For over 12 years, the Unity Asset Store has enabled countless indie game developers to bring unique ideas to life. It’s home to thousands of indie-friendly art packs and tools, and the list of studios that use assets continues to grow. Here are four stories from indie studios to help inspire you as you build your own dream game.
For Shedworks’ two-person team, tackling Sable’s open-world terrain generation was a substantial challenge – right down to the diverse tools needed to get the results they wanted. “We could do all the pathfinding, behavior trees, inverse kinematics, and such, but it would have taken us years,” says Technical Director Daniel Fineberg. “The Asset Store was definitely a key resource.”
Shedworks chose MapMagic, featuring a procedural node-based approach, for its open-world terrain generation. According to Creative Director Greg Kythreotis, “We couldn’t have made the game without MapMagic – it was a huge time-saver.”
The team also used MapMagic to create environments ahead of time, rather than at runtime. This meant they could play around with different iterations, move things around on the map, and reshape the world easily, all within a fixed context. “Working within constraints reduces your decision-making burden. You can iterate much faster and more often,” says Kythreotis.
Apocalypse Studios had a bold vision for Deadhaus Sonata. To achieve it, they curated the right set of tools so they could scale as a team. “Our team will be like, ‘we need this thing,’ and the first thing I do is look on the Asset Store. It’s very cost effective and invaluable for fast prototyping,” says CEO Denis Dyack.
For instance, CPO Ryan Pacheco was taken with the Volumetric Blood Fluids package, which enabled the team to achieve results similar to the gory special effects Mortal Kombat created with Houdini, while saving substantial costs. “To contract that out would have cost us thousands of dollars and six months of time,” notes Pacheco. “With the Asset Store, we paid $30 and had it in the game within an hour.”
Tinytouchtales creator Arnold Rauers needed to efficiently translate the text in his game to 15 different languages. Having used the Unity Asset Store since his first game, he turned to l2 Localization to accelerate the translation process, helping him reach a global scale.
“The combination of TextMeshPro and I2 from the Asset Store is pretty awesome. Card Crawl [Adventure] has about 15 localizations, and we’ve been able to integrate Chinese, Japanese, and Russian characters without a problem,” shares Rauers.
The Falconeer creator Tomas Sala is a BAFTA-nominated game developer driven by ambitious artistic expression. But as a solo developer, trying to master every aspect of game development to deliver on his vision would be impossible. That’s why he turned to the Unity Asset Store for animation systems, mesh optimizers, localization tools, and more – to focus on artistry and not get bogged down with the rest.
“I read forums where some developers don’t like buying assets. They think they have to do everything in-house to be original,” shares Sala. “I see just the opposite. If I focus on what I do best, and I’m not stuck doing things I’m not that good at, I’ll end up with a much more original and creative game.” For The Falconeer, he turned to assets like Mesh Combine Studio, Tail Animator 2, CorvoPathFinding, and others. According to Sala, tapping into the skills of these asset creators is like “standing on the shoulders of maybe a thousand Unity developers.”
The Unity Asset Store has grown to over 100,000 community members and features more than 70,000 asset packages. Stay in the loop about the latest deals and news by joining our email list, and make sure to hop onto the forums to connect with other creators who use the Unity Asset Store to help bring visions to life.