Level load times are off the chart unacceptable

Hi all, I’ve been hard at work developing my first iOS game with Unity. To my dismay, I am clocking a shockingly bad 2:26 to load a relatively simple level on iPhone 4. The same level takes 25 seconds on iPad 2. Both are obviously unacceptable. Players don’t have that kind of patience. Too bad we can’t profile level loading. The app launches on both devices lickity split which is great because my first scene is just a welcome/level-select screen. Calling Application.LoadLevel() is where it breaks down. Of course in the Editor, it launches the level in a few seconds. I am using latest Unity 3.4, but maybe should upgrade to 3.4.1?

I’m trying not to complain, but wonder what I could possibly be doing wrong, if anything. Are many of you experiencing the same problem? What can I do to address this!? I can’t publish my game with these horrific numbers. It’s discouraging and I’m investing a lot of money and time into this so far. I do have a ton of unused assets in my project which is now totals over 2.5GB, but I thought Unity was supposed to only bundle those assets that have dependencies into my XCode project. Please, if you can point me to a good existing answer or offer a valuable new one, I will be extremely grateful.

Well, this might seem to be stating the obvious, but it is not: just how much megabytes is your level?

As in:
if you use hi res models
if you use hi res textures
if you use hi res terrain

Your project can easily reach 300 megabytes of artwork alone, for the simplest of scenes.
In particular, hi res models (6000+ triangles) and hi res textures 2048+ rack up megabytes that you wouldn’t believe.

In such cases, you need to ask your artist to provide for game-efficient material, since it all comes down to just that, how much megabytes the system needs to load to put all your artwork, and code (which normally would just weigh a fraction of the total) in memory.