problem with Rockets

I have found an intermittent problem with launching rockets at your foes that is making me want to find a totally different solution (perhaps download another FPS kit or build my own rocket and/or AI implementation) since I really wanted to use rockets in my game.


As you can see in the above gif rockets sometimes just don’t hit the target when they clearly should.

Its not a collision bound problem.  Its worse as the speed of the rocket increases but it is somewhat of a problem at any speed.

Problems with enemy Rockets

  • The Enemy doesn’t aim their rockets.

They are just shot out straight from their launcher (or at the same angle every time) which means if the robot model is bigger than you then it will basically only hit you with good luck.   Sorry I can’t get a video of this problem at this time but just imagine  the gif video with that robot shooting rockets at you and they fly all around you but none of them hit your or explode anywhere near you.

  • The Enemy blows themselves up.

If they are walking towards you launching rockets but there is anything in between you and them they will just keep shooting and hitting the object until as they get close enough that they are inside the explosion radius at which point *boom*.   On a related note if there are two enemies spawning from the same location they will inevitably as they are both proceeding directly towards you, get in the line of fire of each others rockets and shoot each other down. I was actually play testing a level I made and found out that all of my 25 enemies had killed themselves or each other!?!  Solution: I modified the rocket’s ‘physical explosion’ code and made it specific to the robots (previously it was common for the robots and the player) and added a check for whether a robot (tag of “Enemy”) was the collider that was within the explosion sphere when it got called back for the collision.


Its large and not that helpful.  My tutorials here are vastly more useful for anyone who wants to start using this asset.

Plus theres the fact that literally half the size of the entire asset pack is what amounts to a 10 page PDF (with about as many words).


Some of the things I did to get it working for me

Unity5 Git log of my FPS Starter Kit Pro Project
Unity5 Git log of my FPS Starter Kit Pro Project

Leveraging my BasicGameKitv2


Unity3D Meta-Tutorial for Survival Shooter

Unity3D Meta-Tutorial for Survival Shooter

On the main page for this tutorial I learned that this tutorial was the end result of a public speech at a conference.  Every year there is a conference called ‘Unite’ where ‘Uni-tics’ (thats a portmanteau of unity and lunatics) (of which I am one)  get together to talk and learn about Unity3D and in 2014 this tutorial was one of the talks at that conference.  You can get the slides that they presented at the time from the main page (linked above) and here is a youtube playlist with all 10 of the videos.

Pro Tip: As you are watching the videos, if you want to watch them faster, youtube (desktop) lets you speed up the videos and since its so easy to pause them you can speed through most of the stuff, then pause and implement what they say to do, and then unpause and proceed with the rest of the tutorial.

Pro Tip 2: If you want to go really fast then turn on the closed captioning so you don’t even have to try to keep up with their high speed spoken words.

Further Resources:

If you get stuck along the way please contact me.  I would like to help.  If you want to dig into it on your own then consider looking at the following:

  1. the support forum thread for this tutorial
  2. the “upgrade guide” that is in the assets folder of the project created (once you’ve downloaded the project files) (its called “Tutorials-SurvivalShooter-Upgrade to 5.pdf” and you can’t see it from Unity so you”ll have to navigate to it through the file system)
  3. the comments on the youtube videos (I’ve discovered that these can be quite helpful sometimes!)

Also it’s worth noting that all of these videos have youtube live transcripts so you can read what they are saying (roughly) and click on a line to jump right to that spot in the video.  This lets you skip ahead or back up in the video easily.

What is this ‘Survival Shooter’ that this tutorial speaks of?

Sometimes a picture tells a thousand words.

Sometimes a moving picture beats a thousand pictures.


Survival Shooter
Survival Shooter


Environment Setup

Video Duration: 10m11s

This tutorial as a whole has a lot of spit and polish to it.  Its targeted at complete beginners and as such it starts off helping you get Unity3D setup the same way they have it so things are more likely to look and work the same.  A substantial caveat is that these videos were posted in October 2014 so I predict that there will be some level of tut-rot but never fear my dear reader because thats what this meta-tutorial is for!

Where is my project data

The tutorial videos gloss over this completely (wtf!?!) so I’ve made a simple video to show you how to do it.

