Tag Archives: Unity3D

Getting Started with Unity3D on Linux

If you have any sort of interest in game development, you’ve probably heard of Unity3D. And if you’ve used it before, you probably know that it has for a long time been restricted to Windows and Mac in terms of development platforms. That changed recently, when they added support for Linux. In this article, I’ll show you how I set up Unity3D on my Kubuntu 20.04 installation, and if the distribution you’re using is close enough, the same steps will likely work for you as well.

First, go to the Unity3D Download page and grab the Unity Hub.

Download the Unity Hub, then open it.

After Unity Hub has finished downloading, run it. It’s a cross-platform AppImage, so you can either double-click it or run it from the terminal.

You have no valid licence… you filthy peasant!

Register an account on the Unity3D website if you don’t have one already. Once Unity Hub loads, it immediately complains about not having a licence. If you click “Manage License”, it will ask you to login. You can click on the resulting “Login” link, or else click the top-right icon and then “Sign in”, to log into Unity3D from Unity Hub.

This is where you sign in.
Reject cookies and login. Social providers are under the cookie banner.

Click “Reject All” to opt out of cookies. Then, sign in using your email address and password. Alternatively, if you log into your account using a social identity provider, you’ll find different providers’ icons under the cookie banner.

Now you’re back in the Licence page of Unity Hub. Wait a few seconds for it to activate, then click the “Activate New License” button:

After logging in, you can activate a new licence.

In the next window, select whichever options apply to you. If you’re just a hobbyist, Unity3D is free, so you can select the radio buttons as shown below. Click “Done” when you’re ready.

Choose the relevant options. Unity3D is free unless you’re a company making $100k or more.

You now have a licence! Click the arrow at the top-left to go to the Projects section.

Armed with a licence, go out of Preferences and back to the main sections.

If you try to add a new project, you’ll realise that you need to install a version of the Unity3D editor first. Head over to the Installs section to do this.

You can’t create a new project before you install a version of the Unity3D editor.

In the Installs section, click the “Add” button:

Add a version of the Unity3D editor from here.

Choose whichever version you prefer. The recommended LTS version is best if you need stability; otherwise you can use the latest and greatest version with the newest features.

Choose which version of the Unity3D editor you want to install. The recommended LTS is better for stability; if you’re just starting out, you don’t really need that and can go for the newest one instead.

Click “Next”, and you can now choose which platforms you want your builds to target and what documentation you want. If you’re just starting out, keep it simple and just leave the default “Linux Build Support” enabled. You can always add more stuff later if/when you need it.

Choose which platforms you want to target, and which documentation you want to include. If you’re just starting out, you don’t really care.

Click “Done”, and wait for it to install…

Grab some coffee.

When it’s done, head back to the Projects section. Click the “New” button to create a new project.

In the next window, select the type of project (3D by default), give it a name, and select a folder where your Unity3D projects will go (the new project will be created as a subfolder of this). Then click the “Create” button:

Choose project type, name and location.

Wait for it…

Nice loading screen…

And… that’s it! The editor then comes up, and you can begin creating your game.

The Unity3D editor, finally running on Linux.

If you need a quick place to start, check out my “Unity3D: Moving an Object with Keyboard Input” tutorial here at Gigi Labs, as well as my early Unity3D articles at Programmer’s Ranch.

Unity3D: Changing game speed and pausing

This article was originally posted on 4th August 2013 at Programmer’s Ranch using Unity3D 4.2.0f4. This updated version of the article uses Unity3D 5.3.4f1, and the source code is available at the Gigi Labs BitBucket repository. Syntax highlighting and a new screenshot have been added, and the text is slightly modified.

In this article, we’ll learn about controlling time in Unity3D. This allows us to easily pause the game, slow it down, or speed it up.

Create a new project and add a sphere to your scene via GameObject menu -> 3D Object -> Sphere. Next, create a new C# script by right clicking in the Project panel, and selecting Create -> C# Script. Name it Ball, and drag it onto your Sphere in the Hierarchy panel. Double-click the script to open it in Visual Studio.

We’re going to make a very basic bouncing ball just to be able to see the effects of our change in speed. Start off with the following code for the Ball script:

public class Ball : MonoBehaviour
    private Vector3 velocity;

    // Use this for initialization
    void Start()
        this.velocity = new Vector3(1.0f, 1.0f, 0.0f);

    // Update is called once per frame
    void Update()
        this.transform.position += this.velocity * Time.deltaTime;

        if (this.transform.position.x > 5.0f)
            velocity.x = -velocity.x;
        else if (this.transform.position.x < -5.0f)
            velocity.x = -velocity.x;
        else if (this.transform.position.y > 6.0f)
            velocity.y = -velocity.y;
        else if (this.transform.position.y < -5.0f)
            velocity.y = -velocity.y;

This will make the ball bounce when it reaches the sides of the screen. This may vary depending on your monitor so use whichever values work best.


