To kick off our brand new regular feature – Develop Top Tips – we spoke to Unity Technologies to find out about some of the engine's best kept secrets.
Community evangelist Joe Robinns compiled the ten tips below: features and tricks that will make life that little bit easier for any Unity developer.
We'll be bringing you more top tips every month. Next time: Unreal Engine.
TOP TIPS: THINGS TO TRY IN UNITY
1. When first starting out with Unity, some forget that they are in Playmode. Go to ‘Preferences’, then ‘Colours’, then ‘Playmode Tint’ to make it a more memorable colour. (See right)
2. To simply and easily position a camera, find the angle you want by navigating in the scene view, select the main camera and select “Align With View”. Or use the shortcut: Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+F.
3. Don’t have quite the asset you are looking for in the project view? Type your search terms in the project view, then change the search from “Assets” to “Asset Store”. This will allow you to preview assets on the store without even having to open it. (See left)
4. When rotating an object, hold down Ctrl/Cmd to snap the rotation. This same method also applies to moving an object. The default snap values can be altered in the Edit menu under Snap Settings.
5. Here’s another Snapping trick: by holding down the V key, you can select and place objects using vertex snapping. This can be especially helpful when constructing levels out of modular geometry.
6. Clicking the blue ‘?’ book on a component in the inspector takes you directly to the local documentation on that component. (See below)
7. Found your perfect values while testing and playing in Playmode? Click the small cog-shaped icon in the top right of your component in the inspector and then click “Copy Component”. You can then paste these values directly back in when you exit Playmode.
8. Use the “Layers” button to show and hide layers. For example, you could create a custom layer for gameplay objects like spawn points and use the layers drop down to hide them.
9. In the profiler, the coloured squares next to the things you profile – Drawcalls, Scripts, Rendering, VSync and so on – are buttons you can toggle on and off to reduce clutter. (See below)
10. Are you unhappy with the default layout of your views? Feel free to pick a different layout or entirely customise your own version and save the layout so it’s easy to come back to later.
Got tips of your own? Share them in the comments below.
Got a game development tutorial you'd like to share on Develop? Contact Craig Chapple at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.