The project data is downloadable from the link on the main page of the tutorial

Link to Project Data
Link to Project Data

Delete the Directional Light

In the Upgrade Guide it says that you need to delete the directional light from the Hierarchy pane.  That light comes as a default light in Unity 5 and didn’t in unity 4.6 and the lights that they have you import are perfectly suited to this game so the directional light just disturbs the lighting balance that they had developed.

Tip – Convert project panel to list view.

A good tip I just learned is that it is easy to convert the project panel to list view simply by dragging the slider down to 0.

Project Panel to List VIew
Project Panel to List View

Missing Folder

In the video and the narration they speak as if there is already a folder in assets called ‘scenes’.  Well in the project I downloaded there is certainly not a folder called scenes. The narration seems to imply that you shouldn’t put it in the assets folder directly but in a subfolder so make a scenes folder in assets if its not already there.

Background Music

I don’t know if the bgm is supposed to play when I hit ‘go’ but it didn’t until I checked ‘play on awake’ (which they talk about in the video).  I’m going to uncheck that now to match the settings in the video.

Directional Light

In the Upgrade Guide

Implementations learned in this section

  • Adding background music
  • Converting project panel to list view
  • Object Layers (just a touch)

Adding the Player Character

Video Duration: 35m51s

Adding an Animation Controller

Just prior to actually adding the Animator one of the speakers talks a bit about .fbx files and how the animations are stored within the model.  He also speaks of ‘retargeting’ a process in which you apply an existing animation to another skeletal model but in order to do this the model must have been through a process called ‘rigging’.  I don’t believe we will be doing that in this tutorial (since this player model is much simpler and rigged ‘generically’) but this is how many models are animated after they’ve been created and I’m glad he mentions it here.

He explains that the Animation Controller is a state machine that controls when each of the animations that already exist in the player model are going to be played back.

Once again the folder that they say is there is not so you will need to create a new ‘Animation’ folder in the project pane.

There is a Discrepancy in the settings

I just noticed something possibly slightly disturbing:

Different default settings
Different default settings

Both ‘Culling Mode’ and ‘Apply Root Motion’ are different!  Lets see if there is anything about this in the ‘upgrade’ document in the root folder of the project… Aha!  yes it does address ‘Apply Root Motion’ and states that it won’t matter.  For the purposes of this tutorial I am going to assume that they also believe the difference in culling mode won’t matter and I will proceed with the tutorial.

Adding Animation Parameters

The upgrade guide mentions that the parameters are no longer in the bottom left but in a tab in the top left.

At 9m53s he explains that a trigger is like a boolean but it resets itself back to false as soon as it has been consumed so it can be used to trigger things to happen once.

Important Note: For every transition in this tutorial you must uncheck ‘Has Exit Time’ (found that note in the upgrade guide AND in the youtube comments).

Physics Rigidbody

Setting drag and angular drag to infinity is an interesting approach that I haven’t seen before.  This means the player will stop instantly instead of floating along at all in the direction they were moving.

Implementations learned in this section

  • Adding an animation controller
  • Viewing built in animations in a model
  • Importing animations into the Animator
  • Finding animations within an FBX file in the project pane
  • Adding animation parameters
  • Transitioning between Animation states
  • Adding a rigid body for physics

Coding the Player Character

(same video ~19m10s)

This section speaks about some new things:

  • FloorMasks LayerMasks and RayLengths
  • FixedUpdate vs Normal Update
  • Normalized Movement
  • Time.DeltaTime
  • Raycasting

This seems to be an advanced and mature way of controlling the character and I am probably going to use this in other games.

Wow! By the time this video is done movement works and its pretty darned cool seeing the player character bumble and jump and twist like that!

Implementations learned in this section

  • A great way to control a player based on raw inputs
  • Normalized movement
  • Rotation based on the ray cast between the player and the mouse

Camera Setup

Video Duration: 9m15s

Topics and Implementations touched upon in this section

  • Orthographic Cameras
  • Camera following the player
  • Smoothing (so the camera movement isn’t quite so abrupt)
  • Vector3.Lerp to help with smoothing
  • Time.deltaTime to make your game frame rate independent

The Scripts/Camera folder doesn’t exist so you’ll need to create it.

