When looking at the assets in the Unity Store, it might be very tempting to buy one or two to reuse it in your game’s development. And it seems like this could save you a lot of efforts. There’s only one answer to this – don’t do it! From our previous articles, it was made clear that games are all about the integrity of the player experience. And this is the main reason why all game- and art-related assets will never work for your project if you are serious about releasing it. In this post, CTO and Co-Founder of Knocknock Games Pavel Shylenok will tell you about the origin of ready-made creations, all the pitfalls of using them and rare exceptions when they can be a great contribution. So let’s begin!
Types of Assets on the Unity Store
First of all, let’s speak a bit about how genre-framework assets get in the store. For the most part, there are three cases:
- Half-baked work coming from indie developers who failed to complete a game, and, in an attempt to make at least something of their efforts, they release buggy-something on the store and are trying to sell that. Such assets usually contain unorganized code, written using only MonoBehavior without any development patterns. These works are rarely classified as “quality”, so you will just end up spending a ton of time fixing other person’s bugs.
- Assets that were extracted from the games previously released to the market. It is almost the same as the first case – a company releases a game and then loses money because the game is not selling well. They try to make at least something and start selling the resources and game code in pieces. At first, it might be tempting to base your work on the contents that have the quality of a market-ready product, but it is yet another huge misleading. Here’s why:
- No one will ever sell good-quality code with the game mechanics that are interesting to players – only failed products get to the stores, so why you should base your work on them?
- If there’s already a product like yours on the market, what makes you think another clone will achieve commercial success? Even if you’re planning to create a clone, it should have brand-new mechanics. And working with third-party code (sometimes even without access to the sources) makes it extremely difficult to develop new mechanics without severe refactoring as games are never developed with reusability in mind.
- Assets created from a bunch of tutorials. Some people release creations, which they try to advertise as “game constructors”. We won’t tell much about this case as, again, truly interesting games can’t be created from a typical set of code, with a ”Golden Hammer” syndrome. It’s not a piece of code that makes a game interesting, it is integrity.
There’s another section in Unity called content assets, which mostly present textures, models, particles and all other sorts of content. They have a similar destiny as code-based ones. For most parts, they are the products of failure and come from unsuccessful concepts, 3d modeling tutorials, unreleased projects, etc. We suggest avoiding those at all costs unless you really know what you are doing. And here’s a brief explanation why.