This new pre-release package helps Unity developers create In-Editor interactive tutorials for their Editor tools and projects.
In-Editor tutorials (IET) began as an internal tool that teams across Unity used to create interactive tutorials for learning projects, such as the LEGO® Microgame.
Starting with Unity 2021.1, the IET packages will be made publicly available. The IET packages support Unity 2019 and 2020, but they are not publicly visible in the Package Manager. If you use 2021.1 beta, however, the packages will appear as pre-release packages (which you must enable in the settings). You can find out more about the new package lifecycle in this forum post.
The In-Editor Tutorials consist of two packages, Tutorial Framework and Tutorial Authoring Tools. Tutorial Framework is required to be able to create and run interactive In-Editor tutorials (simply “tutorials” hereafter). The Tutorial Authoring Tools package provides menu items for setting up the project foundation and creating tutorial content for the most common use cases. You have the option to start a new blank tutorial, or take on the ready-to-use tutorial, which includes a few preset tutorial pages that you can easily customize.
The use cases for tutorials mainly belong in teaching environments, where a tutor can easily create sample projects with accompanying instructions and tasks for their students. It is also useful for large collaborative projects, where new information and specific tools must be explained to new contributors. Another use case involves tutorials with custom tools that can be shared with others.
The upcoming In-Editor Tutorial Framework 2.0.0 and the IET Authoring Tools 1.0.0 are supported by 2019.LTS and 2020.LTS, as well as 2021.1 versions of the Unity Editor. As the name suggests, the tutorial content created with the In-Editor Tutorial packages is Editor-only and not currently suitable for creating runtime or in-game tutorials. At the moment, this package only provides UI functionality (no public APIs).
IET contains the functionality to implement a welcome dialog with a customizable button row for your project.
The main component of IET is the Tutorial window, which runs the tutorials available in the project.
Incorporating tutorials in your project allows your players to fully understand how to use it.
Tutorials can take the form of passive walkthroughs or contain specific tasks that the user must complete in order to progress.
Tutorials typically contain instructions for the players to complete before advancing to the next step or page of a tutorial. You can validate the completion of these instructions against a set of predefined “criteria,” such as selecting a certain object in the Hierarchy or Inspector window. It is also possible to write custom “criteria” for evaluating more complex actions. You can then auto-advance a tutorial to the next page once a task is complete.
Masking and highlighting
To help the users understand where to focus their attention – or prevent them from accidental errors when following a tutorial – you can use IET to highlight or mask the different parts of the Editor and their elements (like Controls in the toolbar, labels, etc.)
A powerful feature of IET is the tutorial author’s ability to incorporate their own code as callbacks for various phases of the tutorial execution. This makes it possible to set up the scene or outline the completion criteria, as desired, before a user begins a specific tutorial.
You can customize the style for both Light and Dark themes from the settings asset.
It is possible to add links in the main tutorial window, so you can include relevant project material, such as documentation, videos or other supporting content from the web.
Tutorials can be localized into the languages currently available in both Hub and Editor: Japanese, Korean and Chinese.
To see how we use the IET system at Unity, download and try one of our Microgames, like the LEGO® Microgame mentioned earlier. The packages’ documentation can be found here for the Tutorial framework, and here for the Tutorial Framework Authoring Tools. If you have additional questions, don’t forget to visit the Tutorial Framework forum space.
There’s still time to try 2021.1 while it’s in beta. It includes over 2,100 fixes and more than 280 features and updates. Get the latest version from the Unity Hub or on our download page.
Take it out for a spin, and if you run into any issues, submit a bug report to qualify for your chance to win one of four ultrawide IPS 34” 144 Hz monitors. Remember, the beta is not intended for use in production-stage projects, and you should always make sure to back up your existing projects if you plan to use them with the beta.