The last time I was on SkillStruct, I was talking about my first few months working as a web developer. Now, over 2 years later, I had time to consider what I wanted in my career and have recently started my new role as a game developer.
However, one of the skills that kept popping up in my research about game development was Unity. There were so many jobs I searched for that listed experience with Unity in their job description. It did not matter which job boards I looked at, there is a high demand for experience with Unity.
Because of this, I thought that it would be a great idea to create a blog post about the games industry today and Unity. to explain Unity and learning it will benefit you. Especially if you are considering a career in the games industry.
The games industry as we know it has been around since the 1970s. With each generation (around every 7 years), massive technological leaps allow games to be more expressive and enable developers to experiment with more creative ideas.
Today, we have gone from games that were a brutal abstract representation of real-life activities such as “Pong”, to games that are life-like, immersive and have gripping stories that rival the best that Hollywood has to offer like “The Last of Us”.
Because of the unique interactive experiences that are only possible with video games, the games industry has generated more revenue than the film industry combined in 2021. The way video games engage audiences is unlike any other entertainment medium as the figures show however, as video games have grown more complex, so has the tooling them has had to evolve and adapt. One of the solutions for the ever-growing complexities of developing video games was game engines.
Game engines are frameworks for creating games. They include tools that solve common problems when developing games while also providing simple interfaces to aspects such as sound, graphics, input, and networking. The game engine implements the low-level details for you, so you can focus on implementing your game idea.
Over time, these game engines have become more generic, with an increasing amount of edge cases and scenarios to the point where the video games industry relies on two game engines now. One of the is called Unity.
Unity is a “Real-Time Development Platform” that supports the creation of 2D, 3D, VR and AR experiences.
Unity is used to make a range of different content such as Games, Movies, Art Exhibitions, Simulations and more.
Unity is a popular solution in the games industry thanks to its user-friendly editor tool that lets a lot of the visual parts of games with a WYSIWYG interface, the fact that it uses C# as its primary language means that it has many community resources available for it (tutorials, assets, templates etc). Also, because of how user-friendly and powerful Unity is compared to other game engines, it’s used in all types of games ranging from bite-sized hyper-casual mobile games to enormous AAA bleeding edge console games.
As I’ve stated previously, the video games industry generates substantially more revenue than the film and music industry combined. Because of this, there are plenty of companies that see revenue potential. Currently, a recurring skill that game developer jobs ask for is Unity. In fact, over 50% of the world’s video games are made with Unity.
Unity is in demand right now for multiple reasons. One of them is the enormous support that Unity has across a wide range of platforms. Many companies take advantage of this to release the same game across multiple platforms with minimal changes. This is especially helpful if you’re making your games since you save time having to deal with differences between each platform on your own.
Another reason is that Unity is ready for the future too. The game engine already has mature tooling for AR and VR games. One of the most popular VR games, Beat Saber, was created using Unity.
Furthermore, Unity is available on a wide range of platforms. One set of extremely lucrative platforms is mobile. Many of the games on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store today are created using Unity. The engine’s tooling is optimised for the development of games for potentially 3 billion Android phones and 900 million iPhones worldwide. That’s a massive user base that you can potentially reach with minimal effort dealing with both platforms.
Lastly, a big reason why you should learn Unity is the strong community around it. There are countless tutorials, social groups, and articles about solving different problems in Unity. So, you can be confident that most issues that you may encounter will have solutions available online.
There are plenty of tutorials on how to get started with Unity online already that go into it in detail however, it can be summarised as this:
- Learn the basics of C#.
- Install the Unity Editor
- Make sure that you have a code editor/IDE setup for use with Unity. Unity officially supports Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio.
The SkillStruct University Network
Finally, I want to thank SkillStruct for helping me write this blog and giving me another opportunity to write for the SkillStruct blog. As a SkillStruct University member, I recommend reaching out if you are interested in writing a blog or joining our network dedicated to graduates and current university students looking for their first opportunity after graduation or simply an internship. Find out more here.