Developed by Unity Technologies, Unity is a cross-platform game engine with a built-in editor. With early roots in indie game development, Unity is now well established and many companies are looking to hire Unity devs.
Unity is used to create games for desktop platforms, mobile platforms, game consoles, and web plugins. In fact, it is now often used as a generic term encompassing programming skills for computer engineers, developers, and designers.
The best way to master this game engine is to get as much practice as possible. The following guide includes project ideas for all levels of experience. We also give you an overview of the most important skills associated with Unity and show you templates you can use in your next project.
5 Skills That Unity Projects Can Help You Practice
Some Unity developers focus solely on the art of design, while others concentrate on source coding. Many developers, however, operate somewhere between, balancing their workflow in several areas and assisting users with troubleshooting. Whichever approach you prefer, here are five universal skills Unity developers need to progress in their career paths.
- C#. Unity uses C# as its primary programming language. In order to be proficient with this game engine, you will have to become comfortable with all the different aspects of C#, including variables, functions, and classes.
- Level Design. Good level design is needed to establish a game’s story and keep players engaged. Poor level design can ruin the overall game experience, even with flashy effects or detailed models.
- Arduino. The Arduino platform is based on open-source hardware and software that is easy to use. An Arduino board can take inputs from sensors and buttons and convert them into outputs. Knowing the Arduino programming language will give you access to a wide range of tools and allow you to create richer projects in Unity.
- Asset Store. Even with the proliferation of asset flip games on Steam and Itch.io, the Unity Asset Store is still relevant today. Developers procure assets here to enrich and populate their games. The store boasts a large library of models, SDKs, templates, and tools to improve your games.
A great way to master all these skills is by attending a Unity bootcamp. These programs will help you develop the technical skills required to become a Unity developer in a matter of months. The best Unity bootcamps allow you to experience hands-on learning while giving you access to extensive career support.
Best Unity Project Ideas for Beginners
If you only have basic knowledge of Unity, there are plenty of projects you can engage in to improve your skills. These beginner-level Unity projects will give you a good idea of how the engine works.
Target Shooting Game
- Unity Skills Practiced: C#, Raycasting
A target shooting game is an excellent first project for a Unity newbie. When you first use Unity, you’ll select a new project from the pop-up dialog box. You will need to choose an appropriate file directory for your basic first-person shooter (FPS) game. Additionally, you can use Raycasting to generate invisible lines from the player to whatever object they’re aiming at for precise gameplay mechanics.
3D Magnetic Block Breaker
- Unity Skills Practiced: Arduino, Infineon 3D Magnetic Sensor
Breakout, which Atari first released in 1972, is one of the first video games ever created and is considered a classic. Since its initial debut, users have replicated its source code on many different platforms. In recreating this project, you will employ the 2D catch game from the Unity engine and the Infineon 3D Magnetic Sensor to create your own creative version of this iconic video game.
Cute Magnetic Nyan Cat Game
- Unity Skills Practiced: Arduino, C#, Infineon 3D Magnetic Sensor
This cute Nyan cat project is slightly more challenging than the ones presented above. As with Breakout, you’ll use the Infineon 3D Magnetic Sensor for the game’s controls with a 2GO kit from Infineon and a magnetic rotator module. You’ll have to attach scripts to the objects inside the game with C#. This is what enables the in-game Nyan cat to move in real-time according to user input.
Additionally, we recommend using sprites for objects inside the game. The Unity library has plenty of cool sprites you can use. Although this is a beginner project, you can make it as complex as you want with the inclusion of collision detection, points, scoreboards, or even health bars.
Breath Training Game
- Unity Skills Practiced: Arduino, Infineon Sensor HUB Nano
This project is an excellent introduction to Infineon Sensor HUB Nano. The VR-compatible sensor operates via Bluetooth as a wireless controller through Unity. Since this game is focused on air pressure, the controller must be able to measure airflow correctly.
Pressure sensors inside a ventilated tube can detect inhalation and exhalation, read the breath pressure data and compare it to an in-game air balloon. Players can do this by filling up a virtual balloon with the controller.
- Unity Skills Practiced: C#
Pong is a well-known classic in the video game industry. Recreating it can be a great beginner-level project idea that will put your Unity skills to the test. Since many players are already familiar with Pong, it’s easy to develop this 2D game and troubleshoot any difficulties.
When you create a new project in Unity, choose the 2D option. Once you have set up your gaming environment and added appropriate layers, you’ll work on the paddles and the physics of the ball. You can manipulate the physics through the materials folder in Unity to adjust the ball’s bounciness and speed.
Best Intermediate Unity Project Ideas
If you’re feeling comfortable with Unity’s basic techniques, then consider trying out a more complex project to boost your skills. Here are some intermediate projects sure to test your skills with this game engine.
Arduino Serial Communication
- Unity Skills Practiced: Arduino, C#
This project challenges you to use a Unity program to interface your PC with a microcontroller. This is a great way to test your Arduino skills and gain access to a wide range of open-source tools that will help you create immersive experiences.
AR/VR Dinosaur Experience
- Unity Skills Practiced: VR, AR, Particle Photon Connection
In this project, you will integrate virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create a visual and highly interactive experience. You’ll use a GEO sensor as a controller through a particle photon connection in Unity to control the dinosaur’s movements through the VR environment.
In this preliminary project, the dinosaur is a simple picture and not a full 3D model. However, once you fully develop your virtual space, you can render the dinosaur into a complete 3D object.
Cloud-Controlled Augmented Reality Lightsaber
- Unity Skills Practiced: Littlebits, WebSockets
This Unity project has you integrate VR tools with real, physical devices using Littlebits. The goal is to control a lightsaber. The wireless connection is set up using a receiver, transmitter, and a cloud bit. These components ensure that all signals are sent to an AR application through WebSockets in Unity3D. By the end of the project, you’ll have created a fully immersive VR lightsaber experience.
