There is clearly an oversaturation within the gaming market and mobile games only made it worse. A lot of people are trying to make their own games right now. This is clearly reflected by a lot of things-
- A host of online platforms to help indie developers make their own games.
- A host of online platforms to help people make their own games with no coding knowledge.
- An asset store on Unity is making substantial money. (cuts down development costs of assets and overall development time of the game)
However, this oversaturation is also drawing a blowback on its own. With a choked up app-store and feeble chances of discovery for a game app, a lot of companies and independent developers are reiterating their business models to stay profitable. Many have figured it out that making their own games is not going to be sustainable. As a result of which, newer avenues of profit making are being contemplated. Interestingly, a lot of these game creators have turned to the Unity Asset Store for that. Now, instead of making the next app store hit, they want to make assets and earn revenues out of that.
This is not like- 50% of game developers are turning into asset makers, but the numbers are significant. Since, aspiring game developers keep increasing too, the two clusters are feeding each other.
With fewer chances of success, Game development is more like a Gold Rush right now. A lot of people are developing games. However, it is not the smartest decision to follow the herd and dig for gold. Instead, making shovels, diggers and other equipments have more probability of sales. This brings us to the third point I stated above. Unity understood this and gave the mobile game development market what it exactly needed. Our job is to get insights into it so that we can maximize our sales on the asset store.
It is imperative to understand what can sell and what may not. You cannot just simply make some 3D models, dump it and expect high sales. Look into the game development cluster as a market and then roll out your stuff.
Let’s look into a few ways we can achieve that-
Make Fodder for copycats
Clones rule the app stores (by numbers of course). But that makes it evident that the herd mentality exists and must be exploited. The high number of clones just proves it legit to go ahead and do so. There are so many people who just want to alter the stages or may be, add a few things to Candy Crush and release it. Some just want to re-engineer the IAP options. Surprisingly, it works well with many games.
To tap into this market, it is advisable to create complete source codes that are easily customizable. Often, these are tweaked to create a new game. These complete source codes might require a re-skinning work to appear visually different. One of the best examples can be assets such as this one https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/13754
Just look at the components of this package. For gold diggers, this is not just a shovel or an axe. This is similar to a caterpillar earth-mover laced with automatic drills and daggers, that can be molded further according to the need. If making a successful game is about digging out gold, then the flexible earth mover is the best choice indeed. In other words, complete and customizable packages are in demand.
These packages also allow developers to deploy a cloned game within no time. You see gold is precious but after too much of it is dug out and profits are made, the late comers are unlikely to make it big. Yes, even for the clones, being an early bird pay. Identical gaming experience come with a saturation point that limits the number of subsequent clones too. Thus, speed of cloning and deployment is important and assets such as this one help a lot.
Offering a complete package is not a new concept. A number of companies have been offering complete packs before the unity store even became popular. One of the names can be http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/#. Blue Cloud Solutions has been in this trade since quite some time and made a name for itself. Another example can be http://www.axisgamefactory.com/. Both of them offer wholesome packages to quickly plan, program and deploy a mobile game.
Despite being good at the craft, a lot of game studios still need to outsource their work to other 3D designers. The reason is- larger assets such as an entire environment or landscape takes a lot of time to make. Making environments is time-consuming and laborious. Hence, developers buy ready-made environments from asset store to save time and money. This is also the reason that environments have one of the highest numbers of submissions on the asset store.
In fact, one of our assets on the store, a complete desert landscape, is selling better than the rest of the lot. Technically and aesthetically, this is not our best output. But as you can figure it out, people do purchase these to save time. Hence, it is advisable to make complete environment packages.
Make more. Exploit the kids in Candy Store
When it comes to assets, Game developers are pretty much like teenage girls. Despite a wardrobe overflowing with clothes, girls never have enough. Game developers exhibit the same kind of response for assets. Many developers say- when they stumble upon a great asset pack they feel like a kid in the candy store.
This kind of emotion leads to nothing but compulsive buying, and the developers can be lured into this. The trick is simple – make more assets. If you have an eye candy asset or an asset that already did good, other assets would also get views and downloads.
Make an eye candy and promote
Your asset uploads should be varied. Plan at least 4-5 uploads. However, have one asset that is special and exclusive. This will gravitate more ratings, would come out at the top in search results, and increase sales volume for other assets under your name.
Recently, we uploaded an Apache Helicopter in the Asset store. We sold a number of these till date. The reason- we employed animations of all maneuvers that the helicopter can perform in real-life. Yes, this model can backflip and sideflip like a real Apache-AH-64. These types of assets are sure to tickle the creative genius within a developer or at least trigger that compulsive buying motivation.
The touch of uniqueness
Apart from making an eye candy among your asset bundle, try and apply a touch of uniqueness to some of them. We have an asset for low-poly plants and vegetation. We sold a lot of that. This has been one of our best sellers till date.
Our designers applied hand-drawn textures to these plants and it found a set of admirers in the store. Other assets appearing for a relevant search term were similar and this differentiation paid off. You can also look for differentiators and apply them on your asset(s).
Selling assets on Unity store can earn you a lot of money. In fact, Mind Studios earned $10000 a month for a while. While it may not work for a lot of designers, but for some, it can turn into a dependable source of income.
I hope these suggestions are useful to you. Wish you luck for your next upload on Unity Asset Store.