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New AssetBundle Graph Tool Prototype

October 25, 2016 in Technology | 3 min. read

The AssetBundle team is developing a new visual tool. We’re trying several approaches to improve the workflow around AssetBundles. Today we are releasing one of them as an open-source prototype. We hope that you will take a look and join the development.

The AssetBundle workflow has evolved a lot in Unity 5, but we are aware that there are still some issues. Since the release of Unity 5, we have spent a fair amount of time learning how you are actually using AssetBundles in production. We have also had a few public roundtables at events such as Unite 2015 Tokyo and discussed with you directly, to get a deeper understanding of what would make the wide variety of developers in Unity community happy.

Understanding the pain points of AssetBundle

After this research, we have found that following issues are very common among various studios:

  • AssetBundle are very often built and used for assets that are outside of scene structures and dependencies, such as avatars, card illustrations, virtual store items.
  • Many teams write their own in-house AssetBundle build pipeline for production for very similar purposes.
  • AssetBundle had been always tough to learn and use for beginners and small teams. It was also challenging for experts and large teams who need to spend time on creating their own pipeline to use it efficiently.
  • Many AssetBundles are pure graphics, such as textures and models. Many teams want to free their artists of AssetBundle configuration tasks so that they can focus on living DCC tools, creating actual assets.

Make AssetBundle workflow visual, more intuitive

An easy to learn and flexible visual tool for creating a build pipeline that can support some of the complexities of real productions, the Asset Bundle graph tool provides a workflow with the following features:

  • Create AssetBundles with no coding. Create nodes, connect them and simply press the build button to give you the AssetBundles you desire!
  • Easily understand what happens when you build: which files are targeted, where they go and how they are included in which asset bundle files.
  • Create pipeline in a rule-based model. So once you configure the pipeline and set up simple rules with name and path conventions, you can then completely forget about AssetBundle configurations. Share that rule with your team and just keep creating and adding assets as long as your team is following the conventions. When you press build, those new files are automatically targeted and you will get new AssetBundles accordingly.  

We have come to the point when we’re ready to share this with you. Like many other tools we released recently, we are releasing this tool in open-source, under the MIT license. The tool is still in prototype phase, so we would be delighted if you gave it a try and tell us what you think. You can also freely modify the tool to match your needs, or join in its development.


More Info:

Live Q&A with the Unity AssetBundle Team

Attending Unite 16 in Los Angeles? Don't miss our session with Lead Engineer Stephen Palmer and others from the AssetBundle tech team. Bring your AssetBundle questions, stories, and feedback. Learn how others are using this feature and help drive its future direction.

Track: Breakout 2
Time: Thursday, 1:00PM PST

October 25, 2016 in Technology | 3 min. read