Who is the new 'Unity Asset Manager' for and what purpose does it solve?

So I noticed that subscriptions come with a new service that i’d not heard about called ‘Unity Asset Manager’. There aren’t ( or weren’t) even any links to say what it was so I had to google and the only thing I found was documentation for the beta that you have to request to join.

Having watched the video I can see its an asset management tool, but I’m really struggling to see the point of it, especially when targeted at Personal, and even Pro accounts. Beyond that it appears to be a hard sell as existing companies likely have their own asset management tools assuming they need them.

In general I sort of feel that Unity projects are their own asset management and while maybe storing all the assets you company owns in a single place is nice, the amounts you are given in Personal and even Pro are likely insufficient. I mean my own ‘Asset Store’ collection is over 70GB and that doesn’t include 100GB’s of assets from other sources i’ve collected over the years.

I guess i’m failing to see how this can be considered an upsell or bonus for any level of subscription when its clearly presented as such and i’m even doubtful there is any point to it at all.

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It’s kinda like how Unity also offers their own version control system despite existing companies having their own tools for that as well.

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I’m thinking that it was a hackweek project similar to the original VSCode extension asset. Someone had the idea of an asset manager and it was created in a short time period and now they’re trying to pass it off as an actual tool.

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For some users, especially those new to Unity or with smaller asset collections, it could be handy. But it does seem like more of a niche offering, and Unity might need to consider expanding its appeal to make it more attractive across the board. Sometimes, features like these might find their sweet spot with specific user groups. ‍♂️

I have had some chats last year with the team developing this, and it's very interesting to us. We were thinking of making a similar system in-house, but we never got around to it, and this looks like it will fill a bunch of our needs.

There's one big thing we have been looking for in an asset manager - the ability to have assets available for use in a project without having to have them imported. Imports take a long time, and the more assets you have in the project, the slower the project gets. If we can browse previews on-demand, quickly add an asset from our library to test it, and then delete it again without losing access to it, that can make our projects a lot leaner, and our work a lot faster.

This especially becomes important when you have made a few games, and you know that you have a perfectly good crate or three, and perfectly good wall textures, and some nice lamps, but in order to take a look at them, you either have to import an entire project you might not have on your local computer anymore (which takes ages), or pull in random files from a different project and hope that all the relevant assets are linked together, or gah. So a proper asset manager can for sure help a lot with speeding up reuse, which is very important to indies.

One thing to note from that presentation is that they do offer you to bring your own storage - so if you like us have your own sever for storage (it's faster to pull when the LFS server is on the local network! The power cost of a computer in the corner of the storage room is a lot lower than server renting!), this will be a great set of tools to put on hardware you already own, for free, if I understand everything correctly.

So we're exited about this! I haven't gotten around to testing it properly (there seems to always be things in the way), but the current state of the beta seems to be a good start. I'm very exited about the big focus on extensibility, since that'll make it a ton easier to customize things to our needs.

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Must-have asset in any project! :smile:

My use-case is to make sense of all the assets I bought. I have plenty of Synty Studios assets, which are often cross-compatible depending on what you’re looking for. For instance, many packages have weapons, or vegetables, or vegetation … but I really don’t want to import all of the packages to get them all, or even just to find that single one I was looking for.

An Asset Manager could be of great help there, provided you put in the initial time to manage the assets in the first place. This is where most asset management tools fall short. At least Unity’s DAM provides an editor API so it should be possible to allow for folder-based tagging, as well as keeping asset updates in sync with the cloud.

Btw, there’s Synty Search which helps to find some assets but it’s untagged, based on filenames only so you’ll always get false positives and likely hits being missed.

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For me, the cloud cost is prohibitively expensive and besides I don't want Unity to gauge what other assets I'm touching outside of Unity. (Remember, for Unity everything is user-data which should be gathered and used various ways, we all pay for the Unity free license with our data, regardless if we are using Unity free or not...)

Anyway, this is why I have a NAS on my network, contains all my assets and run an Asset Inventory through them, so it's easier to find something I already have inside the editor. It took two days to initially index all the things, but maintaining is not that long anymore.

Which means the Asset Manager is absolutely not interesting for me. If they release a version running locally without phoning home, I'll take a look.

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Basically Adobe Bridge, but with Unity asset-management features (meta files, platform-specific format & version info, linkages betw models-materials-textures & usage info for same)? That could be eminently useful for large teams, those that do a lot of contract projects, or that just reuse/update assets over time.

Although as I write that, I’d probably just modify my existing pipeline & asset-mgmt tools & write a Bridge plug-in :slight_smile:

[Edit: Package manager can also be really useful to create “library” projects that just hold categories of assets. Also supports local/remote deployment, and whatever version control system you’re using.]

I don’t want to derail the DAM offering in any way, but you might enjoy looking into a tool I just released in version 2. It might do exactly what you need. Find everything you ever purchased. Import only what you need. Local storage. And also include all non-Unity assets like sound libraries etc. into a consistent search.

It’s called Asset Inventory: https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/utilities/asset-inventory-2-275893

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