Games look interactive because they generate a certain number of images (frames) per second, usually something between 30 and 60. Time.deltaTime is the time between one frame and the next; multiplying this by the velocity makes the ball move pretty uniformly.

Another important property of the Time class is Time.timeScale. This is a measure of how quickly scripts and animations run, and is set to 1.0f by default. We can change this to make the game run at different speeds. To try it out, add the following code to the Ball script’s Update() method:

        if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.P))
            Time.timeScale = 0.0f;
        else if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.N))
            Time.timeScale = 1.0f;
        else if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.F))
            Time.timeScale = 2.0f;
        else if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.S))
            Time.timeScale = 0.5f;

What we’re doing here is:

  • If the player presses ‘P’ (pause), we set the time scale to zero, effectively stopping any movement in the game.
  • If the player presses ‘N’ (normal speed), we set the time scale to the default of 1.0f.
  • If the player presses ‘F’ (fast), we set the time scale to double the normal speed.
  • If the player presses ‘S’ (slow), we set the time scale to half the normal speed.

This simple property allows you to not only pause the game, but also to play the game at different speeds. Several games including Starcraft and Warcraft 2 have settings that allow you to tweak the game speed in order to make it more challenging or less frenetic.


This article showed how a single line of code in Unity3D is enough to change the speed of a game or pause it. Although this was a very easy tutorial, I hope you will also find it very useful in any games you make!

Unity3D: Moving an Object with Keyboard Input

This is an updated version of the article originally posted on 24th May 2013 at Programmer’s Ranch. The original article used Unity 4.1.3f3, MonoDevelop, and 3D settings (2D in Unity didn’t exist back then), on Windows XP. This updated article uses Unity 5.2.2f1, Visual Studio 2015, and 2D settings, on Windows 10. Parts of the article have been rewritten, and syntax highlighting has been added.

The Unity3D game development engine has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It supports various target operating systems, can be scripted in various languages, has a large community, and is always evolving. In this article, we’ll see how we can set up a simple project and have the player move an object by pressing the arrow keys on the keyboard.

The first thing you will need to do is to download and install Unity from their website. Once you’ve installed it and gone through the initial registration screens, you can opt to create a new project:


Click on the “New” button (shown in the image above). Here, you can choose the name and location of your new project, as well as whether to use 3D or 2D settings. For this particular article it doesn’t matter; the original article used 3D settings, while for this updated version I’ve done everything using 2D settings.


Once you click “Create project“, your project will open in the Unity IDE.

From the GameObject menu, select 3D Object -> Cube to place a cube into the game world:


The cube will now be listed in the Hierarchy section – this section shows you a list of objects in your game world. You can also see the objects in the game world itself, in the left portion of the screen. If you click on the cube, you can see and manipulate its properties (e.g. position in the game world) in the Inspector:


Right click on the Assets panel inside the Project section, and create a new C# script:


The script appears under Assets. Call the script “Movement“. Then, double-click the script to edit it. This will launch an external editor, probably MonoDevelop or Visual Studio:


In the Update() method, add the following code:

if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.LeftArrow))
    Vector3 position = this.transform.position;
    this.transform.position = position;

What are we doing here? In Unity, you can attach scripts to objects in order to make them do stuff. In our case, we will attach this script to the cube to be able to move it with the arrow keys.

The “this” in a Unity script refers to the object that the script is attached to (e.g. the cube). Each object has a transform property, which contains stuff like its position in the world. The position consists of a Vector3 which contains the x-, y- and z-coordinates of the object in the world.

The code above simply makes the object move left when the left arrow key is pressed, by varying the x-coordinate of the object’s position. While it would normally make sense to modify x directly, you can’t do that in Unity.

In the external editor, build the project to make sure it compiles (F8 in MonoDevelop, or Ctrl+Shift+B in Visual Studio). Then, switch back to Unity. Drag the Movement script onto the Cube object in the Hierarchy section. Once you click on the Cube in the Hierarchy section, you should see the Movement script in the Inspector:


Now, Press the Play button at the top of the Unity interface to start playing. The world view changes into an interactive rendering of the game:


Test the game by pressing the Left Arrow key. Doing this should move the cube to the left:


Press the Play button again to stop the game. In the external editor, update the code to handle movement in all four directions:

if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.LeftArrow))
    Vector3 position = this.transform.position;
    this.transform.position = position;
if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.RightArrow))
    Vector3 position = this.transform.position;
    this.transform.position = position;
if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.UpArrow))
    Vector3 position = this.transform.position;
    this.transform.position = position;
if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.DownArrow))
    Vector3 position = this.transform.position;
    this.transform.position = position;

Press Play again in Unity to test it. Note that the cube returned to its original position. That is because each time you press Play, a new session is started with all objects having their default values.

So in this article, we have learned a few things about the Unity IDE, and we wrote a small script to move a cube in the game world. The intention was to get something working as quickly as possible, giving the reader a feel of working with Unity3D, while leaving details for other articles.