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Introduction

Unity is a game engine with an integrated development environment for creating media, especially video games. Unity is well-known for its prototyping capabilities, and it can execute graphics, audio, interactions, and networking within the development environment. 

The first version was released in Denmark in 2005 and was created by David Helgason, Joachim Ante, and Nicholas Francis. The primary goal was to provide an affordable game engine that includes all the essential tools for game developers and provides a simpler workflow and pipeline, including drag-and-drop features.

As a game developer, there are multiple options to select a game engine. However, the game engine costs can range from minimal charges to investing millions depending on the 2D and 3D requirements. On the other hand, Unity provides cross-platform features and a wide range of 2D and 3D pack tools for game development. Moreover, it has gained popularity among developers as it uses C# scripting API and provides built-in visual studio integration alongside JavaScript functionalities. 

In addition, powerful animation tools are provided to create visually appealing cutscenes from scratch and provide a free version to release games using Unity without paying for the software. Therefore, for all the aspirants looking to create a reputation in this industry, it is crucial to master the skills of Unity for a successful career as a game developer.

1. Game Design and Development with Unity 2020 Specialization – Coursera

Game Design and Development with Unity 2020 Specialization – Coursera

Michigan State University offers this specialization course on Unity on Coursera. This course will explore the skills, Unity technologies, and tools necessary to design and develop video games. The course provides both theory and practical sessions of game making. From a technical perspective, the learning path will include four game projects using the latest Unity game engine, including 2D shooter games and 2D Platformer, first-person Shooter, and 3D Platformer. The capstone project is mandatory for learners, wherein they will develop a completely original game from scratch, from initial design concepts to developing the first playable prototype. The course curriculum includes:

Game design and development: 2D Shooter

The first module provides the learning path for creating games with a creative and technical art form. The learners will be familiarized with the tools and practices of game development and the process. In addition, the learners will explore the industry-standard game development tools and the Unity game engine. This module includes two hands-on projects and an introduction to a 2D shooter game with fundamental game development techniques to create such games.

Game design and development: 2D Platformer

The second module covers the fundamentals of game designing and an introduction to the gaming world. The learners will cover the concepts on improving the user experience and gaming technology. By the end of this module, the learners will be well-equipped with the skills required for a 2D platformer game and understand how to create basic games.

Game design and development: 3D Shooter

In this module, the learners will explore the fundamentals of game designs and the various levels of designs, game balancing, prototyping, and playtesting to be familiar with the game development environment. In addition, the learners will cover the concepts of game asset creating techniques, including the creation of a 3D first-person shooter game with added functionalities.

Game design and development: 3D Platformer

The fourth module includes game design generation, design documentation, social aspects in games, and the business side. In addition, the learners will work on hands-on sessions to develop 3D platformer games and leverage essential game development techniques.

Game design and development: Capstone Project

The final module is focused on the capstone project, wherein the learners are expected to create an original game with all the conceptual requirements and create a playable version of the game. The learners will be provided with opportunities to discuss their game development ideas with industry professionals and demonstrate their skills as game developers with the deployment-ready game. In addition, there are guest talks from game industry professionals from companies like Riot Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Insomniac Games, Gearbox entertainment, and much more.

Instructor: Brian Winn

Level: Beginner

Duration: 5 months

User Review: 4.8/5

Price: Free Enrollment (Additional charges for certification may apply)

2. Unity Certified 3D Artist Specialization by Unity – Coursera

Unity Certified 3D Artist Specialization by Unity – Coursera

This is an official series introduced by Unity and offered on Coursera. The course is also helpful for preparing for the Unity Certified 3D Artist exam for entry-level and mid-level 3D artists working with the Unity platform. In this course, the learners will cover the concepts of real-time rendering, 3D modeling, character encoding, animation, mapping, graphics pipeline, and much more. However, this course is more suitable for learners with 1-2 years of experience working with 3D art using the Unity platform.

In addition, the learners will complete multiple projects to cover areas like realistic aesthetics and 3D video games with a more stylized and scenic look and feel. Moreover, the learners will complete tasks such as importing assets, material manipulation, creating prefabs, adding lighting, character model setup, and building cutscenes.

