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Learn Unity – Update #1

September 11, 2012 in Community, Demos, Tutorials and Tips by

First off thanks to everyone who has commented or emailed regarding our first blog post about the new learn area of the website we’re working on. We have a couple of updates to share with you so I wanted to keep updating the blog as much as we have time for-

What Do You Want?!

We tidied up the old feedback section of the site and would like to hear what tutorials you’d like to help us prioritise things. You’ll notice there are a few outdated posts on there, that have links informing their posters that we’re working on a new Learning area, but in general we’d welcome a lot of new posts to see what you really need help with. Naturally we’ll aim to cover everything and be taking advice from our Support department but this is your chance to tell us what you want right now! Make sure you’re on the Tutorials & Demos area and post an idea!

http://feedback.unity3d.com/unity-demos/all-categories/1/hot/active

Mockups

Last week the Learning Team and Web Team met in the UK office and went over the entire plan to figure out a feature set and structure for the site, and how it’d fit with our CMS plans. Not massively exciting news for you guys, but it means things are ploughing ahead, which is cool! We also provided the team with some photoshop mockups of what we would like to see on the site, so I wanted to share a few with you -

Learn Area Home

The main landing page for the Learn section, telling you all about the differing ways to learn Unity, and providing a path into the system.

learn unity home mockup

Many Modules page

An overview of differing tutorial Modules – with dropdown menus to choose Level and Topic.

Single Module page

When a single Module is selected, the Lessons and Assignments for that module can be seen and visited or added to your own playlist.

Single Project page

A Single project shows its tutorial video, related content to this project on the right and links to other areas beneath it.

My Learn area

Having a background in teaching – I feel this is a pretty important feature for us to include, the ability to create playlists of learning content. So whether you’re a tutor that wants to make a playlist of content for your students or a Lead Artist introducing a new team to Unity, you should be able to do it your way, and that’s what the My Learn area is all about. For now we’re clearly taking inspiration from Youtube, but expect more detailed features as the site progresses.

That’s all for now – let us know how you feel about our plans in the comments below! Til next time – stay classy, The Internet.

 

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11 Sep 2012, 7:28 am

Looks really awesome. Can’t wait till it starts rolling out.

Nicolas M
11 Sep 2012, 7:37 am

You guys rocks.

Do you intend to include community-powered tutorials aswell?

Maybe have a community tutorials area. And sometimes some of the tutorial get moved to the official area (or just gte highlighted as “tutorial of the week” in the Learn homepage).

Kweiko
11 Sep 2012, 7:46 am

Brilliant! Exciting news there :D

ImaginaryHuman
11 Sep 2012, 7:48 am

This is looking cooler every minute. It’s nice you can mix together the pieces you want to focus on. This will be a big help for understanding Unity and using its potential. I’d like to see some 2D tutorials, but also physics and lighting.

Is there going to be any kind of accreditation like you take the classes on a playlist and then have some kind of exam or whatever and someone moderates/scores it and then you get some kind of qualification, where those qualifications may then be used to advertise services or whatever on the forums? `Unity Level 1 Certified` ?

11 Sep 2012, 8:03 am

@Nicolas – we are considering it, yes. But for now the best place for such content is the wiki – wiki.unity3d.com. Thats still managed by the community, only hosted by us.

@Kweiko, Thomas – thanks! :D

@ImaginaryHuman – regarding your requests – we’ll certainly have those! As for your other question there are a few things to say – we’re planning to have ‘Challenges’ at the same level as Lessons & Assignments. These will be details of something to make, without instructions for people to test themselves. As for certification and accredication, we don’t have any announcements to make on that just yet.

WC
11 Sep 2012, 8:03 am

It all looks pretty good. The only thing I found odd was the way you split up the videos. Beginner, etc. Is someone really going to go through all the beginner videos and then move on to intermediate, or will they do Beginner Physics, then Intermediate Physics, then Advanced Physics? It seems to me that people will be constantly changing the level to learn what they’re looking for. It’s really unlikely that they’ll learn everything at the same pace.

