“Learn to code.” It’s been the mantra of the past decade, and for many creatives, a daunting or even pointless prospect. Where do you even start? And who has the time? Well, sheltering in place, and a little help from Unity—the world’s most popular video game engine—may provide these answers!
Starting this week, Unity is offering a free, seven-week course with live instruction on how to build interactive software from scratch, with no prior expertise required. Called Create to Code Live, the course offers 35 hour-long classes that run twice a day starting this week (replays are also available if you can’t make the times). Between classes, you do 30 minutes of homework to prep for the next session. The curriculum starts with fundamentals of the C# programming language and works toward developing character controls, sound design, core game mechanics, and user interface. It should be satisfying work because, rather than just staring at command lines, you’ll be building worlds while learning best practices in interaction design.
Of course there are countless Unity tutorials on YouTube, but this is a rare opportunity to follow a free, instructor-certified course complete with assignments. And Unity is worthwhile to learn, given that it’s free to use for anyone who makes under $100,000 with its platform. You can make a mobile, console, virtual reality, or Mac game in Unity. And like its competitor, the Unreal Engine, it’s even used by some animators in lieu of more traditional 3D animation software.
Then again, if game development isn’t on your horizon, there are plenty of other ways to spend your time under quarantine learning new skills. You might also check out our list of famous illustrators who are running drawing classes here.