Unity Development: The Complete Guide to Getting Started
While traditional programming serves a variety of purposes, when it comes to building games, there are more practical options.
Game engines are development environments designed to simplify the game-building process. They’re also the most practical way to go about building a game.
Using Unity, the world’s most popular game engine would be yet another practical decision for your business. What can Unity do for you?
What Is Unity?
Unity is a cross-platform game engine where developers can make real-time 3D projects of almost any kind. Some common case uses for Unity projects include the following.
- Manufacturing & Construction
You can compare game engines like Unity to integrated development environments (IDEs) for programming languages. In fact, they’re synonymous.
The difference is that a game engine doesn’t rely on coding in the way that you’d expect from any old software developer. Unity handles that part on its own while Unity developers focus on the gameplay itself.
Although you don’t need to code an entire program, you can modify Unity’s code through MonoCode, the Unity text editor, or Visual Studio. To do this, you need to have a basic understanding of C#.
Unity uses C#, a language developed by Microsoft. C# is object-oriented, general-purpose, and comes equipped with a variety of features from strong typing to lexical scoping.
It is also multi-paradigm, meaning developers can use multiple programming paradigms within the language. The range and flexibility of the C# language makes it a common choice for game developers.
What Is a Unity Developer?
A Unity developer is a software developer who has gained an abundance of familiarity using Unity. More often than not, Unity developers will be game developers as game development is the principal use of the platform.
Unity developers are not necessarily C# developers but previous programming experience in the language would be undoubtedly helpful.
Developers using Unity may have an integral role in the rest of the game development process. Such a role could include not only game design but storyboarding and character development.
Why Use Unity?
There are several reasons why using Unity would be a constructive choice for your business’s game development. Below you’ll see some of the most compelling reasons.
The first reason is that it’s free. For businesses that are only now diving into the world of game development, Unity is perfect for beginners because it won’t cost you a dime – at least at first.
If you create a game in Unity and end up making more than $100K, it’s only fair that Unity scales with you and starts asking for something in return. Specifically, Unity asks for $150 a month for Unity Pro.
You will experience little to no limitations when you want to launch your games from one platform to the next. Android, iOS, Macs, PCs, Steam, Playstation, Xbox, and nearly any other platform you can think of is happily supported by Unity.
Compared to the whole native versus cross-platform app debate taking place in the mobile app development realm, this versatility is definitely a perk.
Naturally, you will have to account for the unique features of each platform but portability is generally a smoother undertaking than otherwise.
Unity has millions of developers dedicated to its software. As such, if you decide to use Unity yourself, you’ll have access to an extremely large support community
There are many Unity forums where you can find like-minded individuals and perhaps even professionals to collaborate with. Unity also holds a conference every year called Unite.
Advantages of Using Unity
Even if you’re not fully convinced that using Unity is right for you in the first place, it won’t hurt to hear about some more internal advantages of using the platform. Take a look.
One of the main advantages of using Unity is that you don’t have to make anything from scratch. You can maintain some originality while still using the Unity Asset Store to gather a few choice items, a character for example, or a building.
Not impressed? Well, you can always make some pocket money by building your own assets and selling them in the store. You’ll get as much as 70% of the royalties.
You’ve heard your fair share about what C# is really about. But imagine how much a language with that kind of adaptability can improve your developers’ programming for the better. Whatever your preferred paradigm for programming is, C# is a solid choice.
Building multiplayer video games is no easy task. Everybody wants the option to play with their friends and share in the fun together, but on the programming side of things, it is extremely difficult.
Unity provides a set of tools to help you through it. Without Unity, you can be sure there would be much fewer multiplayer games around today to enjoy.
Getting started with Unity is fairly easy. You can see the results of what you’re working on almost immediately, and unlike traditional programming, you don’t need to compile anything to see it.
To add, there are many free classes and tutorials online with hyper-specific instructions on how to get things done. Youtube is your friend. Leastways, it’s probably been a good friend to each one of your developers.