And your video lists feature seems to be a better way to find videos anyhow. Having a few official lists in recommended order would be nice for newbies who aren’t sure and didn’t luck across someone else’s list.

It’s possible I’m overthinking this, I guess. But it just struck me as a bit odd.

11 Sep 2012, 8:22 am

@WC (lol) thanks for the comments. We aren’t sure how people will learn – and from experience, no one does, as we all behave differently. This system is designed in order to account for that. Some people will just dive into the Projects and then when they don’t understand part will go look at one of the lessons that is linked to, whereas others will just work through lessons and assigments by topics. Some may only look at assignments, stopping to look at related lessons if they need to, but yes hopefully the playlists feature will help and ultimately allow users to work at their own speed and in their own way.

Jos
11 Sep 2012, 8:39 am

I looks really nice! The only thing I don’t like is that I still have to wait to get access to it! Hurry up! ;)

Gregory Pierce
11 Sep 2012, 9:21 am

Just hook it straight into my veins.

11 Sep 2012, 10:42 am

Can’t wait to dig in!

eddy
11 Sep 2012, 11:03 am

WOW!

jydog
11 Sep 2012, 1:41 pm

Looks like it’s shaping up.

alex
11 Sep 2012, 3:00 pm

Custom shaders! I think is the most obscure (and not well documented) argument for 90% of the community,

12 Sep 2012, 12:30 am

I love to take things appart and put them back together again. So having a complete practice project for each major concept would be great. Especially for coding!

Ex: For the interface introduction. If I was that much of a beginner, I’d love to get a project, that had objects with components already in. The essential parts of the interface exagerated with a custom window layout, so my eyes are drawn to those areas. Then I can play with the values in the inspector, get a shock, when the debugger starts throwing gibberish, and then double click it, to see what’s really going on, and then go hunt for the related go. When my eyes glaze over, I can go back and say “Hey. Show me exactly how the transform component works.”

I love to drill down on specifics, and then look at related content. If I get stuck, I can cover some more basic things, and if something tweaks me, I can go chase that instead. Right now the docs don’t work like that at all.

Regards, Rigel

nige
12 Sep 2012, 12:30 am

Looks bl**dy marvelous if you ask me – onwards & upwards ;-)

12 Sep 2012, 5:00 am

Looks great guys! I’m sure this is going to be used extensively.

12 Sep 2012, 7:39 am

Looks absolutely stunning :)
Takes the already great (yet often underused) documentation to a whole new level

Alan
12 Sep 2012, 8:50 am

Oookay, I looked at the screenshots and something inside me just screamed: I NEED THAT!!! :)
It looks really awesome, I hope that there will also be more advanced tutorials dealing with the finer details of the editor and the engine.

Keep up the good work, looks really impressive!

Greets,

Alan

Mark
12 Sep 2012, 9:21 pm

This sounds great. One thing, though (and this probably doesn’t need saying) – please don’t let video tutorials replace textual documentation. I’ve worked with a number of tools in the past (Blender, Virtual Battlespace) in which documentation was hit-and-miss to non-existent and the community for such products simply referred developers to forums and websites loaded with more or less random collections of tutorials. Made me want to break the furniture. So, the tutorials are a great addition to the documentation, but there are times when you really need to access structured, organized, authoritative material – documentation.

Will Goldstone
13 Sep 2012, 2:20 am

@Mark – you’re totally right, and you’ll be pleased to know that our docs team is working on a complete redesign there also, making the structure more intuitive and updating content.

13 Sep 2012, 6:02 am

Great post. Can’t wait to check this!

Victor
13 Sep 2012, 4:32 pm

Unity guys sure love to tease till its unbearable. I have basically checked this blog at 10 am and 5pm everyday since it was announced :P. Surprise is better than hype .

