We're back again to list out some of the Unity assets that have been pivotal in our prototyping phase. If you use Unity or have been waiting for an excuse to dive in and start learning a game engine, some of the tools below could greatly improve your experience and expedite your learning. And if you're already developing, feel free to share your own asset store hidden gems!
10. Universal Jetpack Controller - A simple asset with limited functionality, but a great way to add humanoid flight into your prototype. If you're able to add a curve function or cool down to the thrusting mechanic, you'll be well on your way to exploring your scene in vertical style.
9. Hover Craft Controller - We coupled this tool with the jetpack asset above to amplify the feel of dream flight by preventing the player from ever really touching down. When tuned properly, it creates realistic momentum and a wonderful buoyancy to traversal.
8. Curved World 2020 - This incredibly powerful tool can turn the most mundane experience into something beyond imagination. With multiple ways to curve and twist the world, it uses shaders to alter the rendering of assets in the scene. Whether you're making an endless runner feel fresh or putting a surreal spin on open world exploration, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.
7. Shader Control - With so many visual assets in our project, this too became essential to tackling Unity's bizarre and debilitating approach to shader keywords. Without it, we would have been stopped dead in our tracks months ago, but with it, we were able to tame the global keyword beast and continue development.
6. Massive Clouds - One of the simplest assets to implement with the biggest visual return, this asset will take your skybox to new levels by introducing an animated cloud layer of almost any type imaginable. It's beautiful, hypnotic, and super fun to tune and tweak. There's no reason not to use it if you care about your visuals and want a more immersive scene.
5. Overcloud - A more serious approach to volumetric clouds, this asset is powerful enough to fuel flight simulator visuals as you can enter the clouds from any direction and they remain believable. It also includes a powerful time-of-day and weather system that will bring your scenes to a whole new level of fidelity. We implemented as a test, and were thrilled when we watched day turn to night and a group of point lights we had forgotten were in the scene slowly illuminated over what now looked to be a magical island.
4. Pixel Nostalgia - The retro visual trend hasn't slowed down much, and there's a reason why old school visuals retain so much appeal. This tool allows you to simulate almost any era at any resolution, which affords you some slick tricks for tapping into nostalgia. As a post effect, it's easy to place this in a volume, so you can pass into and out of the era, adding a sense of time travel to any scene.
3. Volumetric Lights - This amazing asset is less about creating tangible light beams, and more for what many would call "god rays." When used on directional lights, it can give your entire scene amazing depth, and add beauty or suspense depending on your purpose. We've used in massive surreal landscapes as well as creepy cornfields to great effect!
2. Aquas - With caustics (underwater light textures), underwater post effects, animated waves, and easy implementation, Aquas is the definitive water tool, and helped us add both oceans and lakes to our scenes. Couple it with a coral package and some fish flocking systems for an even more convincing underwater ecosystem.
1. Enhanced Trigger Box - We had to put this at number one because of how essential an asset it has become for us. When visual scripting isn't an option or you just need to quickly implement logic-based action-reaction sequences, ETB offers all the utility you need to pull off some wildly complex interactions with ease. There's not a single trigger in our game that doesn't have ETB as a component. It's that awesome.