1. Downloading Unity Online:
Open your web browser and navigate to www.unity3D.com. Click “Get Unity 5” from the link on the homepage. Scroll down to “Free Download” below the Personal Edition column. Click “Download Installer” and then click the UnityDownloadAssistant… .exe executable file that eventually shows up. Take note of the destination where you save the Unity folder. You will have to come back to it later.
2. Creating a New Project:
Open Unity, go to File -> New Project.
3. Customizing your Workspace:
Setting up your interface’s layout is a matter of personal customization. Everybody sets up their interface in the way that works best for them. This is a nice way that I have found works well for me:
Click the Window toolbar. From the Window toolbar, click Layouts. Select 2 by 3. From there, drag the “Project” tab below the “Hierarchy” tab. Set view slider to minimum on Project panel so that you can view the file names.
4. Organizing your folders:
Open your projects tab, right click on the assets folder and create new folder.
Create a Scripts folder.
Create a Scenes folder.
Save Scene 01 to Scenes Folder.
Create an Animations folder.
Create a Prefabs folder.
Create an Audio Folder.
5. Finding Assets in the Store:
Click the Window toolbar at the top of your screen and open the Asset Store.
It is recommended to dock the pop-up window next to your game window for easy reference.
Next, search for the “PSRC Starter Pack” in the Assets Store search bar. (If you don’t see the search bar in the top right corner of your window, you will need to expand the asset store window.) This is a free starter kit you can use for prototyping. Click the “download” button (make sure you see the progress bar start loading percentages) on the PSRC assets package.
Prepare ahead if you can:
If you're planning on attending a local 24-hour hackathon or Game Jam, try to install your game-making programs before the event. Otherwise, your download time will take several of the precious few hours you have!
Here are the top applications I recommend:
Unity 5 & Visual Studio Community edition for 3D and 2D games. (Two hour download time)
Construct 2, Game Maker Studio, or Stencyl for simple 2D games. (One hour download time)
RPGMaker for Role Playing Games.
RenPy for anime-style Visual Novels.
Adventure Game Studio for adventure games like Monkey Island.
Inform or Twine for text-based games.
For assets like art and sound, check out OpenGameArt.org and FreeGameArts. These sites contain mountains of 2D and 3D open source game art, though if you use anything, make sure you check the license it's under.
http://www.sortingh.at is an interactive tool made by Zoe Quinn that gives you personalized resources to help you get started making your first game.
[To Be Continued.]