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Posted 23 Apr 2014

Unity3D and Opensource get acquainted

, 25 Apr 2014
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The Opensource movement is truly one of the great things of the current generation, almost bringing back the sharing and caring community of the 60’s (not that I was around then but I hear it was nice), well almost .  The main idea being that everyone should share and help …

The Opensource movement is truly one of the great things of the current generation, almost bringing back the sharing and caring community of the 60’s (not that I was around then but I hear it was nice), well almost. The main idea being that everyone should share and help each other out building their projects.

Before bringing this post to focus on Unity3D it’s important to understand what Opensource is all about and break down some myths. To explain this a recent video got release which I feel is the best explanation of what Opensource is all about:

Just remember, just because something is Opensource does NOT mean it’s FREE. At some point someone has had to put a lot of hard effort, time or money into building something and is generous enough to share it. Recognise this and help them out, praise them or even contribute with time or even cash.

Don’t abuse Opensource contributors because it’s not what you wanted !

Opensource and Unity3D

Unity is certainly been slow to move when it comes to open source, most contributors are hard at work on their creations and have little time to clean things up and showcase how they achieved things. NOTE, putting up a video of your effort with no code based explanation of how you achieved it doesn’t count, that is just promotion.

Things are changing as of Unity 4 and we are seeing more and more content released and more developers publishing Opensource projects and contributing to others.

So I’ve put together a list of some of the best picks I’ve found out there (feel free to suggest more in comments and I’ll update this post)

First off there is the Unity Wiki – granted this has been around for some time but doesn’t get as much attention as it should, a good first port of call.

Nick Gravelyn is one of the XNA die hards and a big contributor for building and sharing helpful stuff, as he has moved to Unity he has not stopped and pushed a selection of helper scripts to aid you on your development journey and you are encourages to submit your own to make this an even bigger resource

Unity themselves have several of their own Opensource projects published on GitHub with various license models on each.

Some of these include MonoDevelop (the dev tool) / Unity Test tools / Boo / Version Control plugins and Reference rewriters to name a few.

I was really impressed when Fredrik Holmström suddenly released no less than 19 of his own asset from the Unity Store on to GitHub under an MIT license, basically free to use so long as you include the license in the software you produce. Just be nice and shout if you use them, that’s all.

Fantastic effort Fredrik.

A new Math library project for Unity3D published by Stephanie, despite a huge public backlash when this Math library was released, I was impressed by this libraries humble creation. It is still in the early days but shows potential, I recommend rolling your sleeves up and digging in with this project and help make it even better.

A huge game project called Glitch got cancelled and rather than disappearing in to the ether, the developers released all their assets free to the world (, however al the assets were made for Flash.

Seeing this and wanting to make it more accessible to game developers Jesse from ThirdParty Ninja’s converted and extracted all the assets in to more reusable formats. There are so many assets in this pack it took two whole GitHub projects to host it!

Another interesting project to hit the Opensource arena is a useful add-on for any expandable game, the ability in Unity to consume Google spreadsheets from within your Unity3D project. Not had the chance to use this fully myself yet but it holds promise. Kim’s other GitHub projects also spark interest as well, so check them out.

Switching tracks, Kristen Schat from the Netherlands released a heap of GL shaders for Unity3D on Bitbucket for all to use, Fantastic!

(P.S. although I personally don’t like it when devs don’t put at least some effort in to their own public avatar :S)

Opensourcing and sharing come in all shapes and forms, here Brian Jones has published several Gists (snippets / single scripts) in his Gist repository (like a mini GitHub for single files / code fragments). It’s an interesting collection of helper classes and shaders.

Advertised as a Goal Oriented Action Planning AI in Unity, Brent Owens has published a very interesting project to help you out with your AI needs. One certainly worth jumping in and contributing to.

Notable Mentions

The above are just a cut from a heap of projects that have crossed my desk and browsing history, as I’m always keep on collecting such things.

Along wit the headliners above, here are a few other repositories which are interesting but will take a bit more effort to unravel:

Did I miss anyone?

If you found something that should be shouted about or just want your name in lights, comment below and I’ll add it to the article.

Be bold, be brave and share!

I leave with my mantra when it comes to Opensource.

If you don’t like it, don’t use it, don’t abuse.

If you like it and have more ideas then contribute.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Simon Jackson
Architect ZenithMoon Studios
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Long time game developer / IT maniac.
By day working as a lowly Technical Architect for a healthcare software firm, by night Masquerading as the Master Chief of ZenithMoon Studios.

At heart I'm a community developer breaking down lots of fun and curious technologies and bringing them to the masses.

I'm also a contributor to several open source projects, most notably the AdRotator advertising rotator project for Windows and Windows Phone.

After a hefty break with Windows Phone and Windows 8 I'm heading back to my XNA roots to show how beginners and current XNA devs can take their skills forward with XNA's bleak future.

ID&Xbox MVP & Best selling author
[Mastering Unity 2D Game Development] (
[Unity 3D UI Essentials] (

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