Caitlyn Meeks is one of the creators and current manager of the Unity Asset Store, which is a marketplace that is changing game development for both game developers and content creators. She describes how Unity has built an extensible framework where you can extend it’s functionality through the asset store, and so it’s functionality is not fixed with the new features that come from their official releases.
The asset store innovates in many different areas, and it is a slow and methodical process that Unity goes through to eventually integrate some of those features into it’s core engine.
Caitlyn talks about what differentiates Unity from other game engines, and how Unity is responding to recent pressures in the marketplace from Unreal Engine 4. They’re staying the course with their plan and roadmap, and see that they’re focusing on creating a streamlined user experience for game developers. She sees Unity as an unstoppable tortoise who may not always be first to market with all of the new features, but that they’re implemented well in a methodical fashion and with love.
She mentions some of the VR specific plug-ins on the Asset Store including SDKs for Sixense and Leap Motion, Cast AR, CAVE projection systems, and DIS HLA interfaces. She also talks about the free Unity Multipurpose Avatar (UMA) plug-in, which is a Unity-sponsored, avatar creation tool.
Finally, she talks about her vision for how VR will change the humanities and expression in a way that makes us more human and grateful to be alive.
Reddit discussion here.
- 0:00 – Unity asset store. Provides content to game and VR developers, 3D audio, texture and music, and scripts and tools that extend Unity. Exponential growth since 2010. 750k active users forming a community of content producers. It’s an ecosystem where people are helping each other. People can make a living off of selling assets. One of top 3 reasons for using Unity. Bedroom artists who are making $10k-$100k. Senior of artist from Ubisoft making more from the Unity asset store sells. It’s changing game development for developers and content creators.
- 3:08 – How does it differentiate from other engines? Unity is extensible. Asset store can be a stopgap for providing new features. Unity isn’t a static product. New functionality is coming through the asset store. Unity feature list doesn’t include all of the functionality available through the asset store. You don’t need access to the source code to create your dream tool in Unity.
- 4:45 – What are some popular VR plug-ins? First submission from Palmer Luckey two years ago. SDK for Sixense and Leap Motion, Cast AR, CAVE projection systems, and DIS HLA interfaces. UMA is the Unity Multipurpose Avatar, which is a Unity-sponsored, avatar creation tool.
- 6:42 – Binaural audio plug-ins to enable positional audio. New audio implementation in Unity 5 including audio
- 7:20 – Lots of excitement for UE4 and EVE: Valkyrie moving from Unity to UE4, and what is Unity’s approach for counteracting this? Staying the course with a solid product with an unparalleled workflow. Lots of new features coming in 5.0 that have been on the roadmap. Not going to change anything drastically. Always been a bit behind, but they do it well, methodically and with love. They’re an unstoppable tortoise.
- 8:55 – Your vision for what you want to see happen in VR. Fan of Cyberpunk and Snow Crash and Second Life. Coming from an artist’s perspective, and VR will be one of the most significant developments in the humanities and human expression. So many different possibilities for creating worlds and experiences that are beautiful, horrifying, mechanical, alien, etc. Goal is to see beautiful morphologies emerge. See worlds, spaces and scenarios that make us more grateful to be alive and things that make us more human.
Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio