Unity is available on itopia CloudApps Classroom in early access state. The application is made available to classes but the best practices and full compatibility with the platform is still under development. While it may not be fully compatible with your teaching curriculum at this time, itopia values your feedback in validating and improving your experience with early access CloudApps.
If the approaches below are not working for you, or if you have any direct feedback, please use this form to provide feedback.
In this article, we'll review:
What is Unity?
Unity is a cross-platform game engine that is used for developing video games, simulations, and other interactive content. It was developed by Unity Technologies and was first released in 2005.
Unity is used in a variety of educational settings, including K-12 schools, universities, and vocational training programs. It is often used to teach computer science, game development, and other technical skills, as well as to create interactive content for use in other subject areas such as history, biology, and physics.
Unity has two main components, the Unity Hub and the Unity Editor. The Unity Hub is where you manage your projects, licenses and templates. The Unity Editor is where you build and develop content.
Sign in using Unity Hub. Unity uses named user licenses. Each student must sign in using their Unity account to acquire a license.
There are multiple versions of the Unity Editor, and only the (Long Term Support) LTS versions are available on CloudApps Classroom. If you have existing projects or assets that are not compatible with one of the pre-installed versions, they must be migrated to one of the supported editor versions before they will work. The Unity Hub will attempt to download missing editor versions automatically, but this will fail because the student user is prohibited from installing new software on the virtual machine.
If you still need a specific version of the Unity Editor with your lab curriculum, contact itopia support and ask about our professional services for custom images and pricing.
Working with Project Files and Asset Packages
Unity projects are made up of many assets, modules and files. An empty project can generate hundreds or thousands of small source files needed to build your game. The ephemeral nature of the virtual machine means that these files are not persisted and must be saved to an external location.
Google Drive and other cloud based storage options are not designed to handle folders with lots of small files and Unity projects cannot be saved directly to Google Drive. The desktop and student folder on the instance should also be avoided as it runs on a different filesystem and does not have the performance needed to handle many small files.
Use Unity Package Files to export your assets and save them to Google Drive. Unity package files are a single file like a zip file that contains only the essential assets needed in your project. This single file is much smaller than the entire project directory and can be copied to Google Drive and loaded directly from it.
Follow the steps below for abbreviated instructions on how to import and export a unitypackage file.
1. Sign in to Google Drive. This is where unity asset package files will be loaded from and saved to.
2. Create an empty project using the 3D or 2D core base. External assets will be imported to this empty project.
3. Save the project to C:\Unity Projects
- Saving the project outside of the student home or desktop will increase performance.
- Keep in mind that any projects outside of this folder will not be persisted across sessions.
4. In the Unity Editor, import the .unitypackage file from Google Drive to the empty project by going to Assets > Import Package > Custom Package
5. When you are finished, export your work as a unity package and save it to Google Drive by going to Assets > Export Package… Do not include the sample scene in your export.
Note: This process takes 2 to 5 minutes every time you launch a new session.