I went shopping yesterday and bought around 15 asset packs for interior design, props, furniture, electronics etc. That means I now own 344 asset packages (which I typically buy on sale/summer/winter specials).
Since I expect to need many of the ones containing useful models I always import them into my project. That makes the project quite big but so far that’s not an issue. I only have to take care to commit in chunks of around 1GB to Visual Studio Online as it otherwise terminates the connection after a while.
What I realized is that finding an item becomes quite difficult. The search inside Unity is not very helpful. It works basically but I need to know what I am looking for. What I would actually need is a short & quick catalog of my items to get inspired from.
My initial thought was, hey there is the asset store, maybe it has an API so I can automatically download all screenshots of my assets. Unfortunately I could not find an official API although it would be a great editor functionality or REST API (that goes into your direction, Unity 🙂 ). Then I figured, ok, somehow the website needs to display its data and voila, it already relies on handy JSON files (check your networking log and look at account/downloads.json). It’s a POST request that includes session information and needs a login request prior to that.
That should all be possible to simulate in time but then I simply started up a movie on my other screen and manually downloaded all the screenshots that I actually needed, only for models, as few as possible, named after the asset package, flat in one folder. Sometimes these low-tech solutions are still the most efficient ones 😉 For new assets I buy it is minimal effort now to save two or three screenshots.
Really helpful! One sad thing I also realized, assets outdate, and with the emergence of Unity 5 even more quickly. The look of pre-Unity 5 assets is often not worth the hassle to redo them. Usually one can salvage the model but the maps just don’t look good. I will definitely have to pimp up my art skills…