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Unity game development for beginners and children: how to learn from scratch

Video games are one of the most popular hobbies of modern children. Nowadays it is difficult to meet a student who has never spent his free time in virtual worlds. Some of the most pressing issues discussed in parent chats and communities are often about computer games. Adults are concerned about the excessive attention of teenagers to gaming, and some even believe that it harms the young immature minds of schoolchildren. Fortunately, today's children have the opportunity not only to play, but also to create their own virtual worlds, as well as learn programming using video games. One of the most popular areas of teenage leisure is the development of Unity games for children. The Pixel Programming School talks about all the subtleties of teaching children how to create games.

According to a VTsIOM survey conducted in 2019, the majority of Russians are really concerned about this phenomenon. More than half of the respondents (58%) are confident that computer games negatively affect children's intellectual abilities, and the harm from such a hobby is greater than the benefit. However, these statistics contradict the opinion of the modern scientific community, which actively conducts various studies in the field of child cyberpsychology.

Teenagers create games in Unity courses for children. Photos are published with the permission of students and their parents.

In May 2022, a team of scientists from Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands published a study in which they examined the relationship between the amount of screen time and intellectual abilities of children. The results can be considered reliable, since the researchers tried to exclude genetic and socio-economic factors as much as possible.

The study involved 9855 children from the United States: all of them were nine to ten years old. Schoolchildren spent a lot of time in front of the screen: on average, they spent two hours a day watching TV or videos on the Internet, they played for the next hour, and they spent the last hour on social networks and messengers, chatting with friends. Two years later, the scientists checked the results of the children and surprised the scientific community with them: It turned out that the IQ of children who preferred video games and spent the most time in them was on average 2.5 points higher than that of their peers. Video lovers on the Web showed a similar result.

Many gamers admit that at least once in their lives they have thought about creating their own virtual world. For others, game development is a dream: they want to come up with their own characters, create unique locations and learn programming languages. In addition, game dev is an excellent career guidance test for schoolchildren: some of them, having tried to create their first game on Unity, later decide to devote their lives to modern technologies: They study at specialized courses on game development for children, enroll in specialized universities and build a successful career in IT companies.

Unity is a professional development environment where you can create games for more than 25 different platforms. Among them are computers with various operating systems, smartphones and tablets, virtual reality glasses and helmets, game consoles and other devices. Many professional developers prefer Unity, which indicates the popularity of this environment for creating games. However, contrary to popular belief, in order to create your first Unity project, you do not have to be an experienced programmer at all: you can take the first steps in game development using free video tutorials, and then deepen your knowledge in any suitable Unity programming courses for children.

Many enthusiastic gamers will be able to easily name at least a few games created on the Unity platform. Many of them were developed by independent developers or small studios. For example, the couple Keith Sheppard and Natalia Lukyanova* together released the bestseller of the last decade, Temple Run. In the first three days, the game surpassed the million downloads mark, and a few years later it was able to boast of the first billion. A similar success story happened with Monument Valley: the budget of the team of eight developers was $900 thousand, and the profit was over $5.8 million. Studios and programmers release a variety of Unity-based games every day, which become real hits. Here are some of them:

  • Genshin Impact (2020, miHoYo, China);
  • Sunless Sea (2015, Failbetter Games, UK);
  • Firewatch (2014, Campo Santo, USA);
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (2015, Moon Studios, Austria);
  • Cities Skylines (2015, Colossal Order, Finland);
  • Beholder (2016, Warm Lamp Games, Russia);
  • Cuphead (2017, StudioMDHR Entertainment, Canada);
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker (2018, Owlcat Games, Russia);
  • Beat Saber (2018, Beat Games, Czech Republic);
  • Forgotton Anne (2018, ThroughLine Games, Denmark);
  • Outer Wilds (2019, Mobius Digital, USA).

Developing a game that will become a bestseller is undoubtedly a difficult task, but it cannot be called impossible. The free Unity video tutorials for beginners and children offered by modern programming schools will help you learn the basics of working with this programming environment. And if something turns out to be unclear, you can sign up for special courses and ask all the questions to the teachers.

