Even if you don’t have a knack for programming, you can still achieve a lot in Unity with tools from the Asset Store and artist and designer-friendly features natively integrated in the editor.
Create in Unity without code
It’s true that most of the interactive content you create in Unity relies on text-based programming. Unity supports the C# programming language, and there are two main areas that need to be understood: logic and syntax. You can think about the logic as ‘what’s supposed to happen’ and syntax as the language in which we communicate that.
However, if you have little or no experience with Unity or coding, and simply want to begin to understand some basic workflows and concepts, then we suggest that you download the free version of the Unity editor via the “First-time Users” option on our Getting Started page. During the download process you will be able to select a ready-made Microgame that will automatically open in the editor when you launch it.
With your Microgame open, you can immediately begin to make simple changes to it by following the interactive tutorials in the editor, that guide you step-by-step through your first creative tasks in Unity.
When you’re done with the tutorials, you can continue customizing your Microgame with our collection of Mods that enable you to build on and add to your microgame in a number of fun and simple ways.
There are also plenty of tools available in the Asset Store that help you get very far in your game creation with little or no coding. Take a look at three of the best in the following sections.
Visual scripting with Bolt
Bolt, which is free with all versions of Unity, gives you the ability to bring your visions to reality in a creative and visual way, thanks to its fully-featured visual scripting system developed by award-winning tool and game developer Lazlo Bonin. There’s no integration layer between Bolt and Unity which simplifies maintenance. Bolt will improve your ability to prototype rapidly, iterate and bring your ideas to life faster.
“I wanted to make a visual tool, a tool that’s meant to work for visual thinkers, people who enjoy good design and visual feedback, people who want to know what’s going on at a glance, know when and where there’s an error or warning.” (Lazlo Bonin, Bolt publisher)
Bolt in action
Laszlo Bonin started working on the Bolt visual scripting tool while he and his team were still working on the narrative, walk-around experience called Ephemera. They were looking for visual state machines that could help artists and animators contribute to the scene structure and gameplay, while still focusing on the core systems and coding.
With Bolt, you have immediate access to your own character classes and your own item classes, etc. You can just call functions from these inside the tool and set properties.
“I don’t have to do anything nor do my users: Bolt just automatically picks it up. It directly analyzes and reads the entire code base and gives you options.”
Visual scripting with PlayMaker
If you’re a designer or an artist who wants to realize your creative potential without coding, PlayMaker’s the way to go. You can quickly make gameplay prototypes and A.I behaviors, as well as animation graphs and interactive objects. This visual scripting tool was also used in games such as Hearthstone, INSIDE and Dreamfall Chapters.
"Playmaker is the smoothest and most intuitive way for non-coders to implement functionality into our games!" Andreas N Grøntved, INSIDE
PlayMaker in action
Playmaker is a visual scripting tool which replaces the text-based paradigm with a visual metaphor. The logic is expressed through graphics, wired together to create relationships, and syntax automatically expressed using pre-made Actions that can be selected from a list.
A tool like PlayMaker integrated in Unity empowers a lot of creators who are interested in game creation, the story, or relationship between characters and objects, without having to get down to the code syntax details.
If you want to see how it works, there’s a series of videos that explores how to create interactivity using visual scripting with PlayMaker.
Numerous game creators have struggled with getting right the code syntax and error compilers, but you don’t have to be stuck there. Get back to what’s important to you.
Visual scripting with Adventure Creator
Adventure Creator is the asset you need if you’re into making 2D, 2.5D or 3D games in Unity, no coding required. Its visual scripting system and intuitive Editor enables beginners to build an entire game without writing a line of code, and helps programmers plug-and-play their own functionality.
“It’s incredible, all of the tools needed to create a professional looking point-n-click game without having to type a single line of code. Plus the creator is super helpful and has pulled me through many issues and complex ideas I’ve had with his software.” (Ash Denton, Capital)
Adventure Creator in action
Another example of a tool that makes a non-coder’s life easier in Unity is Ash Denton’s story.
Ash found through the Unity community the Adventure Creator, an open ended and flexible tool that allowed him to get 2D characters in a 3D world. What’s great with this tool for a non-coder is that you can easily create node-based scripted events and buttons, and the scene manager organizes all the logic in a scene, including hotspots, navigation and triggers.
Learn basic coding in Unity
If you are interested in learning how coding works in Unity, we provide free resources on our Learn site, such as:
- Creator Kit: Beginner Code: In this short beginner project, you’ll explore the basics of C# code for Unity in the context of an action RPG.
- Create with Code: In this official course from Unity, you will learn to Create with Code as you program your own exciting projects from scratch in C#.
- C# Tutorials: A collection of bite-sized tutorials that explain how C# scripting works in Unity, for beginners and beyond. Start with the Beginner C# tutorials and then try the Intermediate C# tutorials.
You can also subscribe to Learn Premium, which gives access to an extensive collection of scripting tutorials from our team as well as Unity-approved content featured on partner platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Pluralsight, and Pathstream.
Unity for artists and designers
The Unity Editor is a creative hub for artists, designers, developers, and other team members. It includes 2D and 3D scene design tools, storytelling and cinematics, lighting, audio system, Sprite management tools, particle effects and a powerful dopesheet animation system. Get an overview of the feature set:
There are thousands of other assets available in the Unity Asset Store to cut down your development time even more: characters, textures, environments, animation assets, 3D models and audio assets, as well as editor extensions and complete projects.