So when it this starting?

14 Sep 2012, 11:44 am

Having taught Unity to both design and development students I would add one comment. Students will learn at an accelerated pace when the materials align with their game project objectives. Could you add in either a tab or playlist which takes the lessons and tutorials and organizes them based upon a game genre? So, for instance, I am a student looking to build a platformer style of game. The tabbed section offers different game genres that when clicked upon reveals the learning materials which assist the student in getting to his / her desired goal in the quickest possible manner. You could even add asset store links to packages which can help accelerate the student’s progress, such 2DToolkit, TIDY Tile Mapper, Rage Spline, etc.

I love the new direction! Keep up the great work.

14 Sep 2012, 8:21 pm

Looks really cool, looks very well done.

15 Sep 2012, 2:22 am

@Robert – precisely, we devised the playlist system to solve this problem. We started out wanting to make a tutorial system that did not steer people towards a genre, as this apes what Unity does in it’s blank canvas approach to development. But we knew some students would wish to know how to make a specific genre example in order to level up their knowledge, so yes we will definitely make genre playlists that culminate in a project once we have enough content. Thanks for posting!

Victor
15 Sep 2012, 10:29 am

I think the fact that this is free should be commended. I don’t think i have ever felt this close to a software company in terms of communicating and direct interaction.
Kudos

ZJP
15 Sep 2012, 9:25 pm

“Custom shaders! I think is the most obscure (and not well documented) argument for 90% of the community,”
Indeed. +1

17 Sep 2012, 1:52 pm

This has the looks of being a very nice tutorial site.

I sure you’ve planned for it but I’ve overlooked it but are you going to include device handing issues such as screen resolutions, various type controllers (touch, joystick, tilt, keyboard), and platforms?

Or are you waiting for the new GUI and will add on the HW dependent stuff as mods to complete ‘Projects’?

Matthias
17 Sep 2012, 11:05 pm

The youtube inspiration is ok, but i’d rather like to see something like a progress bar to track my learning. If a new video gets added, i directly see it on the progress bar. Maybe a bar for each level and topic :?

Frédéric Vauchelles
18 Sep 2012, 1:15 am

This looks really greats ! I think I mostly use it to discover new features and best practices from the Unity team (and maybe other Unity developers)

But, I think a lot of people will want specific tutorials, will the community able to request some tutorials (like new features on feedback.unity3d.com) ? Or submit themselves a tutorial ?

Luis
19 Sep 2012, 12:41 am

I can’t throw you money fast enough!

20 Sep 2012, 8:13 am

This all looks awesome, although I’m not sure that the forums should be under “Learn”—I’d keep the “Support” tab for the interactive forums and Answers, while the “Learn” tab holds the more didactic (I.e. non-interactive) learning content.

But… but… “My Learn”? Great Scott, man! Do you have any idea how many grammar fascists—myself included—are sitting out there right now, twitching in the throes of their OCD, while muttering darkly about your parentage?

Given Unity’s Danish origins, I’m surprised you didn’t go with a LEGO-style metaphor: (“Knowledge Blocks”?) You can build anything you like with LEGO, just as you can with modular tutorials. It’s an easy metaphor for users to grasp and it saves a lot of pain trying to create a new metaphor that might not work as well.

Thus, “My Learn” becomes “My Knowledge Blocks”.

(Another option might be to use a ‘journey’ metaphor, thus “My Learn” could become “My Learning Path”.)

Pre-packaged playlists, which sounds like a solution for those seeking a genre-specific learning path, could become “Knowledge Packs”, much as LEGO produce packs of pieces intended for a specific model (or set of models).

23 Sep 2012, 12:33 am

I want to learn Unity – Use to work with AutoCAD and 3d Studie MAX, photoshop ect. at professional level.
Ready to put in the work so – Please use me at case study ;-)

It´s look great – when can we get access?

rahu
25 Sep 2012, 7:33 am

any update on this? When can we see the learning material?