Note: You must set ‘clear flags’ while you are here to ‘solid color’ (see the upgrade guide for a bit more info)

Time.deltaTime to me doesn’t makes sense (it obviously works I just don’t know what it really means).  I’m going to look it up with CMD or CTRL + ‘ … ok I learned that it is the time since the last frame (context sensitive to Update or FixedUpdate) so this would be some number of … microseconds (I presume)? Ok this screenshot from the documentation helps a bit:

Unity3D Time.deltaTime Documentation
Unity3D Time.deltaTime Documentation

Adding the First Enemy

Video Duration: 23m46s


I found the difference between a normal collider and a trigger collider interesting in that the trigger collider doesn’t take place in any physics interactions.  Instead a function is called behind the scenes whenever it collides with the player.


The Nav Mesh Agent section made me wonder what would happen if I didn’t change any of those values … I might try that later (after this all works).

The layout of these navigation panes both  looks slightly different from the video.

Note: The Upgrade guide says that you must set Step Height to 0.34 and Manual Voxel size to 0.25.  There is no width inaccuracy anymore.

I am going to remember that anytime you change the position of static objects in your scene you will have to re-bake the navmesh for things to work properly.  That seems like something that could easily ‘bite’ you in the future.

Problem: Not being followed

In the video the bunny is following the player but mine is just ‘walking’ in place.  Lets see if I did everything … ah there is an error in the code!  Actually as I look deeper it wasn’t an error in the code per se.  The code was looking for a game object with a tag of ‘player’, so I had to tag the player with that tag.

Unity3D Tag the player
Unity3D Tag the player

I went back to video 2 and confirmed that they DO tell you to tag your player with the player tag.  Mine wasn’t tagged so it was somehow my mistake.  I either missed doing it or I did it while I was in play mode (which cancels out everything you did when you exit play mode).  Done. Fixed. Moving On.

Topics and Implementations addressed in this section

  • Importing rigged and animated enemy characters
  • Particle systems
  • Shootable layers
  • Physics Colliders
  • Trigger Colliders
  • Nav Mesh Agent
  • Navigation Baking
  • Animation Controller for enemies
  • Enemy following player

Health UI

Video Duration: 14m07s

UI is large

They talk about how large the UI is in relation to the game units (one pixel per game unit) but they assure us that is not an issue.


Topics and Implementations addressed in this section

  • Rect Transforms
  • UI Pivots
  • UI Anchors
  • UI Canvases
  • UI Canvas Groups
  • UI Images
  • Making a health slider
  • Removing the button from a slider
  • How to cover your entire canvas with a UI element

Player Health

Video Duration: 17m10s

Some Health code that needs Tweaking

I wired up a way to cause myself to take damage (just so I could test it out) and I noticed that even after I was dead I was taking damage and making “ow!” sounds.  I checked to see if I was dead before taking damage and that fixed it.

Problem – Slider is not working

I went back and looked closely at what I had done compared to the slider in video 5 and found the problem.

The problem was that the Min Value was set to the same value as Max Value.  As soon as I changed Min Value to 0 it all worked!

Topics and Implementations addressed in this section

  • Script Interactivity (from one script to another)
  • Player Health Management
  • Player taking damage from beasties
  • Lerp-ing from one color to another over time
  • Collision Spheres (OnTriggerEnter)
  • Affecting a GUI slider with real game data

Harming Enemies

Video Duration: 41:03

Wow.  This is the longest video so far by far.  Its an important topic but having never watched it (as of the time of the writing of this sentence) I wonder what kinds of things are we going to be doing that would take 40 minutes!?!  I guess we are about to find out!

Ok the first 10 minutes is a walkthrough of code they have already written for you which will give health to the enemy (aka the ZomBunny) but I found it interesting that when you view the animations for the Zombunny you find that it just calls a public function called “StartSinking” whether it is there or not.

Then they spend way too long explaining block comments which is a pretty standard programming thing.  I realize that not everyone will know what they are and that some people will benefit from them, but they have assumed a certain level of experience thus far and could have stuck with that IMHO.

Major Discrepancy: Line renderer

Well when it comes to changing the ‘parameters’ of the line renderer … well … there ARE no ‘parameters’!?!  So I’ll try to figure out what to do instead.  ok I’m back and I’m still not sure what to do so here’s what I did:  I made Width = 0.5 and dragged that little red dot on the graph down to 0.1.  When I tested the work we did in this section that looked just fine, but there might be a more ‘authentic’ way to do it (so to speak).

