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Terry Drever is traveling the world, and he funds his here-today-gone-in-a-few-months lifestyle exclusively by selling a portfolio of assets on the Asset Store. It gives him the freedom to work from anywhere with an Internet connection, to make enough money to cover his living costs and travel expenses, and the time to work on game ideas.

When I called Terry to interview him, the first thing he did was fetch a jumper. It was snowing outside, and this was a problem, because Terry had planned and packed for South-East-Asian sunshine. The trip to Sapporo, Japan, where he’s staying in an apartment he found through Air BnB, was something of an impulse decision.

His three month stop off in Japan is part of a tour around Asia that’s already taken in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Thailand. When his visa runs out, he’ll move on. Next stop Korea, and after that… wherever the fancy takes him. Terry, who originally comes from a remote Scottish island, isn’t planning to go home anytime soon.

Terry’s been working in the game industry for seven years, and he has a strong background in and passion for game programming. Two years ago, he started making tools and publishing them on the Asset Store.

“I had a large amount of experience at that point, and I knew what games companies wanted and what they needed.”

What Terry does is fill gaps. He’s always prototyping and trying out game ideas, and he uses Asset Store tools to build them. When the tools available on the Asset Store don’t deliver the functionality he needs to make a game, he makes a tool himself and publishes it as an extension on the Asset Store.

Over the course of the interview, it becomes apparent that Terry is a bit of a perfectionist. He’s worked on a number of game prototypes but hasn’t published them because they’re just not quite good enough.

Often, it’s the artwork that’s a problem. Though he has a stable prototype with game mechanics he’s happy with, the look and feel of the game often don’t meet his expectations.

Currently, Terry is talking to a number of Asset Store publishers to source artwork for his online multiplayer deathmatch game. It’s a game he’s always wanted to make, and one that will generate another Asset Store extension which he’s planning to publish in a couple of months.

His popular uSequencer cutscene tool resulted from work he did on another as yet unpublished title: A rhythm game for mobile inspired by Japanese games he used to play, in which the player’s action and resultant reward are tied to a sequence of game events. uSequencer more or less provides the game’s core architecture.

In the coming weeks, Terry will be visiting a game studio in Tokyo to see how they use uSequencer. He finds it fascinating discovering how the tools he’s made are used in practice, and all those insights are useful when it comes to maintaining and developing his tools.

Indeed, a new version of uSequencer is in the works. Terry’s considering a name change and is working to present his asset more professionally on the Asset Store using services from, because, yet again… he’s not satisfied with the visuals.

Terry’s recipe for publisher success:

  • Tie asset development to game development
  • Develop to fill a need, and find gaps in the market
  • Think carefully about how you name your product
  • Make sure your asset is presented in a professional manner

Best of luck Terry!

Comments are closed.

  1. Mark Rasmussen

    June 15, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    I wonder whether there’s a specific “category” of assets that sell, or it could be anything.

    For example: are the most successful assets related to art? or code assets? sample projects?

    I think selling code per product makes the most money. However, I think selling software is a lot more work than other items as well. It takes much longer to produce, sometimes many months, and then the author has to support his/her software which can be a full time job. They have to fix bugs that customers report, and they have to keep up with updates that Unity makes. They are also usually making constant improvements to their product. They can make a lot of money with a single product, say thousands of dollars per month, but then supporting that product essentially becomes their job.

    Artists, on the other hand, generally don’t make as much per product unless they get really lucky with one product, which does happen. However, artists can produce much more content in the same time it takes to produce a single piece of commercial software. I am not saying it is easy, I am an artist and know how much work it involves. However, once you make something you don’t have to support it as much. Unless you screwed up the first time around all there is to do is make the mesh, uv it, texture it, and animate it. Once it has gone through that process unless there is something seriously wrong like your animations don’t fit the mesh or something it is going to sit on there hopefully making sales while the artist can concentrate on making other products to put on the market. The downside of this is that other artists(the competition) can do the same thing, therefore there may be 10 art products for every software product out there. But those ten products may on average only earn 10% of what the single software product earns.

    I have not put anything on the asset store yet, so I know I am making educated guesses but I have also heard figures of what people make on there. My personal experience in this is when I first got out of college I was a partner in a software startup. We sold one specialized commercial software product to businesses. Supporting this and updating it was a full time job for multiple people, essentially a lot of work. But I am an artist now, and I also have experience selling art on stock agencies on places like Istockphoto, Alamy, Getty, Shutterstock, Corbis, etc. I do plan on putting some stuff on the asset store fairly soon too.

  2. Tomi Kokkonen

    May 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    In the recipe for publisher success you say “Think carefully about how you name your product”. Can you give any tips on this one what aspects should I think when I’m naming my next Asset Store product?

  3. Nice.

    I wonder whether there’s a specific “category” of assets that sell, or it could be anything.

    For example: are the most successful assets related to art? or code assets? sample projects?

  4. that’s GREAT, congratulations!
    I wish i could do the same by selling my assets! :D

    Meanwhile, if you want to have a listen and watch the video, this is the perfect soundtrack for this post:


    Following the steps of Willy Fog in the novel of Jules Verne, I made a musical journey around the world.
    And 13 video-songs that usually reflects memories of travels, ideas of distant lands, foreign cultures and traditional sounds, and depicts original atmospheres and soundscapes.