December 11, 2011 Seth Perkins

Unity3D – Best Plugins on the Asset Store

A few weeks ago at the Philly Unity User Group, we were talking about our favorite Asset Store Plugins.  I’ll put together my list here:

  1. #1 for me is PlayMaker – I really dig it for organizing my AI (Finite State Machines cover what I need).  I’ve used Angry Ant’s stuff and it just doesn’t seem to have the intuitive feel of Playmaker.  PlayMaker has a LOT of actions (scripts) for hooking to your states.  Makes programming logic quick, easy to visually debug.  Playmaker has some UI components, but they’re weak.  Get it for structuring your logic.
  2.  #2 is PoolManager – instead of taking the performance hit destroying/instantiating objects over and over, just recycle them.  PoolManager is well documented.  Great support.  Does the trick.  Only issue I’ve had is how to properly reset physics when recycling ragdolls.  If you have an idea, please let me know:)
  3. Sprite Manager  2 – ROCKS!  Simplifies sprite (2D animation) creation.  Automatically creates texture atlases (this in itself is incredible).  Simple GUI and extensive script access.  Documentation/support for SM2 is excellent.
  4.  EZGUI –  It’s a bit hard to get into, but it’s powerful.  Same author as SpriteManager 2.  If you want to see what EZGUI does, see demo vids here: http://www.anbsoft.com/middleware/ezgui/  Author is one of the driest presenters I’ve heard, but he does give you the detail you need.
  5. NativeToolkit – used this for a proof-of-concept I hacked together at work where I had to interact with a native Objective-C SDK and viewcontroller in my Unityproject.  If you try it, just be sure to set the file permissions properly before you build.  Does the trick.
  6. JSON Object – extremely simple, but sweet.  Used this for the same proof-of-concept where I was calling a restful API and parsing JSON.  Hand it a string from your WWW object, it gives you an JSONObject with field, key, and random access.  Easy.  (free)

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