Unity DOTS Roll-A-Ball – Entities 0.17 Update

Nearly two years ago I posted my first Unity DOTS/ECS tutorial onto the Turbo Makes Games YouTube channel. This tutorial was a recreation of the classic Unity Roll-A-Ball tutorial using Unity's Data-Oriented Technology Stack and their Entity Component system. Though many of the main concepts hold up two years later, a lot has changed in Unity ECS since then... The tutorial was originally created on Entities version 0.5 and the current version in early 2022 is 0.17. I do intend on creating a full update of this tutorial to show all the changes and best practices; however, I want to…

by Johnny Thompson
January 22, 2022

Feature Friday #12 – Text Mesh Pro

In last week's Feature Friday, we discussed the basics of setting up UI in Unity. This week we are going to take it a bit further. Last time we were only using Unity's built in Text components to display some simple text to the screen. With that, there were some basic configuration options, but it comes nowhere close to what you can do with Text Mesh Pro. Despite the "Pro" moniker - Text Mesh Pro is a free package that gives you much better looking and more configurable text. In fact, Unity saw that this package was so good, that…

by Johnny Thompson
February 5, 2021
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Feature Friday #11 – UI Visual Elements

Something I've said many times on the Turbo Makes Games YouTube channel is how important it is to constantly give feedback to your players so they know what is going on in your game. This can be as subtle as a short sound effect or controller vibration or something more complex like displaying relevant information on the screen or playing an animation. The player always needs to feel like they have in impact on and are being impacted by your game or they will lose interest. One of the most common ways to provide feedback to your player is though…

by Johnny Thompson
January 29, 2021
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Feature Friday #10 – Input Part 2

Two is better than one! This week for Feature Friday we are continuing were we left off last week in our discussion regarding player input. Because our players interact directly with our games, it is important that we setup our input correctly for them to have the best experience with it. Today we'll dive deeper into things we can do with input such as: Mobile InputLocal MultiplayerCreating Your Own Input Controller If you aren't already familiar with the basics of input in unity (mouse, keys, buttons, axes) then I'd highly suggest checking out the previous Feature Friday article where we go over…

by Johnny Thompson
January 15, 2021
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Feature Friday #9 – Input

I hope you had a fantastic first week of the new year! Let's make 2021 the best year ever for game development. As with all my Feature Friday emails, I'll be breaking down a specific feature of the Unity game engine. This week we'll be going over a very important topic that relates to player interaction - input. It is important to properly understand the different ways to use Input in Unity so you can most effectively take input from the player and translate that to actions in your game. So today we'll be going over: How to Take in…

by Johnny Thompson
January 8, 2021
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Feature Friday #8 – Packages

Happy New Year! This year we're starting off strong with a Feature Friday dedicated to something that is becoming increasingly more used in Unity - Packages. This week we'll learn: What are Packages in Unity?How to Use Packages in Your ProjectsHow to Create Your Own Custom Packages And as always, I'll be featurning some other Unity content at the end of this article. This week I am featuring a livestream from two very experienced Unity developers with the same first name. It's pretty long, but you can listen to it in the background like a podcast when you are doing…

by Johnny Thompson
January 1, 2021
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Feature Friday #7 – Presets

I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season and that you get some time to relax/spend time with those who matter most to you, even if it is over a Zoom call. I'm sure you've got a lot going on right now as we close out this year, so I am going to keep this week's Feature Friday brief. And I can tell you that this week's feature will save you a ton of time when you are developing. This week we are going to be talking about Presets. Using Presets, we can save configuration values as an…

by Johnny Thompson
December 25, 2020
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Feature Friday #6 – Time

I hope you're ready for another exiting edition of Feature Fridays! I'm not going to waste any time before talking about the feature we'll be looking at this week: Time! As video games are ran and simulated in real time, the concept of time sits at the core of the games we create. Fully understanding the ways time works in Unity will allow us to deliver better and more engaging experiences to our players. So today we'll discuss: How Time Works in UnityFixed TimeModifying Time (Fast/Slow Motion) And don't forget, at the end of each Feature Friday article, I feature a…

by Johnny Thompson
December 18, 2020
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Feature Friday #5 – Scriptable Objects

This Friday we are going to be discussing a topic I know many of you are eager to learn more about: Scriptable Objects. You may have heard rumors about the mystical powers Scriptable Objects hold or how they will change your game development. Well I'm here to tell you that Scriptable Objects are not magic, however they are still an extremely useful tool we can add to our knowledgebase as game developers. So today I'm going to talk about: What are Scriptable Objects?How to Create and Use Scriptable ObjectsAdvanced Uses of Scriptable Objects And make sure you read all the…

by Johnny Thompson
December 11, 2020
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Feature Friday #4 – Components

It's Friday, and you know what that means, it's time for another edition of Feature Fridays! I'm excited to break down another feature of the Unity Game Engine for you this week. This week we are going to be talking about another core part of Unity, one that you will use just about every time you use Unity, and that is: components. Components are the building blocks of GameObjects and are what give them their behaviors and properties. So today we will discuss: The Basics You Must Know about ComponentsCreating and Customizing Your Own ComponentsComponents Interacting with Each Other And…

by Johnny Thompson
December 4, 2020
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Feature Friday #3 – MonoBehaviours

To all my fellow Americans, I hope you enjoyed yourself a safe and happy Thanksgiving. And to all the readers across the globe, I encourage you to take a moment to be thankful for everything you have in your life and to spend some extra time with those who matter most to you. I am so thankful for all of you reading, and I am excited to talk about making video games with you all today - so lets get into it! In the Unity game engine, most things that we interact with are special classes inheriting from the Unity…

by Johnny Thompson
November 27, 2020
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Feature Friday #2 – Coroutines

Hope you've had a great week so far, and here's to heading into the new weekend with some knowledge on coroutines! Way back when I first discovered coroutines, I was really confused by them - I didn't quite understand how they worked and what they could do for me. But once I took a short amount of time to learn about them, they have immensely improved my game programming skills. I use coroutines in just about every single project I work on and are an essential part of my development toolbelt. So in this Feature Friday, we'll be dissecting coroutines,…

by Johnny Thompson
November 20, 2020
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Feature Friday #1 – Attributes

Happy Friday! Hope you've had a splendid week. Today we are going to be discussing attributes. You likely have seen these before in C# scripts as little tags above sections of code. Most of the time in Unity, these tags are shown to change how certain things appear in the editor, but they can do much more than just that. Today we'll go over: What Attributes Are and How to Use ThemOverhauling Script Inspector Windows with Attributes3rd Party Attributes and Creating Your Own Custom Attributes And make sure you read to the end because I'll be featuring an upcoming game…

by Johnny Thompson
November 13, 2020
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Feature Friday #0 – The Inspector Window

Today is an exciting day because I am introducing a new initiative called "Feature Fridays!" Every Friday you can expect an article from me where I do a deep dive into a particular feature of the Unity game engine. Also I will be featuring a video game, tutorial, or asset pack made with Unity that I find particularly interesting. This is going to be a great way to dive a little deeper into some features of the Unity game engine so you can work with these tools and build games much more effectively. Also it will be fun to see…

by Johnny Thompson
November 6, 2020
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