Games Built With Unity
- Ori and the Blind Forest
- Temple Run
- Subway Surfers
- Slender: The Eight Pages
- Angry Birds 2
Reasons to Hire a Unity Developer
Ease of use is certainly an advantage to building in Unity but by no means does it suggest that you should build an entire game by yourself.
Game development typically takes much longer than mobile or web development. The most enriching games take at least three years to develop.
You can opt for a simple 2D game to save time. Unity even has the capacity to accommodate such a project. But your time won’t be spent wisely either way. Professional developers are by definition qualified and efficient.
Remember, there are also many other uses of Unity as well. And hiring developers for those uses is just as important.
How to hire a Unity developer?
For those who wish to take the high road and hire Unity developers on your own, we’re still here to help.
Hiring a developer on your own is a very focused and hands-on process that requires considerable knowledge about software development in general.
The last thing you want to do is trust your hiring process to someone with no technical ability. If you are a non-technical manager looking to learn a thing or two, we have a great resource here for you to learn more about the hiring process in detail.
Otherwise, we’d recommend you contact Trio for consulting and developer allocation.
What should you look for in a Unity developer?
Unity developers at a high level should have the following skills and abilities:
- Conceptualize and implement gameplay in a development environment
- Proficiency at using the Unity Asset Store and making modifications for uniqueness
- Demonstrate a foundational understanding of C# and the skills to use it
- Can provide a portfolio of previous work in Unity showing their expertise and prior experience using the game engine
How much do developers cost in the U.S.?
The average yearly salary for a Unity developer is $98,214 according to ZipRecruiter data. In general, annual salaries for Unity developers range between $11,000 and $132,000.
How much do developers cost in South America?
Due to economic differences between the United States and South America as a whole, the cost of offshoring software development is significantly lower than hiring full-time with U.S talent. For Senior Unity Developers in South America, the average salary is currently around $100,000 whereas a mid-level developer costs around $76,000.
How much do developers cost in Ukraine / Eastern Europe?
Eastern Europe shares very similar rates to South America, again due to the economic differences. When looking at salaries in Eastern Europe, data shows that a Senior Unity Developer costs around $100,000 on average.
Hourly Rates for Developers
Another way to look at developer costs is through hourly rates. While salaries are good to understand for hiring developers for full-time and long-term, you might just need a developer for a period of 3-6 months or 6-12 months. In these types of situations, it’s best to calculate your costs based on the hourly rates of a developer.
Below is a table that lists the various hourly rates of developers in different locations based on their job title.
Why Hire a Unity Developer?
Trio Unity developers are pre-vetted, interviewed, and then trained further to become true software professionals, capable of adapting to situations that are both within and outside of the scope of their general expertise.
At Trio, we hold our developers to a higher standard. Much like how elite special forces units recruit only the best from main branches of the military, we recruit developers who either show amazing potential or demonstrate exceptional skill. We then take their talents and sharpen them even further.
Another benefit of hiring a Trio developer is that you won’t incur the costs of hiring, which can add up to be around 30% of a developer’s salary on average, as well as overhead costs associated with full-time employment.
By working with Trio, you can enjoy a highly experienced full-time developer for a fraction of the cost, along with the added project management assistance.
To learn more, tell us about your project and we’ll get you started.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re looking for some information, but can’t find it here, please contact us.
Go to FAQ
You don’t need to code in Unity at all. But if you want to be unrestricted in the ways of game development, your developers should do whatever they can to improve their skills. This includes having some fundamental grasp of C#.
Unity happens to be very popular. But there are alternatives. If you’re interested, you can look into other popular game engines like Godot, Unreal, and Gamemaker.
Unity is an IDE so it doesn't abide by the same criteria as programming languages. That said, you can technically make a fully functional game in Unity, making it effectively full-stack.
Unity 3D is just what Unity was called years back due to the current edition and its 3D capabilities. Eventually, Unity 4.3 came along and introduced native 2D game design. After Unity 5, Unity changed its versioning system to correspond to the year of release. For instance, Unity 2017, Unity 2018, and so on.