The course curriculum includes:

  • Asset Creation and Management
  • Lighting, Reflection, and Post Processing Effects
  • Integrating Scripts for Scene Interactions
  • Character Setup and Animations
  • Creating Cutscenes in Unity

Instructor: Joy Horvath and Industry Professionals from Unity Technologies

Level: Intermediate

Duration: 7 months

User Review: 4.8/5

Price: Free Enrollment (Additional charges for certification may apply)

3. Introduction to Game Development with Unity – Pluralsight

Introduction to Game Development with Unity – Pluralsight

This course is available on Pluralsight. In this course, the learners will understand how to create high-quality 3D games that are publication-ready for the app stores. In addition, the learners will cover the programming concepts such as Agile Game development and design principles and best practices towards Unity 3D development. The learners will also gain .Net programming experience to create, acquire, modify, and integrate quality assets, including sound effects, music, and 3D models.

By the end of the course, the learners will be well-equipped with the concepts, terminologies associated with the Unity game engine, and game development alongside the programming skills to excel in their career as game developers. The learners will work on a survival game that can be published as part of the capstone project.

The course curriculum includes:

  • Introduction to Unity
  • Assets in Game Development
  • Survival Game Template
  • Game GUI
  • Items
  • Finalize and Publish

Instructor: Alexander Zanfir

Level: Intermediate

Duration: 4 hours and 30 minutes

User Review: 4.7/5

Price: 10-Day Free Trial (Charges applicable after trial period)

4. Learn ARKit using Unity – Udacity

This course is available on Udacity. The course explores the concepts of ARKit and the Unit game engine to build beautiful and appealing virtual reality scenes. In addition, the learners will work on upskilling their AR experience skills for game development and understand how to create dynamic and responsive games, including proper lighting and physics with C# programming in the Unity interface. The course prerequisites include creating 3D scenes using Unity, C#, and deploying applications.

The course curriculum includes:

  • Introduction to ARKit and Unity
  • Advanced ARKit with Unity
  • Building an AR App from Scratch
  • 3D Objects and Real-World Positions
  • ARKit Positional Tracking

Instructor: Chris Arriola and Vasanth Mohan

Level: Intermediate

Duration: 1 Month

User Review: NA

Price: Free

5. VR Scenes and Objects by Google VR – Udacity

VR Scenes and Objects by Google VR – Udacity

The course is available on Udacity. In this course, the fundamentals of the Unity game engine are covered in-depth for creating beautiful and performant VR scenes in games.

The learners will also explore basic game objects and transforms, and materials required in game development. In addition, the learners will gain knowledge about positioning objects and making them achieve a realistic look. Next, the learners will experiment with animations and cameras to understand how to make the scenes more engaging.

Finally, the learners will cover the concepts of complex lighting scenes to improve the users’ gaming experience.

The course curriculum includes:

  • Creating game objects in Unity to represent primitives and meshes
  • Establishing parent-child relationship among gaming objects
  • Assigning texture and materials
  • Identifying the purpose of shaders and their uses
  • Identify the primary inputs to Unity’s Physically-Based Rendering system and its uses
  • Keyframe and script for triggering an animation
  • Adjusting the speed of animation with curves and timeline
  • Differentiating an animation clip from an animation controller
  • Inspect camera component
  • Creating simple VR camera and stereo rendering concepts
  • Implementing Google’s VR Camera and understand the advantages of Google’s SDK compared to a simple VR camera
  • Adding a light game object to a scene and understand the difference between different types of lights
  • Selecting between real-time and baked lighting for a scene
  • Implementing baked lighting and optimize lightmaps for mobile VR

Instructor: Chris Arriola and Vasanth Mohan

Level: Intermediate

Duration: 1 Month

User Review: NA

Price: Free

6. Introduction to VR Programming, Design and Unity by VR Voom – FutureLearn

Introduction to VR Programming, Design and Unity by VR Voom – FutureLearn

The course is available on the Futurelearn platform. This course introduces programming to code for video games and the design skills using the Unity game engine. The course begins with the fundamentals skills, followed by basic data types in programming languages.

In addition, the learners will understand how to build complex programs using object-oriented programming for running the games smoother. Furthermore, the learners will cover the concepts of the Unity game engine for real-time development for creating games, including mobile platforms and VR.

The learners will also cover the core programming language skills used in Unity to develop new ideas for games. Additionally, the learners will build on their practical experience by working with text-based game development and 2D games with game mechanics, sound effects, and modeling and animations.

