Must-have Unity plugins – Part 1

One of the (many) strengths of Unity is its Asset Store, offering thousands free and payed-for plugins and assets. By the way, you have 4 days left before the end of the (fifth!) Birthday Bonanza Sale!

Here are 3 of my favorite plugins I use in most of my game projects.

Let’s make it quick, I’m myself subject to the TL;DR syndrome.

A* pathfinding project

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https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/1876

Pathfinding is a recurrent problem in game development. A good enough solution is often needed in early stages of development and its implementation can look daunting.

This is the best solution I’ve found so far :

  • It’s blazing fast (even on mobile)
  • Supports multiple terrain representation methods (waypoints, node grids, navmeshes)
  • Has more advanced options than most of the other solutions I tried (including the Unity built-in navmesh system)
  • It’s well documented and comes with ready-to-use client components

I’ve used it on most of my game projects needing pathfinding and really recommend it.

Editor Console Pro

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https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/11889

This is an editor-only plugin offering an enhanced version of the built-in console.

Although it may consume some precious CPU load when you spam logs (but you know you shouldn’t spam logs), it doesn’t impact your builds performances and it allows you to:

  • Filter logs by type (debug/warning/error/exception) or by content (using keywords or even regular expressions)
  • Show additional columns like frame number, time since startup, triggering class, etc
  • Export logs to text files
  • And my favorite feature: clickable stacktrace <3 (clicking on a line of the stacktrace opens your code editor and highlights the corresponding line of code)

This console gives you a real productivity boost when it comes to debugging.

ProBuilder

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Advanced (paying) https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/3558

Basic (free) https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/11919

The Asset Store is full of great 3D models but sometimes you may want to tweak one of them, use exotic primitives or even make your own models from scratch.

Until recently, the only solution was to use an external tool like 3DSMax or Blender to do that (or rely on someone who does). Which means you had to learn the ins and outs of a whole new software with its proprietary coordinate system, interface and controls. And I won’t even talk about the price of some of those softwares…

Well, that’s not the case anymore with this plugin! \o/ You can now stay comfy in the editor and use a fully integrated tool featuring:

  • Intuitive unity-like interface and controls
  • Mesh editing by vertex, edge or face using face extrusion, vertex welding and bridging, etc
  • UV editing, vertex coloring, material editing by face
  • Advanced configurable primitives

It still lacks some features you can find in modeling softwares (like rigging or skinning) but it’s constantly improving and developers are working closely with their users.

I never managed to get used to Blender’s workflow or had the money to afford 3DSMax so ProBuilder is kind of a life saver. It allowed me to design the first Gladiabots bot prototypes is just a few days.

Lots of cool game projects already use it as shown in this demo reel video.

You can even test the free “Basic” version before spending your money on the “Advanced” version. You will only get a part of the cool features listed above but it will give you a glimpse of the possibilities this plugin unlocks.

 

That’s all for part 1, I hope it will help some of you.

Let me know in the comments below if you have other suggestions.

Next week, I’ll talk about 3 other plugins you have to know: Touch Console Pro, Maintainer and Heavy-Duty Inspector.


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