Just over a year ago I joined Unity as a Trainer and Consultant. In this role, I’ve been travelling to customers around the world helping them learn how to get the best from our technology. I’ve visited games companies, universities, research centres and simulation customers, and the locations have spanned the globe, from Texas to Saudi Arabia, to Singapore. (TL;DR Videos Below!)
During this time, I’ve also been helping to build up the range of training material that we can offer to customers. A lot of this material has grown organically, some based on customer requests for training in specific areas, and some based on creative ideas that tie together Unity’s features into learning projects.
The style and focus of the training courses vary widely. I’ve visited customers who needed a crash-course for their junior developers, or training for experienced developers moving to Unity from a different environment. I’ve also visited teams of experienced Unity developers in the middle of projects who wanted a quick boost of technical knowledge to help get their project to the finish line.
In my beginner crash-course, I take trainees on a tour through Unity’s main features, bringing everything we learn together into a finished game – which usually involves plenty of flying saucers, explosions and sound effects. This seemingly simple project covers many of Unity’s core features such as the art and asset pipeline, physics, components, scripting, prefabs, particle systems, audio, and helps get developers who are new to Unity familiar with the editor.
A common request from games and simulation customers alike is training for our new animation system, and its integration with physics and pathfinding. For this, I run through the entire system from scratch, creating a third-person controller and NPC characters with many of the common games actions such as mouselook, strafing, sprinting and crouch walking. We learn how to import, edit and retarget animations, through to building up state machines and integration with input. We examine how to get the pathfinding system to properly control root-motion animated characters, and how to make sure our characters can interact with physics objects properly. This whole section takes about two days to complete, and serves as a solid foundation of knowledge for building character-based games in Unity.
Simulation customers often want to build applications for training purposes themselves, and the individual requirements in the Sim field vary so much that there’s no one-size-fits-all training program. Their goals can range from small mobile applications showing how to maintain a piece of equipment, to virtual reality workplace safety training, to ocean-going container ship simulation, and the training I put together for each customer attempts to meet these needs, giving them the understanding they require to make the best use of our tools.
One project I use for Sim customers begins with a model of a stapler. I show the trainees how to start with the bare 3D assets, and build up an interactive training application which allows an end user to progress through the maintenance steps. Obviously the point here is not to teach how to use a stapler! – what the trainees learn are the skills required to build whatever kind of equipment-based training applications they need.
The videos below show a broader cross-section of the content of training we’ve delivered so far to customers.
If you want to learn more about Unity and want training, contact your account manager to find out more.
Unity Training – Basic
Unity Training – Games Focus
Unity Training – Sim Focus