Exploring this Job
The best way to learn how to become a Unity developer is to download the Unity software (https://unity3d.com/get-unity/download) and begin playing around and building things. Unity Technologies offers free personal licenses to developers who have had revenue or funding of less than $100,000 in the last 12 months. It also offers a free license to students who are enrolled in an accredited educational institution and who are at least age 13 (for those who live in the United States). Unity Technologies offers fee-based licensed to skilled developers. The company also provides a variety of useful tutorials and articles to help users get up to speed with the software. Visit https://store.unity.com for more information. Other useful resources from Unity Technologies include a Developer’s Corner (https://unity.com/developers-corner) and the Unity Blog (https://blogs.unity3d.com).
One important opportunity to check out is the National Student Leadership Conference's Game Design program (https://www.nslcleaders.org/youth-leadership-programs/game-design), which is held twice each summer at the University of Washington. Participants will learn about topics such as game mechanics, system thinking and design, Unity 3D C#, level development, sound effects and lighting, and prototyping, and they will use these skills to create their own game. Other opportunities are offered by the Digital Media Academy, which offers Intro to Game Design with Unity, Intro to Game Design with Unity, and other camps for students ages 12 to 18. Learn more at https://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/game-design-development-camps.
Learn how to code so that you have a general understanding of programming. Visit Codeacademy (https://www.codecademy.com), edX (https://www.edx.org), Coursera (https://www.coursera.org), and Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org), where you can learn take free or low-cost basic coding classes.
Talk to Unity developers about their careers. Ask your computer science teacher or school counselor to help set up an information interview or job shadowing experience.
A Unity developer is a software developer who has expertise in using the Unity game engine. Their job responsibilities vary by employer and the type of product that is being produced. But most Unity developers perform the following duties: develop designs or initial concept designs for computer games, VR or AR products, or other products that use the Unity game engine; meet with the design team to discuss design/concept ideas and specifications; design, build, and maintain efficient and reliable code (although a considerable amount of coding is now automated); and produce the audio features of the game or other products, such as character voices, sound effects, and music. During this process, many developers access resources at the Unity Asset Store, which offers artwork, 3D models, audio effects, and other design components. Developers also work on issues such as game functionality and user interfaces. They identify bugs within applications and work to resolve them. They continuously test the product during the development process to ensure that all bugs have been identified and functionality and user interface issues have been solved. It’s rare that any type of software or other product is completely error-free. When errors are discovered after a product is published, developers design and build software patches and upgrades to fix these issues. They continue to work to improve the product for future editions and/or apply the lessons they learned during the development process to create new products.
Lead Unity developers supervise other developers and are responsible for technical strategy and the execution of projects from concept to finished product.