How to Start a Game Project in Unity 3D

By default, a new Unity install opens with a demo project. Unity 2.6 had an island, while Unity 3.0 has a G.I. Joe-style first-person shooter game. Follow these steps to start your own game project from scratch in Unity;

1. Start a New Project

New project in Unity

Click File > New Project …

Project Wizard in Unity

Every Unity sits in its own folder. In this dialogue, browse to or create a new folder where your project will live, and then click the Create button.

What you’re left with is this:

Blank Project in Unity

Ok – where’s the “Make Game” button at?

Here’s what’s going on behind the scenes:

Unity Project Folder

Unity automatically creates three sub-folders in your Project folder. You won’t have to touch these folders – in fact, you really shouldn’t, because there’s metadata in there that might get botched if you start poking around. Most of the time, you can import assets directly through the Unity IDE (program).

2. Make a Scene

Unity Projects are comprised of Scenes. In Flash, it wasn’t really a good idea to use the Scenes, but in Unity, it’s darn near a requirement. What you’re looking at now is actually an unnamed Scenes. Scenes must be saved individually … whenever you try to leave one Scene to look at another, you’ll get a Save Confirmation prompt.

The smartest thing to do right off the bat is to save this Scene.

Unity Save Scene As

Go to File > Save Scene as …

Unity Scene Name

Choose a name for your Scene. Some really simple examples are “Title”, “Credits”, “Win”, “Lose”, and “Game” for an extremely basic project. i’m calling this one “Game”, which is where all my main game action will take place.

Once you hit “Save”, two wonderful things will happen:

Unity Title Bar

The name of your new Scene is reflected in the Title Bar of your project …

Unity Project Panel

.. and a new Scene shows up in your Project panel.

The Project panel is where all your stuff goes. It’s very much like the Library in Flash. Scenes have a little Unity 3D icon next to them.

Put Your Scene in a Folder

The final thing you’ll want to do is to create a folder for your Scenes, and dump your Scene inside it.

At the top of the Project panel, click the Create button and choose “Folder”:

Unity Project Panel Create Button

This button sees a lot of use in Unity.

Unity Project Panel Create Folder

While you’re here, check out all the other cook junk you can build.

You can also right click or alternate click on the Project panel to bring up this menu. Mac users can probably splat-click or some nonsense.

And then:

Unity Project Panel Scenes Folder

Rename the folder “Scenes” by right/alternate-clicking, slow double-clicking (Mac) or pressing F2 (PC)

Unity Project Panel Game Scene in Folder

Drag and drop the Game Scene inside the folder. Click the grey arrow to see what’s inside the folder.

What Now?

How do i learn Unity 3D?

To learn more about developing games for Unity 3d and to learn the basic controls for getting around the program, read the first chapter of my book Unity 3D Game Development by Example. Next, buy four copies of the book (in case you accidentally drop three of them in the mud).

How do i build a timer in Unity?

When you’re a little further along, read this sample of Chapter 7 of my book, Don’t be a Clock Blocker. That’s how.

How do i program in Unity?

If you need a little help with programming in Unity using javascript, read our Understanding Programming in Unity Javascript series.

How do i transition from Flash to Unity?

Check out our article on Five Common AS3 to UnityScript Translations.

Alright – what else you got?

Like our style? For more free Unity 3D tutorials, sign up for our Unity 3D Game Development by Example newsletter, and we’ll send out a link whenever we post a new tutorial or article on Unity 3D.

Go forth and game!

4 thoughts on “How to Start a Game Project in Unity 3D

  1. Rob Klimm

    Don’t forget to get a competent scripting IDE like UnityDevelop… Unless they’ve recently added one into Unity. I’m still using UnityDevelop because the IDE in 2.x was abysmal.

    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      It’s a good point, Rob. Uniscite and Unitron are the two scripting utilities hooked up to Unity Mac or Unity PC by default, and they’re both terrible. But This is a rank novice tutorial … we’ll get into the fancy stuff later. ;)


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