Engine firm Unity has announced a new asset program called the Icon Collective.
This was teased last month but is rolling out today with the launch of Volume 1: Buried Memories - Yggdrasil, which sees triple-A assets being available to developers using the Unity engine.
These have been created by a variety of game makers, including concept artist Johnson Ting, who has previously worked on the Gears of War, Halo, Resident Evil and Horizon: Zero Dawn IPs, Assassin's Creed Odyssey senior art director and animation directors Mufizal Mokhta and Cyrus Lam respectively, as well as Pinewood's head of creative audio Gle Gathard among others.
"This was the first time I had heard of anyone or any company launching something like this. It’s of great benefit to the industry and community, and a great opportunity for me to try something new. Designing something from scratch to a fully-fledged, production-ready IP in just a short few months is challenging, but extremely rewarding," Ting said.
"I think the Icon Collective is such a great idea because it will help developers in so many ways -- especially indie ones. Having game-ready assets without going through many months of pre-production, production, and post-production is going to save creators a lot in terms of time and cost. This lets developers focus their energy on other aspects of their project."
"Unity is known for being very supportive to the developers, no matter big or small, and I think the Icon Collective reflects that support. During the whole planning and execution of the Icon Collective, the Unity team has constantly kept the needs of developers front and centre. I am really blessed to be to be a part of this project."
Gathard added: "The Unity Icon Collective brings to together some incredible talent from across the film and games industries to work hand-in-hand with one another to create something exciting and truly unique for the Unity Asset Store. Buried Memories - Yggdrasil is truly stunning. The art style is amazing and thoughtful, and as a sound designer and recordist, it gives so much scope for us to begin sculpting our sonic vision alongside."
"This project is so exciting because I literally can not wait to see what the community brings to life. The creative possibilities of Unity, the incredible imagination of its community, and the use of the Icon Collective really does open the doors to a whole new wave of creative concepts -- and I am proud to be involved in anything that allows people to dream and create."
"The quality of the assets are truly triple-A, and hopefully they will give people a high-end starting point to bring their visions to life. As someone who is lucky enough to work in both film and games, I can’t wait to see what the community can think up."
Despite Ting's insistence that this hasn't been done before, it does seem like this is a way for Unity to provide an offering that can compete with its big rival, Epic, who has started releasing assets from canned triple-A titles such as Paragon to its development community. Unity, not making games itself, lacks this.