Submitting content to the Unity asset store

So I just finished working on VertPaint V1.0, my newest creation for the asset store... 

Screenshot_VertPaint_submission_confirmation_mail

I thought I'd write a few words and thoughts about this procedure, since it kills me each time. I work hard on the assets I publish on the store, because people end up spending money for them and I want them to be perfect. I give my best trying to test everything and improve the workflow inside the Unity engine with nifty little tools like this one. But the creation of the assets is just one part... when it comes to releasing (after months of passionate work), the worst part begins! 

With VertPaint you can paint vertex colors on any mesh in the scene with a cool interface and intuitive controls. By using fancy vertex color blending shaders (like the example ones included in VertPaint), you can achieve awesome things like blending materials as seen in this screenshot.

If you've ever submitted content to the Unity asset store, you know how their guidelines are and how MUCH content you really have to create. One can't just create a nice asset and submit it and call it a day. You need key images, metadata like description, tags, etc... and stuff like documentation, release notes and tutorials don't create themselves either. And since I'm not the best artist around, this kinda shit takes maybe almost as long as the creation of the asset itself. I remember sitting 2 hours in front of an empty Photoshop window, trying to generate ideas for the icon. How the hell do I represent a vertex color painting utility with custom height-based blend shaders and an included texture repacking utility all in a 128x128 icon?

VertPaint_Icon_Bad.png
VertPaint_Icon_Even_Worse.png
VertPaint_Icon_not_horrible_but_still_not_awesome.png

You can clearly hear the programmer in me screaming in agony. Maybe I make it sound worse than it actually is, because in the end it's worth the effort. Having at least acceptably professional art representing the product is mandatory in my opinion. But it was, once again, painful for me (and I'm still relatively unhappy with the result).

Once you have all that additional stuff done, you submit everything to the store and notice only afterwards (after rechecking 5 times) that you've forgot one screenshot. Fantastic :')

You can check and re-read as many times as you want, don't worry: there is always something you forget anyway. What follows that disappointment is the fact that now, for approximately 3 weeks, you won't know if your asset made it to the store, or if for some reason it was rejected. The tension that builds up as you have other things in life to do than fixing minor things in an asset's metadata (or similar) is just unnecessary, considering some terrible, terrible garbage that can be found on the store nowadays... Nonetheless, all of my assets have been rejected at least once for things that I consider extremely trivial and that could be found in that exact configuration with that exact mistake on the store, multiple times! Won't say anything else about that.

Instead of making this a rant, I'd actually want to promote people to invest time in creating assets to make the Unity environment more customizable and pleasant to use, because at the end of the day it's still so damn worth it! That satisfactory feeling you have when your asset actually made it to the store... The feeling when you receive customer emails with positive and constructive feedback, when you provide support and the devs are just happy. Man!

Also: by working on assets for the store, what you actually do is accelerate the development time of other creative game developers out there and help them deliver cooler games in less time, which is even greater. And as a nice side effect, you get to know the engine even better, which is always useful. These things are what keep me going in the end, so hopefully they can turn out to be useful for you as well!

Painting vertex colors on meshes can be so much more awesome if you can customize things like brush falloff to create nicer results. With VertPaint, level designing is even more fun!

I hope you liked reading this, and stay tuned for more updates. It felt good sharing these thoughts and typing them here. Also hope you like the idea behind VertPaint, which will be available for $10 on the Unity asset store asap. I'll publish it here on the Glitched Polygons store as soon as it's live on the Unity asset store, and until then, have a great time and enjoy autumn!

Cheers