This past summer, before the war shuffled our priorities, I had the opportunity to teach a beginner’s course in Unity at The Academic College of Tel-Aviv, Yaffo/ Targeted at CS students curious about video games, this course gave me an opportunity to revisit Unity’s basics, and experience teaching for the first time.
👾 I’m delighted to show my students’ projects in the attached video! 👾
(You’ll have to click on it though)
In just eight short weeks, they learned about Unity’s game loop and inputs, Asset Pipeline, Physics, Animation, UI, Pathfinding, Programming Patterns (Singleton, Object Pool), AR, and even some basic VR concepts. Amidst their other courses and schoolwork, they managed to create some impressive games, even though I didn’t get around to teaching them how to polish their games’ visuals—a skill that might require eight YEARS, not mere weeks.
🎓 So, what did I learn from teaching Unity? 🎓
- Nothing, and I mean nothing, is “obvious” to everyone. Not a single mouse click. Successfully teaching a technological tool requires a delicate balance of being coherent and focused on context, without omitting details. It’s crucial to continually remind students of the context when demonstrating specific actions.
- Almost every topic in game development is interconnected with others. Untangling the web of terms, acronyms, features, and implementations is gradual. It’s essential to revisit everything at least three times, each from different perspectives.
- Students tend not to ask questions when they’re shown something, but will have all the questions when they try to replicate it by themselves. Teaching them how to seek answers early on is vital—they’ll need this skill if they aspire to work in this field.
- This might not be a new insight, but it’s worth repeating: the best way to truly learn something and ensure a solid understanding, while identifying any gaps in knowledge, is to teach it to someone else. The accompanying anxiety ensures thorough preparation.
In the next few months, I’m planning to revamp this course to focus more on the programming aspects of Unity development, along with some of the latest Unity features, to give my students the competitive edge our local industry requires. Stay tuned! 🚀