Unity is still the only major game-engine with an effective, established Asset Store. This is an enormous benefit to game developers – but do you feel you’re making full use of it?
I’ve bought and used hundreds of Unity plugins, models, scripts, etc from 3rd parties. I’ve found some amazing things that transformed my development.
TL;DR: please share your recommended assets using this form: http://goo.gl/forms/G3vddOdRL3
Things we want to improve
This is a shortlist; if you’ve got areas you want to improve, please add a comment.
Challenge 1: Value
Quality is immensely variable – there are no standards on pricing. So sometimes you get an asset worth $30 and it’s free (amazingly). Other times you pay $30 and the asset is so poorly supported, and badly written, that you feel it’s not worth anything at all.
Unity has an excellent refund policy: basically, if you feel you were mis-sold, you get a quick, easy refund. (allegedly – I’ve never tried to get it, but I know others who have, and said it went fine).
Challenge 2: Quality
The Asset Store lets you see a few screenshots and a very hard-to-read description, along with optional customer short-reviews. But we’re an audience of experts! We can write – and we need – detailed, expert reviews.
Challenge 3: Comparison
Most things have 20 or more competing solutions on the Asset Store, but when you’re looking at one, you can’t see any of the others (unless they randomly appear on the listing). Most of the time, an asset is “almost but not quite right”, and you need direct competitors you can compare to.
Bonus: if this happened more, we’d see more competition-driven improvements to assets.
Challenge 4: Compatibility
Many assets are incompatible with common / standard assets. They shouldn’t be. But with no-one holding the authors to account, there’s no reason for them to change this.
On the other hand, many assets claim compatibility with each other, which boosts their sales. So compatibility guides should help everyone.
Challenge 5: Discovery
How do you know what to look for when you don’t know what exists?
For instance, some of the major bugs in Unity that are too niche for Unity to fix … have easily-purchasable assets that fully fix the problem. If you only knew this, you would have a better, more stable Unity.
Challenge 6: UX / GUI / Usability
Unity puts (almost) no limits on the usability of assets. This is great for freedom. But it’s bad for long-term development. Often you install an asset are immediately lost: how am I supposed to use this thing? Does it have a GUI? Or not? Where do I click?
It’s often a problem for 3D models (many are packaged incorrectly), and for editor-extensions (MANY of them have major bugs eg. no support for Undo, or they corrupt when moving stuff between scenes, or … etc).
What would help enormously is some standardization that asset authors can apply, and users know and know how to use.
What can we do about it?
My plan has a couple of stages:
- Compile a list of “best of the asset store”
- Solicit reviews of everything on the list, and peer-review them for accuracy/impartiality
- Create “best practices” standards for authors to follow
- Hilight assets that adopt the best-practices
- Start small, scale it by pushing out to Unity community to grow
Step 1: Share your favourite Asset-store assets!
Here’s a google form for sharing your favourites. NB: this will combine all the repeat recommendations for the same asset. If you add something someone else has added you’re effectively voting it to the top: