The end of 2021 is upon us! I think I speak for most of us when I say that, despite this year being mostly better than 2020, it’s going to be good to see the back of it. And, in the interests of starting 2022 as I mean to go on, I’ve pulled together my ten favourite free assets from the Unity Asset Store for your convenience!
I am not affiliated with any of the developers or asset packs mentioned in this article. That being said, any links to the Unity Asset Store are through my Unity Affiliate account. It doesn’t make a difference here, since all the assets are free, but still; full disclosure and all that…
Also, you can find a video version of this post here;
Hopefully, you find something you like in this little collection, and if it sparks something creative to take you into the New Year, all the better. Let’s go!
As anyone who has been around my YouTube channel for enough time will be able to attest, I’ve developed something of a soft spot for pixel art and low-resolution games, with Pico-8 being the most obvious symptom of that. MINIFANTASY Dungeon may not be on the Pico-8, but the design of this super low-resolution dungeon tileset is very in-keeping with the Pico-8 aesthetic.
This asset pack contains 45 dungeon tiles for creating your basic level design, things like furniture and decoration, animated torches and candles, and a human hero and orc enemy, each with several animations.
What I like about this pack is that it contains everything you’d need to get a basic game going. Sure, it would be a small game, but you could very easily make a complete game using just this asset pack and beginner-level code.
Free Low Poly Nature Forest
Low poly is all the rage among indie game developers and hobbyists right now, largely because it’s easy to make, has low overheads, and the style is in. Free Low Poly Forest contains everything you need to create a low poly forest area. You’ll need to grab some animals and things to bring it to life, but you could very easily make an infinite forest using just this asset pack.
The Realtime Rascals Face Capture Character Pack
I wanted to include some special use-case asset packs in this list, and that’s where The Realtime Rascals comes in. This pack contains a few cutesy little animal huimanoids with full facial blending enabled. You will also need to download the Live Capturepackage to use them as they are intended, though Unity states that they are for experimenting with, too. So, if you can think of a unique to do with these kind of creepy critters, go for it. If not, you can animate their faces using your faces through your Android or iPhone camera.
The Hero’s Path (Free 16bit Adventure Game Music)
There’s not much to say here, The Hero’s Path is some cool 16-bit era music for your games. As the name suggests, this music is pretty dramatic at times, perfectly suited to an RPG in the vein of Zelda.
Hand Poses is another descriptively named asset pack. This pack contains a number of hand poses that can be applied to humanoid characters, letting them do things like point, give a thumbs up or peace sign, and even do finger guns.
You use this asset pack by applying avatar masks to your character so that the hand pose works in conjunction with whatever else you have going on. Each pose has a few variations to suit different finger rigs, and the developer is actively adding more.
You had to know there’d be some VR in here somewhere! My interests in VR development revolve entirely around the stories I can tell using it. I’m happy to leave all the innovation and boundary-pushing to other people. In that respect, VR Builder is the perfect tool for me.
This asset aims to take care of the fundamental aspects of making a VR game so that you can focus on making whatever it is you’re making without getting bogged down in things like setting up Unity for VR. And, even if you do want to make everything from the ground up, VR Builder can still be a great prototyping tool.
Retro-Fit Adventure (Free 8-Bit Video Game Music)
Another music pick, but this time we’ve dropped a few bits and moved into the adventure genre. Retro Fit Adventure is a nice music asset pack that would go great with a retro platformer. It immediately gave me Duck Tales vibes.
Cute GUI Pack
Cute GUI Pack is, again, a pack that doesn’t really need much said about it. It’s an asset pack full of UI elements… and it’s cute. This pack would be especially useful for someone making a casual mobile game.
Bit of a different one for you here. Curve Interpolations is essentially a library containing basic methods to create and work with a variety of curves.
Given the reason most of my subscribers are… well… subscribers, I thought this would be a good one to include, as making use of different types of curves can help you get more variation in things like randomly generated terrain.
Zibra Liquids Free is the free version of a quite frankly amazing plugin for Unity that brings realistic liquid physics to your project. These liquids are easy to set up, interact with solid objects, and look great. The plugin is powered by AI-based object approximation, allowing it to accurately interact with any shape of object without melting your computer with the effort!
So, that’s that! Those are my top ten picks for new assets at the end of 2021. If there’s something you feel should have made this list—bearing in mind that my picks were all recent additions to the asset store—drop a comment below and let me know.
Now, enjoy your New Year celebrations if you’re having any, and lets hope 2022 is a better year again.