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Best assets mistakes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by angel_m, May 7, 2019.

  1. angel_m

    angel_m

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    Hi, after using the store to buy hundreds of assets, I would like to share my experience about common unfortunate practices I have found more times than desired.

    1- Use of namespaces: You can still find many assets using names as destroyobject.cs or bullet.cs or combinemesh.cs and so, causing many compatibility problems in the project with other assets.

    2.- Inclusion of Standard Assets. (self-explanatory).

    3.- Inclusion and imposition of Input manager, Tag and Layer manager in the project settings. (self-explanatory).

    4.- Bad use of tags and layers: Some tags (Player, Enemy...) are pretty universal and useful but when requiring odd tags for common gameobjects because they are needed for the asset logic, it is very annoying. The same for layers.

    5.- Not prediction for multicamera or change of player. Many assets assign the player gameobject or camera (main) in the Inspector and they are limiting the use of them to very simple scenarios.
    Please, provide the option to assign the player or camera by code (runtime).

    The list will be updated. :)
     
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  2. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    It seems you depend too much on code assets :D
     
  3. angel_m

    angel_m

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    The most part of assets from the store are code based (scripting).
    About art assets, you can like them or not, but apart from low poly model assets for mobile with 15K-20k polys you can find, I haven't anything to say.
    Anyway, I made the list just for fun, I was a little bored...;)
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  4. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    I almost only have art assets, SteamVR and Obi rope are probably the only two code assets we have.
    And for the art assets I always untick everything like standard assets, and remove any mono behaviours etc.

    My biggest gripe is when they do not put their asset in its own folder. Its a bit more fuzz moving it. I dont want stuff under the root of Asset folder so I move everything
     
  5. jeango

    jeango

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    Lack of documentation would be my first gripe
     
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  6. Tom_Veg

    Tom_Veg

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    Thank you for sharing this. I believe asset store publishers would love to get inputs like this so they can improve... When we are at it, do you (or anyone) have some inputs in regard of 3D character assets? What is annoying, what would you love to be (or not to be) included?
    tnx
     
  7. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    That there is no standard T-stance that all characters implement and anims just work. I have spent hundreds of dollars on artists that have to refit characters to work with anims
     
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  8. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    6. Buying assets you don't need yet in case you might need them for a project you don't even have a design doc for.
     
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  9. pcg

    pcg

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    And then when you DO want to use them they are depreciated or have a new version which is a paid upgrade.
     
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  10. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    This actually did happen to me, but it took so long to happen that I was able to just write the damn shader myself.
     
  11. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    Well, this is not a problem, if you have it, you can use it.

    Considering how cheap assets are on the AS, I don't consider this as a bug in the system. You always can use the previous version, see first point.
     
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  12. Peter77

    Peter77

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    Asset packages that only work when installed to a specific location are an immediate uninstall and get a bad rating from me.
     
  13. pcg

    pcg

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    Yeah, I tend not to buy anything script related now unless it comes with source.

    I think this is more a tongue in cheek thread but I'll bite, sorry let off some steam.

    Depreciations...
    As an example I bought a particle effect recently (in the last couple of months). I contacted the dev and told him there was a slight problem and even told him how to correct it - I fixed it myself on my end. He'd made an update which strangely didnt fix the problem. Anyway, a few weeks later I noticed another problem and thought "I know, I'll check to see if the dev has made another update". No, he'd pulled it from the store.
    So yes they are cheap and yes I can still use it but I'll had to resolve the issue myself now so it can still be bloody frustrating at times.

    The comment with upgrades...
    Yes for the man hours to produce such assets some are incredibly cheap but £50 is £50 (arbitrary figure).
    Yes I can see the point with paid upgrades after all we are all dev's and we all need to eat.
    But as an example take the Amplify Shader Editor. I bought once years ago and hardly used until recently. It came out before SRP but now supports built-in, LWRP and HDRP and I havent had to pay a jot extra. This is why I will continue to buy there products.
    Another example is Kripto289. I bought some of his particle effects years ago. He has recently upgraded some (maybe all, not sure) to be LWRP & HDRP compatible. I wouldn't have batted an eyelid had this been a paid update because it was no doubt a pain in the backside but I didn't have too.
    On the other hand I do feel that some are a little bit more trigger happy to bring out new paid updates and as a result I've simply stopped buying their wares.
     
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  14. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    7. Expensive asset deprecated the day after I buy it.
     