Unity5 line renderer problem - no parameters anymore
Unity5 line renderer problem – no parameters anymore

After this they walkthrough a script for 15minutes then they test the game.  A few things I noticed: My gunshot sound is quite a bit lower pitched than theirs.  Also my player shoots much slower than theirs.  The gun sound doesn’t matter, but the player shot speed does; I fixed that by going to Player->Player and changing time between shots from .15 to .12 (its a very sensitive value).

P.S. The error at the bottom of the screen about a navmesh is deliberate (they mention that in the video but I wanted to give you a heads-up!)

Overall this was a pretty easy section without too many problems.

Scoring Points


In this section they are making a score UI and setting it with values when you destroy the enemy.  It talked about static classes and class data and when that will be useful in this section.  I encountered no problems during this section and I think it was well done.


  • Use of Static Variables

More Enemies

This one starts out with a puzzle: The prefab they are suggesting that we use isn’t there!?!

Prefabs aren't in the folder
Prefabs aren’t in the folder

At around 1:00 in the video is suggesting for us to use the Zombear from the prefabs folder but in my prefabs folder its not there!?!  Well that is true and this is a legitimate small error in the tutorial but I found it somewhere else: in _CompletedGame/Prefabs its in there.

Similarly the “Character” they refer to are not in the “Characters” folder but instead in the “Models/Characters” folder.

At about 9:00 in it shows you how to spawn new enemies and I feel like this is a particularly elegant solution in a number of ways.  It lets you have multiple spawn points, invokes a function regularly (I honestly didn’t know about that trick), and stops trying when player health is zero.  It also is modular so you can drag more than one copy of this script onto your enemy manager to spawn different enemies.

At the end of the video I encountered a problem because one of my enemies was moving around but the other two weren’t.  hmm …I’m going to try not spawning enemies but simply placing one in the game world and see what happens.  Ok I solved it by removing the “enemy Health” and “Enemy Movement” scripts and re attaching the components from our scripts folders.  For some reason that worked.  I suspect it was using slightly different (and broken) scripts from the _CompletedGame/Scripts folder.  Sure enough they are different in one fundamental way: they use a different namespace.  For that reason you will need to copy over the Enemy Attack script as well.  If you want to go all the way you will need to also add the death sound to the enemy health script.  When you do the settings will be different:

Hellephant Settings
Hellephant Settings
Zombear Settings
Zombear Settings

Yeah replacing all of those scripts seemed to do the trick.  and the game actually works really well now and is pretty fun!

The Game is Pretty Fun Now
The Game is Pretty Fun Now


Game Over

This is a really cool section.  In this section we are going to make a cool screen that overlays the game showing when the game is over but more importantly I think they show us how to animate any property of anything in the game!

The process to create a new animation has changed: In the video they refer to something called “Add Curve” now its called “Create”:

Create an Animation
Create an Animation

After that they show you how to set all of the values which is straightforward, then they drag a script onto your HUD Canvas, however the script they show in the video has one important thing that the script included in the assets folder does not: a restart timer to reload the level after a certain amount of time has passed.

If you want to add the restart time then this code should do the trick:

restart Level Code
restart Level Code

(note lines 4 and 26 in my code which are significantly different than the video)

I tried running my game without that restart timer code though and everything worked just fine!  The game even restarted after a second or two!  That must be an artifact of how they designed some of the other components of the game but boy it works great!


  • Animation of any public property of anything in the game
  • Doing something after a certain time has elapsed
  • Triggering an animation to begin


Final Words

This was an incredible tutorial.  You end up with a fun game and with understanding almost everything that they did to make it.  I’m really impressed with the quality but I still saw quite a bit of tutorial rot so I’m glad that I struggled through and documented what I found here for you.   Hopefully it was of benefit to you and I hope you learned a ton from the tutorial and got less frustrated thanks to my meta-tutorial.  Best wishes and let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Unity3D – Implementation Roadmap

Unity3D – Implementation Roadmap (aka What Do I Need to Make a Game?)

Whether you are just getting started using Unity3D or a veteran Unity developer who started in the mid-noughties (get it?) there will inevitably be something you want to create which requires skills and techniques that you don’t yet have.  Thats just what tutorials are for!  There are a LOT of tutorials out there for Unity3D and in one of my other articles I am keeping track of some of them so that we can best leverage what they have to offer, however even with all of the resources that provides I feel like there is something missing …

What do you need to make a game?

