3rd-Party Unity Tool Add-Ons
As the Unity community grows larger and attracts a wider range of developer types I’m excited to see a growing number of 3rd party offerings for the developer community at large to use. Some of these are free for all while others come at a price, but in the end they all offer the opportunity to tap into new capabilities not available out of the box (yet). Some of these items solve problems already identified on our road-map, others carve out new areas altogether, but regardless of all that, they’re valuable offerings that everyone using Unity ought to check out. I’ll cite a few here as they’re the latest examples but know that there are many more. Drop by and join the Unity Community Forums and you’ll about ’em all!
Another long-time member of the community, Ennanzus Interactive, has created GUIX, a visual GUI development tool for use inside of Unity. The new GUI system introduced in Unity 2.0 (UnityGUI) is entirely script based, and while that works well enough for many there are some that would prefer to have visual tools instead. GUIX is that set of visual tools! This is a paid-for item, but at only $100 the value is easily seen as you save time in everything you do related to in-game user interface work. Have a look:
AngryAnt: Path & Behave
These aren’t really one project offering, but two, both being offered up by Emil Johansen, aka “AngryAnt” on the forums. Path, as you’d imagine, is a project that seeks to make pathfinding (based off of A* algorithms) easy to implement in your own Unity projects. Behave on the other hand is a project in which Emil is hoping to provide tools for developers to use that will allow them to implement behavior trees and develop “smart” non-player characters. Both projects are on-going and in development but worthy of a look anyway:
Unity iPhone Enhancement Pack
Last and certainly not least is the Unity iPhone Enhancement pack from Rob Terrel, aka “bliprob” on the forums. This enhancement pack allows developers to tap into features not yet implemented in the Unity iPhone feature set out of the bost, things like taking and using a picture with the camera, selecting a photo from those on the device and more. As with GUIX above, the Unity iPhone Enhancement pack isn’t free, it costs $100, but for those itchin’ to use such features right now it’s likely a small price to pay. Go here for more information:
The four examples above aren’t the sum total of all 3rd party offerings, but they are some of the more prominent or long-standing. All are worth a look in the short-term even if the features they implement may eventually get rolled into the core product. The tools being offered are well worth the costs (if any) in my book. I can’t wait to see more of these sorts of offerings from the community as we here at Unity Technologies do everything at once, and through these efforts the community can help bootstrap itself up when needed!