Instructor: Peter Dong

Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Duration: 10 weeks

User Review: NA

Price: $279.99

7. Professional Certificate in Virtual Reality App Development by UC San Diego – edX

Professional Certificate in Virtual Reality App Development by UC San Diego – edX

The course is offered on the edX platform. The course explores the concepts for designing VR applications using Unity 3D. Furthermore, the learners will understand OpenGL concepts for creating realistic-looking applications. Besides, the learners will cover advanced topics about transforming coordinate systems for 3D interactions, hardware components for VR, creating VR applications and their uses.

First, the learners will explore creating images of 3D scenes in real-time, imaging products, virtual simulators, and lighting. Next, the learners will explore the basics of virtual reality software and its modification using JavaScript. Finally, the learners will cover the concepts of tools and techniques using the Unity game engine and the rendering pipelines and 3D models for creating a realistic VR experience. In addition, the learners will understand how to implement VR interaction concepts such as selection, manipulation, and more in Unity.

The learners will also have an in-depth understanding of the GUI-based programming environment of Unity and work on scripts written in C# to build more complex VR functionality.

The course curriculum includes:

  • Computer Graphics
  • How does VR work?
  • Creating VR Apps in Unity 3D

Instructor: Jurgen P. Schulze and Ravi Ramamoorthi

Level: Intermediate

Duration: 5 months

User Review: NA

Price: $263.9

8. Unity XR: How to Build AR and VR Apps Specialization – Coursera

Unity XR- How to Build AR and VR Apps Specialization – Coursera

This course is offered on Coursera by Unity Technologies. In this course, the learners will explore the technologies that make Unity XR possible today.

The learners will explore the concepts of Unity UX and the concerns surrounding the development of XR. In addition, the course covers the concepts of developing VR and AR apps for mobile devices and how Unity supports various components of VR applications. You will learn to track, teleport, interact with virtual objects and positional audio required for VR applications. The course also explores the foundational concepts of Unity AR and gain hands-on experience developing XR applications and deploying Unity projects for VR and AR platforms and working on C# programming skills required for building a smooth experience for the users.

The course curriculum includes:

  • Introduction to XR: VR, AR and MR Foundations
  • Mobile VR App Development with Unity
  • Handheld AR App Development with Unity

Instructor: Peter Patterson and Industry Professionals from Unity Technologies

Level: Beginner

Duration: 3 months

User Review: 4.1/5

Price: Free Enrollment (Additional charges for certification may apply)

9. C# Programming for Unity Game Development Specialization by University of Colorado – Coursera

C# Programming for Unity Game Development Specialization by University of Colorado – Coursera

This course is offered on Coursera. The specialization course is intended for beginners who are looking to program Unity games using C#. There are no perquisites for the course. Throughout the course, the learners will understand how to program in C# for Unity game development. The Unity concepts are covered in-depth alongside building the programming skills of the learners. Furthermore, the course will cover core programming concepts and advanced programming knowledge for working with complex game development environments. The course modules are:

Introduction to C# Programming and Unity

The concepts covered under this module include C# console application and Unity script and understanding how to store data in the programs. Additionally, the learners will cover the concepts on use classes and objects for implementing the codes. Besides, the learners will explore the foundational skills of Unity 2D game and decisions for codes and understand player input in Unity games.

More C# Programming and Unity

The second module explores how to develop video games using the C# programming language and Unity game engine on Windows and Mac OS. The learners will also understand why C# is preferred instead of other programming languages for the Unity game engine. Some of the essential concepts covered in this module include storing data in arrays and lists and iteration to repeat actions. In addition, the learners will understand abstraction and how it is used for design and console application classes, implementing Unity classes, text output, and sound effects to Unity games.

Intermediate Object-Oriented Programming for Unity Games

The third module in this specialization includes concepts on files to implement Unity games, inheritance and polymorphism to write lesser codes for game development, and implementing event-handling for better object-oriented designs and adding menu options to the Unity games. The learners will also work on developing more minor games using Unity.

Data Structures and Design Patterns for Game Developers

The final module covers the concepts of dynamic array data, algorithms, graph data structures, design patterns useful in game development, and additional data structures. This module requires the learners to complete the final capstone for the projects with peer review and feedback.

Instructor: Dr. Tim Chamillard

Level: Beginner

Duration: 4 months

User Review: 4.1/5

Price: Free Enrollment (Additional charges for certification may apply)

10. Introduction to Video Game Development with Unity – edX

Introduction to Video Game Development with Unity – edX

The course is offered by UP Valencia, a Spanish Technological University on edX. In this course, the learners will cover the fundamentals of the Unity game engine and build on the practical skills for game development and design. In addition, the learners will understand the Unity interface and build on the programming skills to develop their first games.