You need implementations.  Pretend that you would like to make just one level of a Super Mario Bros style platform game.  You will need to know how to make Unity3D do a certain number of basic things before you can really expect to complete the game:

  • displaying your character, control of the character in 2d, walking, running, jumping, affecting movement in the air, friction on the ground, collision between the top of your character and the bottom of a block, death upon collision with an enemy unless you stomp on the enemy or unless you are temporarily invincible,
  • enemies roaming with varying movement patterns, growing your sprite or changing its colors when you get a power-up, popping power-ups out of blocks, moving the power-ups around in different ways, mushroom collisions with the environment, popping coins out of blocks, making question mark bricks shimmer,
  • timing the level, keeping track of score, death when falling into a pit, enemy death animations, character death animation,
  • stomped turtles turning into a shell, shell movement and physics, collisions between your feet and the shell, determination of which side of the shell your feet have collided with (to deterimine direction), collision with flagpole, sliding down flagpole, fireworks , animating dropping into pipes, switching to dungeon screens, animating crouch, shooting fireballs, fireball movement, fireball collision with enemies, etc.

That is just off the top of my head and there is undoubtedly more that I didn’t think of (and I didn’t get into sound or music at all).

Implementations + Content = Game

I’m going to start calling the ‘things’ above ‘implementations‘.   An implementation is something you need to know how to do in order to create a game.  Each of the actions, skills, tricks, simulations, activities, animations, collisions, conditions, sprites, characters, projectiles, or whatever is an ‘implementation‘ of something and when you combine some of these implementations with content to make it look and sound interesting you get a game.

The above list of implementations was targeting a Super Mario Bros. style platform game, but for every other type of game there will be a similar list of implementations.  Perhaps the list will be longer, perhaps it will be shorter. Perhaps the implementations will be more difficult to implement, perhaps they will be easier.  Perhaps there will be tutorials for them, perhaps not.  Perhaps you will wish to make new and original implementations for gameplay that hasn’t been done before, or combine existing implementations in new ways from which original or fun gameplay emerges.  In any of these cases you need implementations.

How to find implementations

One way (not recommended) is to overwhelm yourself with information.  You attempt to learn everything that anyone might ever need to know about Unity3D and then after you’ve ‘mastered’ it all you can begin to build your game since you will then know how to make all of the implementations on your own and you won’t need johnmcgarey.com anymore.  That is perhaps the slowest, least effective, and most frustrating way to approach game development.  Additionally if you ask 12 experts they will all have a different list of things you must learn before you start developing games in Unity.


The way to find implementations and really make a game is to figure out what you need to do and then watch tutorials and read questions on forums and try stuff until you figure out the solution.  The rest of this article will help with that.

Implementations that I have found so far

  • Ending the game and allowing the player to restart the game
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Using coroutines to allow for wait times
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Adding a simple HUD with text
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Keeping track of score
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Adding audio to events
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Adding background music
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Making your player explode when it collides with an enemy
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Making the enemy explode when it collides with your bolt
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Making waves of enemies come in from outside of the screen
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Constraining the movement planes of enemies
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Physics Updates (FixedUpdate) vs Input Updates (Update)
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Deleting projectiles when they leave the playfield
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Getting random vector3 values
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Making an object rotate randomly
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Shooting a projectile in a straight line from where the player is facing
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Creating a cool laser bolt projectile
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Setting up a new project
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Packaging a game to publish to the web
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Make a player look like it is lit by a bright star
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Make a player look well lit
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Make a camera which doesn’t care about depth (orthographic)
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Writing, Compiling, and Running a Player Controller
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Moving a player in 3D
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Moving a player in 3D by mapping input values directly to velocity
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Exposing public variables to adjust values at runtime in the Unity inspector
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/02/meta-tutorial-of-the-space-shooter-tutorial-using-unity3d-2017-1/
  • Limiting movement when the player isn’t being animated
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Blending animations together to make them look smooth
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Triggering a random animation from between several possiblities
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • 3D walking player animation
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • 3D running player animation
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Making a character into a physics object (by adding a rigid body)
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Passing parameters into an animator
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Making something happen when a key is pressed
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Downloading a character from the asset store
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Assigning an animator to a character
    • http://johnmcgarey.com/2017/08/08/unity-5-animation-control-meta-tutorial/
  • Animation of objects using keyframes (in this case a title)
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifvB_Cl3NIQ
  • Making great looking text with Text Mesh Pro
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBf8YRBM5Ls


  • [Blender] Creating a simple terrain in Blender using a heightmap ( a greyscale picture) and the displace modifier

Best Resources for Game Development

Best Resources for Game Development

When you begin to build a game in Unity3D or any other engine, Framework, or SDK you are likely going to need resources to use (unless you want to build everything yourself which is admirable but can take a long time) so here is a running list of the best resources I have found so far.


