The Opensource movement is truly one of the great things of the current generation, almost bringing back the sharing and caring community of the 60s (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 released 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. Recognize 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 has 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.
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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 encouraged to submit your own to make this an even bigger resource.
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I was really impressed when Fredrik Holmström suddenly released no less than 19 of his own assets 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.
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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.
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A huge game project called Glitch got cancelled and rather than disappearing into the ether, the developers released all their assets free to the world (http://www.glitchthegame.com/public-domain-game-art/), however all 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 into more reusable formats. There are so many assets in this pack it took two whole GitHub projects to host it!
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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.
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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 into their own public avatar :S)
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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.
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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.
New for 2019
DevDog have released a few of their assets under opensource (grab them now)
A collection of reusable Modular systems for use in your projects, very handy
The above are just a cut from a heap of projects that have crossed my desk and browsing history, as I always keep on collecting such things.
Along with 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.