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  15. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    As an asset developer, I can say that this feedback is much appreciated!

    Multicamera or change of player is a great one, up until now I used a singleton for the camera script (along with far too many other singletons!) which would have made it difficult to change camera or do splitscreen.

    I understand the issue people have with paying for upgrades, and it's fun to pay for something once and own it for life no matter what else the dev adds to it. But there's a real issue with the ROI for working steadily on a product months or years after release.

    There's an interesting thread on the Unreal forums about the sales trends of an asset after release, which includes a comment where a seller graphed sales over time:



    Without having done a proper analysis of my own sales, I can vouch for the general shape of this graph.

    If a developer is doing very incremental updates and not on a regular basis, there's no need for a paid upgrade. But if they are adding substantial features all the time and end up putting in 5x or 10x the amount of work that had been put in up until release day, then if they want to eat, I think (with the absence of a subscription option) paid upgrades will have to be the order of the day.

    Another point I want to make is that there's a real case to be made that asset store products should be more expensive than normal standalone software. The reason being that the Unity asset store is actually quite niche, and there possibly aren't enough customers to be able to sell at a normal price point. If you're a big company and your tools/software gets used all over the place, and the number of users relative to the number of man-hours being put into the software is quite high, you can simply afford a lower price point.

    I don't know if this would ever be an acceptable point of view, but I think it's time to look analytically at what goes on on the asset store and figure out a way to make things work, or else we'll end up with a lot of abandoned junk, broken promises and a continuation of the general notion that asset developers can subsist on the goodwill of their customers.
     
  16. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    A significant issue is the Asset Store is full of publishers who are doing this as a side project with little expectation of a primary source of income out of it. Some may even do it for the fun of it. Most of my assets on the store are just components I am using in my current game in order to bring in a small amount of cash so I can lessen how much in the red this game is putting me.

    Additionally, many publishers are located in countries with substantially lower cost of living than western developed countries. Where getting a $20 sale may be equivalent to a day or 2 of work, instead of in the west where it is just enough to treat a friend to coffee.

    Both those I believe are putting considerable downward pressure on prices.
     
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  17. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    That's true, but if you are looking to get income from it, what matters is hours in vs. income out.

    I also use my asset for my own game, and it also originated from working on my own game. However, building something that's easy to use across the board takes an order of magnitude more work. I'm a programmer, and there's a lot of stuff I could do with code comfortably that other people can't. Case in point, my targeting system has to be able to display targets with all kinds of information. I have recently put in many, many hours to create a way for users to essentially use reflection to pass information from any component to the HUD without the runtime performance cost, all in the inspector. I know this will help people immensely, but unless I can get a ROI on it, I can't afford to do that sort of thing.

    Very true, and here in Australia the cost of living is not low. That's a problem that one simply cannot avoid, but I hope that quality trumps price in the final scheme of things.

    Anyway, I hope this isn't too far offtopic. But I think that the infamous state of the asset store is a direct reflection of the fact that, for one reason or another, it's harder to make a solid income from it than it seems, and there's a perception about what it's like to be an asset developer there that's not entirely true. I really enjoy it, and I love to spot a game on Steam that's making good use of my assets, but I also enjoy having a good income from my work.
     
  18. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    Yeah between needing to make the asset easy to work with, properly documenting, and potential support, the Asset Store prices don't make a lot of sense unless you are expecting high demand/volume. I developed a network API to replace Unet in my own project, and I want to release it to others, but I know something complicated like networking I'm going to be inundated with support requests even for what I expect to be a small number of sales. I may end up just releasing it for free, and say I'll answer questions in a forum thread since I hop on here most days, but I also have 3 months of work into it I think is worth paying more than $0 for.

    Well I'm from California, which is not known for being cheap, but when I visited Melbourne I about laughed at the $5 for a small Coke the petrol station wanted (usually about $2 here). Very pricey place. :p
     
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  19. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    That's the dilemma, going from 'I'll just throw this out there with no support' to 'paid product' is the main part of the work. As soon as you need a business model of some kind, you find out that most of them don't even break even.

    I think here in Brissie it's a bit cheaper, but petrol stations are not known for being cheap! :D
     
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  20. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    Also, California, and even more, Bay Area, so once I calculated how many $50 asset would I have to sell per month to live off of it (tax, rent and bills only, no food, no games, no nothing)... Then I gave up all the plans to release anything on the AS. It does not worth it since it's mandatory to support it and I don't want to lie about it. This is how I didn't become an Asset Store publisher. :D
     
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  21. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Strewth, that's the understatement of the year.

