Inspection & Dissection: Ping! – My First Game in Unity

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the > experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

Douglas Adams

Available at my project page

Why Such a Simple Game?

Because I wouldn’t have made a game otherwise. You need to affirm any skills in the most basic of games. Even if it kills you making a game so boring, at least you’ve made a game and proved that you can do it. It is an important lesson to learn that you will lose interest in a project and you will have to force yourself to carry on through the mid-development slog. To get around this you have to break a project into stages and set small goals. For instance, while making pong you may set yourself the goal of making a paddle that moves with keyboard inputs and can collide with things, next you might set the goal of making a ball that can bounce off of walls, next a working scoring system and so on. Another important thing to remember is you are almost definitely doing this as a hobby so don’t spend hours forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do. Sometimes you do have to face it but it is almost always better leaving it and waiting until the next day to finish it when you have a clear head and can be bothered to continue. Burnout can often strike.

Where did you start?

First I only had the idea of making a game in unity, that’s it, so I watched a series by the excellent YouTube channel Brackeys that put me on the first step to knowing what I would have to do to make a game. I then decided on pong due to the reasons answered in the previous question. If I got stuck, I consulted the Incredible Unity Documentation, Google or follow a guide by Awesome Inc. Whilst the guide was necessary for some parts, specifically the ball bouncing, I made sure I did as much as I could with only the Unity documentation and Google searches as I often found on previous years of false starts I would just copy code and not learn anything whereas figuring out these things yourself means you are much more engaged and likely to remember it.

How do you think the game turned out?

As my first serious game, I am pleased. The game could be made more fun with more sporadic ball movements and a single player A.I. The paddle also glitches out slightly if you keep hitting into walls but it was meant to be nothing more than proving to myself that I can make a game in Unity. It has taught me the necessary skills and I have learned from the experience enough to move onto a slightly bigger project (not much bigger). Game development is a game in itself, you start off with a tutorial then make your way up increasingly difficult stages, you wouldn’t jump into a level 50 area when your only level 5 and you wouldn’t go straight to the glowing sea in fallout 4 when all you’ve got is a is vault jumpsuit and a baseball bat.