Some of the key concepts covered in this course include the Unity environment, Unity essential components, the game engine, scripting, and Unity for advanced game development.

Instructor: Jordi Linares Pellicer

Level: Beginner

Duration: 6 weeks

User Review: NA

Price: $50 (Approximately)

11. Complete C# Unity Game Developer 2D – Udemy

Complete C# Unity Game Developer 2D – Udemy

The course is offered on Udemy. In this course, the learners will understand game development using Unity. It is a project-based approach course, where learners are expected to develop their programming skills and understand the Unity engine practically.

All the concepts covered in each module have experimented with hands-on sessions for letting learners gain a vital understanding of the concepts. Furthermore, the learners are offered additional references and resources, coding resources, and several diagram-based illustrations to understand the concepts covered in this course comprehensively.

This course includes demo games during the hands-on sessions and a follow-along approach to understand the gaming design principles and build the entire game by themselves. In addition, the course also provides a solid foundation of object-oriented programming for mastering the skills of game development. All the concepts are taught by experienced programmers and game developers from the industry.

The course curriculum includes:

  • Introduction and Setup
  • Basic C# Coding
  • Text
  • The UI Experience
  • Block Breaker
  • Laser Defender
  • Glitch Garden
  • 2D Platformer

Instructor: Ben Tristem, Game Dev tvTeam, Rick Davidson

Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Duration: 34 hours and 48 minutes

User Review: 4.7/5

Price: $69.2 (Charges may vary according to the region)

12. RPG Core Combat Creator: Learn Intermediate Unity C# Coding – Udemy

RPG Core Combat Creator- Learn Intermediate Unity C# Coding – Udemy

This course is available on Udemy. In this course, the learners will focus on advanced game development concepts using C# programming and Unity game design. The course will cover critical concepts on how role-playing games can be created, including interacting gameplay systems.

The learners will be provided with follow-along hands-on sessions from the foundations to the advanced concepts. In addition, the learners will explore the real-world game development environment and understand essential factors like player movement, navigation, AI pathfinding, and saving and loading systems.

Additionally, the learners will explore the concepts of pick up, assets, and learn to debug codes, and create robust code architecture for managing complex projects efficiently. The prerequisites of the course include a basic understanding of C# and Unity. Advanced programming concepts are also covered in the course, such as C# delegates, interfaces, and co-routines.

The course curriculum includes:

  • Introduction and Setup
  • Basic Movement
  • High-Level Game Design
  • Basic Combat
  • Enemy AI
  • First Moment
  • Scene Management
  • Saving Asset Pack
  • Saving System
  • Simple Weapons
  • Character Stats
  • Final Project

Instructor: Ben Tristem, Sam Pattuzzi, and Rick Davidson

Level: Advanced

Duration: 27 hours and 44 minutes

User Review: 4.8/5

Price: $69.2 (Charges may vary according to the region)

Conclusion

Game development and VR have gained prominence in the market today. With the increasing popularity of modern games, the quality and experience of gaming have changed tremendously. As per Accenture, the global gaming industry exceeds $300 billion worldwide, and more diverse games are being released over the past years, including the mobile gaming platform. 

The emergence of new gaming platforms has changed the demographics of the gaming business from a product-centric approach towards an experience-centric platform in recent years. The industry is shifting its focus on the newest adoptions that have created immense interests in the gaming industry to employ game developers ranging from entry-level to the most experienced developers. 

The focus on improving the users’ gaming experiences has led to the creation of gaming engines that can transform the gaming experience with advanced functionalities, crisp movements of the characters, design, visuals, lighting, and more. This has led to the popularity of gaming engines such as Unity to have grabbed the attention of the developers with cross-platform functionalities, and easy to work with programming languages such C# and JavaScript being supported for fulfilling the programming requirements of game development. Thus, all the aspirants and experienced professionals looking into game developer careers must upskill themselves with one of the most popular gaming engines, Unity. 

There is a vast demand for game developers with the Unity skill set that are offered an average base salary of $71,772 and an estimate of $100,00 and more for the most experienced professionals with this skill. Therefore, the course provided some of the top game development courses on Unity for all the enthusiastic learners to delve into a successful career as a game developer.

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Kaushik Das

Kaushik is an artificial intelligence researcher and a data scientist with expertise in medical image processing, intelligent automation, computer vision, and big data engineering—a technical and a scientific writer by passion. He is also passionate about sports, photography, traveling, and exploring new technologies.

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