    According to one study I found from 2018, Australia has the 11 highest cost of living of any country in the world. The only countries higher are the Nordic countries, and a few remote island paradises populated by retired billionaires. The flip side is that wages are also similarly high. Which means that buying a $5 spiced chi latte or spending $100 on a night out isn't that big of a deal. It matches up to incomes.

    The only time it really matters is when you try and deal in international markets, which includes selling games or using the asset store. Selling an asset at $50 justifies working on it for an hour. Which means that an individual purchaser has barely covered the cost of responding to a couple of support emails. And you need to get a lot of sales to justify doing a major update.

    I get that it would be nice to have guaranteed updates and compatibility forever, but there simply isn't enough money in the asset store to be worth it for anyone.
     
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  22. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    True, people from overseas are often a bit gobsmacked on finding out the minimum wage here!

    It helps that I live on my yacht and I get to avoid the rental/mortgage costs for now, but I don't want that to affect the way I look at my income.

    I think that with the right plan and the right management, and not just leaving everything to chance and goodwill, it's possible to succeed at making a decent business of it. We'll see. But I'm not convinced that for most assets it's possible to sell once and continue making substantial upgrades for perhaps more than a year while breaking even. It very much depends on how much demand there is for that particular asset.
     
  23. StaggartCreations

    StaggartCreations

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    8. Incorrect model scales

    Please! Place your model next to a capsule object to check its scale. It baffles me how some artists make models 4.2x (or some other arbitrary number) times their normal scale.

    Having to adjust the scale through the import settings is a major no-no for me. In schools you would get a failing grade, in a production environment you'd have your work returned for correction.
     
  24. Socrates

    Socrates

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    I just cannot agree with this due to one overriding factor: The multitude of truly bad assets on the Asset Store. When you are buying software from a big company whose software gets used by a lot of people, you can find out easily if it works or not, and what kind of quality it has. The only way you could say this of the Asset Store is if Unity went through and made sure every asset met a set of high standards. Since they do not, there is no way I would be willing to pay higher "niche" pricing for anything on the Asset Store.

    To be fair, there are a few assets I have bought where I feel I got a really great deal, and I would not have been disappointed if I had paid more for them. My response to this is to keep that developer in mind for any future purchases.

    Unfortunately, there are also a number of assets I have purchased that I deleted and never used in a project due to the quality once I dealt with this. This is why I never spend any money on the Asset Store that isn't "fun money" I don't mind throwing away on the hobby.
     
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  25. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Well I agree with a lot of this, when I freelanced I had such a bad experience with asset store products that I pretty much refused to work with anything from there. I spent too much time untangling them and working around spaghetti code.

    About the idea of raising prices, it's a bit of a chicken and egg deal, because when things get cheap, quality goes down.

    I think at the root of the problem is that, like Steam, it's not very clear what the asset store is supposed to be. It's at one time a place to throw barely-functional projects for people to play around with, and also a place for professionally-created learning resources, tools, starter projects and more. It's not entirely clear to people what they are getting for their money - when they buy something, is it just a hacked together project, or is it something that represents a sort of technical, organisational 'ideal', and learning resource?

    If you were to create something really good, and sell it at a relatively high price, it would be necessary to differentiate yourself in terms of your brand and reputation (like you mentioned, you remember the developer who makes something good). Because there's really nothing else to tell someone who doesn't have the technical background why they should pick your product and not some mish-mash sold at a quarter of the price.
     
  26. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    This is one of the reasons I think that the bar for entry should be higher. The low bar erodes customer confidence, which means the good assets can't charge as much.

    Ideally, I should be confident that buying something from the Asset Store will give me a solid solution for whatever I'm looking at. If so, then its potential value is (the value of my time) X (the number of hours it saves me), which is a lot more than much of the stuff currently on the store. But much of it isn't great, and I sometimes can't tell until I've purchased it and checked it out for myself.
     
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  27. ChazBass

    ChazBass

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    While it's a bit catch 22, ratings are critical for me both in terms of the level and number, as well as the age of comments.

    No ratings or few ratings (unless it was just released) = High likelihood the asset is poor and is or will soon be abandoned.

    Comments more than a few months old = Asset is probably already abandoned by the developer. (Unless the are already many, many comments praising the asset)

    Mistakes....

