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Flash Developer to Unity3D Developer – Where should I begin?

November 6, 2009 by Devin Reimer

Flash Developer To Unity Developer

I’m a Flash Developer and a few months ago I decided to start doing Unity development. If you don’t know what Unity is or why I am developing in it, you can read about my decision to start working with Unity in my previous post.

Before I start posting example projects and code for Unity, I thought I would put together some steps on what I think would be the best way to learn Unity if you are a Flash Developer.

1. First download Unity (it’s now free) and play around with the pre-installed demo.

2. Learn the Unity interface basics.
http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/Manual/Learning%20the%20Interface.html

3. Watching the first three video tutorials in the ‘Unity for Flash Developers‘ series by the guys over at Ethical Games.
The other videos are also good, but I think one should get a little more experience with Unity before watching them.

4. While this may sound stupid, stop working with Unity and learn Blender (or another piece 3D model software). I wish I would have learned basic Blender skills earlier then I did. I found that not being able to create basic models was a major sticking point even when all I wanted to do was code.
I would recommend going through ‘Blender 3D: Noob to Pro‘ wiki tutorials.

If you read up until ‘Detailing Your Simple Person 2’ in Chapter Two you should have the skills required to work within Unity a little more comfortably. Once you become more familiar with Unity I would then carry on with the tutorials from where you left off.
Note: I found the learning curve for Blender insanely steep, so chances are you will to. Don’t lose hope to soon as after a little while Blender does become second nature even for a programmer like myself.

5. If you don’t already know C#, learn the basics. There are lots of general C# tutorials and they are pretty easy to find. I recommend coding in C# instead of Javascript as it is a much more robust language and will lead to a more structured project. While coming from a AS3 background it may seem like Javascript would be the logical choice, don’t be fooled. Spend the time and learn C#.

6. Get a copy of Visual Studio Professional and it you don’t know how to use it, learn it. Unity 2.6 now has Visual Studio integration which will save you a lot of time.

7. Go through the Official Unity FPS tutorials and convert them from Javascript to C#.
http://unity3d.com/support/resources/tutorials/fpstutorial
It’s hard to learn how something works by just copying and pasting. That is why I found converting these tutorials from Javascript to C# very helpful in learning how to code in Unity.

8. Follow the community on Twitter. Great tutorials, links and information are just a few follows away.

9. Go crazy and have fun. While learning Unity might take you a little while the process and final result are both very rewarding.

Finally if something helped you go from Flash Developer to Unity3D Developer and I haven’t mentioned it here, add a comment below.

14 Responses to "Flash Developer to Unity3D Developer – Where should I begin?"

  1. That “Learn some 3D elsewhere” is key. I came across a lot of hurdles where they assumed that I knew something that I was oblivious to because of my lack of a 3D Background. Excellent post! Thanks for the guidance!

  2. chaman says:

    yes unity3d make some good game but some things to keep in mind
    1°/ unity crash my poor eeepc, systeme hang need to restart
    i make hudge flash demo and i test many things
    but it’s never kill my os !!! i remove unity plugins directly
    2°: Unity Pro= $1499.00 they are crazy
    3°: c++ and as3 no the same Learning
    4°: personally i hate mac addict and iphone, too expensive juste for design
    & not realy usefull

  3. Devin Reimer says:

    @chaman 1) I do agree with you on system crashes, I have had a few of those. 2) They give away almost everything a person starting out needs with Unity. So asking for $1500 for Unity Pro isn’t that crazy at all. I bought it (well maybe that doesn’t disprove the crazy:) 3) Unity uses C# not C++, and if you have learned the fundamentals of programming C# in my opinion is very easy to pick up. 4) I’m not a mac person either, but Unity is now available for PC

  4. chaman says:

    how ! http://www.helloenjoy.com/unity/helloracer/
    great demo you probably right that run fast on eeepc no bug
    more than my demo http://3dflashlo.free.fr/EXEMPLE/index3.html
    ok ok i try developp in unity3d

  5. Mehdadoo! says:

    Thats the way you did it!

    Without reading this post, i also did the same to learn unity!

    By the way there are also some other great .pdf tutorials on the official website.

  6. dja says:

    1499?…huh? thats just core.. if you want to learn for iphone add another $400 onto that.. just to get you a few months before the next version.. where you’ll need to spit out another $800.

  7. Devin Reimer says:

    @dja Actually the standard version is free. You can even use it for commercial projects in most situations. https://store.unity3d.com/shop/
    Only the Pro version is $1499 which gives a lot more features, it’s geared towards people that want to be a little more than a standard hobbies. You are correct the iPhone add-on is $400.

    As for it being a few months before the next version. As 2.6 was released not that long ago it is going to be a while before they release a 3.0 version which I would guess would be the next paid upgrade release. I actually purchased what use to be Unity Indie a few months before they made it free and they offered to give me my money back or give me a deal to upgrade to Pro. I upgraded to Pro. :)

    While I understand people don’t like software that costs money, when the standard version is free and will do most stuff people want to do. I don’t think you can go wrong.

  8. Devin Reimer says:

    Update on my previous comment Unity 3.0 has now been announced and will be coming out some time in the summer. I will admit it is a little earlier than I thought considering how much new stuff in included in the new version. The great news for hobbyist is Unity will still be free and if you buy Pro the license it will work for both 2.6 and 3.x. More details can be found here: https://store.unity3d.com/shop/

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