Novice programmers who are just starting out and learning how to develop Unity games for children will probably be interested in reading interesting facts about this platform. Unity combines convenience and simplicity, functionality and prevalence: all this contributes to the fact that talented developers choose it for their projects. And the built-in tools are enough to fully realize your imagination and show creative thinking in the process of programming on Unity for children.

  • The American video game developer Unity Technologies released Unity back in 2005, and since then it has quickly gained worldwide popularity.
  • The prevalence of Unity among programmers around the world is annually confirmed by figures. Thanks to this engine, over 50% of all existing mobile games have been created, as well as over 60% of VR and AR content.
  • The demand for Unity developers in the labor market is not just the beautiful slogans of programming schools. According to the LinkedIn U.S. Emerging Jobs report, this profession is among the fastest growing, promising and gaining well-deserved popularity.
  • Unity boasts an active developer community. Thousands of programmers working in the field of creating games using this engine communicate on thematic forums. If you have any problem during the development process, you just need to use a search engine: most likely, someone has already solved it. Novice developers can get help and support from more experienced colleagues, which motivates them to continue developing in their chosen field.
  • An extensive set of tools is available in Unity, which helps to significantly save developers' time. There are hundreds of ready-made models in the libraries, and thanks to the built-in tools, you can add animation, sound and various visual effects to the project with one click.
  • You can write code in the Unity programming environment in a variety of programming languages. Supported languages include C#, C++, JavaScript and others. In Unity game creation courses, children learn C#, since this language is considered one of the most common among game developers on the engine. In addition, Unity has many useful tools for testing and debugging code.
  • Great news for all young programmers who want to earn money by developing Unity games for children: the platform supports monetization in projects. You can integrate advertising, create paid games, release additional content, and use microtransaction and subscription services. Thanks to this, even schoolchildren who are taking the first steps in mastering Unity from scratch can earn money from their game.

If your child is interested in video games, invite him to spend time usefully and create his own virtual world using the Unity engine. It doesn't matter if you have or don't have programming experience: as practice shows, even beginners are able to master Unity development for children. There are many ways to learn how to create your own games — among them there are both paid and free options.

There are many Unity courses for children on the Internet, mainly in the video tutorial format. This is very convenient because you can follow the instructions in real time and find errors in a timely manner. Several completely free courses on creating Unity games for children with good reviews:

  1. YouTube playlist with lessons on creating Unity games for kids
  2. YouTube video tutorials on learning the C# language in Unity
  3. Free Unity 3D course from scratch

Video tutorials on creating games for children in Unity are a great opportunity to master the functionality of the engine, create your own virtual worlds from scratch and learn the popular C# programming language. Students who have successfully mastered the basics of game development in Unity often decide to deepen their knowledge and enroll in specialized programming courses. Even if a teenager does not choose game development as his future career, in such classes he will acquire many useful skills that he can apply in the future.

Children who are engaged in programming successfully develop many "soft" skills that are useful for life, called soft skills:

  • Logical thinking. In the process of developing the game, students face a variety of tasks and successfully solve them, which helps them to easily cope with any problems that arise in life in the future.
  • Creative thinking. In order to create a high-quality Unity game for children, it is necessary to come up with characters and work out the location, as well as prescribe interesting game mechanics. You can't do without a developed imagination here. The ability to find a non—standard approach is an important attribute of a good programmer, regardless of his age.
  • Responsibility and teamwork. Many games are created by development studios, in which responsibilities are distributed among different specialists. Even in programming courses, children try to work in a team and take a responsible approach to completing tasks, which helps them in the future.
  • Computer literacy. And although this skill is difficult to attribute to both soft and hard skills, nevertheless it is quite an important aspect in the issue of comprehensive child development. A teenager who decides to start creating computer games will inevitably have to understand in detail how computer hardware and software work. This is an important skill that will be useful to a student regardless of his future career plans.

It doesn't really matter which way a young programmer chooses to study Unity game development for children. The main thing is for the student to do what he loves and spend time usefully. If a child is interested in modern technologies, support his hobby: perhaps this will be his first step towards a career as a successful IT specialist.

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Это очень здорово, возможности в будущем для детей


Добрый день! Спасибо, что цените нашу работу)