Beginner’s Guide to Unity: Unity Asset Store, Your Library of Success
April 04 2022
What is Unity Asset Store
Just like you can buy apps from the App Store, games from Steam or Epic Games portal, or even buy furniture from Ikea, the Unity Asset Store serves as a marketplace of assets that you can download. The assets are created both by Unity Technologies professional team as are from the Unity users.
For a quick video guide of Unity Asset Store, check out Usman’s walkthrough:
The assets are both free and paid which is welcoming for the beginner developers. The asset stores aren’t reserved just for Unity, even Unreal has its own. According to Unity’s Asset Store’s boss Peter O’Reilly, they are absolutely mandatory.
“Games wouldn't see the light of day without asset stores”
— Peter O’Reilly, Director, Commercialization & Biz Ops, Games & Digital @ Unity Technologies
The Asset Store offers everything from high-quality 3d Models (high polygon) to meshes and skeleton low-poly gameobjects for rapid prototyping.
Unity Assets Types
You’ll find nearly everything in Unity Asset Store that you need for your application or at least for your first prototype.
By the way, if all this jargon is flying over your head, check out the Unity Glossary doc to learn what all these gameobjects, prefabs and meshes mean.
Deceivingly simple 2D Game Cuphead was made by two Canadian brothers who later expanded the team to 19 team members.
The types of assets you can download are:
- 2D Assets and Image Files — Imported images will appear as textures. Unity projects support common image file types like JPG, PNG, TIF, BMP and PSD. The 2D assets also include 2D characters, sprites, fonts, materials and User Interface elements.
Animated pixel sprites from a popular indie game, Shovel Knight.
- FBX and 3D Model Files — you can import 3D models from any software that support FBX files (AutoCad, Maya, Cinema 4D, Roblox Studio, Blender, etc.). Don’t forget that you can convert OBJ, 3DS, DXF, and DAE file types to FBX via FBX SDK!
Example of a high-quality 3D model of a robotic arm made in Sketchfab
- Meshes and animations — you can import meshes and animations alongside 3d models or separately.
Example of Procedural Mesh Generation in Unity
- HTML, XML, JSON, Text — Yup, you can import data from files and external data sources through Text Asset Importer.
- Scripts, APIs / Plugins — Download a library of tools via Plugin and change the template layout of your Unity Editor. This is very useful for extending the functionality of Unity and developing for a specific project (i.e. ARKit plugin for iOS augmented reality projects or ARCore for Android AR use)
- Audio Files — Sound constitutes up to 50% of total experience. You can import most common audio file formats but Unity recommends raw, uncompressed file formats such as .wav or .aiff since Unity applies compression settings itself while importing.
- Visual Effects (VFX) — import anything from particles to shaders.
- Other Add-Ons — You can extend your projects by implementing Unity proprietary ads, analytics or adding templates from tutorials and starter packs
Unity Package Manager (UPM)
Unity has curated and sorted an array of tools, assets, plugins and libraries for specific purposes. You can access those tools through Unity Package Manager (UPM).
These packages are a convenient way to get an assortment of tools needed for a specific purpose.
Finding Your Best Assets
- Unity Asset Store Sales and Top Paid Assets. Pay special attention for sales such as “lightning sale” as well as regular sales such as Black Friday!
- Free Assets - https://assetstore.unity.com/top-assets/top-free
- Humble Bundle - bulk assets for low pay (and supporting charity). You will have to redeem bundle keys in
- Unity through Redeem Voucher Code
- Reddit has a community just about everything and is the 19th most visited site in the world. There’s thousands of people who use unity and like to contribute to the community as well!
- Specialized websites about video game development. 80.lv serves as a marketplace of game development assets for multiple game engines besides Unity.
- Individual contributors. Apart from free Circuit Stream workshops where the instructors share the project files and assets with you after the live event, you can also follow creators on YouTube and download their packages.
On-Demand Build a Jenga VR Unity Game Workshop with Circuit Stream Instructor Indika Wijesooriya. Access the replay and download the assets Indika provided on his github account:
Looking to contribute your assets into the Unity’s Asset Store?
Check out the Content Restrictions and Submission Guidelines. The Asset Store only accepts content that meets a certain quality level.
Perhaps you’re looking to contribute to the Asset Store and earn some income while doing it. After all there are 1.5 monthly active users of the popular game development engine with billions of downloads per month.
Unity said its engine has customers in games and other apps, with 3 billion downloads per month. The company said developers start about 150,000 new projects each day in 190 countries. — Venture Beat ↗
Let’s be honest, making games is hard and it takes a long time to finish it. Not to mention there’s a lot of competition when you publish it. Some creators specialize in making top-notch assets. If you’re amazing at 3D modelling you should publish those 3D models to the Asset store. Good at programming? Make editor extensions? Really great at art? You could be making background scenes, concept art or textures. Is design your jam? You could be making graphical interfaces or designing panels, buttons and whatnot.
How to publish to an Asset Store?
There are 6 steps to publish your Asset to the Unity Asset Store
- Sign up and register your Publisher Account.
- Create a package draft.
- Upload the assets into the package.
- Fill in the package details.
- Submit the package for approval.
- View the status of your asset Store submission.
For the official guideline visit: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/AssetStorePublishing.html