Textures and Materials



  • Absolutely Free Music
  • Procedurally Generated Chiptunes
    • https://pernyblom.github.io/abundant-music/index.html
  • Procedurally Generated Tunes – Export to MIDI or MP3
    • http://tones.wolfram.com/generate/GBRfJxMC2bszyCvCDbuBZLMHX6NccJ4Q23w9moQIF
    • Note: Rumor has it you can’t use these tones

Sound Effects

  • Procedurally Generated
    • https://www.leshylabs.com/apps/sfMaker/
    • https://www.bfxr.net

Level Design

Game Design


  • FontSquirrel – They’ve already ferreted out the fonts that are free for commercial use

Model Creation Tools

  • MCS – A really cool morphable character which you can change from within Unity (even from within scripts)
  • UMA2 – make characters within Unity
  • Mixamo – free from Adobe
  • Daz3D – a whole world of professional character creation
  • Blocks – Design 3D Models in VR
  • Tiltbrush – Paint in 3D in VR worlds
  • MagicaVoxel – Make models from Voxels
  • Structure Synth –  with a specification language you can make some incredible odd models

Other Lists of Resources


Entire Working Systems

  • FPS Starter Kit – a good starting point if you are interested in making a first person shooter
  • Angry Birds Clone
    • Its the mechanics of just one level but it works well for what it is
  • Unity Pong
    • A simple Pong Game in Unity
  • A large list of games on Github
    • This is a list of games that are open source and although many don’t use Unity they can be studied and examined.

Models – Not Unity Specific

Note: These aren’t as likely to be plug and play as ones purchased from the unity asset store

2D Overhead Art (RPG Style)


Motivation and Support for Game Development

This site encourages you to release one game every month

It is a really encouraging site which is not a competition but a personal challenge

  • http://www.onegameamonth.com/faq

This site hosts listings of gamejams

  • http://www.indiegamejams.com
  • so does this (plus has an advantage since its a hub of indie games)
    • https://itch.io/jams

This is a hub of indie games

Games can be sold here and they can even let the player name the price they want to pay.

  • https://itch.io

Game Development Philosophy and Principles

Modern Game Engines

There are getting to be a shit-ton of game engines out there in the world and some of them can demonstrate really freaking amazing technology, but there are some things to consider above and beyond the technologies that the game engine advertises and provides and the single most important of those imho being an extensive, significant, and engaged user community.  Without that you will have to figure everything out by yourself, and perhaps more importantly, if you have a major problem with the engine you could be the only one complaining to the developer.  With an extensive user community those things become less likely.

A few things:

  • If an engine is not being regularly maintained I don’t want it on this list.
  • Just because it has 3D support or 3D acceleration doesn’t mean its a 3D engine
    • To be clear those things are fantastic and important regardless of whether I label it as a 3D engine.
  • A big part of my analysis about these engines is the quality of what has already been made in them.

Modern Full-3D Engines with significant user communities

Modern 2D Game Engines with significant user communities

Modern 2D Game Engines for Rapid Game Development

  • Stencyl
    • Advertised as “the quickest and easiest way to build a game”
  • Construct 2
    • Programming not required
    • Native Asset Store
  • Defold
    • Solves technical problems so you can focus on building great games
  • Corona
    • “Amazing learning curve” “You can go as fast as you want, learning and building game from ground up.”
  • Bitsy
    • This is a tiny game engine thats just right for making super simple Atari level pixel art games where you explore and interact with people and things using text

Publishing Games


Useful Asssets

  • ProjectPrefs lets you store preferences for your game as a .ini file
    • This means that you can (in some cases) ship your game and allow your users to reconfigure it in the field.