Home Pantry Management Server
- Unity Skills Practiced: Android Application Development
Here is a chance to build a practical home pantry management application and create new recipes with ease. In this project, you will make an Android application for entering information about your pantry, including the prices of the products you usually buy.
For this application to work, you’ll need two laptops. The first laptop acts as a remote terminal connected to the application server and updates the software. The second laptop shows the application interface where the user can view information about the pantry, shopping lists, and prices of the products.
- Unity Skills Practiced: GitHub, C#
Arcade shooters have been a staple in gaming for decades. In this project, you’ll be making an action-packed shooter where the character is perpetually on the move from enemy attacks. The arcade shooter will include projectile mechanics and interactive 3D physics for an action-packed gaming experience. The game should have an interactive menu, level progression, and sound management. We recommend using GitHub for adding assets.
Advanced Unity Project Ideas
Once you’ve mastered the basics, there are plenty of advanced projects out there to improve your specialized skills even further. The following projects are perfect for advanced Unity users looking for their next challenge.
- Unity Skills Practiced: Google Firebase, C#
In this unique project, you will construct an inexpensive aquaponics system using Unity and recycled materials. By the end of the project, you’ll have a great new home for your fish. To complete this project, you will need Unity, Google Firebase, and the appropriate hardware to ensure a proper connection between the tank and your software. You will also need a fish tank and a planter for growing plants inside the aquaponics system.
Virtual Educational Book
- Unity Skills Practiced: UDOO DUAL, Vuforia SDK
In this project, you will explore how AR can be used to create educational activities for museums. The key feature of this project is its interactive learning, where visitors can discover the museum’s content by browsing a virtual book on a screen. This interactive software is created using the Unity authoring tool, Vuforia SDK (a Unity extension for augmented reality applications), and a UDOO (a quad-core ARM microchip).
Virtual Home Assistant
- Unity Skills Practiced: Arduino
A virtual home assistant is an excellent project for anyone wishing to put their advanced Unity skills to the test. Your virtual assistant can control all home electrical appliances, including TVs, fans, and lights.
The virtual assistant will also be able to turn appliances on or off and change their volume or speed with voice-control commands from the user. For this project, you’ll need to use an Android app interface connected with Arduino via Bluetooth.
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- Unity Skills Practiced: Arduino, Engineering
This expert project involves controlling a robotic hand and saving hand animations for playback. You’ll use Leap Motion to track your hand movements. Arduino will send PWM signals for activity from sensors located on each finger.
This project provides insight into how professionals replicate characters and physics principles to create a lifelike gaming experience. Assembling the motion capture software for your hand also gives you some insight into wiring schematics and engineering.
- Unity Skills Practiced: Arduino, Android Studio
If you include this touchless ATM project in your Unity portfolio, you are guaranteed to stand out from your competitors. You’ll develop a system that allows users to withdraw money from an ATM without touching the machine.
To create this AR experience, you will use Unity and Arduino sensors in conjunction with Android studio. You’ll design the schematics and format the source code to make your virtual ATM fit your specific needs.
Unity Starter Project Templates
Using a template can save you a lot of time and effort, especially if you are a beginner. Templates provide code samples required to start any project as well as some other handy tools. Below, we show you some of the best templates to use in Unity projects. You can find all of them on the official Unity documentation site.
- 2D Template. You can use these templates for your 2D app projects. They include texture import, sprite packer, and scene view, among other features.
- 3D Template. Beginners will find that these templates are great time-savers for their 3D app projects. Use these templates if the app you are creating requires Unity’s built-in rendering pipeline.
- 3D with Extras Template. This template is great if you plan on using Unity’s renderer and post-processing features. It also includes several presets to jumpstart the development process.
- High Definition RP (Preview) Template. Based on the Scriptable Render Pipeline (SRP), this template implements advanced material types. In addition to the new post-processing stack, the template includes several presets to help jumpstart development.
- Universal Render Pipeline Template. The Universal Render Pipeline Template is ideal for projects where performance, comprehensive platform support, and ease of customizing graphics are the primary considerations.
Next Step: Start Organizing Your Unity Portfolio
After successfully completing several projects with Unity, you will want to show them off. To land a job as a Unity specialist, you’ll need to present your work in a professional portfolio. A well-written and organized portfolio will catch and hold the reader’s eye and increase the chances of getting hired as a Unity expert. Here are some tips to make your Unity portfolio more professional.
Create a Personal Site
The age of the paper-based portfolio is long gone. Today’s programmers have all their work on the web as part of a personal site that not only showcases what they are capable of but also reflects their professionalism and artistic sensibilities. Your online portfolio should have your best projects as well as a page that acts as a resume and in which you explain your educational background, work history, and skills.
Arrange It Logically
Your Unity portfolio should be easy to navigate. The best programming portfolios have a logical structure and a captivating design to impress potential employers. We recommend arranging your projects by type of product and main technologies involved. For example, you could have a section for video games, another for augmented reality, and one more for animatronics.
Add a Skills Page
Unity Projects FAQ
Not at all. In fact, this engine is perfect for making 2D games. A lot of amazing 2D games have been created with this platform. There are other great game engines out there that you can use for 2D projects. Ultimately, which engine you use is a matter of preference.
Unity games can run on Windows, macOS, and Linux as well as mobile platforms like Android and iOS. You can also play them on consoles like PS4, PS5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Stadia. Unity is also compatible with WebGL.
C# is Unity’s language of choice. C# is an object-oriented scripting language.
It is relatively easy to get started with Unity as there are several tutorials available and a great developer community willing to assist you on your learning journey. However, if your goal is to get an entry-level Unity role, you will have to master the C# programming language.
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