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Not every publisher sets out with a clear plan to make an Asset Store product. If you have a half-finished extension lying around, or some code or models you think others could benefit from using, consider doing what Copenhagen student Lasse Knudsen did: Polish and publish to the Asset Store.

Programmer Lasse first became familiar with Unity four years ago as part of his Mediaology studies at Aalborg University. “It was the standard game engine they used out there, and, of course, back then, there wasn’t an Asset Store.”

Later, after transferring to IT University of Copenhagen, Lasse wanted to write a pathfinding extension for his own use, and just to challenge himself generally. At the time, Navmesh was a Unity Pro feature, and Lasse wanted the functionality for a commercial project (meaning he couldn’t take advantage of Unity’s discounted educational licenses). So he set out to write his own pathfinding system, initially just as a coursework project.

“It worked pretty well, but I wasn’t really satisfied. So, after the course, I extended it to make it better, and I got it to a state where I was actually pretty happy with it. So I thought: ‘Hey, maybe other people will like it too.’”

And so the Simply A* pathfinding Asset Store tool was born. Lasse’s original plan was to make the extension available free of charge, but, by this time he’d invested a lot of time and effort in it. So, he decided to charge a small amount. A week after it was submitted to the Asset Store, Simply A* was on sale.

“I didn’t really expect people to buy it, but they started to very quickly. What with support requests and added functionalities I suddenly found myself pretty busy. Soon I was making so much money that I didn’t need to take a job to support my studies.”

Fast forward to the present, and Lasse’s working on two games: Gunjitsu which he and five student colleagues are aiming to publish as an early access Steam release in December, and some contract work for a retail client. Plus, he still has his studies to keep him busy.

“Now I’m busy with school and other game projects, so a month ago I made Simply A* available free of charge, with a reduced commitment to support it. The source code is there, so, obviously, people can fix things themselves if they want to.”

“It was a great way to improve my skills, do something I liked and make money. It helped me when it came to making editor extensions for my own use, and it helped me understand other assets on the Asset Store. That’s important because I use a lot of assets!”

10 replies on “The student and the Asset Store extension”

Have to agree, the Asset store is dog slow and awful to navigate. It’s been that way for years too! Seriously spend a little extra, get the code and media optimized and upgrade the server.

I love stories like this. Supplementing your income through the asset store is a great opportunity for indie developers.

My only beef with the Asset Store is that it is slow. I hope Unity is able to improve it in the near future.

So much promoting the asset store, but it would be REALLY usefull if they could for the love of god improve the asset store inside unity, with like better search funcionality. That’s all i want, it’s a pain everytime i want to search for something in particular but i have to scroll through a long list.

A week after submission it was on sale? I submitted August 30 and finally it went on sale today Oct 16. That’s a month and a half and all due to the Asset Store problems and lack of feedback about status or any problems.

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