Unity 5 Animation Control Meta-Tutorial

Unity 5 Animation Control Meta-Tutorial

In this Meta-Tutorial* I will be walking through the Unity 5 Animation Control tutorial by Aaron Hibberd.  The tutorial was made in August 2015 using Unity3D 5.1.2f1 (from 2015) but I will be using Unity3D 5 2017.1.

* Meta-Tutorial – a walkthrough of a tutorial which shows the ins and outs and ups and downs of the tutorial and proves out that it isn’t too ‘rotten’ (see tutorial-rot in my other articles)

Part 1: Setting up the project

In this section Aaron talks about why he is creating the video and downloads a great character called “Unity-chan!”.

Warning Pop Up:

He shows you how to download Unity Chan but I noticed one thing that happened for me but not for him: I got a warning pop-up from the asset store indicating that Unity-Chan was created for Unity 4.6 and therefore some scripts may not work with Unity 5.


I am going to choose to ignore that warning since Aaron has made this tutorial specifically with Unity 5 in mind so I believe he will address most or all of the compatibility issues necessary to complete the tutorial.


Unity-Chan has her own EULA (End-User License Agreement)!

How to view Unity-Chan License
How to view Unity-Chan License

I bet if I keep my eyes peeled for this I’ll see more examples of it but I haven’t previously seen an asset having a license that they made just for that asset and to me that is kind of cool and it means they take their asset seriously as a product in and of itself.

I like how Aaron is showing the steps clearly and fast and not wasting time waxing poetic about his opinions about what is going on and why which should allow him to get through more tutorial content in a tighter video package and I appreciate that.  He also edits the video to remove any dead space that was previously there.

In this section we are asked to make an ‘animator’ to control the animation.  This is entirely new to me so I’m glad he explained adding the animator window. He’s walking us through this with an excellent understanding of what exactly we need to know.

Importing Animations

At this point while you are in play mode (and once you have unchecked maximize on play) if you right click on any of the wait animations in the animator window and select ‘Set as Layer Default State’ you can see that animation take over instantly.  Unity’s real-time response to changes and updates like this is remarkable and powerful.

He shows you how to transition from one animation to another and how to set a default, and then how to write a simple script that will soon let us control our animations but when he is compiling and running the first script at first I was concerned about all of the warnings I saw in the console but I see in Aarons window that he has many or all of the same warnings which I believe come from the Unity-Chan scripts not being completely up to date with the latest version of the API and everything works fine.

Here’s a simple ‘gotcha’ thats worth looking out for

I noticed that the first time I dragged the script onto my unity-chan character it seemed to add that component to the character but the next time I hit ‘run’ the script was no longer attached.  This was because I had dragged it while I was still in ‘run’ mode and changes made while you are in run mode are not maintained.  Once I dragged it over when I was not in run mode it attached and worked well.

What can you do with those animations

He explains what the final parameter is in the anim.Play command and shows what happens when you change that value to 0.5f.  He also shows how to get input from keys, the mouse, and from the default input controller (no matter what that is configured to be)  and how to use that information to trigger different animations, even choosing an animation randomly from between several possibilities.  He shows how to pass floats via public attributes in the script through to the animator and how to see them update live as you press your input keys

Sending Floats into the animator
Sending Floats into the animator

I experimented with the ‘mirror’ property in one of the animations and it seemed to flip left to right but also to start the animation at the end and work backwards.

Unity3D Animator Mirror Option
Unity3D 2017.1 Animator Mirror Option

He shows how to create a new state machine from a blend tree and how to descend in to that state machine and then how to make a 2d simple directional walk animation and then adding a ‘motion field’ and how to use that field.


Once he got the wait states working he added a script to move the character based on all of the directions. He showed how to change the character to a physics object (added a rigid body) and how to add forward and backward motion and limit velocity when the character isn’t being animated.  He showed how to add run animations based on a boolean parameter which was based on having the shift key depressed and how to make her move faster when the shift key was depressed.  Finally he shows how to implement a jump and then slide animation.

All Animations
All Animations


Overall this was an effective and tight tutorial showing everything clearly and without fluff or wasted time.  It gives you a good understanding of the Unity animator state machine system and with this you could code up some really complex and interesting characters.  Even though the tutorial was made in 2015 there really weren’t any stumbling blocks and certainly no show-stopping issues and I am grateful to Aaron Hibbard for creating this video.

Thank you for reading and please check out the other tutorials and meta-tutorials on this site.