    No use of namespaces in scripts (which you find out after point of purchase) = Will never buy another asset from the developer again.

    Failure to respond to an inquiry within two to three days = Will never buy another asset from the developer again.

    As far as paying for upgrades, I have no problem with that. I love supporting great developers with great assets. I have been using some assets for years and have paid for multiple upgrades. I also think it unreasonable to expect the author of an asset to support it for forever, with no additional money earned, especially given how much the engine changes over time.
     
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  28. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    What if nobody has purchased it to know that it's good and say so? This is still a bad sign for the asset's longevity (no users = no income = presumably little ongoing support), but it doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad asset.

    The other thing I find is that I'm not always a fan of well rated assets. For instance, we recently tried out a bunch of assets for a particular aspect of a project, and found that one of the highly rated options featured more than once by the Asset Store just was not up to scratch as far as performance is concerned.

    When you're working on large projects it's not enough for an asset to work. That's just the first requirement. It needs to work, it needs to perform well*, and it needs to give reasonable flexibility to fit into project-specific workflows.

    * And that doesn't mean "runs at 60fps", because on its own that doesn't mean anything.
     
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  29. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    One of the biggest issues with ratings is that they tend to represent the things that are easiest to perceive about the asset. One freelance job I worked with one pretty horrible asset, it was a complete mess frankly, but because the dev just kept cramming stuff in people were excited and rated it very well. Many of the positive comments reflected that the asset had things that others didn't, and that hyped up the value of it even though a lot of important stuff was completely disregarded.

    Another issue with reviews I think is that a lot of people buy stuff for projects that they don't make a lot of progress on before moving onto something else, at least not to the point where there are performance considerations and stuff like that becoming important. This makes the above problem even worse.

    Anyway, I'm not sure there's a lot to do about it, such is the nature of game development, really.
     
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  30. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Because of the low price of assets my solution is generally to buy them and try them out for myself. The ones that work out are generally worth far more than the money and time costs involved in this, even if I "waste" money and time ruling some out along the way.

    The thing is, if I could be confident of assets then I could spend all of the money and the value of some of the time on buying just one, good asset. That's better for me because I get results with less effort, it's good for the developer of the asset because they get more money, and that is in turn better for me because they can afford better support as a result.

    The assets that can't compete would lose out. I don't know what Unity's position would be, because maybe they'd make less money if stuff wasn't cheap enough for impulse purchases?
     
  31. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    That's very true, a good $50 asset is worth much more than a few hundred dollars, that is if people put a reasonable monetary value on their time.
     
  32. drcrck

    drcrck

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    I think this shouldn't be even approved on review + authors must be spanked, then banned from submitting anything for 1 year + then they'll have to take a C# test before trying to sell anything again.
     
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  33. jeango

    jeango

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    Haha, so true
    I also downloaded every asset you would get for free every month with the unity 5 pro license
     
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  34. jeango

    jeango

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    IMHO assets in the store should really be split into Four categories:
    - Sponsored: Editor's/Community choice assets, and other advertizements
    - Gold: Assets produced by "partner" publishers who guarantee to follow standards in quality, documentation and support
    - Silver: Assets produced by acclaimed publishers, with a meaningful history of positive feedbacks, but no guarantees other than the publisher's reputation
    - Bronze: Others
     
  35. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    Splitting means nothing in terms of quality / content.
    Sponsored may be as bad / good / abandoned / supported, as free asset. And vice versa.
     
  36. jeango

    jeango

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    That's the point of sponsored content: you pay to put it in the spotlight. If the quality / support is good, that's your ticket to silver. If it isn't, well you'll get bad reviews and people will see and make an educated choice.
     
  37. Tom_Veg

    Tom_Veg

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    That is strange. All my characters i uploaded on Asset store, not only had to be in T-pose, but i had to include prefabs with humanoid rig for each of them. When i was beginner publisher, got my models rejected by store curators until i included humanoid prefabs. It is strange if there are some characters that somehow slipped curation and are not even T-posed.
    Good advice
    I 100% agree
     
  38. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I think the store recently got more strict - there were several problems with the last update of my asset that were not an issue when it was first submitted.
     
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  39. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    There are slightly differences so feet clip floor etc. All humanoid characters should work with all humanoid anims in my world. Though o can understand it's hard for fantasy with strange midgets etc :)
     
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