Lance
26 Sep 2012, 11:47 am

Looking pretty sweet. +1 for 2D tutorials and videos by genre. Show how to make a 2D side-scrolling Mario platformer without using the standard CharacterController and I’ll be hooked. :)

27 Sep 2012, 11:39 am

Wow I just found the product looks like I can start learning new things :) The engine looks great how can we get a hold of it?

Toby
1 Oct 2012, 12:23 pm

Any idea when this will be ready?
Don’t want to start on unity3dstudent if this is being released soon.

2 Oct 2012, 3:41 am

@Sean – totally see what you’re saying, and normally I’m a grammar fascist too, though for the sake of fitting something onto a menu item, snappier titles are required. RIP the english language!
@rahu, @Lars- still working!
@Hosting Space – really?
@Toby – We’re not ready just yet, in the meantime its definitely worth covering Unity3Dstudent, there isn’t a huge amount of content on there so it should only take a few days.

rahu
24 Oct 2012, 12:03 am

It’s taking quiet long then what we expected when it was announced in Unite 2012.
Hope it is almost done:)

Joe Williamsen
27 Oct 2012, 4:56 am

I’m really looking forward to this – IMO it’s one place that’s been sorely lacking. I think the forums are fairly handy, but having *real* tutorials from the developers will be extremely valuable and helpful.

One thing I would mention in regards to the tutorials is to hopefully focus on the *why* as much as the *what*. Understanding the logic behind a function or decision allows a person to extrapolate that information to other situations – anything else is just a recipe …. just pushing buttons – and is of fairly limited use. Creating good tutorials is hard work – so if the effort is going to be there, they might as well be useful, right? ;)

I may have been missing something, but I’d also really, REALLY, like to see a section of tutorials aimed at optimization. Almost all the things I’ve learned about optimizing for speed and size I’ve learned through dumb luck or the occasional tip from a forum post. I think it could include everything from basic ideas like texture size and compression methods to more obscure ideas like how to use multiple, simultaneous cameras with different render / projection modes (like an ortho gui camera and perspective player camera, or foreground and background cameras, etc).

Great work, guys and gals – can’t wait to see it online :)

David
28 Oct 2012, 12:57 am

Suggest also taking a look at http://www.khanacademy.org, very popular now in online learning circles since his TED talk. I like the idea of a track-oriented roadmap that implies a sequence one should consume the videos in.
I didn’t understand the purpose of the playlists at first but it makes sense if you have a team with a broad range of skills. I think if you’re imitating a lot of youtube’s functionality, ask yourself if you wouldn’t be better off just hosting your content there and embedding the videos?

17 Nov 2012, 4:57 am

I am part of a group of volunteers that is starting up a new scheme in our community in San Diego. One of the community projects that we are going to to initiate relatates to your blog, and therefor some of the information here is of value for us and I just wanted so say thank you for that.

23 Nov 2012, 7:37 pm

awesome post…
any update?

Boris
26 Nov 2012, 6:57 pm

What’s really great is that you’re making the videos in C#. I’ve used unityscript from day one cause it seemed like the appropriate choice(it got the word unity in it), but i’ve been seeing overwhelming support for C# instead, and since C# is a ‘real’ language that would be helpful for me outside of game development, I’m glad to now have an incentive to learn it. Thanks.

27 Nov 2012, 3:42 am

Thanks for sharing… This update are really complete..

Like this post very much !

Big thanks…

28 Nov 2012, 6:34 am

Thanks for the great post ! Can’t wait for your another post !
Thanks =)

1 Dec 2012, 7:25 am

Thanks for sharing..

It looks very good and well done !

2 Dec 2012, 7:16 am

Thanks for sharing such a great information…

It’s really helpful

CB
6 Dec 2012, 7:39 am

Looks nice! When will it be made public?

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