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Veteran game designer Christopher Orth takes you through every step of building your own first-person 3D game from scratch: from writing a game design document to whiteboxing a level the way AAA game companies do it and implementing game systems with basic AI - all without coding!
You'll be using the super-popular (and free!) Unity game engine together with the visual scripting tool Playmaker and the 3D modelling app of your choice to build an interactive first-person game level. Therefore, the people who'll get most out of it are those who already have some working knowledge of 3D modelling and have dabbled with Unity and Playmaker before a little and want to take their skills further. However, even absolute beginners can complete the course successfully.
Important note re Unity 5
The free student version of Playmaker is not currently compatible with Unity 5's new UI (user interface) system, so the Playmaker component (which is the majority of the class content) is done with Unity 4.3. We therefore recommend you use an earlier version of Unity to work with this course which you can get from the Unity Download archive, as it's possible to have more than one version of Unity installed on your computer.
The principles of what you're learning in terms of how Unity and Playmaker work are almost exactly the same between Unity 4 and 5 - it's just the mechanics that are slightly different with the new UI.
We plan on updating the course to Unity 5 as soon as Playmaker updates its plugin as well, so rest assured that if you're buying this course, we'll keep it updated for the future.
Not for you? No problem.
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Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.
Certificate of completion.
|Section 1: Course Overview|
A quick overview of what will be covered in the course.
|Section 2: Writing a Game Design Document (GDD)|
Christopher starts the course by introducing the Game Design Document writing component of the course.
Not much detail required, as you'll be cahnging it again anyway!
Sample Game Design Document (GDD)
Draw a map!
Section 2 Summary: write your own GDD!Preview
|Section 3: Getting ready for whiteboxing|
There is no right or wrong modelling app. While Christopher uses Maya and Silo here, there is absolutely no reason why you couldn't use Blender for example. However, neither of us are familiar enough with Blender to help you out, so just keep in mind that you may need to find help outside of this course should you choose to go down that path.
Setting up your modelling app for UnityPreview
Please note that the Render settings have now moved - they are now in the 'Window' menu under 'Lighting'!
Setting up Unity for Whiteboxing - Textures and materials
Setting up Unity for whiteboxing with Maya LT
Section 3 Summary
|Section 4: Let's whitebox!|
Building the starting area
Adding height changes
Refining the starting areaPreview
Finishing off the starting area
Adding more details
Adding even more details!
Know when to stop
Breaking up your whiteboxPreview
Submit your project for us to comment on in Unity web player format, so everyone can play it.
Christopher also recorded a 4-hour whitebox development session and compressed it into a 40-minute timelapse.
Feel free to watch it here along with a whole bunch of reviews of previous students' whiteboxes.
A quick breakdown of what's been covered in the whiteboxing section of the course
|Section 5: Beyond the whitebox: 3rd-Party Assets & Systems|
If you haven't already bought Playmaker, you can get the free student version here:
This is for non-commercial purposes only!
IMPORTANT: There's currently a bug in Unity 5 that prevents this action from working correctly!
Stay with Unity 4.6 if you can.
If you're on Unity 5+, you can try to use the custom action in this thread on the Playmaker forums:
Follow the instructions in this thread. The action needs to be added to the 'Actions' folder in your Unity project's 'Playmaker' folder. This only works for non-free licences! The limitation of the free version above is that it doesn not accept custom actions (like this one).
Integrating third-party assets
If you need a primer on Playmaker, please check out Christopher's series on YouTube.
Introduction to Triggers
In this lesson, you'll learn how to set up 'On Enter' and 'On Exit' triggers to create and destroy game objects. We'll use a basic crate as an example.
Moar triggers! Let's use the same trigger as a base for an elevator.
Completing the elevator with triggers
Introduction to mouse-over interactions
Mouse-over interactions - ray distance and mouse on/off
Mouse-over interactions and global events to open doors!
Section 5 SummaryPreview
|Section 6: Putting it all together|
Putting it all together - Building a land mine
Adding a land mine trigger system
Making the mine explode!
Final touches on the mine
Section 6 SummaryPreview
|Section 7: Setting up a quest system|
Introduction to quest systemsPreview
The Quest Manager
If you're on Unity 4.6 or later, GUI Text has moved to Component > Rendering. You can can find out more in the next video.
A quick update on GUIText in Unity 5, as well as an introduction to the Ecosystem
Moving on to the next quest stage
Configuring the Quest Manager
Collecting items to advance the story
Refining the Quest Manager
Section 7 SummaryPreview
|Section 8: Refining the Quest Stages|
Quest stages overviewPreview
Adding quest stages to other FSMs
Using global variables to link separate state machines
Adding more quest stages
Linking multiple state machines
Debugging the quest system
Finishing off the Quest System
Section 8 SummaryPreview
|Section 9: Health systems, character controllers, playtesting & GUI|
Introduction to health systems
The Health System in action
Introduction to character controllers
Building your own character controller
Tweaking your character controller and 3rd-party solutions (UFPS)
A word on playtesting
A word on GUI
Section 9 SummaryPreview
|Section 10: Shooting and AI|
Introduction to shooting and AIPreview
A closer look
Building your own sentry gun turret
A basic AI Robot
Build your own AI Robot
Refining and tweaking the AI Robot
Shooting alternative: Hitscan
How to set up hitscan shooting
Section 10 SummaryPreview
|Section 11: Next steps|
Next steps and wrap-up
I'm an eLearning specialist and wannabe renaissance man. I love creating digital media - everything from photography and video to games and music.
I have been teaching for over nine years and set up indie game school in early 2014 to learn how to make games. I have enlisted the help of veterans of the game development industry to create fantastic courses around everything gamedev for anyone, using free or cheap tools.
Teaching has always been part of my life, because it’s so important to share what you learn. These days I mostly call myself a Game Designer, having worked on many high-profile titles launched on Playstation consoles, PC, and portable devices. But I’ve also worked as an Instructor, Team Leader, Technical Artist, Web Designer, Musician and Sound Designer. My own passion for learning has lead me to many avenues of contribution in this array of fun and fascinating fields.