When building a game, there are quite literally one million things to do, you really need to consider using third party assets in your game. Not only do you have to handle the conceptual work which can be a nightmare all on its own, but you also have to come up with visual, and audio assets, and then mesh them together coherently, debug the gameplay, and tweak everything until it’s just right. The development cycle for an indie developer can be years.
You don’t have an army of artists at your disposal or have coders lined up to finish your scripts. You have you, and maybe a couple of friends. Wouldn’t it be great to speed up your development cycle?
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Get Over Your Fear of Third Party Assets
In the indie game development world, there was long a stigma of “build your own engine, don’t use a framework,” and thank god that has fallen by the wayside. Unity, Unreal, and GoDot are all frameworks that are extremely commonly used by the game development community at large. Why then, does the stigma still exist when it comes to assets? This doesn’t have to be visual assets, there are programmatic assets, extensions, and more that can literally save you hundreds of hours of work. Now let’s consider the Easy Save asset from the Unity Store.
This asset gives you the required functionality to save data in your games, and it works on all of the platforms that Unity provides. It provides a light-weight framework to accomplish all of this, and it is well documented and ready to go for your game. Now, stop to think. How long would this take you? If you happen to be an expert, or you can steal your own code from an old project, this may not be a concern. However, if you’re a first-time developer, or even if you have a few projects under your belt, but saving has never been an issue, this could be an absolute lifesaver! Sure, there is an upfront cost, but in the long-term, you’ll have this functionality for every game you build going forward. In total, how much is your time worth?
Building Your World
So you’ve chosen an engine, and you’re ready to build up your world. How do you get started? If you’ve chosen Unity, the framework is built such that you have an enormous number of options. That means that there is a lot of setup involved in getting various things to work. If you’re trying to build a 2D game, you’ll have to know which options relate to 3D, and which options you need to change, and so on.
It’s a lot of work.
That’s why there are assets like the Corgi Engine.
The Corgi Engine takes a lot of the setup work out of setting up your 2D world. It’s an amazing little toolkit for your Unity game development kit, and it lets you get to market faster. Again I ask you, how long would it take you to get to this point. How long would it take you to build all of the features you need? It’s time consuming, and again, this gets it done for this project, and EVERY project going forward. Both assets that we’ve looked at so far have little to do with what you actually see. Further, what about visual assets?
How long does it take you to build a 3D model?
Well, for me, a long, long, long time. I’m just not a modeller. Perhaps you are, maybe you built all your models before you even started with building your game in Unity. If that’s the case, good for you. If, however, you are more like me, you may want a little help. Paying a freelancer to build your models will be excessively expensive, and though you may want to for your main characters, or pieces that will be symbollic of your game, the background objects, walls, and other innane features of your game can often be picked up rather cheap on the various asset stores. Check out this Sci-Fi pack from the Unreal asset store!
This is a perfect example of how you can build up your world in much less time relying on third-party assets. These aren’t going to steal the show, but poorly constructed background assets may stand out. A compromise on some of your assets can cut down massively ont he time it will take to put your game together.
I Don’t Want to Spend ALL My Money
Honestly, I hear you. Bootstrapping your game from scratch, with no promise of commercial success can be daunting. That being said don’t be afraid to check out the free assets on the various asset stores, often times you can find all kinds of useful tools!
There are assets in all different categories for free for both engines, and they’re well worth checking out.
Well there you have it, I think it’s pretty clear you can save a lot of time by relying on some third party assets, and I honestly think you should. Do yourself a favour. Happy Coding!