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Unity Asset Store The "IKEA" For Game Developers

by Koen Deetman on 09/24/13 09:42:00 am

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutras community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

"Game Development" as the word already describes, takes a lot of time in the creation of assets. Thirthy years ago Game Development teams consisted out of a few programmers. Usually one programmer could do programming, game design and visuals all at once. The time to develop a game could have been six weeks for example. As the game projects and teams became larger, development time grew longer. Now big companies run their own engines or have licensing contracts for game engines. Today the industry has some new players in town called "Indie Developers". These developers are able to develop and launch games on their own with all the associated risks of course. Game Development is becoming much easier with tools like the "Unity 3D engine". Unity Technologies therefore also offers a (now) large "Asset Store" for developers to consult. A very handy place for developers to save up time in their game development. I will describe a few assets that could save time and still keeps your game unique from others to distinguish.

source:http://www.spaceunity.com/category/unity-asset-store/

Mega-fiers

Complex deformation for your 3D models. Animation can drain a large part of game development. Mega-fiers offers some great and simple deformation tools to change your models without having to animate them. In some cases it can come in very handy if you want to have quick animations. Besides the most important animations in your game, you can choose to use Mega-Fiers for certain background animations or sequences.

source:https://d2ujflorbtfzji.cloudfront.net/package-screenshot/80fc4e4d-1b0a-45ff-a8a3-76c123baf470_scaled.jpg

Weather Systems & Skyboxes

Special effects like rain and wind can juice up your game in realism and make the game feel "alive". These are usually polishing chores that could greatly lengthen your development time. Unity Asset Store offers different types of weather systems that could help your game look more realistic or feel like a more convincing world. There are a lot of skyboxes available to fit your type of game. Maybe your game takes place with a beautifull starry night above you. Or you want to have a nice sunset to feature in your game. Skyboxes are easily implemented in Unity projects. It would directly mean you do not have to plan and finance an artist to do this job.

source:https://d2ujflorbtfzji.cloudfront.net/package-screenshot/A8BF31D8-5650-11E0-9EFB-01180A232548.png

Generators

If you feel completely lazy, you can always choose to buy an asset that creates a complete environment for you. For example "Digital Forest" created a very nice and complex "Dungeon Generator". It only takes a few minutes changing up some sliders to generate your type of dungeon. It is of course possible to mix up the models, or replace them by your own 3D models to create a unique feel. This would be a handy tool if your game design needs a lot of programming but doesn't matter in what environment it takes place.

source:https://d2ujflorbtfzji.cloudfront.net/package-screenshot/faca984c-3157-45a2-a09d-65efb67fbc57_scaled.jpg

Unity Asset Developer
Besides developing games and "using" these assets. You can always decide to create assets yourself. Recently Unity Techonologies CEO David Helgason explained how this Asset Store market is growing and asset developers making profit. I do know a few developers changing their strategies by having part of their company work on assets while the others spend time developing a game.

Concluding

I think it's a great initiative to help game developing companies focus on original gameplay instead of re-inventing the wheel for certain assets. Of course not everything is replaceable, you have to create assets that makes your game different from others. It can just help you and your team in some ways without spending too much development time.

What assets do you think are great? Did you buy any assets for your game?

/Koen

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