One of the things I love about Unity is the immense amount of community support it has garnered. There really is a wealth of resources at your fingertips. The Asset Store is an excellent place to find some of these resources and we have utilized several packages quite extensively while creating Lacuna Passage. This week I thought we might share some of our favorites.
Ultimate FPS Camera - by VisionPunk
I can’t recommend this script package highly enough. If you are creating any first-person game at all then you owe it to yourself to at least check it out. This package adds some incredible dynamic camera movement that makes everything feel much more organic. And if you are making a shooter then you will have some excellent customizations available for any kind of gun-play you can imagine.
Unistorm - by Black Horizon Studios
I’ve had to make some fairly significant changes to the Unistorm scripts to get exactly what I was looking for, but they were an excellent starting point and still serve as the backbone for the day/night cycle in the game. There is decent documentation to help you along also.
GlareFX Dirt Lens Effect - by Red Dot Games
You might argue that these effects are a bit cliche now after seeing them in games like Battlefield 3, but they fit perfectly in a game like Lacuna Passage. We always want the player to feel somewhat trapped and enclosed in their stuffy space helmet and these glare effects go a long ways towards achieving that. They have some great customization options that allow you to make the effects as bombastic or as subtle as you desire.
Hard Surface Shaders Free - by Bruno Rime
If you don’t want to bother with writing your own shaders for metal or plastic, then no worries. This shader pack has you covered. I originally considered using them as a placeholder until we completed our own, but there really isn’t anything else I need. If you want even more out of your shaders there is a Pro version on the asset store as well.
ats Colormap ULTRA Terrain Shader - by forst
This shader is absolutely instrumental to the look and feel of Lacuna Passage. The terrain in the game is one of the most important visual elements and this shader makes a world of difference. With the improved terrain materials system in Unity 4.0 the shader is easier to use than ever before. I described more about our terrain creation methods in a previous devlog.
Probuilder 2.0 - by SixBySeven Studio
Most of my level design experience was gained in Hammer Editor and the Unreal Editor so Brushes and BSPs were a huge part of my prototyping workflow. With Probuilder I’m able to get some of that familiarity back and quickly generate graybox test environments directly inside of Unity. Probuilder is honestly flexible enough that I can see how some projects might utilize it for their actual game geometry and not just for testing.
Playmaker - by Hutong Games
Last but certainly not least is Playmaker. I don’t think Lacuna Passage would be possible without it. I’ve never been a strong programmer, but Playmaker allows me to create game logic quickly and easily. Almost 90% of the game will be done entirely in Playmaker and the other 10% is mostly just hooking it up to our other plugins and miscellaneous scripts. For example, we wanted to have the colors of our dust particle effects managed by the Unistorm day/night cycle so I simply inserted Playmaker global variables into the Unistorm scripts with very little effort. This visual scripting system is incredibly powerful and I think it would be a mistake for even master programmers to overlook it.